How To Live With Heart Problems and Wrap Your Head Around Them

June 3, 2013

in BLOGS,Energy,Heart Health,Omega-iii Salmon Oil Plus

heart and brain that walk hand in handWhat a shock to get the results of my husband, Larry’s, Nuclear Stress test! I could not believe my ears – part of his heart was dead! How could that have happened?

Yes, he had survived a Quadruple Bypass Open Heart surgery a little over six years prior. But we had been eating healthy, taking all the right supplements, exercising regularly, and trying to do all the right things to prevent blockage from happening again.

The cardiologist, who had ordered the Nuclear Stress test, basically told us that the only thing Larry could do was start taking statin drugs again. Statins? Why cholesterol lowering drugs when his cholesterol was really not that high and we know that cholesterol is really not a good indicator of heart disease?

After his open heart surgery they had automatically put him on statins. However, when a period of time had passed after his surgery and we had done research on the side effects of statins, we made the decision to stop the drug. Larry was taking several heart healthy supplements and we were eating a heart healthy diet so why risk the side effects of statins?

He had a history of high blood pressure and actually took blood pressure medication from about age 27 or 28. His father had died at age 61 of a massive stroke and his mother had been on blood pressure meds for years so our assumption was that Larry had inherited the tendency to have high blood pressure.

When he was in his early 40’s, his blood pressure was going into the dangerously high zone even on medication. The doctor wanted to give him an additional medication but Larry talked him into waiting to give him a chance to bring his blood pressure down in a more natural way.

We started using garlic more in cooking, and he started taking calcium and garlic supplements. These changes alone kept him off the added medication.

I believe it was August of 1986 that Neo-Life, the nutrition company we had associated ourselves with, came out with a new supplement called Salmon Oil. Studies had shown that salmon was very beneficial for the cardiovascular system and could be helpful in lowering blood pressure.

Larry started taking 3 Salmon Oil capsules daily right away. At that time he was monitoring his blood pressure at home on a daily basis. Three months after starting the Salmon Oil supplement, his blood pressure dropped to normal levels. He was able to stop his blood pressure medication all together never needing to go back on it until after his heart bypass surgery over 20 years later.

A note here: Larry’s blood pressure was never high even through surgery. It is automatic for doctors to prescribe blood pressure medication after heart surgery just to make sure there is not too much pressure on the new grafts.

Needless to say, Neo-Life Salmon Oil has been a staple in our supplement cabinet since 1986. We credit it with keeping Larry’s blood pressure at a normal, safe level.

Another side note: Larry’s mother and step father were both able to greatly reduce their blood pressure medication after using Neo-Life Salmon Oil for 3 months.

Be careful! All fish oil and Salmon Oil supplements are not created equal. Click here to learn more.

Over the years when Larry was in his late 40’s and 50’s there were times when he experienced irregular or skipped heart beats. As a result he had worn a heart monitor at one time, had an echocardiogram, had several EKG’s, had tread mill tests, etc. but during all that, his blood pressure remained stable. The only diagnosis from all those tests was that he had a mitral valve prolapse (they told us it was probably from birth) but nothing to get too excited about and no treatment was suggested.

An interesting note here: after a few years of using additional heart healthy supplements, the mitral valve prolapse problem seemed to go away and did not bother him any longer.

A few months prior to Larry’s 64th birthday he started experiencing more tiredness than usual and he couldn’t keep up with me when we went out riding our bikes uphill. (He would sail past me going downhill.) That was unusual because I was typically the one that lagged behind on the uphill climbs.

Then he started complaining about feeling extremely tired and was having chest pains after very little exertion. That was when I called his cardiologist and made an appointment for him to get checked out.

That was the appointment that led to an angiogram (heart catheterization) that led to his 4-way bypass surgery. Major blockages were found – 99% in the main artery, 85% & 80% in 2 other arteries, and 100% in one of the minor arteries.

The doctor told him if he would have had a heart attack there was no way possible he would have survived.

Why had he not had a heart attack with all that blockage?

We do not know for sure but our theory is that his blood was healthy, non-clotting, and slick enough to actually flow through despite the blockages. What made his blood healthy, non-clotting, and slick? Neo-Life Salmon Oil and other heart healthy supplements is the only logical answer.

You may be thinking; if Larry’s blood was so healthy why did he have all that blockage?  Believe me; those same thoughts went through our heads as well.

The blockages could have been caused from any one of several things or perhaps a combination of reasons.

