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The Heart Knows, Listen

A personal story about the natural management of heart disease.



Introduction :
I have been an organic farmer all my life and now put a lot of my energies into natural health in people, a natural progression from organic farming with animals.

The story below is about the rocky journey of my heart.

The years role by, the pain in the chest is passed off as over exercise, aging lungs, sore muscles or just masked by ego in the "I'm alright Jack'' basket.  Life creeps up on us.

Having pain in the chest for as long as I can remember, added to the fact of having a hiatus hernia, I never looked further -'why would a healthy young chap like me have heart problems!


While visiting my friend Jenny in Canberra 18 months ago, I joined her son Marcus on a rock climbing jaunt on one of the many excellent granite outcrops west of the town.  An hour driving and the crag looms ahead. The four of us jump out, high tailing it up the steep track through the inevitable ghostly jet black forms of burnt gum forest to "do the business".  Marcus is eighteen, the other couple seventeen, and believe it or not I usually hack the pace, but the pain in my chest pounds.  I say to Marcus, "I can't keep up - you all go ahead".  Now Marcus, being the young gent says "no I'll stay with you'.

We gain the bottom of the bulging almost vertical cliff.  A glitch occurs! The two young'uns have forgotten helmets and harnesses!! As Marcus was the 'minder' of his delightful if forgetful schoolmates, we felt it expedient to give them ours. Well, we made sling harness for ourselves and off we went. Lucky Australian rock is so much more stable than our more recent rotten greywacke where hard hats must be worn. It was August, snowing, and very cold, still we finished this insane climb and were duly proud of ourselves.

There was no pain chest wise on the climb, as while hard for me, the craig was slow and constant, but as we sloped on down the track to the car my mind worked overtime. Was this esophagus pain which I have no trouble managing naturally or something more sinister?  While I am hugely into natural health and not pro "The Health system" (I call it the sickness system as if you are sick we go to a doctor or hospital, whereas if you are well and want to stay well we go to someone in "The Wellness industry) doctors do have their uses.  I would ring my lovely lady doctor Lyndal on arrival in New Zealand the next day. Back in New Zealand Lyndal agreed with me in that it was probably the esophagus but she almost meekly asked if I would consider having an ECG. Nothing to lose I agreed, mainly to be nice to her! But wait, as I stopped to think about it, while our parents generation appeared to have iron hearts, all my siblings have some ticker anomalies, epitomized by the premature death, two years before, of my one year older sister Mary, who I absolutely adored.. Treading the ECG.machine at the heart clinic with my usual confidence, thinking how fit for age I am, surprise surprise when the girl stopped the machine way before the pain level arose. My specialist, Mr Clive Low, a likable person, not arrogant, who, while giving information, also listens to his patent, said that I almost certainly had some level of ANGINA!!! Though I am of the chronological age, this was a shock to me. He wanted permission to immediately do an angioplasty ($4000,) to ascertain whether I needed STENTS put in ($22,000.) Now while I have insurance and the money would never have been an issue, I am against medical intervention unless it's absolutely necessary, hence I declined this offer telling Mr Low I would try to heal it naturally first. He also wanted me to take STATINS and ASPIRIN which I also declined.

So - to marshal all my wellness peers. Contacting Manfred and Anna, Renegg of Golden Bay my wellness associates,  people I have a lot of faith in, they suggested an appointment with a Dr Earl Conroy, up the Graham Valley, Motueka with whom they had good results. He started me on a program of high class, expensive heart healing herbal capsules. Later I gravitated back to my old naturopath Peter Kearns who has been my main health guide for at least thirty years. He put me on much the same program and him being in Christchurch I was more able to keep in touch with this.

