Please read the last sentence FIRST!
Just in case you did NOT do that:
"If you are going to tell me how crazy I am GO AWAY. I AM CONTAGIOUS".
We are a club of survivors who are more than lucky to have lived through the day of the LAD closing its walls, blocking up and stopping all human function forever.
The Widow Maker - the HORRIBLE and nasty with a 5 minute WINDOW etc etc etc.
We can tell you the date of our heart event, the hospital the procedure was done, how many stents or bypasses were performed, the percentage of the blockage of arteries, the length of our hospital stays and the days of their rehabilitation before we returned to work.
It's a reminder how deadly the disease is and the improved chances for recovery and longer lives with a healthier lifestyle.
Statistically, the American Heart Association ranks heart disease as the No. 2 killer and stroke No. 3, respectively, in the United States.
Survivors who had surgery to repair blockages remembered the euphoric feeling, while undergoing surgery, of blood rushing back through the unclogged artery.
A widow maker blockage of the left anterior coronary artery has all the signs of a standard heart attack and the same cause – myocardial blockage.
The severity and location of the blockage is its deadly trademark. If you are lucky and can tolerate it, a stent (or a few) is/ are inserted pushing the arterial blockage against the arterial wall allowing blood flow to resume. You may also have to be decalcified. Like a drill through the smallest arteries. To make SPACE, and heaven help you if something goes not as planned. No second chances here.
If it works you live.
If not you die. Fast.
The warning signs observed the day before are the typical feelings of severe indigestion and pressure.
Pressure on the chest, to the jaw and shoulder - all warning signs to DRIVE to the ER, get a friend or family member to call your cardio or MD to prepare the ER for your arrival. It CAN save your life, as the LAD is not a place you want to wait around to block up MORE. Or for one of those paper thin walls to give in. Result is SUDDEN DEATH. That's it folks.
Funny - EKGs do NOT record a heart attack. Even wearing a holster for a week - NORMAL.
We have all heard of young people (any age actually but more shocking when they are in excellent health, work out, are not overweight and who have NEVER had any heart problems ever) - DROP dead.
On the toilet, in the bath, wherever.
I lost 3 uncles 2 cousins and another cousin age 49 (that I know of) to this. Almost lost me, and I still might (yuk) drop. Nah. I am too pesky. Too adventurous, and I have a LOT of living to do.
It is a good idea to check the family tree for "people who died young" or were found dead for no reason. They may have had total or near total blockage of the LAD.
After I had my first procedure my mom called me and said: "Darling we are so so sorry, it's not your fault - its IN THE FAMILY".
"We feel so bad, we should have told you" ---- No mom, no dad....... it is NOT your fault.
One took a nap after a meal.
Another was on the throne.
The latest was standing at the sink in the bathroom. He was an MD.
I am not an idiot but I SHOULD have realized I was at high risk for SOMETHING.
You sure spent enough $ on my education and I HAVE worked in this field for years. Duh me.
Having survived this I feel bloody lucky despite my moans and complaints and periods of fatigue and FATigue from the medications. I am nearing 8 months post op (4th op) and the arteries look fine and are functioning great.
Thank you to my doctor my cardiologist who was the only person smart enough and brave enough to take the risk of operating on a tiny woman with a hell of a lot of attitude and yes, I DID sign a DNR.
I have seen the results of bad interventions or what happens when the surgery goes awry. If I am going to survive, it must be as ME and not a veggie. On a ventilator with brain damage. Nope.
Switch me OFF.
And FYI I am not manic or depressed, delusional or crazy. I am just me - the one who jumps around like the road runner on speed. (I do NOT take anything other than my prescribed meds and I LOVE being outside!!)
If you are going to tell me how crazy I am GO AWAY. I AM CONTAGIOUS.
Edited April 15, 2012 at 10:57 am