Bypassing the Suggested Heart Bypass
The Wonder of Chelation Therapy
by Kern Stafford, RPH
This article previously appeared in Well Being Journal January / February 2006
February 12, 2004 was my Day of Change.
I was the only pharmacist working in a heavy-volume prescription pharmacy. I was working twelve-hour days with no relief help. On Thursday, February 12, I did not feel very good, but I realized that I would have to get through the entire weekend, working under incredible pressure to get the prescriptions out. I called my wife about three o’clock that afternoon, and asked her to take me to the emergency room. I felt something was wrong and I wanted a doctor to do a test of some kind. I felt a physical tightness in my chest, not like a heart problem but more of a feeling of anxiety, and I was apprehensive about it.
My wife came right away, and within an hour a relief pharmacist showed up!
At the hospital, I was put into the “cardiac protocol” which meant I was to stay overnight. My wife decided to stay with me in the Intensive Care Unit. A nurse put a catheter in my right arm. Every two hours or so I was given to an EKG, and blood was drawn. The technician began smiling around midnight, and I asked him why. He said he was not supposed to tell, but my EKG was looking pretty normal to him. I was also told that the cardiac enzymes in my body had not elevated, and in fact were quite low.
Mealtime was instructive, at least as it indicated the ignorance of the dietician. I had explained that I would prefer a diabetic dinner, and I was attempting to control my blood sugar. In fact, I had been diagnosed as a diabetic previously. The meal was ADA (American Diabetic Association) approved: mashed potatoes (high glycemic), peaches in heavy syrup (very high glycemic), a tiny chicken breast (good protein), a small container of milk (glycemic, plus artery clogging fats), a dinner roll (high glycemic), and string beans of some sort. I inquiringly picked up the meal tag, and indeed, it read “diabetic” meal. However, there was only one thing that I could eat that would not immediately increase my blood sugar, and that was the chicken breast. I nibbled at the string beans, gave my wife the peaches, and figured anyone who followed the ADA recommendations, would have good reason their blood sugar was out of control.
Meanwhile, right before “bedtime”, the nurse explained to me that I would be having an adenosine test the next morning. We asked just what that was. Well, she said they would inject me with adenosine in a medical intervention that would speed up my heart, then slow it down, and then stop it, and take pictures of it.
I became so anxious over that scenario my blood pressure started rising. It was 160 over 90, and so we asked the nurse for some Univasc to lower it. She complied with this request. I was becoming very upset over this entire process, I knew that adenosine was a very potent drug. While it has a short half-life, the idea of stopping my heart then restarting it was not my idea of fun. As a pharmacist I knew all too well the adverse and long-term effects of this drug. Unfortunately, much of the available literature paints a rosy picture of adenosine, however I knew otherwise. Adenosine can actually alter the heart rhythm soon after administration, and thus can actually cause heart problems. In addition, the dye that they use can in many cases actually cause kidney problems, as well as failure in some instances, about 6 months down the road. Of course, no one told me, and there apparently was no plan to tell me, these things about adenosine.
The morning came, and I was not to eat breakfast, as they intended to do the adenosine test. I was surrounded by orderlies and male nurses. I looked at them, and said, “No, you’re not doing any adenosine test. Those are dangerous tests. I want the standard stress test.”
I got to my feet, and they exclaimed, “You can walk?” I said, “Yes, and I will start taking you out one by one if you try to do that test. I will have the standard stress test or non at all, got that?” I was angry.
They all started mumbling that the cardiosurgeon (name withheld to protect his identity), would not like that. I said I was the patient, that he was only the doctor, and he “would do as I said or nothing at all.”
They eventually wheeled me down to the Stress Test Room, where they kept the treadmill. I have been on treadmills before, and this thing was actually smaller than the standard gym style you find in health clubs. I sensed it was a set-up from the start.
