Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Back in Hospital

MONDAY, AUGUST 9, 2010 12:11 PM, MST
I was hit with the stark reality this weekend that as "healed" as I may look externally, I really still am recovering internally. Last week, I pushed the envelope to the point where I ended up in the hospital Saturday and Sunday. I went in through the ER early Saturday afternoon and was admitted to telemetry almost immediately. The EKG was normal and my cardiac enzymes showed I had no heart muscle damage. That is critical because if heart muscle is damaged due to a heart attack, the longer left untreated the less likely it is to be restored....forever. So, even though I've had two previous heart attacks, I was told again that I have no muscle damage whatsoever. That is a blessing! Sunday, I had a catherization and more positive news: the bypass is working as is the stented area in the LAD. I thought it would have closed off by now but the cardiologist said the plavix I take is keeping that area open. Unfortunately, I had a cardiologist I had never seen before (imagine that) so he wasn't at all familiar with my care. The doc's best explanation for my symptoms of tightness/squeezing/pain in my chest along with the extreme weakness and fatigue is from spasms of the arteries. Kids had been back to the school for the second week, and I was really starting to feel more energetic, and I revved it up a gear (or two) and forgot to slow down until my body forced me to. So, I have a new med to the mix and the bottom line is I have to continue to pace myself. As my nurse told me, I have new plumbing but my disease is and will always be there. It's my job to learn to manage and monitor my symptoms and control stress. We each need to focus on living today because the present is all we can control.

I got home about 7 p.m. yesterday, and I feel and look so much better. My word of advice is to never feel ashamed about seeking medical attention especially if presenting with heart symptoms. The best news you can receive is that you're not experiencing a heart attack. Turn-of-events can happen in a heart beat. 

I have absolutely the BEST group of friends who jumped into action again. Dianne was my dependable taxi driver, Laurie and her two girls took Katrina to the mall yesterday so Katrina was in her glory, and Sonja and Jim and their two girls took Kyle (hey, Kyle wanted to spend the day with Caitlin and Brooke but who can blame him). Nancy and Carolyn were my support crew at the hospital (the three of us can't seem to coincide schedules to get together for lunch so the impromptu hospital gatherings seem to work best) and others called or texted messages of support. Of course, my parents are always at my side.....thankfully! 

It's time to put my feet up and take a few deep breaths before picking up the kids from school......

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