Deb Ward, GWS, OWS, PWS, WSI - WATERCOLOR/WATER MEDIA - My passion is teaching adult “beginners”. Weekly classes in my home; workshops; classes for Cincinnati Recreation Commission. My work is nationally recognized and published - see “Featured” on my sidebar. I’m a Signature Member of Georgia, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Indiana state Watercolor Societies, Cincinnati Art Club, past-President of Greater Cincinnati Watercolor Society. Contact info below under “Class Information”

Friday, September 3, 2010

DEB’S BAD TUESDAY – HEART ATTACK!

While you have been reading my posts which I had previously scheduled, I’ve spent 2 ½ days in the local hospitals with a minor heart attack (and had my first – and hopefully last! – ambulance ride).

The only reason I’m telling you this is so that the women reading this will realize that our symptoms can be very different from a man’s.

On Monday evening around 11:15, just as the local news was ending, my right bicep began to hurt. (Notice I said RIGHT bicep – i.e. not the heart side). I thought I had pulled a muscle. Later that night my upper back started to hurt and between my shoulder blades. Then I felt some chest pressure. Forget that “it felt like an elephant on my chest.” It was more like a 16 pound cat – I know this for a fact since I used to have a 16 pound cat that would sometimes sleep on my chest and wake me because I could not breathe! Then I had some slight pressure on my right neck. This is why I didn’t think it could be a heart attack – everything was on the wrong side of the body. So then I thought I was having an anxiety attack and the more I thought about it the more anxious I became! The symptoms alleviated, returned, changed pattern, etc.

At some point I decided it could be a heart attack so I made my peace and decided that if I was alive in the morning I would have my husband take me to the doctor.

Tuesday morning when he came in from moving the cows I was dressed and ready to go – called the doctor and we went there first. He assessed that I was having (or had already had) a heart attack and my husband drove me to the hospital. Only one problem – this is a local hospital and all they did was stabilize me – had we thought it out better we could have gone straight to Cincinnati to a cardiac care unit. Oh well . . .

After spending Tuesday there they transported me at 5 a.m. to Mercy Fairfield and I had a cardiac catheterization. The doctor said it was a minor attack in a minor artery and no point in putting in a stent – it is only about a 2% blockage.

However, I’m now on 3 medications for blood pressure, cholesterol and heart (thankfully CHEAP!) and a baby aspirin each day – I chose chewable cherry!

I did not know that I had high cholesterol and high blood pressure - that has always been low. Apparently this has been building for a while.

So, hopefully by following a strict diet plan and taking my medication I’ll be back to my usual self in no time. In the meantime, all I want to do is sleep!

20 comments:

Nancy Van Blaricom said...

First of all Thank God you are alright. Second, bless you for posting this. We are always taught about the left side ... Us women just have to do things our own way, right? Diet is so important as I am finding out the older I get. Try telling a doctor "but I've always ate" this or that.... they tell you "you were younger then". Oh well what ever it takes to get healthy.

Again, blessing and prayers being sent your way. By the way... love the tea pot updates.

Christiane Kingsley said...

Deb,
Take good care of yourself!!!There is usually a good side to every situation: now that you know about the change in your blood pressure and cholesterol, you will be more careful.
We want you to be around to wow us with your gorgeous paintings for the next fifty years!
A big, big hug! You are loved.

RHCarpenter said...

Do get your sleep - lack of sleep can also stress your body. I am SO GLAD this was minor (compared to what it could have been) and that you are going to take good care of you from now on. We want you around for a long time - and BTW, what a crap way to spend a birthday!!!

Sandy Maudlin said...

Deb,
What a birthday present! And so glad you are ok. Please take really good care of you.

Vicki Greene said...

Oh my goodness Deb! I am so glad that you are home and doing well. I send you prayers for a total recovery and wisdom to adjust your lifestyle so that you will enjoy a long and healthy life.

Gaylynn said...

OMG!!! I am so sorry to hear this. I too would have ignored those symptoms. I am so GLAD that you are ok. I have not had a minor heart attack, but I too take those meds. I will cheer you on with the strict diet and will start mine now! Take Care of yourself.

