The whole hospital and surgery thing is still surreal. I had an appointment with my internist yesterday. I was a little breathless from getting ready and rushing to the clinic and she did another EKG, which was fine, but she cautioned me that if the same thing does not go away in a minute, or if I experience any pressure or pain that I have to go to the emergency room again.
Fine. I would rather be thought foolish, heck you can even call me a freaking idiot, than to die from this after everything that has happened in this wee charmed life of mine. I am sure that wonky things happen to everyone, but I wonder how many of us recognize the times when we nearly did not survive some thing. Me, well, since I left that other life, I kind of dwell on those past events. Not intentionally, but if one pops into my mind, it stays there a while and it helps me to be grateful for being here and having this new now life.
It has a second component and that is I examine what happened and try to find alternatives for what I did or said or thought that might have changed the situation or circumstance. Most of the time I am clear in my mind that I could not have done anything to change the result or defuse the situation. I guess that is the proof that I was helpless to change anything.
Yet, there are other times when I have such yearning for better intuition or foresight or something that I could have used to alert myself to the coming storm. That complete lack of knowledge was how it was in the early years. I got along just fine as long as I followed the rules. As that first ten years went on I had a kind of happiness that I was making him happy. It is only in retrospect that I realize I was simply finding ways to survive. How stupid that young wife was...I can hardly accept that she was, still is, me. It took too many years and too many close calls for me to leave. Amen.
This heart thing is different. Despite months of self-diagnosis, I still paid attention to the pain and went to the emergency room. I did not think of it as a close call, despite the speed at which everything happened, until my internist appointment.
I asked two questions that I did not want to wait to ask my cardiologist (I have a cardiologist??????) week after next. The first was about how the artery in my wrist heals after the stent surgery, which is just fine. It is a slightly more extreme version of drawing blood. That has to be the understatement of the year.
The other question was about the general health of my heart, especially concerning the plaque deposits.
The stents were place in the branches of my left coronary/main artery. That artery was completely clear of disease. The central branch was the one 90% closed, with all of its branches clear. The other two stents were placed in the left branch off of the main artery, in two of its branches, which were 90 & 70% blocked. The rest of my heart is disease free. I had fully expected to hear that I had damaged my heart in other ways, but that is not so. Nice.
After the discussion and demonstration of the arteries, she leaned towards me and told me that I narrowly escaped a major heart attack, by a day or so. How anyone can know that I cannot understand, but perhaps these doctors know from experience or something.
I am one super-lucky girl. Anyway, I begin my cardiac assessment next week and after a treadmill stress test we will have enough information to begin rehabilitation therapy. Despite my aversion to exercise, just like the blood thinning medications, it is going to be a permanent part of my life. Like, until I die, which after all this, I hope is a long time in the future.
I felt strong enough to do some spring cleaning today, but stopped twice when I felt a little breathy. And, yes, if I am going to clean, it is going to be a nice, deep clean so that straightening and dusting will seem like little pleasures. I, personally, find that hard to believe, but you never know.
One more thing. I thought I was saving money by buying shelf covering at the dollar store. I was wrong. One roll covers only the front of one my cabinet shelves, in a very small cabinet in this very small and old kitchen. Man.
Off to have a salad lunch, with one of the big beefsteak tomatoes and some avocado I got on the way home yesterday. Healthy hearts unite.
Allrighty, one more thing.
Do not take your health symptoms and/or concerns lightly. Despite the commonly-thought reluctance of the male species to avoid going to the doctor, it turns out that women are even more reluctant, often waiting until something has become more serious.
I have been having those pains, in one manifestation or another for a very long time. Even though I am painfully honest now, I have not yet shared that I had these same pains twice before, attributing them to having pneumonia. What an idiot I am. I mentioned them to my doctor, but did nothing to stress how painful it really was.
Do not do that.
Heart disease symptoms are often (not always) different from what men have. Mine were even different from what the traditional symptoms are for women with heart issues.
That is why I was so certain of my self-diagnosis and my doctor was not overly concerned (even though we talked about heart health) since I had successfully passed a nuclear stress a scant six months ago, there had to have been some indication of disease even then.
During my appointment yesterday she told me she was sorry. I told her she did nothing wrong, nor did she miss anything. And, the truth is exactly that. She gave me excellent care. Assigning blame is a place that we are not going. I am not even blaming myself for being timid about my symptoms and the entirety of my life of no concern about how my eating and lack of exercise could be contributing to my health. Same thing for the stress I lived under for more than four decades. Maybe longer, but I am being conservative.
My life is a No-Blame-Zone.