  • Could have been from living and working in a very stressful environment for many years?
  • Could have been from not eating properly and too much fast food during those years of living away from home during the week?
  • Could have been hereditary; after all, his father and several relatives had died at fairly young ages from having had strokes or heart disease?
  • Could have started during the years prior to when he was able to get his blood pressure down to a normal level? Once a buildup of blockage starts, that can set you on the pathway to serious blockages later.
  • Could have been all those highly processed corn chips he used to eat as a bed time snack?

In our mind there is no doubt that Neo-Life Salmon Oil saved Larry’s life.

It was not until after Larry had open heart surgery that we found out that in the process of surgery they cut the membrane that holds the heart. They leave that membrane loose after the surgery because of the possibility of swelling. That means the movement of the heart beating is felt more after open heart surgery.

I do not know how many times since Larry’s open heart surgery, I have heard him say, “I wish I had my original heart back, the one that God gave me.”

Over the years since his open heart surgery he has really never gotten used to what is supposed to be a normal feeling in his chest and what could be an indicator that something is not quite right?

I might add that in the years following heart surgery Larry did a lot of extremely hard physical work like he had always done all his life so having the surgery really did not slow him down very much.

At around 5 ½ to 6 years after his heart surgery, he started noticing chest pains and feelings that were a little different. He also seemed to be a little more tired than usual when he went out to do work like cutting and splitting firewood with a chain saw and an ole’ fashion splitting maul.

It was at that point when he had the Nuclear Stress test at age 70. The results showed that part of his heart was non-functioning (dead) probably due to having had a heart attack at some point. What a shocker! Evidently it is not unusual for people to experience heart attacks and not know it.

SONY DSCSince Larry did not want to take statins, the doctor basically just said to continue doing what we had been doing but to listen to his body about when to back off and rest. Otherwise there was nothing they could do for him so he continued cutting firewood and splitting it by hand.

We decided to take this a step further and go for a heart catheterization (angiogram) so we would really know if there was blockage and how bad it might be.

Results of the heart catheterization showed that two of the major bypasses were working fine with no blockages. The other two bypasses had occluded (fallen away). One of those had auto-rerouted so was functioning and the other was not important because it was to the part of Larry’s heart that was non-functioning (dead).

No blockages after six and a half years from the open heart surgery. It seems that the heart healthy supplement program is working to keep the blockages from reoccurring and the doctor never mentioned statins again… yeah!

Once again we can say the Neo-Life supplements are working. They have been doing their job of keeping Larry’s arteries clear of blockages and free of clots.

With more research and education about heart surgery we found out some more interesting information.

  • Approximately 10% of all heart bypasses fail within the first 6 months.
  • Approximately 50% of all heart bypasses fail within 10 years.
  • The failure of a bypass can cause a heart attack.

At least now, the doctors were no longer bugging Larry to go back on statin drugs, that was obviously not the problem. They did suggest a rather new medication that helps increase the blood flow to the heart so as to put less stress on it and to reduce the ongoing chest pains he has been experiencing. At this point the medication does seem to be helping some with the chest pains.

Meanwhile we are continuing to eat a healthy diet and Larry is continuing on the Neo-Life heart healthy program. He seems to be able to do most everything he was doing previously but is just more aware of not pushing himself like he used to do.

Larry is a type A personality. When he starts a project he does not want to stop until it is completed regardless of how exhausted and tired he becomes so this is a bit of a challenge for him. I am proud of him as he is doing better in this regard most of the time.

SONY DSCHow do you never have to wrap your head around having a partly dead heart?

Here’s what Larry wants you to know because here is what he wishes he had done and known along the way.

  • Having high blood pressure is not necessarily hereditary.
  • Start focusing on good nutrition at a younger age.
  • Know and understand the differences between the kinds of supplements on the market.
  • Have a spouse that supports the use of nutrition supplements. (I previously believed you could get all the nutrients you needed from the food you ate.)
  • Fritos are not a healthy routine bedtime snack – nor are any other type of chips.
  • Find out all the facts for your particular situation.
  • Do all you know to do to preserve your health before it starts to break down.
  • Strive to live life to the fullest with the least amount of bad stress as possible.
  • Trust God to take care of everything else.

We have shared Larry’s experience with you because we want you to be able to keep the heart God gave you.

Start where you are today – make the necessary changes.

Are you at risk of having heart disease?

