Tuesday, May 30, 2017

I am STILL here ...


I never thought that I would suffer a massive heart attack at age 34.
At that age you are not thinking something like that can reach you...
you think that only happens to "older people"...
I was wrong.


My now ex husband "J" didn't care about me very much...
he let our insurance be changed into something he claimed he couldn't
afford co-pay because it was now somewhat crappy insurance.
His excuse for me was always "What have YOU done to deserve to go
to the doctor?" or "You're not WORTH going to the doctor". So I would
suffer with certain things ... seeing doctors maybe once to twice a year.
Only when something BIG happened like I needed surgery 
(nose polyps & gall bladder removal) would he 
even CONSIDER me going to get medical help.

I did go to some doctors but they were really bad ones who would treat 
the symptoms and NEVER look outside for a source of the problem.
They treated by shoving more and more expensive pills my way and
my ex "J" refused to buy many of them... in other words, I was never
getting the help for my health that I truly needed.

I was put on 7 pills (yes you read that right, 7 different pills) to control
my blood pressure. Why didn't that raise a RED FLAG to a doctor and
them do MORE TESTS to see if anything MAJOR was wrong?

Now you see the point I am trying to make.

So... It was Late July 2012 when I got really, really BAD sick.
I threw up for 2 weeks straight. I could keep some liquids down
but if I ate... it wouldn't stay down. I felt nauseous constantly.
My heart raced so badly. But I thought it was just because I was sick.
My asthma kicked in to my disappointment and discomfort making
it also hard for me to breath so I was out of commission for days on end.

This pissed "J" off.

When I asked him on August 8th, 2012 to stop on his way home from work
to get me a SPRITE (sprite makes me feel better when I am sick) he said 
"You haven't done ANYTHING to deserve it". He came home with NO
Sprite... and no concern or care whatsoever about how I was feeling.
At that moment, I was fed up. I called my Mom who lived in Mobile, Alabama
at the time. I told her what was going on. For her, this was the LAST straw 
concerning "J". My parents loved him until he showed them his true colors...
and this, this was the straw that broke the camel's back. Mom was FURIOUS.
She left work, got Dad from the house (Dad was retired 
from being an electrician and had become disabled because 
of his health so he stayed at home) and my parents 
immediately drove from Mobile, Alabama to Birmingham, 
Alabama to get me and bring me back to Mobile, Alabama with them.

I felt better after some TLC from my Mom. Mom always knew what it took to 
make me feel better... but sadly, I was too far gone.


Around Noon on 8/20/12, I was napping on the loveseat while Dad watched
his favorite tv shows on the Western channel. 
I was dreaming of my Mom's Dad... aka my Grandaddy. 
He was telling me in the dream that I needed to wake up
because something was wrong. I asked him what 
but all he said was... wake up and fight this... it's not your time. 
I woke up feeling STRANGE. My left arm was  numb, 
I was cold but hot, I was shaking, I threw up again .... and I felt disoriented.
My heart was running away with me. Dad called Mom (she was at work) 
and she came home as fast as she could, 
loaded me into the car, and took me to the doctor.

The doctor Mom took me to gave me Nitro (3 pills) 
and an asprin. I wondered what
the hell... then I realized, that is what they do to 
people with heart problems. The doctor called an Ambulance 
and they rushed me to Springhill Hospital in Mobile, Alabama. 
The ambulance emt's didn't seem too concerned and told me
I was just fine that it wasn't anything major.

I got to the ER and was admitted then rushed into 
the back, hooked up to a machine that you see to shock a person 
back to life if they flatline, an iv, and  an EKG machine. The ER 
doctor came in and told me they were going to do a heart cath and 
that it was just a routine, nothing to be scared of... they wanted
to see what my heart was actually doing. I was still scared. 
I knew from my grandmother and grandaddy that heart troubles 
were NOTHING to play with. This was SERIOUS.

They took me to the surgery and shaved me in the 
pubic area where they would enter...
that is the LAST THING I REMEMBER.

