Heart Attack Updated

This is a re-post as a friend of mine had a major attack and didn't do any of the steps I listed here-in.  At the end I will make a summary of what you should do.

I am posting this to share with you what my Heart Attack in 1987 was like.  It follows the same route that most of them but mine was a little different.  here goes.

I had been sick with what I thought was a virus for three or four days and on Monday morning, I called in sick at work to catch up on a good book and to take a day off I felt I deserved and needed.  I had gone to work on Thursday and Friday and felt that with my weekend spoiled I needed some down time.  

Sitting in my chair reading a good book, my chest felt tight sometime in the afternoon.   I love a pot roast but the smell of one I put n a crock pot that morning was just not appealing to me.  I didn't feel sick to my stomach but I sure as heck didn't want to eat.   About 5 PM, the wife arrived home and I went upstairs to help get dinner ready.  When I took the roast out of the cock pot, I almost threw up from the smell.  Barb thought it was fine and I did manage to get it on the carving plate. I tried to eat a few potatoes but nothing even appealed to to.  You would have to know me to know that I live to eat and to pass up any or all of the meat from a crock pot is just not me. 

After a few minutes, I went back downstairs and sat in my recliner.  The band that I felt tightening on my chest just got tighter and tighter.  When my jaw started to ache and the pain started down my left arm, I called out to Barb.  She came downstairs and said, "Oh my god, you look as  white as a sheet."  I tried to stand up and it was like all of a sudden I was looking into those silver covered sunglasses in "Cool hand Luke" only they were on my eyes.  I am not sure I passed out but the next thing I remember I was on the floor.  I told Barbara to get her keys, we were going to the hospital.  Like a big dummy, I crawled to the car.  next time I will call an ambulance.  CALL 911 dumbass!

Barb did her best to get me to the hospital in good time.  I remember fooling with the air conditioner controls in the car to cool me off.  I felt like a blast furnace had been turned on and I needed cool.  When we got to the hospital Barb rushed in and yelled that her husband was having a heart attack.  I got all the support they had and was rushed in to the treatment area.  None of that paperwork crap that time.  

I remember a young Physicians Assistant came to me and took my pulse.  He immediate barked out to one of the nurses to get a "Nitro, Stat."  I really don't remember there being much of a pause in there but I think the comma looks neat there.    He slipped something under my tongue and it felt like someone slapped me on the forehead.  Pow, it hit me like a bomb and I felt 100% better but still very weak.  They helped me undress from the sweats I had been wearing.  They were soaked and I heard them go flop as they hit the floor.  They helped me into a gown and I said what am I going to wear home.  The nurse said I wasn't going anywhere until they found out what happened.

They took me up to the Heart Attack floor (Cardiac Care?) and drew about a gallon of blood over the next 24 hours.  A Doctor I had never met came in and checked me out.  He seemed pleased that I had no more pain and said he wouldn't know what they would do until the results of the blood tests came back.  

The next morning Dr. Hall Harrison came in and said  I had an Arrhythmia from an ischemic source.  That was Doctor talk for my heart tried to race away and they didn't know why. The tests showed that there wasn't any damage done but my heart was probably like I had just ran a marathon and they wanted me to be under close supervision for a couple of days.  I looked at the Heart monitor there by the bed and it looked all wrong. Normally the tall spike was followed by a deep spike and mine was backwards.  I mentioned it to the Doctor and he said that until it "righted its self I would stay in the hospital.  Some times when it converts it loses the signal and another period of Arrhythmia results.

It converted a few days later and I would tell you that the trip to the hospital was great but it wasn't.  I had been drinking way too much coffee and between the Nitro patch and the lack of caffeine I had a headache that would kill a mule.  They also wouldn't let me get up and take a shower and a sponge bath wasn't good enough.  I wanted to wash my hair and they said no. 

From this, I want you to take away that anytime you have a constricted feeling in your chest, pain radiating in your chin and then down your arm, call 911.  No Bullshit and waiting or going to take a shower or changing clothes.  Unless you can drive and perform CPR , don't drive someone to the hospital.  The Ambulance will do that for you.   If you can, chew up a couple of aspirins and wash them down with water.  I would have thrown them up but now I would try.
  On a daily basis, do what your Doctor says about your cholesterol and diet, take a baby aspirin each night and try to cut down on caffeine.  Get up off your butt and so some exercise if you can and walk as much as possible.  Most importantly listen to your body and when you need help, call 911 and get to a Hospital as fast as possible.

A very sweet person that we loved decided that she needed to have a shower prior to going to the Hospital.  She went in to the shower and it really hit her hard and her heart stopped.  She had significant brain damage and later passed away.  The Hospital doesn't care what you are wearing or what you smell like.  Call 911 and lie down right there on the floor.  It is as simple as this.  If someone can give you a couple of aspirins, more the better.  If not, wait.


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