On Monday and Tuesday I take my mother in law to the church and the ladies get together and make quilts and rosaries.
This past Monday I took her to church and all of a sudden while inside the building I got extreme left sided center chest pain. I was sweating really bad but the AC was out in the building for some reason. Then I got short of breath and my arms and shoulders got tingly and numb.
Since I do a lot of reading and have always been interested in medical information I knew what it was but at the same time I knew I was in a room of 12 ladies in their mid 70s – 95. I did not want to have a heart attack and scare them all to death. I got in mother in laws van and drove home its like a 10 minute drive. I called Jack and talked to him all the way home.
When I got home he wanted me to go to the ER right then but even though I knew what was happening I was in denial. I tried to blow it off that the peanut butter toast I had for breakfast gave me indigestion even though it had never done this before.
About 3:30 I emailed my cardio told him my symptoms went from left center chest pain to numb arms and shoulders but then the pain traveled from the left to the right after about 3 hours. He suggested I go to the ER right away so by this time was around 5:45 p.m. We were in the ER about 6:15 p.m. The really bad pain that was a 10+ was now around a 5 and on the opposite side.
We get to the ER and there are 60 people in there. I wanted to just leave but we stayed. There were people all around with puke bags and stuff all I could think of was all the germs in that room circulating all around. I kept my mask on and did not dare to take if off. I kept telling myself not to go the restroom.
We found out there were no empty rooms in the hospital they have 293 beds.
I was taken back fairly quickly for a EKG it was a bit squirly but not crazy. A few hours later finally blood work was done and my troponin levels were high that is the enzyme that tells if you have had a heart attack. At this point the Dr informed me I had a heart attack. I was immediately put in a ER room and put on a heparin IV for the next 6 hrs. During that time my blood was checked 2 or 3 times and for some reason my Troponin levels were going up and not down.
Troponins are a group of proteins found in skeletal and heart (cardiac) muscle fibers that regulate muscular contraction. Troponin tests measure the level of cardiac-specific troponin in the blood to help detect heart injury.
Next thing I know this nurse rushes in the room early a.m. takes my ice water and on her way out the door says no more drinking anything your going to surgery. Finally the nurse that was in charge of me came in there and explained the cardiologist was concerned about heart damage and I was going for a heart catherization and a stent.
I had surgery at 8 a.m. on Tuesday. I kept praying to god to watch over me and take care of me I still have lots of life I want to live. I tried my best not to fall asleep but the drugs knocked me out but I woke back up and talked to the Dr. a a few times. It is only 62 degrees in the catherization lab I was freezing. The nice thing is there is a 70″ screen and you can watch the procedure as its happening IF you are awake.
I had a blockage in the left anterior descending artery which branches off the left coronary artery that supplies blood to the left side front of the heart. I learned I had heart damage from this heart attack. The inside wall of the LA upper portion inside is damaged. I am grateful my cardiologist was able to meet me at the hospital and do my surgery.
The cardio said the blood thinner I was on saved my life it was Clopidogrel I was given it last September after the aorta illiac stent was put in. He changed me to a super blood thinner Brilinta 90 mg 2 x a day that should prevent any further heart attacks. It had only been 10 months since my last stent. It is those inherited disorders that will catch up to you at some point.
They ordered breathing treatments because I was very short of breath but my oxygen levels were 93-95 so I did not need or want oxygen I hate that thing in my nose or on my face. I was given the breathing treatments every 4 hours and the dr called in a script for a home nebulizer with 2 medications. This could be a side effect from the heart attack and it seems to be getting a bit better every day.
I finally got to come home Thursday night around 7:00 p.m. The cardio ordered cardiac rehab but I am not sure when I get to start it. I might have to wait until I see him for the follow up visit in about 3 weeks but I did call rehab to check on it.
My after affects of this heart attack I feel like I have been ran over by a freight train, chest is bruised and sore and I am exhausted. My whole body aches. Walking 500 steps seems like 5000. I have been through a lot in my lifetime and never have I ever felt this bad. I already have about 8 bruises from the blood thinners.
From what I have been told and read it says it can take up to 8 months to fully recover from a heart attack. I am stubborn I will not push myself to hard but will try to walk short walks a few times a day by short I mean 500 steps.
Never ignore symptoms and then go into denial. Pay attention to your body and what it is trying to tell you. Now I know for sure what a heart attack feels like I will get to the ER right away if this ever happens again. I am hoping by sharing my story I can help save someone else’s life.
Life is GOOD!