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Check up and drinking


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  • Check up and drinking

    I just got back from my Auckland check up went really well one of the best check ups iv had in a while , everythink is good and she even put my pred down to 5mgs she put me down to yearly check ups , thats the first time in my life my checks have been that far apart , i still have do to yearly check ups at my local hospital as well thats not to bad its only a few hours away so i can do it in a day.

    My doctor also gave me a no drinking speech, i know im not meant to be drinking but i did it any way, im ur typical young person i dont drink during the week and drink to much in the weekends which i said to my dotor ill cut down and just have a few insteed but she recons i shouldent be drinking at all not even one or two ,
    I like drinknig i have fun it gives a bit o normal nesss to my life, but in saying that i dont wont to do damage this new heart iv been given.
    I txted mmy friend tonight and said might give tonight i miss cos i dont wont to over do it with the drinking and she spend the next 3 hours txting and telling me i had to come up now shes sh*tty at me cos i wont come out.
    Why is it that we cant drink ? what does it do to our hearts ?
    has any one after transplant ever had issuses with drinking and there heart ? if not what ?

    Last edited by purple_ness1; 09-29-2011, 04:55 AM. Reason: speling
    Forever Young

    I was diagnosedwith HCM at 6.
    Went into Atrial fibrillation so had a ICD put in at 16
    Went into Heart failure at 17
    Got a heart transplant at 21(2009)

  • #2
    Re: Check up and drinking


    It's great news to hear that your check-up went well. Often times we only hear the bad news, so it's refreshing to hear things are going well for you. I'm the last person you should listen to about drinking -- I'm older and enjoy my 1 or 2 beers or glasses of wine each night. One habit I didn't change was sodium (salt) intake. My doctors have been warning me for 1 year or so, to go to a low-salt diet. When did I listen? Only now, after a 2 week bout with fluid build-up on the lungs. I'm now counting all my sodium and trying to live with a 1500-2000 mg sodium intake per day diet. I used to order my margaritas with extra salt! Back to your doctor's recommendation - she had the talk with you for a reason - you are doing well - and she wants to see you stay on that trajectory. So, even though I would have a tough time listening and implementing the doctors advice, I think you should. Going out with your friends doesn't have to mean you MUST drink to hang out. Since you only party on weekends, then start by limiting yourself to 2 drinks on Friday and 2 drinks on Saturday, then ween yourself over time. Overindulging any day of the week is NOT good. Taking care of your heart requires lifestyle changes in all directions!

    Take care,

    A/V Heart Block 2009
    Permanent Pacer 2009
    Dx non-obs HCM CCF 2011
    CRT-D 2011
    Listed for H/T UAB 2011
    Dx Cardiac Sarcoidosis 2012
    Heart Transplant UAB 2012


    • #3
      Re: Check up and drinking

      Hey Margi girl!

      I saw this on your FB the other day. I've got to ask this: What is so great about drinking? I was diagnosed with HCM at 21 I've had a drink here or there never more than one. I've never been drunk but have seen enough of the aftermath to know that it isn't all it is cracked up to be. Sure, I still go out with friends and I have a great time most of the time they love the fact that we've got a default designated driver. When we used to go to PI I would get a Yakoos Juice which looked exactly like the alcoholic drinks and was pretty tasty if you ask me. I did have an instance where a person who I thought was a friend coerced me into having a liquid cocaine it was yager, 151, and gold schlager. It interacted with my disoprymide I got very dizzy, tachacardic, and had severe chest pain needless to say I ended up in the ER. With that in mind I believe it may be time to assess your friend situation that "friend" of mine well we never hung out again because with friends like that why would we needs enemies? Your true friends will understand why you shouldn't be drinking and won't press the topic further. When we go out it isn't even a matter of discussion because I'm not gonna drink. Maybe on the b-day or New Year's Eve I will have a mud slide but the past couple of years I haven't even done that.

      So, I think you have a lot of soul searching as to why drinking is having this kind of impact in your life. I know about giving up things you like because there isn't a day that goes by that I miss being an EMT every time I hear the wail of a siren I think about what could or should have been.