The cardiosurgeon was none too friendly. I completed the test after 7 minutes, and my right leg gave out, as it usually does on a steep treadmill incline. I was then given one last EKG. The cardiiosurgeon said this was all inconclusive, and that he was going to force me to have the adenosine test. I said, “No, you’re not going to do this.” I then was required to sign myself out “AMA” which stands for “Against Medical Advice.”
The next office visit was to a cardiologist. I’d had to make this appointment due to the requirements of my employee insurance plan. The doc came rushing into the office, and exclaimed that I had a “life-threatening heart condition” and must have immediate cardiac catheterization and probably a stent or two, and if my condition was really severe, they would take me to Knoxville, Tennessee, in an ambulance to have immediate bypass surgery. I was amazed, dismayed, and confused because if they were going to do a catheterization, then, they’d have to do a second one in Knoxville. I had a mental picture of being driven at breakneck speed down that pot-holed road to the next hospital, the catheter still in my arm. I was dumfounded. I thought, this doctor just thinks of me as a piece of meat.
Passionately desiring non-invasive techniques, I vetoed the cardiac catheterization. I was already aware that there was a possibility that a “chunk” of accumulated arterial plaque or crud, could chip off, and occlude a carotid artery or even cause a stroke somewhere in the brain; neither of these probabilities is uncommon. This is why they call this procedure the “cabbaage” “CABG” (coronary artery bypass grafting): it makes some patients into cabbages.
Amazingly, this cardiologist who wanted to do these catheterizations had not even looked at my previous records! Inwardly, I was aghast! I had seen my last EKG, and knew that it showed improvement over my first! What was even more interesting was that while the cardiologist was examining me with hands and stethoscope, the stethoscope was not plugged into his ears; if my memory serves me correctly, it was merely around his neck!
When we had first entered his office, we asked if my records had come over from the hospital, and was told they had not. My wife was holding our copies of all the records, and was not asked to give them to the secretary. Therefore, this cardiologist was not operating with a full set of records. He was merely guessing.
As he examined me, he noted that I had said I cannot take beta blockers. He said,” That is what we use for heart attack victims.” And that was what he was going to give me. I told him again that I could not take beta blockers. He repeated himself, and said that was what they gave heart attack victims.
Would I buy a used car from this salesman? The only pain I was having was not in my heart area, it was a pain in the butt from these doctors. I won’t be pushed around, the this doctor was not answering my questions or disclosing adverse reactions.
He then started his salesman’s pitch that “your family would certainly want this”, this is the “pitch” that cardiologists learn in their CEUs (continuing education units doctors are required to take to stay in practice) in order to promote profitable cardiac operations. He went on and on about how my wife did not want me to be a widow before it was time, that my family certainly wanted me to live longer, and that my life was in grave danger. He told me that once a person has a heart attack, they are never the same. I fleetingly wondered if this bypass surgery thing was being done to prevent a heart attack. His statement was rather incorrect, to say the least. He never should have said that. I realized then that I probably was dealing with someone who was after my dollars and cared nothing about my health.
I did not say anything - and the longer I said nothing, the angrier he got. He asked me if my two daughters would not want me to have the surgery! I thought to myself, “If you ask them, they will want to know your rank in your medical school graduating class, what your grades were, and if you were a better butcher than the meat cutters at the Winn-Dixie market.” (Later, my daughters told me that was exactly what they would ask him, in that order. I had taught them well.) My wife told the cardiologist / salesman that we would take all his advice under consideration. He stormed out, slamming the door behind him.
I decided to go for a second opinion in North Carolina. I conferred with a cardiac rehabilitation specialist who told me there was nothing wrong with my heart. He suggested that I go on a strict vegan diet for a while - such as the Hallelujah Acres Diet or the Ornish Diet - and take a few supplements: red yeast rice capsules, 3 per day, to lower my cholesterol, buchu to help with any water loss; 4 of the 1000 mg deodorized garlic capsules, at least 8000 mgms of vitamin C; and Co-Enzyme Q 10. This was to lower my cholesterol radically, which would begin to slow the progression of arterial problems, and probably begin to reverse the condition and clean the arteries.
