A Condition of the Heart

A Condition of the Heart

It has come to my attention that I never really discussed an important occurrence in my life.

In October 2015 I had a heart attack. I was at a friend place in San Francisco, apartment and cat sitting. I felt sick, and I wrote it off as having a bit of a cold. I walked 4 or 5 blocks to the drug store and bought cold medicine. Getting home I settled in to watching Star Trek: Deep Space Nine when I suddenly felt as if a weight were pressing down on me. No matter what I did I couldn’t move. I felt sick to my stomach. I finally felt well enough to climb into bed and slept it off.

The next day I felt off. No matter what I did I couldn’t shake the sick feeling, I thought maybe it was the flu. But something in the back of my mind said I needed to get checked out. I literally dragged myself out of a loft bed and down the ladder and out to the street to hail a cab to the nearest hospital.

I walked into the waiting room and was soon admitted to the ER where I then waited for 12 hours while test after test was administered. At around midnight I was informed that due to an elevated Troponin level I appeared to have had a heart attack and was admitted to the ICU. I did not have chest pain, chest tightness, I had what the doctor called an atypical heart attack.

I was scheduled for an EKG and an ultrasound of my heart. Later that night I received a visit from the cardiac surgeon telling me that I needed an immediate stent operation that had a 20% chance of killing me, that’s much higher than the rate detailed online. I’d love to ask the surgeon why mine was so high. It hit me like a ton of bricks and I for the first time in my life was confronted with mortality. After processing this information I told the doctor to schedule the procedure.

I really wish I could’ve had someone there with me. I probably would’ve handled things like the DNR order better. I elected to have a DNR order. I just didn’t see the point at the time. But I figured with the chance of death and or stroke, I didn’t want to be a burden to my family or friends.

During the stent procedure I had a single stent inserted in to my left cardiac artery. I spent a couple of days recovering in the hospital and then went back to my friend’s place. I noticed almost immediately that my stamina and coloring improved. I have since had what my heart doctor called a “full metal jacket”, three stents in the front artery.

I’m still being treated for symptoms and this was the reason for yesterdays stress test. I will try to you up to date on my progress.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: