Something to hold on to...

"Today I am one day nearer home than ever before. One day nearer the dawning when the fog will lift, mysteries clear, and all question marks straighten up into exclamation points!
 I shall see the King!"     Vance Havner

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Heart Attack !?!?

The extra pronunciation marks are for disbelief. It is still surreal. I had a heart attack. It occurred on Tuesday morning, May 27th shortly after school began. Now, I can look back and see the signs that led up to this moment, but first I will tell you the events of that day.

My day started out normally, I was almost glad to get up and go to school because we only had 2 ½ days left till summer break. I was sitting at my table in the class while the teacher I work with was explaining the day to everyone. Suddenly, I began to have some slight indigestion; I had experienced that the day before so I really thought nothing of it. I left the room to go to the copy machine down the hall and while there the chest pain began. It was located in one very definite spot just to the left center of my chest. It made me want to hold my hand there, but it still was not severe. I walked back to the class room and told the teacher right away that I was not feeling right. By this time my lower left arm felt achy, much like if you had been doing lots of yard work or painting. She asked me if I wanted her to call the nurse, but I declined. She then asked if I wanted to go see the nurse, I said I better and started walking down the hall. We have a huge building. I estimate the walk to the nurse’s office at over a city block. I made it about half way and began to get just a little short of breath. I knew by this time that this could possibly be “the real thing” although I don’t think I fully accepted that fact. I saw an open classroom with the teacher sitting inside, but her class was at one of their special periods. I walked in, took a seat and asked her to call the nurse. (All of our classrooms have telephones, which was a huge blessing.) Without even waiting on the nurse, I asked her to call my husband, and then an ambulance. Before the ambulance came I developed one more symptom, that of a dull pain in the upper middle of my back. Five symptoms all-together, one building on the previous: indigestion, chest pain, pain in my arm, slight shortness of breath, and upper back pain. Shortly the ambulance came and I was on the ride for my life. My heart attack was quickly diagnosed in the ambulance due to the EKG, so I knew in minutes that this was the real thing. When we arrived at the hospital my husband was already there, the doctor and ER staff knew of my true condition because of the ambulance report so they were ready and waiting. My husband did not know as of yet. I could not tell him, so it was a few minutes until the nurse told him that this was a true heart attack. Our boys arrived shortly and I was the one that told them. I was very impressed by the speed and quality of care from my local hospital. My own doctor was consulted by phone and instructed them to air lift me to a larger hospital to our west. Talk about adventure. By that time my pain was under control and I actually enjoyed the ride. The next hospital was completely prepared for me, as they were ready and waiting in the cath lab to do the angiogram and to insert a stint. Shortly I was wheeled into my room which was a “step down’ unit from ICU. I did not come home until yesterday (Friday) due to some set backs. Having your heart rate drop to 30 is not a good thing. One other time it dropped to 40. Both times can be attributed to drugs that I was placed on at the time. I am on restrictions, mostly common sense after a heart attack type stuff. My cardiologist does not seem to be a dictator, and when I asked him what type of diet I should be on, he said, “ If it is good for you, eat lots, if it is not good for you, not so much.” However, I was visited by a nutritionist and was instructed in a little more detail about what to avoid.

I have to take it easy for a few weeks, then I return to the doctor and follow that up with a few weeks of cardio rehab. So, most of my summer has been planned out for me. There is more I want to share about all of this, but this has taken too long so I will hold the rest till later.

Bottom line- I am alive !!!!


FarmWife said...

Thank the Lord for the quick reactions of everyone involved (and that you didn't keep walking down that hall on your own)! My initial reaction was that my mother had a horrible sense of humor. "Aunt Silverbelle just had a heart attack." No way. Are you serious?!

I'm so glad you're OK now. Rest up & take care of yourself. I love you.

missysloan said...


Anonymous said...

Rest up and take care of yourself. You've been in my prayers..I'm still waiting for you and QM to say Gotcha..But that's just not appearing to happen. You are in my thoughts