Heart Monitor Saves Life
A northern Nevada man did not have symptoms of a heart attack. Rather, he felt a little tightness in his chest during high-intensity workouts and he suspected asthma. However, what he learned about his body might surprise you as much as it shocked him. Why Dane Hillyard says working out with a heart rate monitor likely saved his life.
"Nice to see you all!” says Orangetheory Fitness coach, Rebecca Tilbrooke, as she gives everyone a high-five before they begin their 55-minute workout.
Dane Hillyard is a regular at the south Reno studio and he credits the interval training workouts for saving his life. "I'm very lucky to be alive."
Before we get to what happened, what's the “Orange Theory?” According to franchise owner, Alexis Riggs, it is heart-rate based interval training. Everyone wears a monitor and once you are training in the fat burning zone, your name lights up in green and orange on a screen in class. The red zone often means you're working anaerobically.
"If someone is working out in the red zone the entire class they're burning sugars and not fats and they're over-training,” explains Alexis. “They need to bring their heart rate back down and work in a more efficient zone - which we call the orange zone."
That brings us back to Dane.
A few months ago, when he pushed himself to an all-out effort, "I'd start feeling some stuff in my chest. I thought it was maybe asthma. As soon as I would back down, which the class brings you back down real fast, it went away. So it wasn't intense pain, nothing like heart attack or like that."
Still, it was enough to tell his physician. Dr. Mark Gunderson opened Age Management Institute. He did not waste any time ordering tests for Day, especially since heart disease runs in his family. He ordered a coronary calcification score.
"The CT scan came back really bad," shares Dane. “What that means is the CT looks at the arteries feeding his heart and he's got a very, very severe, calcified plaque load,” adds Dr. Gunderson.
Dr. Gunderson referred Dane to a cardiologist who performed an angiogram and discovered Dane had major blockage in his left anterior descending artery - also known as the Widow Maker.
"If that one blocks off completely - you're dead. So he basically was a dead man walking."
Dane was shocked by the results, too. "98% blocked. They said most people like me the first symptom is death."
Doctors positioned a stent to prop open the blockage and within a couple weeks Dane was back at Orangetheory for conditioning. Except now, it's a struggle for his efficient heart to get into the orange zone. If you ask Dane, that's a great problem to have! He looks forward to pushing it here for a whole lot longer.
"I do, yeah. I'm here for life, baby; hopefully a long one.”
To learn more about Orangetheory Fitness in south and northwest Reno, contact information is listed below:
8056 South Virginia Street, Suite 1
Reno, NV, 89511
1575 Robb Drive Suite 1
Reno, NV, 89523
Dr. Mark Gunderson can be reached at Age Management Institute at 9393 Gateway Drive in Reno or call (775) 787-8300.
Also, $99 Coronary Calcification Score tests are still available at Reno Diagnostic Centers. http://www.renodiagnosticcenters.com/