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Debbie Sharp Loeb, teacher by training but full-time mom to a disabled son, craftsperson, bead artist, great cook, creative homemaker & terrific spotter of cool new products for everything under the sun, presents Hodgepodge: recipes, household hints, stories about children, friends & relatives, cool stuff, music, & much more.

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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

My Heart Attack - Part 1

The attack came on about quarter after seven Sunday night (2/8/09) just as I had finished a phone call telling my sister-in-law the funny story about my father (one posted) and was about to start making dinner. (and no that story didn’t upset me, it’s a running joke with my dad.)
My pain came on sudden as a straight line in the center of my chest, tightening, pressure (my head forms a picture of wringing out a dish towel), shortness of breath, a little nausea, and I felt flush.
I knew right away this was major. (One of the signs that’s listed is a feeling of doom.) I told my husband right away to call 911 as this was nothing like I had ever felt before. Both the first aid and the paramedics came. They took my bood perssure & did a quick EKG and the paramedics determine they didn’t need to take me. The first aid took me to our local hospital. (Oh, and on the way the one said that that was a “good sign” if the paramedics didn’t feel they needed to take me. Yea – right!)
At the hospital they tried right away to start taking blood. They were having a very hard time as I was so dehydrated and I’m a "hard-stick" anyway. After 7 times I stopped counting, as my sister-in-law who had arrived by then is cowering around the corner as she can’t stand needles. They finally got blood drawn and an IV in and gave me meds. There’s one they give you in the stomach which gives you a real nice big black and blue spot which I finally noticed the day I left (the second hospital).
At sometime I’m moved up to the Intensive Care Unit. It was so noisy there! There are these pulmonary machines that have alarms that sound like the trained seals honking horns and they sometimes went off so much it was like the were playing a tune, and that was with all the other machine alarms. I wanted to get the person that thought up that alarm and make them try to sleep with that! I was up the entire night despite all the drugs they had given me. With all this, still the chest pain, and I had one of my muscle-tension-sinus headaches! The muscles across my upper back tighten along with my neck muscles, putting pressure on the nerves to my face and then my face hurts too. So now my chest, back, neck, and face are all hurting and all the while they keep asking me to rate my chest pain with a number. I was having a hard time doing this with everything going on at once.
I ended up with:
2 doses of morphine for the pain
Xanax – for anxiety
Flexeril – muscle relaxer
Percoset – for pain (for the head pain)
Ambien – to sleep

I was up all night between the pain, anxiety, and noise. The clock was on the wall in front of me and I just watched the hours go by. Around 5:30 am I threw up and said; “Well now you won’t have to worry about anything in my stomach for my test.” (cardiac catheterization) I did feel somewhat better after that.
Now mind you I had complained about the noise off and on all night but it wasn’t until the morning when I said something again that someone (perhaps new person on shift?) told me they had ear plugs! Well, duh! Ya might have mentioned it sooner. It’s not like I would have thought they’d had them to ask for, especially for as awful as I was feeling. Boy, was I pissed!
The next day I was transferred to another hospital that specializes in cardiac.



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