      • #4
        Re: Check up and drinking

        Hi Margi
        Wow it sounds like you're begining to live a normal life with all the temptations and experiances a young person can expect to experiance in enjoying life. Aah the old demon alcohol, what a delicious enticing enjoyment in youth, I'm not one to sermonize to you of the dangers of drinking (you know what they are)One week a study comes out of the benifits of a glass of wine or a beer (in limitation)in preventing cancer or increasing longevity of life, then the next week another one will tell you how destructive it is to this or that part of your body.When The Drs told me to quit any alcohol I had aquired a taste and appreciation for single malt scotch(I must of tried every diferent kind from every small town in Scotland). That was 17yrs ago I cheated afew times but I stayed mostly alcohol free, and given my history with hepititus, my liver has no sign of scaring or cirrhosis so I'm able to be listed for a transplant.If I had ignored my dr's recommendations I probably wouldn't be.You're doing so great is it worth posably messing up a good thing due to peer pressure? I can't tell you what the detrimental effect of alcohol might have on your heart, your Dr probably is more concerned about the effect it has on your compromised imune system, but I'm just guessing. I'd go with your Dr's advice just to be safe.

        john F.
        had HCM since birth
        'enlarged heart' identified in 96'
        HOCM dx in 7/08
        Myectomy 8/09
        extended Myectomy 5/10
        'End stage' HCM dx 8/10
        CRT-D implanted 9/10
        evaluated for Transplant 11/10
        Listed for transplant 6/11


        • #5
          Re: Check up and drinking

          Well said Mary. I, too, am the default designated driver where ever we go. I quit drinking over 40 years ago and found out you don't have to drink to have fun.


          • #6
            Re: Check up and drinking

            Hi Margi,
            I think one problem is that alcohol affects the way the liver breaks down some of the antirejection drugs, so that if you're drinking you're getting very different doses than what's intended. It's a bit like the restriction on drinking grapefruit juice when taking certain drugs -- except that obviously it's not THAT big a deal for most people to live without grapefruit!

            Beyond that, I think the issues for people with transplants are more or less the same as for anyone else: alcohol does irritate the heart muscle, and it increases the triglycerides in your blood, putting you at more risk of heart attack.

            I'm sure some of the folks who've had transplants can say more about this than I can.

            Myectomy on Feb. 5, 2007.


            • #7
              Re: Check up and drinking

              Margi, I know that you have dealt with this issue post transplant. You were rejecting on a regular basis. I will have A drink and that is all. I know that excessive amounts of alcohol do not mix with immune suppressants per my transplant Docs. I feel as an organ recipient we owe it to our donor to take as good of care of our new hearts as we possibly can. Donor's have given the ultimate gift (LIFE) so that we can live. Do we not need to respect the decision of that family in their time of grief and refrain from harmful behavior. There are people out there who may not receive this gift of life that would take good care of their heart. I know you get it, please take care of your heart

              Diagnosed in 1977, Myectomy in 1981 @ Mayo Rochester
              ICD&Pacemaker 1996
              Heart transplant March 19, 2004 @ Mayo Rochester
              Mom of Kaye.


              • #8
                Re: Check up and drinking

                Hi Margi,
                You already know this: transplants aren't free. They involve a number of tradeoffs -- you get to live, but you have to take a lot of drugs and see doctors forever, and one of the things you really have to do is to drastically limit or eliminate drinking.

                I have someone close to me who had to quit drinking and drugs for a different reason -- because she was really dependent on them and was pretty screwed up as a result. She tells me that dealing with friends was sometimes one of the really hard things to do, because they just wanted her to hang out with them and have a good time. The problem was that it was dangerous for this person, and some of her friends really couldn't think of it that way. They were thinking of themselves, and not of her. Some of her friends were able to handle the "new" person, but she had to stop seeing some people because they couldn't really relate to her unless she was joining them with a drink or pills. I'm not suggesting that you start dumping all your friends -- but you may want to try to find a way to tell some of them that they need to support you, not hurt you. I know that this isn't an easy thing to deal with, but I also know that you're pretty tough.

