Jun 6
Juando2
Juando2 , Posted on SUPPORT NETWORK Blog

You've got to be KIDDING Me!!

Playing tennis last week with a friend (happens to be a doctor), I asked him whether he was suffering from seasonal allergies like me, as I couldn't seem to catch my breath. As I held my hand to my chest, he said that he usually did, but wasn't at the moment. The next day, I was nauseous and assumed that my sinus infection had drained into my chest and stomach. After 2 days of over the counter medications, I went to the ER and told them I didn't understand why my chest hurt so--10 minutes later, after a troponin test--I was laying in the Cath Lab.

Various talking heads popped into my vision, saying things like "troponin off the charts, heart attack, anesthetics to make you forget...". All I remember was watching this screen as it looked like someone was trying to bait a hook with my veins. In recovery, I was told my Right coronary artery was 100% blocked, that a stent had been put in and I would have to take a bunch of medications.

I'm hoping this site can help answer such lingering questions as: Do they have to wait for symptoms before checking for heart problems?; how was I functioning with a completely blocked artery?; did I have a heart attack or unstable angina?; when can I exercise again? Any insights would be appreciated...
  • KITTY23
    KITTY23,
    I READ YOUR STORY AND IT BROUGHT A LOT OF MEMORIES BACK TO WHEN I HAD MY FIRST HEART, I HAD FOUR. MY DOCTORS TOLD ME MY ARTERIES WERE CLOGGED. WHAT DID I DO? I COMPLETELY CHANGED MY DIET. I ENDED UP WITH A PACE MAKER AND HAVE NEVER FELT BETTER. LAST CHECK UP DOCTOR SAID MY GOD WHAT DID YOU DO. MY ARTERIES WERE COMPLETELY CLEANED OUT AND CLEAR. I SAY STAY AWAY FROM THE JUNK FOOD AND CANNED FOODS AND BOXED FOODS WORST THINGS FOR YOU. FRESH VEGGIES AND FRUITS, BLUE BERRIES WELL ANY KIND OF BERRIES ARE GOOD FOR YOU. I TRY TO WALK EVERY DAY. LISTEN TO YOUR BODY IT WILL TELL YOU WHEN YOU DO SOMETHING THAT DOES NOT AGREE WITH IT. GIVE IT A WEEK OR SO BEFORE YOU REALLY GET BACK INTO PLAYING TENNIS AGAIN JUST START YOUR DAY WITH STRECHING AND BREEATHING. START OUT SLOW BUT IN TIME YOU WILL BE ABLE TO GET BACK TO WHERE YOU WERE. ALL GOOD THINGS TAKE TIME AND YOU WILL HAVE MORE TIME IF YOU LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. GOOD LUCK.
  • BevPohlit
    BevPohlit,
    Welcome to the Survivors Club. Your body did give you the signs, before your MI. I also had a 95% blockage in my right coronary artery, and i've always been a healthy eater and exercise. I'm lucky I'm only on blood thinner's right now, and those are supposed to be stopping soon. I just had my one year anniversary of my heart attack this past Sunday, and I do look at life differently now.
  • Juando2
    Juando2,
    Thanks for your comments!! It sounds like diet and exercise, while listening to your body are key to moving forward. I hadn't mentioned that my Dad died a few months ago and I'm thinking that stress made my MI more likely. At this point, I'm pretty confused, but somewhat relieved that I found out about my problem before my own kids had to go through such a thing. Additional comments and insights would be welcome...
  • lslagley
    lslagley,
    Your best bet with regards to your questions is to schedule time with your doctor. If your doctor cannot answer your questions to your satisfaction, find one that will. Everyone is different and there are no textbook answers for all things that can happen such as what did your case. Sometimes you can find answers by googling, but not always.
  • Bevrly
    Bevrly,
    Sorry to hear about your problems. Your best bet would be to talk to your cardiologist. If you don't have one find one. Every person is different. My Mother had several heart attacks and finally died of one at 80 years old. Watch you diet and exercise. I am 85 and I go to the YMCA 3 times a week and work out on 8 machines and do 1 hour of Aqua Zumba to try and stay healthy and so far it is working. Take care and listen to your doctor.
  • Wallyd1
    Wallyd1,
    Thanks for your story of survival...it is encouraging to hear how others take on this NEW health condtion of heart attacks and new health awareness. Especially heartening to hear your rendition of how things came about. I was on a championship tennis team in college...only 50+ years ago so guys like Borg, McEnroe now look my age. Hope you can resume the sport...with care! Wally...conference tennis champ 1960/61 at #2 Singles!
