Friday, January 1, 2010

What An Experience Part II….

   I was whisked very quickly into a back room where my clothes were torn off, a Johnnie was put on, an IV was inserted into my arm, I was hooked up to an EKG machine, given an aspirin and asked many questions. Any family history?…do I have high blood pressure, diabetes, do I smoke, what am I allergic to, and on and on. I was very scared I think now looking back on the whole ordeal. I do remember asking my husband to call my kids and the rest of the family….and I guess I said I didn’t want to die. I was taken pretty quickly to a room where they prepped me for an angioplasty. They numbed my groin area on my right side and I am sure gave me some kind of pain meds. My cardiologist inserted a catheter into my right femoral artery. That catheter had a medicated stent that was injected into my RCA (right coronary artery) in my heart. That RCA, was 99% blocked.  Here’s a great site that shows the different arteries in the heart.

   Once the medicated stent was put in, the next step for the doctors, was to put pressure on my groin. That particular artery they went through, is a major artery, that is also a bleeder. Three different people in the operating room took turns putting pressure on that artery for minutes at a time, until the bleeding stopped. The stent comes with a collagen plug at the artery opening.

   I was taken to the ICU on the 9th floor. I think they gave me something to sleep for awhile. The next critical action nurses were telling me was to not that right leg or my head. At this point my kids are showing up and the phone is ringing off the hook and I am getting animated. Keep that leg still and the head too!!….the nurses kept telling me. Well…..eventually I began to bleed and they had to put pressure on it again. They decided to put a rolled up blanket across my head to keep me from lifting it….that worked.

   I spent Saturday and Sunday night in ICU and was then transferred down the hall to a bigger room with my own bathroom….oh God it was nice to not have a portable cupboard toilet! I also had a really nice roommate named Ruby who was having a triple bi-pass on Wednesday. They released me on Tuesday afternoon, the day before my 55th birthday. Here is the results of what happened to me and where i am at now.

   I had a heart attack with some damage to my heart. I am now on 4 different medications.

1. Plavix…..75 mg. once a day and that is an anit-platelet drug.

2. Toprol xl 25 mg….once a day and this is a beta blocker.

3. Simvastatin 40 mg. once a day and this lowers cholesterol.

4. Aspirin 325 mg. once a day….thins the blood.

   Heart disease has many risk factors. They are:

1. Diabetes

2. High blood pressure

3. Obesity

4. High cholesterol

5. Family history

6. Smoking

7. Age and menopause in women

These were my risk factors…..

1. My older brother had a double bypass 11 years ago, so family history.

2. I’m a smoker

3. I’ve always struggled with my weight…so obesity.

4. Probably my age and I am menopausal.

   I was told by all the doctors and most nurses, that my smoking was probably the biggest contributor to my heart attack!! Wow. I had a nicotine patch on in the hospital for a couple of days. I decided I did not want to have it anymore. The doc said “take it off and throw it away!”… I did. He looked at me and said “are you going to smoke again?”……I said “no, never.” He said….. “Debbie, you’re my hero….and ANYONE who quits smoking is MY hero.” That was pretty cool and I now am a non smoker….after 30 plus years of smoking ….I can hardly believe it. This was a huge wake up call for me. I learned many lessons from this ordeal. One was to never doubt the love my husband has for me….he was AMAZING. He slept in a chair with his clothes on right next to me every night. He was there for me in every way. He brought Obie (our jack Russell, who has diabetes) to my daughters house in Portland. He would leave the hospital, twice a day and go there, to give Obie, his insulin shots, and feed him and then come back to me. He held my hand and walked me around the unit when I was feeling up to it, and when I got released, picked up all my medications, bought two of those plastic Sunday through Saturday pill cases, filled them up for me for the week I was in and the following week! I never had to worry about a thing….it was already done by him…..laundry, dishes, the animals being fed, groceries, work, anything….he did it and still is doing it as I recover. I love that man….more than I can say.

   Things I learned…..

That I have many friends and family members that love me very much. The nurses were getting upset because the phone would not stop ringing and my visitors were many.

I am ok without a cigarette.

I am probably not afraid to die now but I certainly don’t want to yet!

My health is very important so I need to eat right and exercise…what a concept for me! Exercise!?

Life is short, slow down and enjoy it…savor it.

I don’t have to be everything to everyone. If I don’t take care of me, I have no me!

God is good and he sure knows how to get your attention when he needs to!! I think I got slapped up side the head on this one!

I am such a lucky woman. I have a second chance at life, with a loving husband and family right behind me….what more could I have asked for? Please, if you are a smoker, quit today…you can do it if I can…trust me…anyone who knows me…knew it would take a miracle to make me quit and it did. God gave me a second chance and I’m taking it.


Shelia said...