Jeanette said...

That is frightening to undergo. I hope you're feeling better and things all work out well. Although the symptoms can be very different in women the classic ability of denial is always there. We women stick through it and I'm sure females have a higher pain threshold than men too.

Thank you for sharing your experience and letting others know some of the reality of heart attack.

I live in the country and 20-30 minutes away from a medical facility. Having someone else living with you who has CPR training helps ease worry too.

Nancy Goldman said...

I'm glad you are going to be okay. Thank you so much for posting this. I had heard that symptoms for women are much less clear but I don't think I would have thought 'heart attack' if I had the symptoms that you had. Thank goodness it was a minor one.

Cynnie said...

whoa....what a Tuesday it was at that!!! THanks for the symptom checklist and I know we are all glad to hear it all turned out ok in the end...what a story!!!! All the best to you and your heart!
Cynthia Schelzig
p.s.,,I also had a 16 lb. cat that used to LOVE to sit on my chest:) so I knowwwww what you are talking about with this .......

debwardart said...

Thanks to all of you for commenting, it means a lot to be cared about!
I just thought "we women" needed to realize how bizarre the symptoms could be.
Guess as we get older we all have to make some adjustments in our health choices.
Gaylynn - we can commiserate with that diet thing!
Christiane - don't think I'll make that 50-year deadline!!!

Gretchen Bjornson ART said...

Deb....wishing you wellness and good health from here on out. Hope you received excellent care at Mercy Fairfield (they were good to me in 2001 with the birth of my oldest).

Take care!

debwardart said...

Thanks Gretchen - received very good care - all were pleasant, helpful and professional!

Lisa Walsh said...

OMG Deb, thank goodness it was minor, and you're OK!!! It must have been a truly scary experience. I never would have thought those symptoms meant anything cardiac related, I would have thought something stress related. Thanks for giving all us gals a big heads up. Wishing you a belated Happy Birthday, and good health from here on! Now go get that restful sleep!

Joan Sandford-Cook said...

Oh! Debs how scary for you and your husband. Take care now and remember to regularly take the medicine. Its been a wake up call for me, as I was diagnosed with high blood pressure and collesterol 18 months ago after collapsing whilst out dining with Clive at a local restaurant. I sometimes forget to take my morning tablets, but won't from now on. Thanks for the warning that symptoms can manifest on the right side of the body. Look after yourself and get plenty of relaxing painting in and stop rushing around so much.

Ann Buckner said...

(((((Deb, so glad to know you are okay and I hope by now, doing much better. )))) That must have been quite frightening. Thanks too, for listing all the warning signals you had. I hope you are getting all the rest you need to get you back to where you are feeling very good. Thinking of you.

debwardart said...

Lisa - am catching up on sleep, just feel so tired, but think each day I'm feeling a little better (and making a list of ??? for the doctor's visit!)
Joan - make sure you take your meds and watch that pressure - I had no idea I had high choleserol or BP!
Thanks Ann - "veddy skeddy" it was! Figured letting women know what to possibly expect can't hurt!

Nick said...

Oh no, it was almost funny the way you were describing it..if it weren't so scary and serious. Thank goodness it was minor, and will hopefully just serve to make you more cautious and maintain your health as #1. A close friend in his 40s had one a few weeks ago after playing softball and woke up in the hospital days later, no memory of any of it. Take it easy and finish off that terrific painting!

debwardart said...

Hey Nick - May as well laugh or I'll cry - and no point in that! Rest assured I'll be taking better care of myself - new priority in my life is "Deb is #1"!!!!!

Teresa Palomar Lois said...

And that's your idea of a birthday celebration? Serious and scary thing to go through Deb, I'm so happy to hear that it was minor, at least you could go over it (can imagine how much anxiety it's generated for you) and now you're taking measures wich is good, rest and take care, I want you around for a loong loooong time Deb.

debwardart said...

Thanks for your support, Teresa!