Waiting to feel lucky to be aliveMy story in a nut-shell-- I'm a 42 year old mother of 11-year-old twins and going through a painful divorce. I've wanted to come through this difficult time healtheir and stronger, but my body keeps working against me. For several months I'd been feeling very tired, weak, and generally un-well. I like to exercise but rarely could make it through a small workout anymore, and I was gaining weight even though I eat pretty healthy (okay, so I do eat sweets and drink red wine, but in moderation!). I have thyroid disease and was quick to blame that and all the stress. Labs showed that my triglicerides were really high, but they've fluctuated along with my thyroid levels in the past.
Then 3 weeks ago suddenly my throat, chest, and shoulders started burning and my arms ached. I was about to have a co-worker take me to the ER, but it subsided after a while, and I thought maybe it was a panic attack. I had an EKG done, which was normal. This happened 2 more times through that week, but the 3rd time it got worse, the burning turning into pressure and pain. I called 911 and was taken to the ER. Both the paramedics and ER dr said, given the EKGs, my age, medical, and family history, it was probably nothing. But then my triponin levels came back at a 1.6, and I was admitted to the cardiac floor. By morning my triponin was over 23 so they rushed me to the cath lab.
Turns out I had a 90% blockage in a small artery, and when the dr went to put in a stent the artery began tearing towards my heart. He was able to stop it with 3 more stents, and the rest of my arteries and heart looked good. I was discharged after 3 days on a whopping regimen of aspirin, blood thinners, cholesterol, and blood pressure meds. I've been pretty shaken up over the whole thing, but I didn't fully realize how close I'd come to dying until my follow-up appointment today when the dr said there's nothing worse than a young mother coming in walking and talking and dying on the table.
I'm usually a pretty positive person, and I guess I should feel like I've been given a new lease on life, but I'm just so sad and scared and over-whelmed. I'm frustrated that my prior healthy efforts weren't enough, and that now I need to be even more vigilant when really I feel like spending some time camped out on my couch watching bad TV with a bottle of wine and a pan of brownies. Nothing like divorce, a few heart-attacks, and enough pills to choke a horse to make you feel old and as if your life is over.
Even though I'm not in a good place right now, reading some of the posts here has given me hope of thriving after a heart attack (eventually).
Thanks for reading!