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Random Musings
Hello everyone 
21st-Sep-2010 05:46 pm
Hello. I'm back from the hospital today. Thanks for all your messages, good wishes and prayers. You're wonderful friends.

It was a scary time and completely unexpected. I had pains the last few weeks but didn't connect it with a heart attack because it started in my jaw, down my throat and to my chest. Even my family doctor thought it was an allergy or pre-asthma and prescribed me some inhalers. But it got steadily worse and by Saturday I was having regular attacks of pain, so bad that I was sweating. That was when I decided to go to the hospital (Scarborough Grace Hospital).

Of course, as always happens, the attack cleared up and my blood pressure and heart beat had returned to normal but fortunately, these days, if you have chest pain, they automatically check for heart trouble and thank god they did. An ECG and blood test later, they saw that an incident was happening, which is their way of saying a heart attack. Up went the IVs and saline solutions and a mouthful of drugs. By then I was suffering another attack. But it was happening so quickly and it was so unexpected that I didn't understand what was going on until they called for an ambulance to ship me to a hospital (Centenary Hospital) that specialized in heart procedures.

You're doing what? I'm having what? A heart attack? That was when it hit me. They wheeled me right into the procedure room at Centenary and described what they were going to do. Balloon angioplasty and a shunt. The whole thing took about an hour and I was awake the entire time. I stayed in the Coronary Care Unit there overnight and they transported me back to Scarborough Grace for 2 days for observation before releasing me to go home.

One thing that I've learned is that women have to be very careful about heart attacks. We don't necessarily experience the standard symptoms as men do. i.e. No pain down the arm. It can feel like indigesion or jaw pain. If it persists and gets worse, it's safer to have it seen to.

But I'm back home now and I'll slowly get back into things. Here's a before and after picture of the heart.

Grem_Come out
21st-Sep-2010 10:41 pm (UTC)
Well we've now seen more of you than most other LJ users see of their friends list!

It certainly looks like the procedure was a success.

So women experience heart attack precursors differently, yet they aren't listed in first aid books.

Glad you are back with us. Take it easy!
21st-Sep-2010 10:57 pm (UTC)
*hugs* I'm so glad the hospital was right on it, and took care of you! *great big hugs*
21st-Sep-2010 11:33 pm (UTC)
Wow, I can see the improvement! I'm glad that it seems to have been a fairly simple procedure, for you anyway, and that you're back so quickly.

That's bloody typical that only men's symptoms get mentioned; after all, drugs are designed for them too, not us. :-(
22nd-Sep-2010 02:53 am (UTC)
Welcome back! Good grief, what a scare you've had; I'm glad you're feeling better. Make sure you take it easy.
22nd-Sep-2010 06:26 am (UTC)
So glad everything turned out all right and you are getting better. Take it easy and be good to yourself.
22nd-Sep-2010 07:49 am (UTC)
Yay - good to know you are home and on the mend.

As I said in my reply I know someone of 35 that happened to - here she was told it was common for ladies in their 30 - 40's ... usually fairly fit people, as well!

Anyway - glad to hear you are on the mend.

Love and hugs ... and prayers.
22nd-Sep-2010 08:29 am (UTC)
I totally did not know about women's symptoms being so damn different. I'm writing this down in my notebook of useful advice. That's scary. Why the heck don't they tell people more about this?! I first learnt about the pain in the arm thing at Brownies aged 8. Sigh.

Oh but I am so glad you are okay. *huuuugs gently* Homg but you were awake the entire time. That's scary. *hugs you some more*
22nd-Sep-2010 08:37 am (UTC)
Eeeeewwwwwwooooo - what a fright you must have had. And awake? I can't even bear being awake at the dentist. Glad to hear your home and recovering, Kal. Hugs to you...
22nd-Sep-2010 08:44 am (UTC)
Must have been a scary experience. I'm glad you're back.
22nd-Sep-2010 10:58 am (UTC)

I'm glad you're alright now! That so true that women don't have the same symtoms as men. (((Huggles)))

I'm glad they were able to do the stint and it looks like it is working wonderfully. Did they put you on any med to help keep things open?

29th-Sep-2010 09:28 pm (UTC) - To stop or start a heart attack
There are five ways to stop or start a heart attack:
!. Cough;
2. Gag;
3. Bear down as in child birth or defecation;
4. Press on your carotid neck artery; and
5. Breathe with your belly.

Re: Coughing: my coworker's 70-year-old aunt began to cough, said that she was hanging up to take care of the cough, and died of a heart attack. Co-incidence?
Re: Bearing down: I read an article that a man died from a heart attack when he was sitting on the toilet. I assume he was pushing too hard to defecate.
Re: Belly breathing: once when I had arhythmia, which is common, for me first noticed at age 26, but which can lead to heart attacks, and I was sitting perforce slouched on the toilet, I began to belly breath, and the arhythmia went away. When I told my internal medicine primary care Kaiser doctor, he said that they use belly breathing in the emergency room for heart attack patients to do. Something about the belly vagus nerve going from the belly to the heart to the brain.
Re: pressing on your carotid artery: once of three brief times when my heart was beating very fast, I called the emergency room while pressing my carotid artery taking my pulse, and my heart went back to beating regularly. The nurse wanted me to come into emergency, but it being 2 am or some terribly late/early hour, and having read dozens of books about near death experiences i.e. the next world, I don't mind escaping this dimension sooner rather than later, so went to sleep.
Hope these techniques help you or others reading.
29th-Sep-2010 09:31 pm (UTC)
Forgot to add: my Kaiser doctor said yes, you can affect the heart by pressing on the carotid artery, but you can also lose consciousness.

29th-Sep-2010 09:54 pm (UTC) - Stress, caffeine, weather pressure, oceans, arhythmia
Somewhere I read that even good stress is still stress.

You have had four major life stresses:
1. Lost job;
2. Can't find job;
3. Lost loved one, your pet; and
4. Gotten not just a book, but a triple success whammy, a trilogy, to be published.

Much as I hate the idea of not reading more, I would rather have you, not the trilogy. Take a breather from writing for us. We will miss you. But I would rather miss you temporarily, not permanently.

Also, I noticed that when I plotted, no, I don't write, post gauda prime stories, I would get arhythmia.

Also, much as I hate the idea of not eating chocolate, caffeine causes arhythmia. So do weather pressure changes sometimes. Also stress: I have arhythmia right now from the stress of writing to you, a stranger, on my break time. I knew a 92-year-old spry man who in winter, a time with a lot of storms and weather pressure changes, complained about his arhythmia. I never got around to warning him about caffeine, and he died of a heart attack. His wife said, when I confessed my guilt, that he had lots of pills he had to take.
Also, if you live by the ocean, there are more weather pressure changes than living inland, due to the water/land weather reaction, so more arhythmia when I visit my sister in San Francisco or Crescent City.
I discovered that caffeine causes arhythmia after I ate a Mounds bar every day for a week, and another year another week, ate another chocolate bar every day for a week, and had the worst arhythmia I ever had. When I got suspicious and looked up caffeine, used in chocolate, as a medicine in the Physician's Desk Reference, I discovered caffeine's side effect of arhythmia.
Then again, I think something that I read recently said that chocolate is a tranquilizer i.e. reduces the stress reaction.
Take care.
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