Friday, September 07, 2012
I've been MIA for a couple of days and wanted to share with you the story of my unplanned two-day vacation I just took. Tuesday morning, it was work as normal, I'd been there about an hour and all of a sudden I had shooting sharp pains in my chest, my arm started to tingle and I got really dizzy, then the chest pain started to feel like it was crushing my chest, so I made my way to Emergency Room. OMG, was I really having a heart attack? Sure as heck felt like it, I thought for sure I was a goner.
I checked myself into the hospital and before I knew it I was laying on a gurney with lots of wires hooked to my chest, oxygen up my nose, a nurse starting an IV, chest xrays - holy cow, I guess I am really having a heart attack. I was scared to death. Doctor came back with the news that he didn't think it was a heart attack, thank goodness, but he wanted to be 100% certain - what a relief. He wanted to keep me overnight for observation and repeat the same tests 6 hours after my initial ones and that he wanted me to do a treadmill stress test before he discharged me the next morning. Well sheesh, I wasn't out of the clear yet, obviously if they keeping me overnight.
It was a really long day....had to stay in bed the whole time, except an occasional potty break, had to stay hooked up to monitors. I lay there thinking about all the things I wanted to do, things I haven't gotten to do yet, all the wonderful things in my life that still need to happen, my upcoming 5K race this weekend, lol, etc. Being put under cardiac surveillance really does something to your mind. Doc gave me a sleep aid and it was lights out for me, thank goodness I fell asleep quickly because I had done nothing but worry all day.
Next morning was the treadmill stress test. I had the DH bring my new running shoes. The cardiac lab tech told me my target heart rate would be 155, I just kinda chuckled, shoot.... 155 is the normal, slog for me, so this would be a piece of cake. The tech asked me if I was a runner, and I said, Why yes I am, how can you tell? she said real runners have funky colorful shoes (lol and I was wearing the bright orange ones). After talking to her while I was doing the test, found out she is a marathoner and she was giving me tips for the Shamrock Marathon I'm running in March - how cool was that. I was almost finished with the test, they had cranked it up full speed and I was still "going" - she said that no woman that she had seen had ever completed the full 15 minutes on the treadmill and only one guy she has tested have ever done it (I'm a rock star, woo hoo - my head was thus swelling at this point, hee hee). She said I appeared to be in excellent shape, another Woo Hoo, but not so comforting a comment, especially since I was in the cardiac unit, hello. I had to keep my humor about me because at this point I was still worried about this whole heart attack thing. I was looking around the room nervously trying to locate the defibulator, just in case - and surprisingly there wasn't one, guess they would have to leave me on the floor and go hunting in adjacent rooms for the crash cart (like they do on TV) - when I hit the target heart rate, they have you plop down on a bed right next to the treadmill and just lay there, OMG - I said..."this is NOT the proper cool down method".
So everything checked out fine, heart attack was just a scare, turns out its an ulcer, ugh, so it's meds, dietary adjustments, liquid Mylanta (GROSS), and about 2-3 weeks of healing time for that. I was teasing with my DH that after my discharge I was going out for a run, he about hit the ceiling on that, and he said oh no you're not, so I told him to ask the doctor when he comes in about my restrictions. The DH said to the doctor "please tell my wife she can't leave here and run 14 miles", the doctor smiled and said to me "you shouldn't run 14 miles when you leave here but 13 won't hurt ya", I thought I would die laughing. So one for me, zero for the DH, lol. The ER doc came in after that and told me I had to change the diet to a bland one for now, so the DH smiled and said... "tell her that means no Mexican food" and the doc says "no Mexican food" - Me zero, DH one. I knew he'd win that round, and he was quite pleased since he absolutely hates Mexican food.
The doctor did commend me on coming straight to the ER, he said if it had been a real heart attack I could have possibly saved my own life. The following link is some good info about heart attacks. Please take a few minutes to read and familiarize yourself with the info. You are NEVER TOO YOUNG for a heart attack or TOO HEALTHY - it happens, for real.
I am so thankful that this was just a scare, a rude wake-up call even, but so glad to be able to share my story with you all.