Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Heart Attack


I've been thinking about how to approach this post for over a week now. It seemed as though everything was over-the-top for a while. There's also been the added problem that I just have had trouble sitting down and writing.
Well, actually, I've had trouble staying awake, but that's the new drugs. I'll get used to them. Or I'll sleep a lot.
Between about 11:30 pm on July 2nd and until nearly 12:30 am on July 3rd, I had a heart attack. It wasn't until then that the pain started to recede thanks to the nitroglycerin drip. Anyone who has been on this drug (and this is my second time)knows that the nitroglycerin gives you horrible headaches, but you'll accept that in trade for the other.
The heart attack came out of nowhere. I was on line chatting when a horrible, incredible pain hit both my shoulders and all the way down both arms. I told the people I was heading next door to Russ. We thought at first that this was a pinched nerve, but he soon had me in the car (going for a ride to see if that helps, he said. I wasn't tricked, but I said nothing.) We went to Emergency.
Shots and IVs helped. They had to do the IV in my left wrist because I have small blood vessels and they couldn't get it into my elbow. Wrist is bad because it hurts worse if you even move your hand a little.
Russ stayed with me the entire time, getting as little sleep as I did. He only went home once to get his laptop (which I used to briefly check in at Forward Motion so they knew)and remained in the chair by my bed. I am so glad to have him back home these days!
The next day they did a heart cath. I've had one before, where they go up through the groin and you have to remain flat on your back for hours afterwards to avoid bleeding. The 'flat on your back' part is the worst of it, to be honest. The cath itself is no problem at all. And I had a pleasant surprise -- they can do them through the wrist now and it turned out they found a good spot on my right wrist. Much better than the last time!
And the end report is that this was an atypical heart attack, not brought on by any of the usual problems. The truth is that I was born with an odd heart which has extra vessels that go in and out at random. One of them seems to have sealed off, and coupled with high blood pressure (yeah, working on that again), caused the heart attack. There were enzymes in my blood stream which showed that there was a real problem, but it did not require a stent or any other physical intervention.
As attacks go, it was not as serious as it could have been because there was no lasting damage to the heart and the main 'real' vessels are all clear and working fine. The bad part?
No clear idea of why it happened. My blood pressure was up during the heart attack, but not nearly as high as it has been in the past. I was not doing anything much at all (which, yes, could be part of it -- we're working on the exercise part), but there was nothing emotional or strenuous that set it off.
Yeah, this part is kind of scary. If there was nothing that really set the heart attack off, then it could happen again at any time. I have to hope that the drugs, exercise and weight loss does the trick. I also have to not focus on what might happen. My body is adjusting to new drugs, some of which make you very tired, so that's been a bit of a problem. Tired gives you more time to do nothing but think, which isn't always good. I'm getting more used to the change and working on focusing my energy again. The heat here has been making me miserable, too. The car AC is out, so anytime we have to go out (doctor's appointments and such), then I'm miserable. I get hives when I get too hot, so I'm back on allergy pills. Yeah, let's throw something else into the mix!
I have written every day. Writing is what I do for relaxation. It's my escape, and even though I haven't been doing as much of it as usual, and I'm finding trouble getting past the drugs to focus on words, I'm still writing. I'm finally not as sore as I was and I'm hoping to get past the tired part soon -- but I'm writing, so not all can be bad.


smartcat said...

You've had quite a go-round. I am so glad that it was caught quickly and that you are into recovery mode.
I really admire that you managed to keep posting the pic a day. It's one of my first visits every morning.
I'm sure you'll be up to speed soon............*s*

Deb Salisbury said...

Hugs, Zette! I hope your energy come back soon.

l. v. maclean said...

What a scary experience! So glad you got help quickly, and that there is no lasting damage. Take good care of yourself, and rest; that gives you a chance to heal.

And if you don't have the energy to record the words, you can still work on your writing in your mind, which is almost as good an escape.

Cheryl Peugh said...

Oh, Lord, zette! I'll say a prayer for you, that you will recover and not have any more spells.

Margaret M. Fisk said...


HUGS, and take care of yourself. I get what you're saying, especially about the not having a specific trigger, but taking it slow and doing everything you're doing will make you better able to manage whatever comes.

And crazy about the writing every day, but that's so you :).

Zette said...

Thanks everyone for the comments. I really have been taking it easy for a while. I even slowed down on writing!