My mother has had heart issues for a long time. In 1991, she had a heart attack due to an allergic reaction she had to a medication she was taking. With the stress of losing my paternal grandmother and fighting pneumonia, her immune system was compromised. She had taken this medication many times before and this one time did the trick.
I can remember her lying there in the floor in doorway between her bathroom and bedroom as if it were yesterday. I can remember the drive to the hospital and waiting in the ER to find out what had happened. Even with that situation and the stents she had when I was 16 and other medical situations, she was still invincible. That all came crashing down recently.
My mother had told us earlier this summer that they were running some heart-related tests in preparation for another medical procedure they were preparing to perform this summer. Well, fastforward to my nephew's birthday party, and we were told it was worse than we thought. I should caveat this with the fact that my mother has smoked heavily for almost 30 years as well. "I have what they call a widow maker," she said. "They are referring me to a cardiac surgeon to decide what to do. I'm supposed to take it easy until my appointment and then we will know more." I'm not sure what my brother and father thought it meant. I knew in my heart that it meant an eventual open heart.
I'm not sure what she defined as "taking it easy." Whatever it was, I received a call around lunch on September 4th from my aunt. My mother had started having heart pains around Collinsville (about 15 minutes from Tulsa) and they had just arrived at the house in Tulsa and called EMSA. I shut down my laptop as fast as I could and sped to my mother's to find her in the exact same condition as I did just over 20 years ago. I knew it wasn't good. She was on her way to having a heart attack.
She was transported to the hospital and the only thing keeping her stable was nitro - multiple doses of nitro. Of course, she didn't "present with typical symptoms of angina." After fighting with a narcissitic ER doctor who wouldn't listen to her, she remained in the hospital until she had a triple bypass on September 9th. She had a 90% blockage on her main and has very narrow arteries, which meant she needed to treat this bypass as her last resort.
After talking with her cardiologist on her checkup, I was advised I also needed to take this seriously since I have been on blood pressure meds as well for about three years. I'm just shy of the same age as she was when she had her first heart attack.
I have worked out off and on for a few years but I have never stuck with it. I lose weight; I gain it back. This whole experience has made me realize I have to take my health seriously.
So, here we go...follow me on my journey...with all its ups and downs as I begin to change my life.