Don't wait until you need to have heart surgery.

Listen to your body.

Do me and yourself a favor! Make Larry’s experience count for your life!


SalmonOilPlus3502_salmonoilplus_mdClick here to get started on Neo-Life’s heart healthy program.

Your heart will thank you!

Click here to save up to 32% on your heart healthy program.


Larry’s desire for you is for you to keep the heart God gave you.

 “Sharing the things I have learned.”

Pat Moon


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I would love to hear your thoughts on today's post! Please take a quick moment and leave your comments and/or questions below in the comment section below.

PatIMG_8971 Pat helps people with their nutrition questions & answers.

Pat has been married to the same man for over 51 years, is the mother of 3 adult children, and grandma to 8 grandchildren.  Growing up in the country gave her a head start to living a healthy lifestyle.  This grandma became interested in nutrition as a mother and for the past 27 plus years she has specialized in teaching others the importance of good nutrition.  Challenges along the road have been many; her father overcoming congestive heart failure with nutrition, her husband's battle with GERD and avoiding a major heart attack, her daughter's battle with a brain tumor, her grandson beating Hodgkin's Lymphoma, her mother's stage 4 lung cancer, her mom-n-law's dementia, and others.  Her goal is to share with others the things she has learned and is still learning about having the BEST REAL HEALTH possible. 


Join Pat in having the Best Real Health possible.




Galatians 5:22-23 – But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness,faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  Against such things there is no law.

All information on this blog site is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.  Information on this site has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

Copyright© 2013 Pat Moon – All Rights Reserved!


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1 Lisa Frederiksen - June 9, 2013 at 7:51 pm

Education is the key, and thank you, Pat, for sharing your husband's story and his list of what he wishes he'd done and known along the way.  This is sure to help others get on track sooner. I really appreciate how thoroughly you cover the health subjects you share. Thank you!

2 Pat Moon June 9, 2013 at 8:30 pm

Thank you, Lisa

My goal is too provide info that can be used for preventative as that is much easier than reversing health problems after they develop. I appreciate your support.

3 Anita June 9, 2013 at 11:05 am

Great resource for those we know with heart trouble 🙂

4 Pat Moon June 9, 2013 at 1:02 pm

Hi Anita,

Yes, this is good info for those with heart trouble but my main goal is to emphasize what can do done to prevent heart disease. The prevention process is so much simpler than the correction process if we are blessed to have the opportunity to correct it.

5 Robin June 9, 2013 at 8:34 am

Thank you for sharing this, Pat. My father had a heart attack at 52, and it totally rocked my world. It also changed my eating habits (and subsequently my husband's) and the way I prepare/cook to a heart-healthy focus. I do realize the importance of excersizing and need to be more vigilant.

6 Pat Moon June 9, 2013 at 12:46 pm


Sorry to hear about your father having a heart attack at such a young age. Things like that can certainly turn your world upside down but hopefully like you said, it changed the eating habits of both you and your husband. Did your father use supplements of any kind? If not, it is possible that supplementation with quality omega-3’s could have at least prevented the heart attack. Something to think about for yourself since there is some relationship to heredity.

7 Helena Bowers June 8, 2013 at 6:53 pm

Thanks for sharing your husband's story and information, Pat. I had my first heart attack at age 40, and have been working on rebuilding my health ever since. I agree with you that nutrition and supplements work wonders.

8 Pat Moon June 8, 2013 at 9:32 pm


I had no idea you had a heart attack at such a young age. I am glad you are working on rebuilding your health. If I can be of help, please let me know, I am here for you.


9 Lorii Abela June 8, 2013 at 9:02 am

Thanks for sharing you and your husband's story. It's a good thing you went for the natural way to lower his blood pressure down and the supplements helped him a lot. Always look after your health.

10 Pat Moon June 8, 2013 at 9:18 pm

Yes, Lorii, I am so thankful we have had natural supplements to take all these years.. they have no doubt been a help to our overall health.

11 Moira Hutchison June 6, 2013 at 12:00 pm

Thanks so much for sharing – it is most important to listen to your own body's wisdom as the best answers are always within.  Awareness and understanding supplements and diet is important.  You and your husband are a wonderful inspiration.

12 Pat Moon June 6, 2013 at 9:05 pm

Moira, so happy to be an inspiration.

