The day everything changed: Heart Attack

So we left off around 4:45 AM in the last post as I laid down and try to go to sleep. Our oldest awoke shortly after 6 AM. First question where is Dad. The not so simple answer, still at the hospital.  But today we are going to still go to school but skip band.  The next thing I knew my father and mother in law were on the phone. You ironically he was already heading to us that morning to assist his grandson with a heart dissection  at school.

I was on speaker for the call so they both could hear what was going on. After the call ended about 5 minutes passed and my mother in law was in the car and back on the phone with me. We came up with a plan. She was heading straight to the hospital and I would get the boys off to school, pick up payroll, and head back to the hospital.

We own our business a small pizza shop, so I had to get payroll otherwise no one would get paid. Thankfully the payroll company was 2 minutes down the street from the hospital.  Finally I am back with him, only to have life disrupted again.

My mother in law and the nurse are in the room when I arrive.  The bag I have is packed is set down as I question when the echocardiogram is going to be and state I have his medicine he takes daily in their prescribed bottle to be told a different plan. He is going to have a heart cath and is being changed to admitted status. So, the medicine I have can no longer be administered unless it comes from the pharmacy.

Wait a heart cath? What? Why? It is then explained to me they have been trending him. Trending what? Troponin is a protein enzyme released in your blood stream if you have damage to your heart. She then showed me his level went from .3 to 1.6 to 2.3. No echo now heart cath.

For the heart cath they go in through an artery and release dye to see the heart better.  Ummmm okay I thought we were okay but am rolling with the punches.  My mother in law heads out to the Pizza shop and we head down to surgical.

Hubby is tired and confused but comfortable. Me terrified. The doctor comes in and explains they will try to go in through his wrist but if that does not work they will go in through his groin.  He also lets us know if he a stint is needed it can be completed where we are and worst case scenario if he had a 100% blockage we would have to transfer hospitals for open heart surgery because they do not do open heart.  I’m sorry what open surgery, stints, what is going on?

A quick I love you, kiss, and see you soon and off the hubby goes. As I sit alone trying so hard to keep it together I call my parents. They live outside of Philadelphia and we are in Michigan.  My mom use to be a nurse so thankfully she can talk me through some of the technical pieces. We discuss the potential for them to come and end the call. Hubby arrives back and I take a deep breath, he is with me again.

On his wrist is a strange plastic box. The little box will slowly be decompressed once giving the artery a chance to plug. Next the doctor arrives. I notice an awe in his eyes. A very emotional touch to hubby and a slow deep breath. He begins by saying how lucky we are, how lucky hubby is that he is here with us.

The emotions he feeling swirls around me as I gasps for air, the emotion is so raw and real. I absorb this questioning what is going on. Truth bomb just dropped hubby has 100% blocked artery, he has to be transferred, he will have open heart surgery, a consult will be in this afternoon, it is serious, and how he is here with us is a amazing.

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Heart Attack at 40 Day 1

So we left off the other day by stating we were heading to the hospital. I thought this was crazy, he is only in his early forties. It had to be something else and I soon learned my resistance was going to bite me in the ass.

We walked into the ER, which thankfully is 5 minutes away from where we live. Once we got to the security counter I calmly said hello and stated my husband was having chest pains.  Security quickly swept into action getting a wheelchair and into the hospital we went. We went to the check in counter where I began the pleasantries again. Hello, my husband is having chest pains armed with our insurance card, which was not needed yet.  He got checked in and off to the Er room we went.

At at this point a team was asking questions and quickly attaching a lot of devices to my husbands chest.  The intent was to take an EKG.  A report was generated and a doctor came in stating he was not having a heart attack, but there were some things off. The focused shifted to his blood pressure. Are you on blood pressure medicine? Have you had a history of high blood pressure? The doctor turned to me do you monitor his blood pressure at home? I answered no. The reply was I should be…hmmm why he does not have high blood pressure.

The doctor said they were monitoring things. At this point my interest was peaked . Next began the administering of an aspirin and nitro. This is when shit started getting real. My husband did not know what nitro was, but I did.  As they left the area to retrieve the medicine I just kind of danced around what nitro was.  Shortly the nurse returned and gave the pills to my husband. She instructed him to take the aspirin and then put the nitro under his tongue. Then she left.

Once she left he was quiet for a few then started to have a noticeable change. He sat up on the bed and began talking and asking me questions. I do not belive he noticed the difference but I did. That nitro made him feel significantly better. His thinking was clearer and he was no longer wincing at his chest. My thoughts immediately went back to the blood pressure conversation and I concluded it was a blood pressure issue and the nitro must have helped.

The nurse returned and reviewed how he was feeling and his pain level. At this point it was decided to give him another nitro. My mind began going no no no no….what does this all mean?

Another doctor arrived and stated he was being kept overnight for observation. Overnight at 2 AM, weird.  Hubby began questioning me. I feel fine why can I not go home.

Me: I do not know maybe it has to do with where your blood pressure was.

Hubby: well I don’t want to stay.

Me: well just tell them that.

Next thing we know there is a cardiac consult and up we go.

Until the story continues!