He also noted that my heart rate got up to 166, and I had no pain or discomfort at all during the treadmill test. The 166 heart rate is the heart rate for a 30 year old in average condition, according to the specialist’s calculations. And I was older than that.
The second thing this specialist noted was that my two final EKGs were missing from the record: those were the EKGs that show how quickly the heart rate comes down in a given period of time after the stress test. In other words, the stress test or Bruce protocol, had not been done correctly by the cardiosurgeon.
I went to consult with my primary care physician (PCP) after all this, dur to more requirements of my insurance plans.... I need to comply as I was on medical leave. My PCP gave me a load of statin drugs and blood pressure pills. He insisted that I had to take Zocor to lower my cholesterol to comply with the new standards for cholesterol levels. I walked out with a huge bag of samples. I told my wife we needed to put it where the cat could not get it, as these things would kill her.
My cholesterol reading at the time ws 167, and everything else was in line. While the PCP was attempting to comply with these new “guidelines” for lower cholesterol, my cardiac rehab fellow over in North Carolina was lowering my cholesterol using a vegan diet and natural supplements. In three months, I dropped my cholesterol reading to 113. The PCP simply stared at the lab results, and said the Zocor must be working well. I told him I simply used a vegan diet, and natural supplements as they were intended to be used. He said I could not live like a hermit, and a vegan diet was certainly a drastic measure. In fact, he said, since I was 6'3" tall and “big-boned” I did not need to lose any weight. I could carry even more weight on my large frame. He was wrong on that one, also. What he said was in direct conflict with the current insurance guidelines of maximum of 225 pounds. My ideal weight would be around 200 pounds.
He was rather angry that I had disregarded his instructions and embarked on my own path of healing. His lab was NOT ABLE to measure all the lower readings properly and once again I trekked over to North Carolina for accurate lab results.
CHELATION THERAPY FOR CARDIOVASCULAR HEALTH
I eventually fired my Primary Care Physician.
I had read an article in Men’s Health Magazine about an outfit called Body Scan which was able to pinpoint problem areas such as arterial problems or cardiovascular problems in order to possibly prevent future heart attacks or cancer. I began a journey to find one of these clinics, and finally found one in Charlotte, North Carolina. I was going to get a calcium score, which involved having a non-invasive high-speed CAT scan to determine which arteries were really clogged and to what percentage.
This was well worth it. It essentially provided color results with accurate description of the arteries and the percent blockage. My score was high, around 840. I continued the vegan Hallelujah Acres Diet, as this was the path I believed led towards healing. I was fortunate enough in my travels to become acquainted with a medical doctor who was part of the National Institutes of Health Chelation trial Program, and was also a member of the American College for Advancement in Medicine (ACAM). The website is: www.acam.com Their phone number is 949-583-7666. During my office visit, while examining my records, he observed that I had been discharged from the hospital with the note that I “had not had a heart attack at all.” I told him I discharged myself AMA. He said I was a bad, bad, boy, and we both laughed. Where was this life-threatening problem? The ACAM physician showed me my EKG, which he had just taken moments before, and it was normal! He said, regarding my experience, that it was a common occurrence for physicians to persuade or even coerce their patients into cardiac procedures that were indeed dangerous, and unnecessary between 75% to 90% of the time. Because of my high calcium score back in May of 2004, we both felt that some chelation followed by another calcium score would be of benefit.
I had 10 chelation treatments. I had investigated chelation, and found that during World War II, the seamen who painted the warships would come down with lead poisoning. Lead was used in paints during that time. When the sailors were given an IV drip of Calcium EDTA, it was found that not only were lead and other heavy metals released, but also the calcium was drawn out, and their blood vessels began to clear. Research was done, and EDTA was found to be beneficial for cardiovascular problems.