Oh, Debbie!! I'm just home for a couple of days before we head out again and I'm so glad I came by to see you!
A heart attack? Oh, Dear One! I'm so sorry to hear this! But am praising God you're okay now and have quit smoking. God is good and He is not through with you yet! So glad your loving family and husband has stayed so close to you. What a man you have.
You'll be in my prayers, Debbie! You've been a joy and I've so enjoyed getting to know you and what a special Happy New Year to you! Your 2010 will be amazing!
You are a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Kathleen said...

Dear Debbie, THank you for your email. I was just stunned when I received it. OH, you must have been so scared.....I would have been. You are just too young for this. I am so happy to hear you are recovering well. I have never smoked, just ate too much, but I know it can be extremely difficult to quit. Need to lose weight? Join me, in trying like hell to lose more of it, and to just eat healthier in general.
Your husband scores big points! You are a very fortunate lady to have him......He did a great job.
Well, now you have to rest, and follow the doc's instructions. Soon as you are 100%, we have to get together with Dawn for lunch and a gab session.
The first day of the New Year is so full of promise. It's going to be one terrific year.
Get all better real soon.
Love and hugs, Kathleen

Jean said...

Hi Debbie, So glad you are doing better and have quit smoking. Awesome girl!!!! Let me tell you, on March 1st of last year (only 10 months ago) I quit smoking and I had smoked for OVER 50 YEARS!!! I still want one a lot of the time but am told that will never go away but I want to live and knew I was not long for this world due to my breathing. My kids had been after me forever and I finally figured, they they do not deserve to see me kill myself. Hang in there and do not EVER take "just one drag". Life and your kids are worth it. I hope this new year is the best ever for you and now you can think of what you will buy with all the money you will save instead of burning it up.

wendyytb said...

Hello Debbie

I am glad that you are on the road to recovery. Seems like it will be onward and upward from here on!

Eva Gallant said...

Debbie, I'm so glad you're okay. What a frightening experience that must have been for you. Wonderful that you have such a devoted husband! Take care and do everything the doctor says! And congratulations on being a non-smoker! I'm overweight, too, and I have struggled with it for a long time, so I sympathize with you.

Dawn said...

Debbie, You will feel so much better without the cigs, I've qiut 3x, when I had my son (quit for 5 years) smoked again for 6 months then quit for five and 1/2 years because at 6 months my daughter came. I picked it back up in 2004 but had to be in the hospital a year ago this past summer and quit again, forever now! Something about the hospital is the best for quitting. Like my mom said, you'll have a nicer wallet.
I'm glad you are better, you made my teary reading this part, I can imagine your first questtion was about dying, mine would be that too.

CC said...

I'm so proud of you for not smoking..I quit 5 years ago after somewhat the same thing happened to was a stop smoking or die. I stopped smoking. It was hard, but I did it. And I know you will too. God be with you..and bless you. Happy New Year to you and your family..

Anonymous said...

Debbie, you won't believe this!
I wrote you a long comment and than lost it! Oh, yeah, gone, just like that!
Anyway, you['re going to do just fine and starting 2010 as a future brand-new-healthy-person!
And ... Live to a very ripe old age!
Much love, GeeGee

The cottage by the Cranelake said...

Hi Debbie!
I´m very Happy that You followed us in to this year!
Take care now!

Debbie said...

Thank you everyone!! I am overwhelmed with gratitude...I am doing well....a little scared of every little pain I have but I am sure that will pass. I also found out I am allergic to the EKG buttons they place on your body! I have a perfectly round rash from all of them on my body. I am hoping the new presciption cream far it's slow. Thanks so much to all of you for writing in means a lot to me. I will try and get to all your blogs soon....I am trying to rest more. Happy New Year to everyone!! I am hoping this is an amazing year.

Far Side of Fifty said...

Hi Debbie, You have had quite the excitement! I am so glad they got you all fixed up! Way to go on quitting is really, really hard, but you can do it one day at a time. I quit back in July..I smoked for forty plus years. You are not alone. Take care! :)

Debbie said...

FSOF...Thanks so much my friend and it is great to know I am not alone with the smoking thing! I have been trying to access your blog on and off for sometime and can't get in.:( I will continue to try and ask hubby for help when he is not so busy. Thanks for popping in.

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

Debbie, I am so sorry to hear this happened to you, but at least it was just a serious warning when it could have killed you. It killed my husband, smoking! Thank God something stopped you..but didn't kill you! I have never smoked but I have seen what it did to both parents, my aunt, friends and my husband. I am just glad you are alright!!
Take care.

Joanne Kennedy said...

Wow! How scary for you. I'm so happy you took the advice and went in. I hope you are feeling much better.

I agree you have a wonderful reason to get healthy this year. It's hard but it's better then dying.

So happy you quit smoking. I was just all over my friend today. She has a large family 11 brothers and sisters and over 1/2 of them have died early from cancer as did her mother and father. IT runs in her family. But she still smokes.

I have always hated being around smoke. It bothers me so much. Growing up my family smoked and even as a kid I hated it. So I'm lucky I never smoked but I hear it's really hard to stop.

You can do it. I'm here to cheer you on if you need any pep talks.


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