I woke up in Cardiac ICU.

The nurse (he was older and male) smiled at me and said "You sure look good
for someone who just had a massive heart attack". He went about his business.

WHAT?!?!?

A heart attack?

I am only 34 years old. How could this happen to me?
What is going on?

Well finally it was explained to me.
They went in with the heart cath and saw my heart was blocked
100% in the MAIN ARTERY to the heart. At that time, I died
they did an emergency surgery and placed a stent into my main
artery to open it up. They said I suffered a MASSIVE heart attack
the one that KILLS people called "THE WIDOWMAKER". 

I SURVIVED.

People who are healthier than me that face the Widowmaker usually die.

I didn't.

The doctors SAVED me.
I was given a second chance.


Since that day, I have stopped adding salt to ANYTHING I eat.
I know I can't avoid salt because some things are NATURALLY salty
or have SOME salt but I will not add any salt WHATSOEVER!

I try to stear clear of MOST fried foods but I do eat some.
I try to eat fries BAKED if I can and if not, I only eat a SMALL amount.
I am sad to say I can't curb my love for chicken wings though.
I don't eat them often but if I do and they are fried I try not to eat
them more than once a month if that.

I stick to caffeine free diet soda.
I don't use a lot of sugar when I make tea.
I only use equal when I drink coffee.

I am sad to say that I can't stop my chocolate addiction.
I limit it WAY more than I used to... I don't consume
nearly anything compared to what I used to which is good.

I stay away from most other sweet things and most chips.
I try to eat fruit a lot for snacks when I can afford it.

I bake almost EVERYTHING including pasta.

I monitor my heart rate daily.
I take my blood pressure regularly.
I also use my CPAP (for sleep apnea) and my nebulizer (for asthma)
everyday. I monitor my asthma a lot better than I used to and I am 
proud to say that my attacks are down SIGNIFICANTLY.

I take lots of pills for various things I have wrong with me. I make sure I take my heart pill
twice a day (I don't mess around with that)... and I keep up with 
my doctors who monitor my heart condition as we need to.

I am fighting this... and I am winning.


I urge all of you to talk to your doctors about YOUR heart.
Even if you are young... and especially if you are old.
It doesn't hurt to be SAFE instead of SORRY like I was.

If you think there is something wrong or just WANT TO KNOW
you have EVERY right to ask your doctor to perform TESTS to check
your heart for abnormalities. ASK AND SEEK HELP. Get your heart
checked so that you do not have to go through the PAINFUL experience
I had to go through. It isn't WORTH dying for... and if ... IF you survive...
it will be a disability for you for the REST OF YOUR LIFE... so check
yourself and your heart REGULARLY. Be self aware... and talk with your
doctor openly, honestly about your concerns and fears.

Don't make the mistake I did.

I died for my mistake.

I was given a second chance...

I won't waste it.


If it happens to you... 
You might not get the second chance like I did...
Don't wait till it is too late.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

American Heart Association has 
GREAT information about
all things HEART/CARDIAC related... 

2 comments:

  1. Glad that you pulled through that well...
    Have a pleasant Tuesday, good Lady Martha...

    ReplyDelete
  2. You are incredibly strong, and this is what has given you another chance that most others wouldn't have. You also have an awesome guardian angel, your grandpa! You are doing everything you can within reason to stay healthier, and this is yet another life experience that you are using to teach people. You are awesome!! My husband had a major heart attack and wasn't even aware that's what it was because the symptoms weren't the usual ones. One of his arteries was 99% blocked. If he wouldn't have gone to the doctor he soon would have been dead. I am always thankful that I insisted he get it checked out. Your message is right... dont' fool around with your health, if something doesn't seem right or your heart is telling you something is wrong, LISTEN... see a doctor... and follow their instructions. I am glad you take your medicines and try to eat healthy. May you live a long life and come to know more happiness than you even believe is possible... it happened to me and it can for you! XOXO

    ReplyDelete

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