Life takes on unexpected turns as we travel through our life, some we should have known would happen, others blindside us. This past weekend offered a little of both.
Friday's lunch was none other than the leftovers from Thanksgiving - a little of this and that. As we sat together, I felt a little pain in my chest grow, but I though - I'll let this pass - certainly not mention it as to not upset others. And the pain eased off after an hour or so - nothing unbearable, just there. Friday evening, we ate again, and the same thing happened- and it passed. Ok, I am eating too much rich food and my stomach isn't liking it.
Saturday, Mom and I split a cinnamon roll at the coffee shop - and no pain. Ok, good. I was right - rich food was the culprit.
That afternoon, I moved a few pieces of furniture - nothing dramatically heavy and could be slid across the floor mostly. At some point that afternoon, I started feeling the pain again in my chest, and called my dear friend over and asked her to bring her blood pressure monitor over. Blood pressure fine. Good.
But it nagged me - should I get this checked out or should I not? Tears started forming in my eyes. What if this was a heart attack? I teetered as to whether to go, and with friends encouragement and support, we decided to go.
So to the ER we go -- saw me lickety split - I mean I never sat down to wait. Blood pressure fine. EKG fine. Blood work was the tell tale sign of what had or was happening. The enzymes produced from my heart told the medical team that I was in trouble.... trouble enough that they were sending me by ambulance to another hospital. May I tell you that ambulance ride was something else. Every bump felt like a bumpy railroad crossing.
Reached my destination and wheeled right in. It was then told to me I had had a heart attack and that I would be staying there. Two residents came in and talked to me and questioned me, examined me from stem to stern (literally - will spare the details - but it must have been a required part of the check off list of "things to do").
I got into the room around 11 and all kinds of flurrying went around that evening - another event was that my sugar levels were high, so that was being a addressed also - needless to say, sleep was kept to a minimum that night. Really folks, do you think a blood pressure cuff is supposed to so tight that your arm feels like it is going to explode? Every 5 minutes? Please.....
More doctors arrived in the morning, including the cardiologist - heart catheterization was in order. I had just one request. Give me some meds so when I go in there I don't give a rip. So when I went in there, he ordered an "I don't give a rip cocktail" - but really and truly, I found an extraordinary amount of peace before he gave it to me. I know prayers were flowing all over the place. I could feel them.
As for the heart cath, the only pain I felt was at the site of the injection in the wrist, which is where they prefer to do this - the novocain they inject to numb the area was the most "painful" part - much like at the dentist. The rest was painless. One time I felt a flushing of the face, he prepared me for that. Next thing he told me I would feel my heart flutter. And I did.
The doctor placed in two stents - one artery 100% blocked and the other 80%.
After the procedure was the best part of the day.....I had my family and our deacon and his wife brought communion to me. How is that for Thanksgiving? Anointing with oil among friends and family. Healing physically and spiritually - the best of all worlds. Thanks be to God.
Home again home again jiggedy jig arrived on Monday - and the road to recovery begins - a lifelong commitment to remaining healthy with prayer warriors, food warriors and exercise warriors to support me.
What do I blame this on? Lots of things. I'll take the majority of the blame - but I also attribute some of the blame to family history as my father and his mother had heart attacks in their 40s. My maternal father had a stroke at my age. So genetics may play a part in the scheme. Stress is certainly a component of being in the sandwich generation with a full time job to boot. But... lifestyle, exercise, food, etc..I must own that one.
A new regimen of medicines are on my plate which does not cure, but helps to prevent. The rest is up to me. I had a wake up call. Some are not so lucky.
Modern medicine is truly a gift to us, and I offer thanks to the team from Bainbridge to Tallahassee. But the biggest thanks goes to our Creator, the Great Physician and for those who have offered prayers of support and prayers for healing.
I am to rest this week, allowing the heart to rest (though I can walk!), some restrictions next week, and continued road to recovery after that.
And that's the way it was, and is.