Jan 27
Hairball , Posted on SUPPORT NETWORK Blog

Don't EVER do this

   Easter Sunday, 2015. I'm just sitting at the kitchen table wasting time on the internet, as usual. I feel my heart fluttering again. I had been telling my doctors about feeling this every once in a great while since my twenties but they could never pick it up, even with a Holter monitor a couple of times. I'm 60 years old and I guess desensitized to it since it always went away after no more than ten seconds. It was different this time, though. It wasn't going away. I've been on BP meds for years and had a monitor handy so I put it on. BP was somewhat higher than normal so I decided to keep a running check on it. When it got up to something like 190/145, I figured that if I just took another BP pill it would go down. It started going down soon enough, but my heart rate was still around 140 and I was starting to get a little lightheaded. Checking my BP about every ten minutes or so, I watched it drop through normal range all the way down to something like 95/65. OK, this is not cool. Time to head to the hospital.

   Pulling out of my driveway, I can turn left or right and be at one of the two local hospitals in about 5-7 minutes either way. I make a left and go to a hospital I've been to many times over the years. It's about 8:00 PM so it's dark. I get into the parking lot and see that there are virtually no lights on and I'm the only vehicle there. What the......? What I didn't realize was that I had actually driven into the parking lot of a new building right next door to the hospital that was actually primarily doctors' offices. In my altered state, I couldn't make sense out of the situation so I left and went to the other hospital. As I drove past my house, I realized I had made a big mistake in not calling for an ambulance but I couldn't make common sense override my stubbornness, or machismo or pride or whatever it was, so I pressed on. I stumbled pretty severely walking into the emergency entrance. The handful of people that were standing there talking probably thought I was just some drunken wino. When I got to the desk, I literally collapsed over on it, thankful that I had made it to where I desperately needed to be.

   I can't tell you why I had convinced myself that I was not having a heart attack in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. I can tell you that it was the stupidest thing I have ever done. Getting married (and subsequently divorced) twice? Absolutely the wrong decisions. Not going to college? Huge blunder. And there are plenty other questionable choices I made over the years that aren't fit for public consumption. But nothing compares with the lack of good judgement I exhibited that night. There are better times and places to showcase your stubbornness.
  • cdameron
    Who would have thought that so many of us would blunder through the same type of experience and somehow live? Well, I can get in that line. Thankfully the experience has left me a little wiser and a lot more able to dial 9-1-1. The trick is to sort out what symptoms to watch for and move on it immediately to get to the emergency room for help. Of course being my first experience with a heart attack I didn't really understand what was happening. The doctor did show his displeasure for my lack of trust in the medical profession then took me to the cath lab to save my life with three stents. I am humbled and grateful. I am still conservative about my care following medication regimes and testing schedules but find it all very frustrating when an answer isn't clear. I hope you have fared well in your rehabilitation. Best regards!
  • ActiveLarry
    In a German study some years ago, witnesses to fatal heart attacks were interviewed. In 95% of the deaths, the person complained of symptoms, which they spoke of but ignored, for from 2 to 10 hours, before finally collapsing and dying, too late for help and to be saved. This was of 10,000 fatal heart attacks, all were first heart attacks for the individuals. And fatal.
  • tamara
    one night on the way to work I was having weird symptoms......blurred vision...bad.....by the time I got to work I was super dizzy and walking sideways and upset stomach and they would not let me leave work ,they gave me juice and told me to go rest in the other room....well I knew something was wrong so I drove hm and went to bed......bad idea........the next morning I was leaning sideways and bumping into things I went to the ER that morning and that's when my life changed forever......the Dr gave me all the tests and everything was working......he dug deeper and discovered I had scar tissue on my brain "pops" as he put it.......scar tissue on my brain indicating I have had several mini strokes and this had been another one possibly could not say when they occurred...I will never ignore any weird symptoms......I was very lucky.
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