I first had a vitamin IV drip, then did 2 chelation therapy sessions a week, for 5 sessions. This was followed by another vitamin drip, then 5 more chelation sessions. I then wanted to for another calcium score. That was available locally in Knoxville for a reasonable price of $99.00. Due to my following the Hallelujah Acres Diet, which is 100% plant-based with no meat or dairy products of any kind, and having 10 chelation sessions, my calcium score decreased by over 240 points. One artery that had been 70% clogged was now completely clear. Another was about 70% clear, and the “widow-maker” which is the left anterior descending artery, was abut 200 points less, which meant that the calcium was being pulled out of that also.
Being a pharmacist, I am well aware of many of the drug side effects and adverse reactions that can happen, because I have seen them often. Dyes, chemical heart stoppers, and many cardiac procedures, while often employed, are not really simple, run of the mill procedures. They depend entirely upon the skill of the physicians and technicians performing them. Doctors rarely warn patients about the side-effects of their procedures and drugs, and patients therefore agree to drugs and procedures that can actually cause cardiac and kidney problems that were not there in the first place.
One of the most destructive side effects of the coronary bypass operations is the cognitive dysfunction caused by the operation. It turns out that the surgical procedures differ widely, and the following two factors alone account for much of the cognitive dysfunction after the bypass operation.
When the heart is stopped, and the heart-lung machine is used, the supply of oxygen to the brain is stopped, and the heart-lung machine is used. This lack of oxygen is a cause of cognitive dysfunction.
Often the surgery results in a massive stroke, or even more coronary damage. These strokes can be caused by pieces of the coronary arteries and those being grafted into the heart clumping off and getting into the carotid arteries or into the brain, cutting off the oxygen supply. Some patients, because of allergies to drugs and chemicals, must be tested properly before being rushed off for surgical procedures, due to possible adverse reactions to the drugs being used. Another method is to operate while the heart is still beating, although slowly. In an article in the South Charlotte Weekly a Dr. Rose in Charlotte, North Carolina, stated that this latter method produced little of the adverse reactions down the road.
Interestingly, the heart bypass operation is NOT approved by the FDA, but as long as it makes lots of money for doctors, then it stays on the books, and more and more people are being coerced into succumbing to it.
In summary, you should never be rushed into any cardiac or cardiovascular procedure until you have been given all the facts. Even though the hospital and the surgeon may say that they do “hundreds” of operations each year and “these are routine”, that means nothing. Perhaps 75 to 90% of these operations are not needed, and merely bring money into the medical industry. In my particular case, by following a strict vegan diet with no meat or dairy –including no poultry or fish, and choosing chelation to further the reversal process, I have been successful in slowing and beginning to reverse the arterial damage.
Surgeons who perform bypass operations, while using arteries from the legs, usually fail to advise that the leg arteries are actually the first ones to begin to clog –and so why should these be used in the first place?
This is like a plumber patching one section of your plumbing while the rest rots. It makes much more sense to improve the entire body, and not use invasive procedures.
An ACAM physician can be found by going to the ACAM website (www.acam.org) or phoning 949-583-7666.
My view of chelation is in accord with the National Institutes of Health clinical trial in conjunction with ACAM.
Germany, England, Australia, and New Zealand to my knowledge, mandate chelation first before any invasive cardiac procedures, due to their National Health Insurance.
The supplements which I took in the beginning were:
Deodorized garlic capsules 1000 mgms 1 capsule 4 times daily
Red Yeast Rice capsules 1 capsule 4 times daily
Vitamin C tablets 1000 mgms 2 tablets 4 times daily
This can also be the powder form if you prefer.
Buchu capsules for water retention 1 capsule 4 times daily
Co Enzyme Q 10 for blood pressure 1 capsule 2 to 4 times daily
This is used to combat high blood pressure, and also is manufactured in the
liver for normal muscle and cardiac muscle function.
The listing of the supplements which I took at that time are not ones I am telling you to take. These are the ones I took at that time. Please consult your medical practitioner for information.