So here I sit at my computer, and I realize that it's been a year to the day since I had a major event happen in my life.
I was awakened at 5 a.m. on Feb. 4th, 2003 with a feeling that is so very hard to describe, yet unforgettable...
an urgent 'burning' pain in the core of my body like someone was trying to push a branding iron from my back, through to my chest.
I'd felt a little odd when I went to bed the night before, a kind of full, heavy feeling in my chest. (I'd had that feeling in the past and had mentioned it to my doctor on several occasions, he felt it was acid reflux despite my insistence that I never had indigestion or heartburn of any kind, ever)
Anyhow........I get up and start walking around the house, hoping that this will help relieve the (now) amazing discomfort I'm feeling. Want to sit down, but this funny feeling won't allow me to. So I keep walking in a circle, round and round the house, up and down the hall, etc. After a few minutes, my partner, Eric is up and asking me "what's wrong?" but for some reason, I can't speak in proper sentences and I'm holding onto the walls to keep me upright, like I'm drunk! I remember him asking if I wanted to go to the hospital. So he helps me into the car and off we go to Surrey Memorial. I remember nothing more than yowling like a cat in heat on the 7 min. trip over there.
They were wonderful at SMH. Took my blood pressure right in the waiting area (180/120 ), and got me into the treatment area immediately.
They did some stuff to stabilize me (who knows what )and gave me morphine for the pain (so I remember very little) Within a half hour, we were informed that I'd had a heart attack.
OMG! It couldn't be!! I'd never had a sick day in my life, heck, I was running round a show ring with my dog (and winning!) just a week before all this went down.
So....one week later, I had 2 stents in my heart to open the blocked areas, and I was sent home.
Two months later, I had some complications - shortness of breath and angina (chest pain), the stents had blocked. Had to have them re-opened and some radiation to kill off the tissue overgrowth.
Got a couple of months' reprieve... then........major chest pain that the nitro spray/patches wouldn't relieve. Back to SMH, then VGH.....another angiogram (#3) to find that a new blockage had ruptured, and that artery was 95% blocked.......so another stent went in (July 7th)....... and things looked great until early Sept, when I started getting short of breath climbing an average set of stairs. Back to the cardiologist, who sent me directly to hospital......who sent me directly to VGH for angiogram #4
(in 6 months!....Frig, I was starting to feel like a lab rat !!)
Anyhow, to make this long story short(er) - I went in for another angiogram - but as I complained of chest pain when they inserted the catheter (angiograms are done with freezing/sedation) they called for emergency bypass surgery. On examination, they found I was 100% blocked on the left main artery, and 90% blocked on the right. A walking time bomb, on the edge of a massive heart attack that would have killed me, as it would have killed off 65% - 70% of my heart muscle (heart surgeon's quote)
nobody wants scars like these!
So, in a nutshell.........one year and one triple bypass later, here I am, buggin y'all !!!
Oh, yeah - statistically - I'm considered one of the lower risk groups for heart attack/heart disease - I'm a 40 year old caucasian female.
Not only was I was the youngest in my discharge group of 9 people, I was the only one with weight issues (the other 8 were average/thin) so it's not just heavy people who are at risk!! You can be skinny and have heart disease too!
Remember, heart disease isn't called "the silent killer" for nuthin, ya know!!!!
Take care of yourselves! Hope to see you on the road this summer!