Now that I was in the Heart Hospital ER, things went quickly. I was placed into a room after just a couple of minutes and a talk with the ER physician.
A bunch of monitoring equipment was attached, a couple of shunts for blood and medcations inserted into my arms, heart monitor started, etc. Blood was taken and I started waiting for results to find out what was going to happen.
This was very late at night, so I did not get to talk to the cardiologist until the next day.
I had a pretty miserable night, as I could not lay down at all. Even a small incline made me start coughing and feel like I could not breath, so what sleep I got ( very little ) was sitting up as best I could in the bed.
That morning the cardiologist came in and explained what was going to happen. I had a pretty severe heart attack, and they were going to do an anagram to determine how much blockage I had and in what arteries and go from there. The choice was the insertion of a stint or maybe even bypass surgery worst case.
The angogram was pretty straight forward and I was to be awake for the procedure so I was told.
Well, I was worried and really not sure what was going to happen. I just knew that I did not feel very good, could not breathe, and felt really tight in my chest all the time. So, I hoped that all that would go away soon.
I went through another night of no sleep and was wishing I could lay down and really sleep because I was so exhausted. The cardiologist came in and said I was scheduled for the angogram that afternoon.
A short while later, I was taken into an OR and given an anaesthetic and went out like a light being turned off. Next thing I knew I was waking up and it was all over. Guess it hit me harder than they thought or had just decided to knock me out and do the test and then whatever was needed. I really don’t know as I did not ask then, was too fuzzy after I woke up to think about much of anything at all.
Turns out that they had placed a single stint in and that was all. I was not sure if that was good or not at this point. I was taken back to the intensive care ward in my room and I did feel a lot better. The pressure that had been in my chest was gone and I could take a deep breath and did not feel like I was so short of breath. All good things so far.
My cardiologist came in to talk to me latter, and I found out that I had 99% blockage in the one artery with the stint. One other was "ok" and 2 were "good". So the problem was just with one. That was good news to me but it also seemed strange that only one was effected.
I also found out that I had about 30% damage to my heart. That did not sound too good. And it was also explained to me that I would have to take Plavix for a number of months to prevent the stint from clogging pack up and causing a problem.
Well, I certainly had a lot to think about with all of this.
I was told also about the need for a lot of heart medications that were supposed to help prevent another incident.
I was thankful that I had gotten to the ER and to this hospital and though I had damage, I was hopeful that it would not be too much of an issue. At this point I really had no idea how I would do after getting back home. I was more focused on just taking it day by day and was not worrying about next week. Not yet anyway.
I still was having some trouble breathing and was on O2 and still could not lay down at all without feeling like I was unable to breath. On top of that I started getting periods of sweating where my gown and bed sheets would get completely soaked. This was happening every night.
I was taking a bunch of meds, getting my BP and O2 taken about every 3 hours and blood drawn 2 or 3 times a day for testing. In all of this I tried to get at least a bit of rest, but it was very little.
A couple of days went by with no improvement and I kept telling them about my discomfort and that something needed to be done.
Finally they took some x-rays and determined that I had fluid on my lungs. They explained that this was very typical for a heart operation and it looked like they would have to drain my lungs. That was a bit scary as I had never had anything done like that at all.
They drained one side of my lungs and it was explained to me that they might do the other, but usually when one was done, the body took care of the other side on its own.
Wow what a difference when the fluid was drained out. After I laid back down, I could feel my entire body relaxing for the first time since I was admitted to the hospital. I got super sleepy and went out like a light.
When I woke up several hours later, I found the nurses had put a note on my door to not disturb so that I could sleep. I felt a lot better and hoped that I would be able to finally get a bit of sleep that night.
Well, that was a short-lived hope. I could lay a little bit more down, but would still start coughing if I went too far. So, once again, I still could not sleep much.
I talked to the doctors, got more information on what they wanted me to take once I got home and wondered just how I was going to do anything once I did get home.
All told, I spent a week in the hospital. And I came home when the neighbor who had taken me to the hospital, was kind enough to come and pick me up and cart me on to my home.
I live alone, so there would not be anyone there to help me. It was going to be just on myself do be able to do what I needed.
I got home late, and found as usual that I could not lay down to sleep. I finally managed to get some rest but it was a pretty uncomfortable night.
I was really weak also, a lot more than I had realized at the hospital. I had the heart attack, got heart damage, and then basically laid in bed for a full week with only a few minutes up, so being weak was not too much of a shock.
What was worrying me was that I was weak enough that I literally struggled to do even the most basic of things to take care of myself – cooking – dishes and forget cleaning the house or anything else that I could do before and not even give it a thought.
End of Part 2 – My Heart Attack