A Life Changing Event

I wanted to share a recent event, without worrying anyone at the same time. It will be talked about at length on the PHPUgly Podcast, Episode #123, recorded 10/4/18. If you are reading this after about 10/9/18, go look for that episode.

TL;DR; I had a mild heart attack on Saturday 9/29/2018, but I am fine.

On Saturday evening, around 9:00pm, after the kids were in bed and my wife was out at book club with her friends, I noticed a weird discomfort in the middle of my chest, straight through my back. I thought it was odd, but I didn’t have any other symptoms like pain shooting down my left side, etc… The stuff we always hear about.

Earlier that day, we ran a 5K with the kids, pushing both of them in a stroller for a good portion of it. Then we went to a beach town, had lunch, and I ended up carrying both boys at the same time about 1/4 mile back to the car. So when this all happened Saturday night, I assumed that I had strained something. I really felt like I just needed to pop my back.

I had trouble falling asleep that night. My mind racing, feeling my heart beat… I was scared. I got up, did some reading and of course read everything from OMG Get To The Hospital NOW, to it could be inflammation. So I took some Advil, and finally got some sleep.

I woke up Sunday morning feeling 95% better. I lied to myself and others that I was 100% better. I had plans that day with the kids and nothing was going to stop me from being with them for that day. As I write this I realize the irony and am crying. I chose one day over possibly the rest of their lives. I had plans for the 3 of us to go get our haircuts together and then go to a baseball game. Nolan’s first, and we got to watch from a Suite.

While at the game, I noticed my chest more and more. I made the decision that I’d finish the game, get the kids home, fed, in bed and then I’d go have it checked out. I still really thought it was a strain, that I was just going to have it confirmed real quick that night. I got home, told Jacki my plans and she told me to go right away. She would take care of the kids. I had convinced her as well that it was nothing.

Geeze I’m balling as I write this… pull it together man… (Ok I was distracted by work which helped calm me down… where was I…)

Got to the ER, even the person checking me in asked if I did anything to strain the chest wall. Kind of confirming what I thought the issue was. So I was relieved. I went through the tests, EKG nurse said it looked ok, had blood drawn, etc…

Then the doctor saw me. He told me about an elevated protein in my blood called Troponin. Then he said, “I’m going to just be blunt, you had a mild heart attack, and may still be having it”. He went on to tell me the normal level is 0.2 or lower, and mine was a 6. I needed to be transferred to another hospital that had a cardiology unit. By the time I left the hospital, my Troponin level reached 10.2.

I went in for an Angiogram the next morning. Luckily all they found were 3 very small blockages. Unfortunately, they were in branches of blood vessels that couldn’t be opened up or stented.

So now I’m on a ton of medications, and need to change my lifestyle (luckily only a little).

Conclusion: I’m an idiot for waiting. But I will make a full recovery and will live a long happy life and be here for my kids.

 
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