Oh, the heart.

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A week ago today I was sitting at the desk in my craft room, when I felt a little flutter in my chest, followed by some pressure in my sternum.  I thought to myself, “Hmmm that was weird”, but kept plugging away at whatever I was working on.  It happened a few more times that morning, always passing quickly.  I chalked it up to the Mexican food I’d had the night before – maybe it wasn’t agreeing with me.  Although in the deep dark recesses of my mind, I remembered reading an article about how one of the symptoms WOMEN have when having a heart attack is a feeling of indigestion.  Great.

After a quick afternoon nap, I felt fine until about a half an hour later when all of a sudden I had heart palpitations – I thought my heart was pounding out of my chest.  When I felt my pulse in my neck it felt like it was irregular, skipping beats.  I immediately got nervous.  The pressure in my sternum was present, too.  I took my blood pressure and both that and my heart rate were erratic – sometimes REALLY high, other times calm.

I tried not to panic, but this didn’t feel right.  It also didn’t help that my husband was an hour and a half away.  I was home alone, and at one point I was standing in my living room when a wave of panic hit me, followed by nausea, and I looked at my dog and thought, “I don’t want to drop dead right here in front of my dog…alone.” 

Lightheaded, I made 2 phone calls – one to get a ride to the ER and one for a friend to meet me there because I knew she would keep me from losing it.  I slowly packed a couple things I thought I might need for the hours I’d likely stay in the ER and off I went.

When you’re a 40-something female with heart palpitations, you’re admitted to the ER right away.  I immediately was seen and had both an EKG and chest X-ray within minutes.  Both came back clear, so they decided to do some blood work.  Many hours later, I was told that I had an enzyme show up in my blood that was an indicator of a heart attack.  It was a very small amount, but they wanted to see if it would rise (which often happens if you’ve had a heart attack).  Even though the other tests didn’t show I’d had a heart attack, they decided to watch me closely because that enzyme shouldn’t be in my blood at all.

So, I was admitted to the hospital for further observation.  I was hooked up to a heart monitor. I was poked, prodded and poked some more.  Over the weekend, even though I felt relatively fine (the fluttering and indigestion episodes had stopped) I was given heart related medications and more EKGs.  I had a regular doctor but also a cardiologist who was concerned about the enzymes (they had actually come down, however) and of all the options he gave me, my husband and I decided I’d have an angiogram.  Which of course couldn’t be done until Monday.

Although I had plenty of visitors and people checking on me in various manners, I was a nervous wreck inside.  What if I DID have a heart attack?  What if I was all clogged up as a result of all the bad stuff I had done to my body.  My mind was racing, especially focusing on the words the regular doctor had said:  “We need to make sure you’re not about to have a catastrophic event.”  

Turns out?  My angiogram results were perfectly clear.  That test was a trip in itself – a bit scary but I was given some happy juice via IV to help me through it.  The doctor came and saw me a couple hours later and happily reported there were no blockages and my heart looks strong and healthy.  I feel so blessed by that news.  But…what the heck?

If it was a panic attack, then I really need to think more about my approaches on keeping myself calm.  I have a full plate yes, but I’m no where near as stressed as I’d been in the past.  It’s….a mystery.

 

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4 thoughts on “Oh, the heart.

  1. WOW!! How scary!! I felt panicked just reading to see what would happen next. I’m glad you are okay…. Take care of yourself…

    • Thank you sweet friend. Sorry to panic you! Maybe I should have started with “I’m totally okay, but here’s what happened…”??? Hope to see you soon – miss you!

  2. Very scary Bea. I have been through this with my dad a number of times. Actually, I am very glad you had the angiogram to give you some peace of mind. Otherwise, you would always wonder. Glad they kept you until they were sure everything checked out and that you are now back in the comforts of your home. Hope to see you soon. Hugs, Bobbi

    • Hi Bobbi – I’m sorry you’ve had to go through this with your Dad, it is not pleasant. He is lucky to have your support! I agree – I am glad I did it too because I can bet you dollars to donuts I’d be sitting here wondering about it RIGHT NOW. xoxo See you on the 19th?

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