A Close Call-the Story of a Heart Attack

Today was one of the scariest days of my life. The events of today actually started last week, so that’s where I’ll begin my story.

Last week, probably the beginning or middle of the week, my hubby Jeff started complaining of chest tightness and that his forearms were achy, both of them. Being the optimist I am, and the fact that it was both arms aching, not just the left, I didn’t really think “heart attack”, though the thought did cross my mind. Jeff and I just figured it was chest congestion.

By the time the weekend hit, more specifically Saturday, the pain worsened, so I told Jeff that he should go to the doctor on Monday, his next day off. Monday afternoon he went to Quick Care and they did a chest x-ray and ran an EKG. They also chalked it up to a respiratory issue and gave him some nasal spray, and they also told him they wanted him to take a stress test.

This morning at 8:00 am was the appointment for his stress test. When he was on his way home, after running some errands, the doctor called and said they wanted him to come back to the office because of the results of the stress test. He came home and played around on the computer and then headed back to the doctor.

Around 4:00-ish I suppose, he called me. As he spoke the words, I thought he was pulling a late April Fools joke on me. But, I could tell he was not. The doctor informed him that it looked as if his left ventrical was clogged somewhat and wanted to do a heart cath tomorrow, and that he’s pretty sure he had a heart attack around Saturday. I was in shock. It was so surreal. As Jeff and the doctor spoke some more, however, the doctor told him that if he had any pain between now and tomorrow, to call 911 and get to the hospital right away. Jeff’s response was something along the lines of, “What kind of pain? Like I had Saturday, or like I had walking across the parking lot into this office?” The doctor said, “I think we should admit you tonight”.

So, as I was taking a shower (yes it was a late one) and getting ready, packing some stuff for Jeff and driving to the hospital, of course my mind was thinking the worst, thinking the best, and everything in between, and wondering how he was doing. I was wondering if he was freaking out, or if he was calm or somewhere in the middle, too.

When I arrived at his room, he was lying in bed, playing with his phone. He seemed calm. And from what I could tell, he was. He was smiling, lying comfortably in the hospital bed in his hospital robe and hospital pants. He had a few wires sticking out of the robe, connecting to a wireless transmitter, hidden in his pocket. The monitor above his bed showed his latest blood pressure reading: 149 over 89 or something like that.

As we chatted, and yes, played with our phones, I was reading all the messages from friends and family wishing him well. I’m not sure what he was doing, I can’t remember right now. His roommate is a noisy character who just had a pacemaker put in. When they came to take him for a chest x-ray, his new night shift nurse, pulled me out of the room so we’d be out of earshot of the roommate. She just wanted to go over Jeff’s info with me real quick and we got some water. If the roommate heard her voice, he would be sure to pull her away from her purpose at that time, which was to go over some things with me.

Jeff came back to the room, hopped up in his bed, and we chatted some more. He had some papers to read, describing a couple of stents they are using for research. We decided to agree to using one of the research stents, if the doctor determines his condition is right for a stent when they do the heart cath tomorrow.

A lot of people are praying right now, and that gives me the most peace. I know Jeff is in God’s hands and that he will be okay. I think this is our wake up call to get some weight off and to start exercising. We aren’t getting any younger and the weight isn’t going to come off by itself. Neither is my bad cholesterol nor my thyroid issue going to get any better if I don’t do something about it.

The nurses came in and took his vitals again and this time his bp was much better, 120 over 75 I think or somewhere around there. I also overheard the nurses in the hallway, the day shift nurse briefing the nightshift nurse, that his labs all looked good. I was happy to hear that.

So, now as I lie in my bed, knowing my husband is lying in the hospital bed, with a noisy neighbor, I doubt if I will sleep much. I will pray. And if you are reading this, I hope you will pray too. Thanks to all of our friends, family and people in the Twitterverse and on Facebook that are praying too. We know God hears and will answer.

I will keep you all posted as best I can, through email, Facebook and Twitter.

I am going back to the hospital in the morning. They said he could have the heart cath anytime early in the morning or late in the afternoon. Nice range of time huh? Oh well. Either way, I want to be there with him the whole time. I hate the thought of him staying in the hospital all alone. I know he is strong and is doing okay, but still.

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