13 Sharon O'Day June 5, 2013 at 6:16 pm

What most concerns me in all this is the contradictory … and serially confirmed and debunked … information that we receive as a population.  In the end, for many it's just a crap shoot: that they focused in on the right information at the right time.  But what about those that happened to land on (and believe) what some other authoritative voice said?  That maybe turned out to be wrong?  If only we could remove vested interests from the dialog, we might actually have consistent and correct information.  Thanks for sharing your truth, Pat …

14 Pat Moon June 5, 2013 at 9:33 pm

Amen! Sharon. It would be so wonderful if we could remove vested interests from health care decisions and information that is put out. It is such that we must stay informed and use our doctors as consultants. In the end we do have to be responsible for our own health. Thank you for your comment.

15 Carolyn Hughes June 4, 2013 at 9:07 am

I am so glad that the natural supplements had such a dramatic and positive effect on your husband. Thank you for sharing your story Pat. Take care.

16 Pat Moon June 4, 2013 at 11:49 am

Carolyn, I appreciate you reading my article (our story). Yes, our supplements have made a huge difference in our life.

17 Leslie Ferris June 4, 2013 at 5:53 am

Thanks for sharing Pat.  Reminds me that I really need to get out and get some exercise today – to keep that heart healthy!  Thanks for all you do for others…

18 Pat Moon June 4, 2013 at 11:47 am

Leslie, have you exercised yet. We do T-Tapp every Mon – Wed – Fri for around 50 minutes each time. It keeps our bodies fit & trim. Take care of your heart.

19 MarVeena June 3, 2013 at 6:52 pm

Always listen to your own body and guidence system. It can really help you make the most of your time here in this dimension.

20 Pat Moon June 4, 2013 at 11:45 am

MarVeena, yes, God has given us amazing insight to do the right thing. We must listen to His promptings.

21 Elizabeth Maness June 3, 2013 at 5:06 pm

That's a powerful story to remind us we need to pay attention to our bodies! 

22 Pat Moon June 4, 2013 at 11:40 am

Hi Elizabeth, thanks for allowing me to share this story with you. We all need to pay close attention to what our bodies are trying to tell us and then use common sense.

23 Debbie Van Arsdel June 3, 2013 at 4:35 pm

Thank you for sharing this incredible story. It made me think about something I heard last week on the Dr. Oz show.  As a result of the latest studies on Calcium supplements, he is no longer recommending the use of ANY calcium supplememts.  These studies have shown that calcium from supplements and not from the diet, are deposited in our blood vessels and create blockage along with brittle arterial walls.  This is a significant finding.  Some things really need to be obtained through the food we eat.  Other studies have also recently disclosed that cholesterol is not the culprit we've been taught it is, but rather the real culprit is L-carnitine, a proteing found in meat and other high protein foods including chicken, milk and some protein powders.

Blessings to both of you.  Be well,


24 Cheryl Waits June 3, 2013 at 6:24 pm

Hey Debbie,  I did not see the Dr. Oz show you reference but what I do know about calcium supplements is that when it is not combined with magnesium and when the mineral of any kind is not chelated the bioavailability of these nutrients decreases dramatically.   When that occurs, Dr.  Oz's statement is very true.  The body finds it very difficult to absorb and utilize a source of calcium that is from a non-food source, when it is not combined with magnesium and when it is not chelated.  Here, the body's only alternative is to eliminate it or deposit it which can lead to things like kidney stones, gallstones or even osteoporosis.  Chelation is a technology that wraps the mineral with an amino acid to neutralize the positive charge of the mineral from the negative charge of the intestinal lining.   When this process is done effectively, the bioavailabilty of the mineral has shown to be as much as 100% broken down and absorbed as compared to many of the over the counter supplements with as little at 33% broken down and absorbed.   This was revealed in a Tufts University study a few years ago.  As for getting all the nutrients we need through the diet, that would be great and I agree that is and always should be the first and foremost practice.  But we need to understand that with the use of herbicides on our crops today, the glyphosate in the round-up binds with the minerals in the ground rendering the plant mineral deficient.  This translates into mineral deficient food we eat creating  mineral deficencies in us.  So here, supplementation with a good whole food based mineral supplement that is chelated seems like a great help to support a healthy diet.  Also in response to your comment on cholesterol, I agree that isolating out just one amino acid like L-carnitine is not wise as we need all 22 amino acids to receive all the benefits of what quality protein has to offer.  But, problems with our health is never about pointing blame at just one thing but a blend of aspects that then develop problems with our health.  Some of the most impressive research done to date shares that it appears that oxidative damage to the good cholesterol in the body is what creates the plague we see in heart disease.  Oxidative damage is caused by many things but can be prevented in an increase in antioxidants from our fruits and vegetables.  These are our protector foods.  Research shows that within this food group, carotenoids can protect the heart and good fat (cholesterol) in the body from oxidation by up to as much as 44%.  Slowing down oxidation damage to our cells is slowing down the the natural aging process of the body.  So if you want to live longer, be disease free longer and have a healthy heart longer, supplementation to support our very inadequate human food chain is a definite must.   Science is sharing that there are only two things that are destroying our health….oxidation and inflammation.  Oxidation can be addressed with more antioxidants as discussed above.  Inflammation can be addressed with things called anti-inflammatory agents such as omega 3's.  Salmon oil is one of the most potent and purest of the omega 3's.  As it decreases the inflammation caused by the oxidation, the plague build up in our arteries just 'melts' away without any negative side effects that accompany many of the cholesterol lowering medications used today.  When we are in crisis, go see your doctor.  When we are out of crisis, nutrition is the only thing that really heals the body.  Remember, diet is what we eat, nutrition is what your cells actually receive from the food we eat.  Keeping foods as fresh as can be, raw, as organic as we can, improving your intake of fruits and vegetables and taking a whole food supplement daily is a great start to living a long pain-free, disease-free, vibrant life.

