Jump to content

Listen to what your body is telling you.


Recommended Posts

Some of you already know that I had a heart attack the day before Thanksgiving. It was not something that I was spreading the news about, but my wife (Regina) and I felt that my story might help others. I would like to thank those that knew and kept us in your prayers; they worked!

On Wednesday morning I had a small commercial office/retail store to inspect. It was only 1500sf and about 6 years old, a very simple inspection. Several of the ceiling tiles had water stains on them and the HVAC airhandler was above the suspended ceiling. So, I had to move my ladder around many times to poke my head up above the ceiling tiles. After 20 minutes of up and down and moving my ladder my left hand felt kind of funny, almost like I had laid on it and it was asleep. I actually thought I pulled something because when I stopped going up and down it went away. It was only my hand, not my arm or anything else.

Fast forward about an hour and I arrived home feeling fine, but when I got out of my truck and pulled my ladder out and walked up the drive I had the same feeling but this time it was in my arm as well. Regina was out in front putting bows on her Christmas reindeer and the mailbox. She asked me what was wrong (apparently I she noticed something was wrong, I don't know) I said I pulled something in my arm or hand and it was tingling. She asked me a bunch of questions... Was I short of breath, chest pain, nausea, etc..... I had none of that.

I told her I was going to write the report and if it did not go away I was going to run up to the walk-in clinic that I used for colds, etc..

That did not go over very well with her. After a few words of love, I told her that I think we need to go to the Emergency room. Our older son was home from school (he is also a pharmacy tech) and made me chew two aspirins. Hindsight, I guess I should have said it in a more calmer voice or a little easier. Fast forward 30 minutes and a 90 mile an hour ride in her car to the hospital! I really think that ride is what put me over the top!

At the ER they hooked me up to the machines (EKG) and everything was OK. BP was 131/72 and my heart rate was 68. Almost perfect.. and my hand and arm felt fine.

Fast forward about 5 hours and I have met with a cardiologist and based on some family history he wants me to stay and do a stress test in the morning on Thanksgiving. Regina said I would stay!

I was having blood drawn every few hours, they were looking for markers that show a heart attack has taken place. Well about 6pm while the nurse was taking BP readings in my room she was called out for a call. About 5 minutes later she came back in with a phone and it was the cardiologist I had seen. He said we were skipping the stress test and going for an angiogram (heart cath) in the morning. He said the markers finally showed up and I had had a mild heart attack.

Fast forward to Thanksgiving day. I really do not remember much after they gave me some fine drugs in the OR. My memory starts around 2 PM on Thursday! Anyway, I had a major artery that was blocked 98%. I had what is called a "Widow maker" (it has a 20% survival rate when you have a heart attack with a blockage at this location) they installed a large stint and here I am today. I had no other blockages and best of all no measurable heart damage. I was in the hospital 3 days and back to light work 5 days later. Today I'm working and doing just fine.

So, listen to your body! I have never had high blood pressure, my cholesterol was 143! I seldom eat anything fried and I eat very little red meat, we eat healthy at our home and have so for years. It was just one of those things.

Oh, a word of advice. If you have a hairy chest (I do) you might want to ask them to shave your chest first before they supper glue the lines for the EKG. My wife took much pleasure in removing them! I have square hairless spots on my chest now!

Take an aspirin everyday if you can. 81mg of aspirin will make a difference. The doctors said my son's actions also helped by giving me the aspirin.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good to hear you're OK Scott - you are very lucky.

I had a shiny new stint put in about 3 years ago. The heart cath was a breeze and I was awake and watching the tv monitor as they were doing the procedure - it was pretty interesting.

Turns out my cholesterol was over 320. I've been on Plavix and cholesterol medication since. I've also changed my diet dramatically.

Do you have high cholesterol?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good to hear you're OK Scott - you are very lucky.

I had a shiny new stint put in about 3 years ago. The heart cath was a breeze and I was awake and watching the tv monitor as they were doing the procedure - it was pretty interesting.

Turns out my cholesterol was over 320. I've been on Plavix and cholesterol medication since. I've also changed my diet dramatically.

Do you have high cholesterol?

My cholesterol was 143, that is pretty darn good. The doctors said that I was just a unique and unusual case. (We already knew that in the words of my wife! [:P])

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for sharing that, Scott. I'm very happy to hear that you're ok.

I told her I was going to write the report and if it did not go away I was going to run up to the walk-in clinic that I used for colds, etc..

Why is it that men tend to be so dumb about these things? You'd think we could figure this stuff out on our own without having to rely on the women to chase our asses into the hospital.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Scott,

Glad you're going to be OK. This is a timely thread 'cuz I've been feeling pretty whipped over the last few jobs. I probably should carry my butt in and get a checkup - I think it's been about 2 - 3 years since my last one. Need to go anyway, my friggin lower back is getting so bad I had to postpone a job last week.

Thanks for sharing, Scott. Take care and have a merry Christmas.

Oh, and thank your wife and son on behalf of the rest of us at TIJ who always benefit from your wisdom and camaraderie.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Scott,

So good to hear that timing was in everyone's favor. Your sharing is very helpful.

I've been a T-1 diabetic since 1967, been wearing insulin pumps for 25-years and CGMS (glucose monitoring) devices for 2+ years. Also been on statins for some BP and Cholesterol "tweaking" ... seeing as how I'm a diabetic. The statins can create their own list of side-effects that I'm also dealing with.

I've lost 25 pounds over the past 3+ months and have about 5 to 10 more to go. I see my endocrinologist on Wednesday and am hoping that statins for the 'tweaking' can go away due to weight loss and a far better diet.

I'm hopeful I can stay ahead of any more problems. Again ... your sharing has been great and I'm so glad that you are doing OK.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm glad everything turned out for the best, Scott. With every year that passes, the tiny aches, pains, and stiff spots increase exponentially for all of us. I probably would've ignored the numbness and suffered the consequences. I'm never quite sure where the line between prudence and hypochondria should be drawn.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm never quite sure where the line between prudence and hypochondria should be drawn.

At least with me the symptoms were classic John. Tightness in the chest, jaw and down both arms - all at 3AM. If you think you're having a heart problem go to ER - now.

If nothing is wrong all you did is keep people busy for a spell, however if you were having a problem then it most likely saved your life.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had no idea.

Glad you've come through it so well.

My cholesterol is off the charts - always has been - like 300's without treatment. But, there's lot of longevity in my family - 90's and even a 101! Both my folks are in their mid-eighties.

I try to stay fit, but it's becoming harder all the time to keep weight off. Your story is more reinforcement for me to get down right skinny and keep moving.

Take care, sir.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Scott, you should think about changing the name of this thread to 'Listen to what your wife and kids are telling you'.

About a year ago my wife's uncle lived with similar symptoms for 2 weeks, when he finally decided to see a doctor he needed to be air lifted. We miss him terribly.

Thanks for sharing your story, may all the old farts here learn from it. Someone has to set an example for us young guys.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...