                One thing that makes the drinking part hard is pressure from friends. Some of them
                Myectomy on Feb. 5, 2007.


                • #9
                  Re: Check up and drinking

                  Thanks for starting a valuable thread. This applies to everyone, everyone with HCM, and everyone with a transplant. Having a teenage daughter with a transplant makes me think a lot about this, and I've done a lot of homework. I think there are three issues with drinking and transplants. Much of this has already been covered, but not all of it.
                  1. Coronary artery disease. As Gordon said, transplants are prone to coronary artery disease (atherosclerosis). Nobody really knows why, but transplanted hearts tend to develop bad coronary arteries faster than the normal population. This may be the ultimate limit on how long a transplanted heart will last. Drinking messes with triglycerides that can accelerate the process. As we've discussed before, you want this heart to last either an entire normal lifespan or at least long enough for a new technology to be available that will give you a heart that will last you a lifetime.
                  2. Liver and kidney disease. The suppressants you are taking trash your liver and mess up kidneys. No need to put extra strain on these organs, which are already doing extra duty handling the drugs.
                  3. Taking meds on time. Drinking makes it too easy to forget your meds at night or sleeping through them in the morning. You can plan around this--take them an hour early, or don't go out until you've taken them, but take them!

                  So I'd argue for moderation or none. If you think about the normal risks of drinking, plus the extra risks mentioned in this thread, it takes some of the spark out of drinking. You know that life isn't fair, and eliminating or minimizing drinking is just one more burden for you.


                  • #10
                    Re: Check up and drinking

                    I'm a freshmen in college so I'm just starting to deal lot with this too. I get this speech quite often from my doctors even though I've never had a drop of alcohol. I occasionally go out with my friends, but we don't drink lot as a group. When there is drinking going on they actually appreciate the fact that I don't drink because I am basically the perpetual "sober buddy." I make sure that nobody does anything ridiculously stupid. My friends would actually have a better time because someone has thier back. Sober buddies reduce day-after regrets. See if this is something you can do if possible. I don't miss alcohol because I've never had it, but I can have a good time without beer.
                    Love to live. Love to be a kid.


                    • #11
                      Re: Check up and drinking

                      I agree with Midge. You are getting another chance at life, how many more chances do you think you'll get? Especially if you screw this one up with alcohol. Alcohol is a very unnecessary evil for everyone, not just someone with a new heart. And binge drinking on the weekend is way worse than one that has one or two beers or glasses of wine daily. I can tell you from experience of hauling friends and family to the ER for detox after binging that it's very hard on your heart. The detox process increases your blood pressure, and increases your heart rate. This isn't even taking into consideration the interactions with the meds you are on. Use your head! I know your young, but you do have the ability to reason don't you? I'm sorry to be harsh, but someone needs to be.


                      • #12
                        Re: Check up and drinking

                        My transplant docs go by liver and kidney bloodwork. Some folks can't drink at all, other lucky ones like me have been told I can have a beer now and then, mmm beer.
                        I'm a firm believer in following what the docs that saved my life say on everything. If and when they say stop, I'll stop. We owe it to our loved ones and to honor our donors, to do all we can to live long and prosper.
                        Heart Transplant 7/16/06 - PRAISE GOD


                        • #13
                          Re: Check up and drinking

                          Margi- One of the causes of cardiomyopathy for Non-HCM'r (I guess thats you now - Congrats!) is alcohol. This coupled with the others (and your doctor) info is enough to say enough. I know when I curtailed my drinking, I was really shocked how stupid others seemed while they were drunk. You may see the same thing. Give it a try, you owe it to your donor and yourself.
                          You have many friends worldwide hoping you do the right thing.
                          Diagnosed @ 48
                          Saw Dr. Michael Debakey @ age 5 - "He's fine, just a little noisy"
                          Father to 3 boys 22, 25, 29 (all currently clear - pending genetics)
                          AICD - Valentines Day '08, Spark Plug replaced 11/14
                          After much research, I had a Myectomy @ Mayo for my 50th Birthday '08
                          Quietly going insane . . .


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