25 Pat Moon June 4, 2013 at 11:43 am

Cheryl, thank you for your response to Debbie’s comment. I could not have said it better. Your support is appreciated.

26 Pat Moon June 4, 2013 at 11:39 am

Debbie, so happy to see you here on my blog.. welcome!

In response to Dr. Oz, please see Cheryl Wait’s explanation. It is absolutely true that if the calcium is not from a natural source, if it does not include magnesium, and if it is not properly chelated for proper absorption it can cause deposits and hardening of the arterial walls. That is the reason for Neo-Life calcium supplements.. there is no risk of that happening. You can read more about calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D in another of my posts here.

As far as cholesterol, we have known for years that it is not the culprit the medical field has tried to make it into. Here again, Cheryl is correct about isolated proteins such as l-carnitine. It is absolutely necessary to have all 22 amino acids in order for even one amino acid to perform properly in our body. It is also true that oxidation and inflammation is a huge factor in heart disease so quality antioxidants such as Neo-Life’s Carotenoid Complex and omega-3’s such as Neo-Life’s Salmon Oil Plus are crucial to maintaining a healthy heart.

We do not follow Dr. Oz on a regular basis but of the few times we have read or heard things he has said.. some things are fact and some things are not so you do have to use discretionary knowledge in some of his information.

It is absolutely critical to eat a healthy diet of fruits, vegetables, grains, balanced proteins, etc. from whole foods in your diet. However because of not being able to eat everything as fresh as it should be and deteriation of nutrients in the soil, and etc. etc. the food we eat is often deficient in all the nutrients we need. That is the reason for quality supplementation from supplements derived from a whole food source you can trust like Neo-Life. Neo-Life has never let us down in almost the 28 years we have been associated with them.

I hope this finds you well and that your life is full of blessings. Pat

27 Barbara Becker June 3, 2013 at 4:31 pm

Dear Pat, thank you for sharing your husband's story. Everyday is a gift from God, for God. Your husband did the best he knew at the time. It worked because he is still with you. God bless you both!

28 Pat Moon June 4, 2013 at 10:44 am

Barbara, yes, every day is a gift from God, for His purpose. It is our responsibility to use the knowledge and tools He has given us to do our best to take care of this temple He has given us.

29 Marie Leslie June 3, 2013 at 4:02 pm

Thanks for sharing your story, Pat. I have always been very heart-health conscious, especially since my mother has had heart issues since she was a child. It is so important to eat right and pay attention to your body. After all, nobody else can know it as well as you.

30 Pat Moon June 4, 2013 at 10:42 am

Marie, you are wise to be heart-health conscious. Actually that will help you be healthier in general.

31 Alexandra McAllister June 3, 2013 at 1:41 pm

Thanks so much for sharing your story!  So glad that your products have helped your husband get healthier! God bless.

32 Pat Moon June 4, 2013 at 10:40 am

Alexandra, yes, we are so very thankful for Neo-Life and their life giving products. They not only helped my husband get healthier, they saved his life, probably more than once.

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