Now I venture into the world of juicers. These can be bought for as little as $60, the ones that whizz around at the rate of knots, but on researching I found this type oxidizes the juice and to get much good from it we should drink it straight away, hence cleaning the juicer at least once a day which can put me off using it.. The heart being pretty valuable property ( mine anyway) I splashed out around $1000 on an American Green Star Juice Extractor from Jacque Marshal in Nelson and I quote, "It's revolutionary design incorporates a twin gear impeller PRESS system, that powerfully rotates AT LOW RMP, which generates virtually no, or low heat to your juice. The patented twin gears have magnets and bioceramic materials which processes fresher juice that prolongs the storage time of the precious enzymes and vitamins retained in the juice". This allowed me to cut juicing back to around twice a week which is within my cleaning tolerance. Next, research on what vegetables, fruit, herbs and "weeds" to press (almost a separate story).

Perhaps the most important tool was exercise.  I promised myself to do at least forty minutes power walk around the Halswell Quarry which I normally do anyway, early mornings. Now when I started this I noticed pushing up the first hill was when the pain manifested to a level that I had to stop for about three seconds when it would subside, then steadily on to the top of the hill keeping the pain at bay, walk along the flat top of the quarry to the next even steeper hill, Climbing up this second hill as fast as my muscles would allow, there was no pain . This puzzled me greatly but once I knew I was dealing with a heart problem I realized that by the second hill the arteries expand enough to easier let the blood through without pain. (As with the rest of this story, layman's language of course.)

Other exercises include, dancing classes three times a week, added by frequent impromptus, mountain biking, tramping and a bit of mountain climbing still.

A year after the first ECG another one was done. To my delight and Mr Low's surprise I think, the results were way better. I was chuffed; all this effort was worth it. I await with baited breath for my second years ECG next April.

Not resting on our laurels, another aid emerged.  Manfred had sourced PHARMACEUTICAL GRADE fish oil capsules which, buying in bulk, he offered to his friends in lots of a thousand at a very good price. There is a book on this subject called "The Miracle of the New High Dose Pharmaceutical Grade Fish Oil" (Long chain omega 3) by Barry Sears. This book would have you take, for advanced heart or cancer disease very high doses, up to sixty a day. The optimal words here are PHARMACEUTICAL GRADE as the impurities in other grades would kill one at those high levels. I started taking ten a day and now back to eight, as some people don't agree with the high doses and let's face it, I wasn't that far "down the tube" (or so I thought at the time).  Whether coincidence or not, the stress pain in the chest subsided much faster after starting on the fish oil(shades of cod liver oil as a kid ! ).

10-3-13 edit. : I now take three a day, as most of my peers don't agree with those high amounts.

Added to this are the wonderful Life-force products that I take every day eg, Body balance, (Sea vegetables and aloe Vera) Aminocharge (high value protein) and Ostoprocare (bone and joint fodder).

It would seem by the above and Mr Low's comments below that our " natural healing " program is working and with the addition of good diet, not too many " real ales " at The Twisted Hop (now "The Brewery"), love and spirit in the heart, I hope to extend my stay on this beautiful planet for a some time yet. I am very pleased with progress and will write another chapter in this story in April after the third ECG.

I must add heartfelt thanks to- Mr Low, Peter Kearns, Manfred and Anna and all those others out there in "The Universe " whom I share and converse with.

PS: This is my own personal story and while it looks as if the above system is working for me I have no idea what it would do for others with their own personal issues.

Knowledge is in the eye of the beholder.
Good luck, love and dance.
Mike Brosnan.

A letter from my Heart Specialist
Fax: (03) 351 9578 Heart Specialists
Phone: {03) 351 9503, (0.) 351 7854
ST GEORGE'S HOSPITAL
249 PAPANUI ROAD
PRIVATE BAG 4-737
infoGheartL I ut.co.rnz


13 March 2006
Dr L Gibson (My Dr.)
7 Cashel Street
Christchurch.

Dear Lyndell

Michael BROSNAN, 23 Hyndhope Road, Kennedy's Bush, Christchurch

I reviewed Mike at the rooms today. He is still getting mild angina but it only lasts for a very short period of time and if he reduces activity, it usually settles within a few seconds.

Mike has been working with Peter Kearns, Homeopath in preference to Dr Earl Conroy now.

Mike says he is using expensive, high quality supplements advised by Mr Kearns.

He has friends Manfred and Anna up Takaka way who are providing Mike with a purified Omega-3 supplement. He suggested that Mike took 10 capsules a day (presumably 1000micrograms) and he has taken about 5 a day and I said I was thoroughly agreeable with this in terms of cardiovascular risk protection and risk reduction and cited the Gissie Preventiozone trial as support.

I said to Mike I was very pleased with his exercise and diet interventions and the Omega-3 Supplementations but I said I would still favor using a statin drug Mike's cholesterol profile and I have given him a form to get it repeated

I also asked Mike to strongly consider taking a low dose enteric coated Aspirin 75-100m daily as vascular prevention

Mike would prefer not to use a statin drug and he is going to go away and look at data on Blackmores Policosanol and Metagenics Lipoplex preparations with Peter to see if there something like that which he would accept taking which might reduce the LDL cholesterol Of course there are the trials for these intervention

Mike's exercise ECG today was significantly better than last time. He managed 10 minutes and 25 seconds on the Bruce protocol which is 40 above the predicted exercise capacity. Mike got his peak heart rate up to 146 beats per minute (90% of the predicted maximum). It is therefore a maximal test. Mike developed very slight left chest discomfort onset at 10 minutes and stopping within a few seconds or cessation of exercise. Mike developed ST segment depression onset 7 minutes and 20 seconds and reaching 2-3mm of upsloping ST segment depression laterally, which resolved quickly with rest. It is therefore a mildly late positive test and on the basis of that I don't think coronary angiography is mandatory but we would work on the principal that Mike does have ischaemic heart disease and mild stable angina. Mike doesn't wish to proceed to coronary angiography at this stage but if his symptoms progress he would certainly consider.

I sent a copy of this letter together with the exercise ECG through to Mike and have arranged to see him in a year's time. He knows if he has 20 minutes of chest discomfort which is not relieved then he should seek emergency treatment.


If you have any concerns, please don't hesitate to contact me

Best Wishes, Clive Low.


HEART JOURNEY CONTINUED. 12-9-07


After returning from a taxing but rewarding three months from 12-6-07 overseas, I find the condition of my heart has deteriorated.

Before the trip, on my forty min. power walk around The Halswell quarry each morning, the pain in the chest had reduced to nil, getting better all the time with this exercise and all the other natural methods we were using.

Returning on the 12-9-07. I found I was right back to where it was two years ago - eg three rest stops per walk. I put this down to :                                                                                                      1. The lack of daily exercise (hard to do while travelling eight countries in three months).

2. The high living of a very social animal. Largely the intake of "real ale" which one is very partial to (I have learnt since that beer, even real ale! has a very high glycaemic content).  With meeting new people most days it gets to be almost compulsory to celebrate (hard life).  On returning home I was exhausted and slept for a week. Travelling per se is hard work these days even accepting the age factor !

3. Not being able to be as strict with the herbs, vitamins and minerals.

Hard work on this for a month bore no results, so I tried to contact Mr. Low, the heart specialist to look at going ahead with his plan.  I guess it could be considered that I mucked him around for two years in not going ahead with his conventional methods, so wasn't too surprised that after a month I still hadn't been able to talk about it with him. My dentist friend Rob said his surgeon friends get so tired after surgery they may just plop down and do e-mails, so I e-mailed to no avail.

On the 16th Dec when helping to run the Kennedy's Bush Party on The Common, and tearing back and forward up the hill to my house on my bike to get sausages etc., I had the worst pain yet in the chest.

The next morning power walking in the rain I had to stop fifteen times! This gets serious and action is required.

That day I wrote another long succinct e-mail to Mr Low and also thought "perhaps he wants me to get another referral from my doctor" and rang for an appointment.

The same day 17th Dec I rang his 'all suffering' secretary and she said, "'the Doctor's letter plus my e-mail had arrived and she would physically hand them to him (thereby bypassing the heap in his inbox).

She rang that afternoon to say he had them in his hands and a letter would be in the mail to me immediately. Five days later in the mail arrived the proposal to: "perform, invasive coronary angiography with the possibility of performing angioplasty to a coronary narrowing if necessary at the same time'' operation to be on 24th January 2008.

