Friday, October 02, 2015

My Heart and Me - Part Two

This took me much longer to get to than I had planned.  Vacation and a number of work projects put this on the back burner.  I also think that much of this is old news to folks who read my Facebook posts, so there was no need to go into all that detail over again.

This is going to be a real quick report on what happened to me during my four hospital visits and what has occurred since.

My first hospital visit, following what was indeed a heart attack, ended with me being released following an angiogram.  That had been through my groin and I was out for the entire thing. Doctors felt that medication would take care of any problem and it was safe for me to go home.  This was on Monday afternoon.

Tuesday morning found me back in an ambulance and being rushed back to the hospital following a repeat of the symptoms I had had on Saturday morning.  Not a happy camper.

This time another cardiologist told me that after reviewing my films and test results he felt that I did, in fact, need at least one stint.  Another angiogram was performed, this time going through my right wrist and I was awake through the entire thing. To be honest, until they entered my heart I didn't feel a thing. When they got to the blockage it felt exactly as it had when I had my heart attack.  Pretty scary for a few seconds, but once the stint was in place I was fine. I spent the night and was released the next day.

I was told to stay out of work for a couple of weeks and that I should limit my activity to short works twice a day.  This lasted a couple of weeks and then i was told I could begin cardio rehab.  This is basically a gym workout on various pieces of equipment, while being attached to a heart monitor and having your blood pressure check before, during and after you exercise.  The first two times were fine and I had no problems.  Unfortunately, the night after the second session I once more began having pains in the evening and had my third trip to the ER.  I spent another night hooked up to various machines and having my vitals and blood work taken every six hours. While the day shift doctor assigned to my case felt I should stay a second night, my cardiologist and the doctor who initially admitted me felt my tests were not indicating a problem with my heart so I was released again.

About a week later I was finally able to get back to work and couldn't be happier.  I went to my regular cardio rehab session in the morning and then drove to work for the evening shift.  I was fine and went home where I had dinner.  Of course, about an hour later I was once more having pains, taking nitro and waiting for the EMS folks (who by now were calling me by my first name) to swing by for a familiar ride.

A night and most of the day spent having multiple tests proved only that it was not my heart time out, but a gastro problem, brought on possibly by my acid reflux (something I have been on medication for for several years) or possible gall stones.

We now are at the point where I am awaiting more tests for my gastro problems, continuing my cardio rehab and working my old schedule at work.  I've lost over eighteen pounds so far and actually feel pretty good after I finish my exercise routine.  I'm about half way through the program and will have to continue on my own in a couple of months.  Fortunately, our complex has a really nice gym and has almost the identical equipment that I use already.  Just a matter of having Donna check my blood pressure and keeping away from all the tasty stuff that is no longer allowed.

That does it for now.  I'll try to keep you all updated and hope that things continue on the plus side.