Monday, January 16, 2012

we interupt this programm.......

I know, I know I missed writing here for 3 days, but this time, upon reflection, I'm going to excuse myself.

Saturday morning I activated the EMS system; I called 911.

There have been a few times over the years when I should have called and didn't.  Thankfully  I was right in my reluctance but I reflect on the thought of what if that chest pain had been a heart attack; I'd more than likely be staring at the inside of a wooden box these past 15 years or so.

Embarrassment is one reason for not calling; what if I'm wrong, I'll look foolish.  The other is the machismo; It's nothing, it'll go away soon, and I can handle this.  I'm here to tell you the most foolish thing you can do is to not call when you have symptoms of a heart attack.  It turned out that I did not have a heart attack but at every step I was reminded; you did the right thing!

The average heart attack sufferer gets to the hospital almost five hours after the onset of symptoms. This delay significantly increases their chances of dying.

I was awakened early Saturday morning, 0330, with severe heartburn to the point that I had to get up for fear that if I continued to lay in the supine position I'd regurgitate and aspirate that caustic stomach acid into my lungs.  I'm not one who is plagued by GERD and consequently don't have a ready supply of antacid tablets; Rolaids or Tums near at hand.  Although we do have them in our home, I was in the Frat house (an apartment I co-rent with a co-worker to stay in when we are on call at the hospital.)  Fortunately my co-worker did have some Rolaids which I found and helped myself to two.  Within a few short minutes the discomfort eased.  Sitting on the couch, pondering the situation, the thought heart attack came into my head and I thought it prudent to take an aspirin tablet just in case.

This is the point that I should have activated EMS and dialed 911.

Ten minutes or so later my symptoms abated and I returned to bed.  I woke two hours later feeling like I'd been worked over by an assailant with a rubber hose.  I hurt in places I'd never hurt before especially my joints; all my joints.  I got up and took 800 mg of Motrin and began to revisit the happenings in the recent hours.  Now convinced that I at least needed to see a physician in the ER, I  thought about driving myself there.  When I stood up I was so listless and light headed that I immediately discarded that idea as too dangerous.

Still entertaining ideas of heart attack I went to the internet to see what signs,besides chest pain (which I did not have)are indicative of Heart attack.

Chest pressure, tightness, and heaviness

>Pain in shoulders, neck, jaw, or arms






Shortness of breath with or without chest pain

I figured 5 out of eight was significant enough to make a move.  Nearly 4 hours have passed since first indication.

  It now being 7 am, I called the home of my back-up with the intent of having him come pick me up and drive me to the hospital.  His wife answered the phone and after I told her that I suspected a heart attack and wanted him to drive me to hospital  she vociferously insisted that I hang up and call 911 immediately.  In the mean time she would notify her husband and he would meet me some where along the line.

The EMS system worked like a charm and went as smoothly as anyone would expect; from rapid response to in-ambulance treatment to transport; flawless in everyway.  Kudos to Massena rescue!!!

The upshot is I was wrong in my diagnosis: I did not have a heart attack.  I was right to call 911.
A minor electrical disturbance in the upper chamber of my heart was noticed but probably not a significant problem and most likely not the cause of this episode.  This episode was probably the result of pizza.

After twenty four hours I was discharged with instructions to visit a cardiologist to follow up on the incidences of SVT that occur while I'm asleep.


Blogger Suz said...

My husband went to the ER by himself
and he didn't have a heart attack either..not yet
but they did an angiogram and found to blockages....
BUT his cardiologist gave him a stern talking to....if chest pain lasts more than 10 minutes..CALL 911
He said it is the electrical disturbance that kills people..the heart goes haywire..EMS folks can stablize you then take you off to the hospital....with a cardio doc
3 stents husband is better than ever
The only thing is...I have to listen to my husband always sucks getting older (62)
DA! are getting older..and thank God you are!
Here's hoping all is well with you....

9:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

U did do the right thing!!! We love you and you have to take care of yourself Mister!! :) Now when is that cardiologist appointment??!!


2:06 PM  
Blogger rel said...

Monday 23 Jan. 1150. :))

2:54 PM  

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