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.
http://www.heartsite.com/html/cad.html 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:
2. High blood pressure
4. High cholesterol
5. Family history
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!”…..so 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.