  • ricker
    ricker,
    I also had a heart attack out of now where, no symptoms before hand...awoke with a back ache, then arm and jaw pain, to the cath lab 100% blockage of one artery also....Stent placed back on 3-26-16... It is scary how many people have no symptoms, this is unsettling to say the least.... Your MD is the only one that can tell you if you had a heart attack and when it is advisable to continue your exercise routine, mine stated to start out slow and work your way up after my 2 week check up...with walking...if I had chest pains (which I never had to begin with) or shortness of breath(which I never had before) to stop and contact their office... My issue are shutting the brain off, if I had no symptoms before, how will I know if I have problems again... Every pain I have in my back makes me worry.... Waking up at night and unable to go back to sleep... I'm a very positive person and truly believe these symptoms will resolve in time....I guess all we have is time and with the grace of God, I feel I have been given a second chance at life...
  • healingtouch74
    healingtouch74,
    I had my first heart attack back in 2007. I was driving home from work, about an hour from home, when I suddenly felt like I was going to pass out, so I pulled over immediately on the freeway and stopped. I waited a few minutes, then was alright so I continued to drive home. By the time I got to my city, I was feeling like I was going to die; so I called my sister, Etta, and asked her if when would go to the hospital with me as I was not feeling well, she said yes. I picked her up and we went straight to the ER at Swedish Edmonds. I was immediately admitted as i was having a heart attack! I had no symptoms that i would have recognized as symptoms of heart attack. Women do not experience heart attack the same as men; so we do not recognize the symptoms in women. Once I had the blockages remedied with stents, I was signed up for Cardio Rehab. Ask your doctor to give you a referral to a good Cardio Rehab, mine is in the Swedish Edmonds, Hospital and they are awesome! I have had 5 heart attacks with the last one ending in me having a 2 way bi-pass. I have one blocked artery; however, it is not a problem or immediate threat. This has been a process over 9 years, the open heart surgery was in 2014. I have been blessed with having a fantastic Cardiologist and team of doctors communicating and sharing information with each other giving me the best care possible. It has been my experience that communicating with your doctor/s and making certain they are all in communication with each other, gives me the ability to help direct my healthcare and have the most options available. If you have a doctor or other health care professional who is not meeting your needs, guess what, find a new doctor! I highly recommend that you join a cardio group and get therapy for your heart so you can have optimal health. Read up on the terminology and understand your condition and what you can do to optimize your health, be active in your care!
  • Juando2
    Juando2,
    Thanks to everyone for their input. It seems that no one really experiences heart attacks in a typical way. My learning is that, if your chest hurts (or have any other unexplained symptom)--just go and have it checked out. To take more control of the process, I've now involved my Internist and have signed-up for Cardiac Rehab. The key question seems to be whether there is heart damage and what kind of exercise will help most. The Mediterranean Diet is also seeming like the best way to go. If anyone has any insights on adopting this diet and/or the best ways to work back into exercising, feel free to let us know . . .
  • Myrnasales
    Myrnasales,
    The questions you are wondering about, I think can be answered by your cardiologist. He will be able to tell you if you did have a heart attack. Cardiac rehab is great, because you are monititored while exercising. Also, there are tests to check if your heart has damage, you can ask your doctor about these tests too. I had my heart attack Nov. 4th 2015, no chest pain, just out of breath and jaw pain, which I didn't even know these were symptons of a women having a heart attack. So keep a positive attitude and good luck! We've had second chance at life! Myrna
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