As I mentioned in an earlier post, I had a heart attack 13 years ago, when I was 50. I had not been plagued with headaches, allergies, or aches and pains, so when I woke up at 3 a.m. and had this burning sensation that kept moving across my chest (left to right, right to left). What I mean by burning, is a heat sensation, not a burning sensation like you would attribute gastro-heartburn. This burning sensation lasted less than 5 minutes. I fell back to sleep. I awakened around 6 a.m. and now I just wasn't feeling right. I was getting clammy, but my stomach wasn't upset. My husband was getting to leave for work, I asked him not to go in that day. I said, "I'm not feeling just right. Something is wrong." I called my primary care doctor. The doctor on call said," Take a couple of Tums, and call the office during office hours, to make an appointment to come in." Well!!!! I did wait 'til the office was open, but I walked in without an appointment. I was probably seen within 15 minutes, by my doctor. She did an EKG, and came back with my husband. She said, "You are having a heart attack. I am sending you to the hospital. Your husband will take you. The ER will have all they need." So off I went. I did throw-up in the parking lot. Remember I said I was feeling clammy. Other than that I felt great. If this was a school day,(I was teaching 5th grade at the time), I would have gone to work. I was admitted, and the next day I had an angiogram done. The results- not good- 5 blockages- a 99% - a 97% and another one that was 78%.
There was 1 more blockage, but it did not warrant a by-pass. I was to have the by-pass surgery done the next day, (Friday). Surgery was postponed to Monday. I had to stay in the hospital. So that Monday I went in for a triple and came out with a quadruple by-pass. On Wednesday, I went home for lunch. That's right- one day of rest before I went home. They dubbed me a "rabbit", which means quick recovery. Spent July recovering- and by the third week in August I was driving down to The Outer Banks, for my annual vacation, before returning to the classroom for another year. I have had no problems since. Actually, the one blockage that was not by-passed has remained the same. No advancement. So ladies, my advice is to listen to your body. You know when things aren't just right. I had no shortness of breath, no pain radiating down my arm, no back pain- in other words, none of the symptoms one would associate with a heart attack. Heart disease runs in my family. I expected I too would have to deal with it, but not at 50! I've added a website you can go to, to learn a bit more.
Something funny did happen after surgery. As I was coming out of the anaesthesia, I felt someone pulling a zipper up on my chest. It sounded like a zipper being zipped. I remember asking, "Did you put in a zipper in case you have to go back in?" The zipper I heard was on the bra they were putting on me. Still have that bra. Hope I never have to wear it again.