My Wife’s Heart

This entry is a composite of two entries over a period of one week.

As Abby and I travelled home last night, she complained increasingly of indigestion. Although she was able to sleep last night and actually get up and start to prepare for work, eventually she needed to lay back down. I called and got her an appointment with our family doctor, but by the time we actually got there, it was obvious she was having a cardiac event. EMS took her to the emergency room, where she responded well and immediately to nitroglycerin therapy. Doctors determined that she did indeed have a heart attack. As I write this, she is being flown to Oklahoma Heart Hospital, where we imagine she will be given a cardiac catheterization and, if necessary, a cardiac stent.

I have to say that I was pretty frightened as the morning progressed, particularly when her substernal chest pain peaked; I had never seen her in such pain. But after talking with emergency room personnel and seeing the relief she received, I felt much better. I will keep everyone updated here, but at the moment she is okay.

Update: They took Abby straight to the cath lab and did a cardiac catheterization before I even arrived. They found a blockage of 95% in one of the coronary arteries, and inserted a stent. She is going to be fine. I was already a believer in interventional cardiology, but quite honestly, this is amazing.

Update: Abby is home. Her heart attack was the result of one artery, the one that feeds the front portion of the left ventricle, with a 95% blockage. Her symptoms came on gradually since Saturday, but as they peaked and she was asked by EMS her level of pain on a scale from 0-10, she told them “23.” In discussions with her at the hospital, I learned that upon exertion, such as using the elliptical trainer at her office, she experienced chest pains for some time now.

She is resting comfortably now, and, except for being told to take it easy for a few days, is just fine. She plans to return to work on Monday.

All of this is pretty impressive, since my dad had a similar cardiac event just 15 years ago, and had to undergo a coronary artery bypass graft, one of the most invasive surgeries you can imagine. He was down for six weeks. Abby, on the other hand, remained conscious throughout her procedure and felt better immediately afterwards.

Medical technicians load Abby onto a helicopter this afternoon; as I was writing this (hurriedly as I prepared to drive to Oklahoma City), one of the med techs called to say she was at the Heart Hospital, safe and sound.
Medical technicians load Abby onto a helicopter this afternoon; as I was writing this (hurriedly as I prepared to drive to Oklahoma City), one of the med techs called to say she was at the Heart Hospital, safe and sound.

 

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6 Comments

  1. Wow, Richard, what a scare for Abby and you! I’m sure you’re aware, of the great therapies and treatments for cardiac patients, and how good the prognosis can be. We went through some heart issues with Karyn’s dad 8 years ago, at which time he had a stent put in. We hear these days of his occasionally check-ups and so in, but life is pretty much normal for him, with some diet and exercise modifications.

    Anyway, I’m sure you’re hearing tons of anecdotes and so on, but just keep in mind – I and many, many others are thinking of both of you, and wishing you all the best. “Hi” and a hug to Abby from me…

    Kev

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  2. Thank you, Kev. Scariest of all was when her pain became so bad, right before EMS arrived, that she started telling me that she felt “wrong” and “weird.”

    As I write this, she is somewhat sedated and looks comfortable and beautiful.

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  3. Every time I feel too tired or stressed and want to walk away from my job, I think of the people who benefit from medical research, and go anyway. Without it, my Abby and everyone else’s Abby may not have access to such life-saving interventions. Thank God she’s going to be okay.

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  4. I was very glad to hear that she received immediate and successful treatment. Abby is such a kind soul. I know how much she means to you, and rest assured that she means much to many others including Marline and I.

    We are wishing you and Abby all the best (sounds so trite; my apologies for that).

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  5. I’m thrilled for the good report. Thank God for the advancements made in the care of cardiac patients. I know that what you are going to go through will still be stressful. You and Abby are in my prayers.

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