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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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Friday, February 20, 2009

My Heart Attack - Part 2

Funny, the guy on the transport team that took me to the second hospital had just had happened to have known by nephew from years ago when he worked at the First Aid at Great Adventure Amusement Park. Small world isn’t it?
At the new hospital I’m put in CCU. I was wiped out having had no sleep the night before.
I’m taken for a cardiac catheterization (you can look up how this is done) and it was told I’d be awake for it but mildly sedated. If you have a blockage and they have to inflate the balloon to put a stint in then it is cutting off the blood flow for those seconds and it will hurt. They want you to know what it feels like should you ever have it again. “Oh, that’s great!” Fortunately, I had no blockages. Clean as a whistle, which left the doc a bit perplexed as he had said he had only had one other case like this. He showed me my video and then finished closing up where he went in. “Oh crap, what was that? That hurt. You didn’t tell me about that part!” It only lasted like half a minute.
I’m taken back to my room in CCU and told I have to stay flat on my back and cannot move my right leg for 3 hours as that is the side where they went in and they don’t want it to start bleeding. That would be very dangerous. Then for, I think it was another 3 hours, I still can’t get out of bed. Wow, what a thrill to at least be able to use the toilet which was behind a ¾ high wall, no door, no curtain. That was weird. Of course every time I had to go I had to ring the nurse, have the heart monitor unplugged, remove the (E.T. glowing finger) blood oxygen level monitor, and have them help me out of bed. This bed was missing the control to raise and lower the bed so the only way I was able to do it later on was by reaching over to the control on the outside of the bed. By sometime the next day I stopped ringing them and just did it myself.
I was still having my really bad muscle-tension-sinus headaches* and asked for some moist heat. The nurse was nice as she micro waved some moist towels and then wrapped a dry one around it. Meanwhile she ordered up this unit that takes 40 minutes to heat up and then it’s this real flat pad that warm water circulates through.
At some point I had a CAT scan and since I was a cardiac patient they told me I “jumped the line” and wasn’t left in the hall to wait my turn. The test was OK.
I was given a bedside echocardiogram and one of the heart docs from the group came it during it with I guess a bunch of residents and/or interns. He said it showed the muscle had been injured but was healing already. They said it was up to 50% which is what many people’s functions at normally anyway. He said I was going to be transferred to another floor and I asked him if I was going to be able to take a shower then and he said sure. It took like all day for them to get the room ready. Late in the day a technician came in to look at my bed because I had been really uncomfortable sleeping in it. It sank in the middle like a valley. I sat in a chair as I watched him dissect the bed. “I bet that bed cost more than my first car.”
Oh, one more thing before I move on. As many of you know, on the wall in front of you is a dry erase board where each day they write the date and the names of staff that are taking care of you, but in CCU there is one more thing: Goals
So mine were as follows:
* Transfer Tele
* No Chest Pain
(my addition with a picture of a stick figure to the left, smiling under a showerhead with water coming out of it. I took a picture of it with my cell phone!)
* Some time later found out these were migraines I had been having all these years.



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