Friday, 10 June 2016

Heart attack? Me? Really? WTAF?

Well, I guess I'd better explain how I ended up in this mess to begin with.

I'm 46, overweight, bit unfit, mum of 2 boys, busy busy... and people would probably agree I have a lot of stress in my life.  However, I was not prepared for the events of last Saturday.    3 weeks ago I had surgery on my left hand for carpal tunnel syndrome (another of the joys of aging/thyroid problems) and when I developed aches in my upper left arm I naturally assumed that this was something to do with it.  However on Saturday the aching was unbearable - in my mind I was having some weird complication from the surgery but the sensation in my arm was unbearable and I felt rubbish.

So as you do, I called 111, answered all the questions as accurately as I could and was told someone would call me back within 2 hours.  However as it bloody hurt and I am a bit of a wuss, I told my hubby that I couldn't wait and I needed to go to hospital to get it checked out.  So we got everything together, told the kids and got them into the car and off we went, for a quick checkup... or so I thought.

Fast forward a few hours and I'm wired up to an ECG in A&E, having had several pints of blood taken from me to test for practically everything.  As it was going to take a while for the blood test results to come back Steve and the boys went home, and waited for me to call them when I needed picking up.

An hour or so later the doctor came in to tell me the results - I had elevated levels of something called Troponin, which indicates that I have had some sort of cardiac event - probably a small heart attack.   I was being transferred to the Coronary Care Unit when a bed was available, and needed to go on some serious medication.  Run that by me again?  Heart Attack?  CCU?  Drugs?  It didn't seem real to be honest, but I rang Steve to tell him the news, and by this time was a teary mess.

The teary mess theme continued for most of the night.  I'm not one of life's teary people - in fact I hardly ever cry, but I think most of the nurses that looked after me had to supply tissues.   So at 4am I got wheeled to CCU, and wired up for further investigation.  After a battery of pills, not much sleep, more tears etc etc I saw my cardiologist - he explained that I needed to have some tests to work out what had caused this to happen, but that on the scale of it, it was a small heart attack, and I should make a good recovery.  The nurses on the ward were amazing, and I will always be grateful to them for the support and comfort they gave me while I was there.  There was a male nurse called Glenn who just knew exactly how to talk to me, explain things and calm me down - I wish I could bottle that and have it at home on tap!

I think the words heart attack always conjure up a range of thoughts, and they were all in my head over the next few days - will I see my kids grow up, will I be able to live a normal life, will I be able to go back to work, will people look after me.  The only decision I've felt able to make is that I'm going to do exactly as I'm told for once.

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