21 October 2008
So glad to be here!
The past couple of weeks have been very eye opening...
I had a fifth - yes fifth - sinus surgery a week and a half ago. They took a stent out that had been in for over a year. All went well (the future will tell if we are done with that stubborn left frontal sinus). Last Wednesday morning I was doing Mom stuff and started having some pressure feelings in the middle of my chest. I am not one to worry about that kind of thing, and kept going. I called Jason later and let him know, then I went about my day... Cooper to preschool, then off the JC Penney for a major sale. Jason called while I was shopping and wanted to know when I would be calling the doctor. Well, I didn't have the number in my cell phone. I would finish shopping and then drive home and get the number before I get Cooper from preschool. Well, I paid for my major sale finds, walked out of the store, and there was Jason. He was not kidding around. WHEN was I going to call the doctor!? I called my good friend who also has the same doctor, got the number and called the office. After explaining my symptom and that I was not currently having any kind of pain, the woman on the other end of the line told me I needed to go to the emergency room. Oh, come on. I am fine. Nonetheless (mostly to help Jason not worry about me) we picked up Coop, got him squared away at Grandma's and off to the ER. I felt so dumb going in there, but much to my surprise they took me very seriously. Drawing blood, medical history, and then lots of waiting. They had other major traumas going (choking, moaning, and other not fun sounding things...). The head of the ER talked with us for a while - very nice man. After a long time he came in and said they would be getting my room ready. WHAT!!??? You could have knocked me over with a feather. If you go the ER at St Luke's with chest pain, be prepared to spend the night.
The rest of my 24 hour stay was very uninformative, although Jason was kind enough to bring the quilt I have been working on for Amanda and I was able to finish the binding and watch the last presidential debate. I felt very out of place (my roommate was a very sweet 80 year old lady named Ruth). I had a stress test that involved injecting a "tracer" into my arm, waiting a half hour, being heart "scanned" for 15 minutes, walking on the treadmill, more "tracer", waiting half and hour, being scanned again for 15 minutes. I was glad to see my bed again and lucky Ruth had been able to go home. About 4:30 I was discharged - clueless as to what was going on. I assumed all was well or I wouldn't be going home.
As instructed, I called my doctor's office the next day and made a follow up appointment and also asked if the doctor could please call me so could know my stress test results. She did call later that morning. The hospital passed me on my test - the doctor didn't. She said looking at the "fine print", she could not in good conscience and let it go at that. My only risk factor is high cholesterol, which they actually called "elevated" and not high. I was told to have a heart catheterization, which I reported for Monday morning. The test itself was not painful. It's weird to be lying on a table, looking at a screen and realizing it is your heart you are watching... live. Much to everyone in the room's shock, including my own, I was told I had a blockage and they would be inflating the area and then putting in a stent. A stent in my heart? I'm used to stents in my nose, but not my heart. The left main artery was 70 to 80 percent blocked and I could have definitely had a heart attack at some future time. I spent the night in the hospital again and now am SO glad to be home again. I am so grateful for a cautious doctor and a persistent husband. The moral to the story, listen to your body, and if you have chest pains, go to the ER! I am in pretty good shape (YMCA usually 3 days a week - Cardio-N-Core class) and then walking most other days. I eat well most of the time - I do need to lose some weight. Take care of yourself - you're all you and your family have!
Posted by elizabeth