When he comes back from holiday on the 10th January I will agree to this.

In the mean time I am carrying on with my program and have got the stops on the hill down to three to four again.

Attached are the e-mails sent to my heart specialist



From: M Brosnan [mailto:mbrosnz@xtra.co.nz]
Sent: Tuesday, 18 December 2007 10:32 AM
To: 'clive@heatbeat.co.nz'
Subject: FW: Heart stuff 2.


Dear Mr. Low, it seems that I have blotted my copybook with you having not gone ahead with your advice to operate over the last three years.

I rang you the day after you rang me to agree to go ahead with your proposals and have done so many times since. Discussing this with a dentist friend, he said his surgeon friends are so tired after surgery they sometimes chill out with a few e-mails. I took his advice to e-mail you but have not heard back.

My heart pain is rapidly getting worse. It seems with discontinuing my program on the three months o/s my condition reversed massively.. Before I left for o/s I had got the pain down to nil on my daily power walk and could do the whole forty minutes with no pain and no stops. On returning I had to stop and rest twice but continued hoping it would get back to where I was. It hasn't improved and up till last week I would stop three or four times. This morning, in the lovely rain, (I go every day) I had to stop fifteen times - it seems to be fast getting very serious

I wondered if you were waiting for me to be referred again by a doctor, so went to Mr. Morrison yesterday and he no doubt is also contacting you.

Clive I like to think you don't hold it against me that I try to maintain health through my own efforts. I have manifested some problems now which I agree, obviously need conventional help, but at 75 I am proud to have been an example to many older people and hope to continue to do so, even with bits attached to my old heart!

I really am starting to feel like the people who are unable to afford the system's services and are destined to be on waiting lists terminally.


I respect you sir, and hope you do me too, and would like to make contact with you.

Respectful regards,

Fm. Mike Brosnan.

3-2-08. THE HEART KNOWS, BUT HOW TO TALK TO IT.

My visit to hospital on the 24th February looked like being a fun time, walking out the next day with one or two stents and a whole new energy.

Surprise, surprise!  The angiogram operation was relatively simple and well done by Clive (he's one dedicated man when he gets going). Just a prick from the local needle in the groin then no other pain as he passes a tube up the vein to the heart where dye is inserted.  Then photographs are taken and just the dye shows up. Now, the moment of truth! It showed 60, 70, 80 and up to 99% blockage of the right and left coronary arteries. This left no doubt that the condition is way beyond stents and it would have to be open heart surgery.

I of course was devastated but soon recovered to accept the inevitable. Now how, with that degree of blockage, did I not have a heart attack with me bringing up the pain power walking, mountain biking, let alone climbing Mt Cook only three years ago. On talking to the specialists it seems that the exercise has created tiny compensating veins going around the main coronaries which have kept me alive!!

Another of my many survival experiences, which has to be a sign that I was put on this planet / universe for a reason and being suitably grateful,  I want to do more for our old planet and its inhabitants.

To do that I must manifest to be one of the 98% that survive this operation which I feel good about.  So, when I write the next chapter of  "the saga of my life'' you will know I have made it.

THE OPERATION: The constriction in my veins was so severe we had to go the whole way and have the full monty, open heart surgery - a quadruple bypass in fact.

Well here I am, back on this beautiful planet with you all. I woke up to my lovely daughter Marney fussing over me with such love.
 
Now for the fun part. I have never failed to have a ball in hospital, flirting with the lovely nurses and getting all this attention (a bachelor in paradise).  I still heal quickly and did again to the surprise of all, so was out in I think two days.

I want to sincerely thank the wonderful Mr Sing, the surgeon for his great work, the caring nurses (the fun) and all the staff.

29-1-13 Five years later : Well, at 81 years. young I've never felt fitter. Have just come back from walking the four day Hollyford Track, including the horrific "demon trail" .  I am still working with many of my peers to get off the few heart drugs that I'm still taking.  Life's a ball and I'm looking forward to lots more of it.

Dance.
.

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