Enduring my Ventricular Tachicardia and Two Stents

by Yolanda Perea
(Cabo Rojo, PR USA)

New Year 2009

New Year 2009

Hello Sandra and all the persons that have gone through a heart procedure or heart disease. Never in my life would I have thought that at 53 years old I was going to become a Cardiac Patient.

I have been a diabetic since 1996. Started on insulin then changed to pills when my TSH (thyroid) was lowered from 97 to 0.50. I lost about 50 pounds also.

I had gone through a divorce in 2000 and was taking antidepressants, mood stabilizers and tranquilizers. All that changed in 2004. My husband of 28 years came back and we got married again. We still loved each other; we just knew at the time we could not be together. He sold his house and moved into my hometown where we became very active with friends and our groups. I was at my ideal weight of 128 pounds.

Symptoms begin

During March of 2007, I started feeling very tired, easily fatigued, tight chest, but since I have COPD the symptoms can be similar. Another thing that I had was severe reflux even taking Protonix & Zantax.

I went to my pneumologist and to my surprise my numbers had gone down. So my cardiologist and my internal medicine doctor coordinated some nuclear tests: the first looking for pulmonary hypertension, and then the induced stress test.

When the doctor did this I felt like I had the leg of an elephant on top of my chest and I started crying. The doctor told me to start coughing hard and injected some med's through the IV. When the pain had subsided, he explained that I had gone into a V-tach ventricular tachicardia, which can be very dangerous. Immediately an ambulance took me to a cardiac hospital right across the street and an angiogram was scheduled for the next day.

The angiogram was done, but nothing was found.

They kept me there for 6 days. One night I was tired of being in bed and I asked my husband to take me for a walk around the corridor. When we were half way, I simply could not go any further. I looked at my feet and in my mind told them to move, but they did not respond. My body did not respond. I did not fall. There was no one around.

I told my husband to get a wheelchair, that God was with me and nothing would happen. That is when I said to myself, Dear Lord, this is the sign that something is very wrong. Please help me get back to bed. I started breathing slowly, but deeply a few times, while praying and relaxing my body. The wheelchair was there and I got into bed.

Diagnosis and treatment

After my discharge I went directly to my internal medicine doctor and he saw everything. Then he said, you had a V-tach. Why it does not show, we do not know. But the nuclear study shows it and EKG shows it. Now we are going to the Father of the Catertherism in another town. We went right away and I took the film with me. He said that I could use it as a paperholder since they did not have the equipment to read it. They used newer and sophisticated equipment with micro fiber.

I was admitted and about 8:00 am went in. I could see the monitors and what they were doing. He was showing everything to me. And at last he found it... on the LAD descending artery a 90% obstruction... and the stent was placed.

They kept me overnight and in the morning you could see the difference. My face had been swollen and now it looked like a deflated balloon. My legs were always swollen.

I went home that same day and I felt so much better. A year after, I had my second one. This time I was not feeling so bad, but I knew and they found it below the first one with an 85% blockage!

The doctors explained to me the severity of keeping that artery clear and the danger of having a heart attack with that artery clogged. It supplies blood to many parts of the heart muscle.

I still need to work on the changes I need to do in my life. I am supposed to walk and I do not.

When I came back in May 25, 2008, my internal medicine doctor whom I loved and practically saved my life died in an airplane accident. I was just arriving from a cruise given as a gift from a couple who are such great friends and knew we could never afford something like that.

Facing the world

You see, we have been dealing for the last 4 years with Yolianne's illness. She is our lovable granddaughter of 6 years old and has a metabolid disorder and recently discovered celiac disease. I have tried to help our daughter as much as we can. She lost her job 3 months ago. Yolianne will not have medicines by the end of July and the Advair alone costs about $300.00 I am always looking for ways to get help for Yolianne. We need to save this little Angel and have the sources for her needs.

I have been afraid to face the world. I do not like to go out until this last month. It has been so hard, especially due to the economic situation. But I am trying to put this behind me. We have made a choice to solve our $ situation, one that I would have liked not to take, but there was no choice. The stress was too high and my health cannot take anymore!

So like baby steps, one day at a time, I am going out, my grandsons are here and we are having a ball with them (11, 7 and 6).

Please take care of your hearts! And of your health!

Tons of blessings!

Yolanda Perea

Comments for Enduring my Ventricular Tachicardia and Two Stents

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Have courage.
by: John

God bless Yolanda. You are a strong woman. Please walk and do what must be done for you and the ones who love you, like your grandkids. Do your part and leave the rest to God. I too have to deal with AFIB. I am doing all I can and leave the rest in God's hands. Offer your suffering to God, for there is a reason why you have what you have, and remember that God may bring you back like He did to Sandra. Trust fully in Him. God Bless you.

Good luck!
by: Wanda

Your story is so touching. It is hard to deal with your own health when you have family members, especially young children, with long-term illnesses or other struggles. Women particularly have that problem, I think. Still, you must remember that you can't help them if you're not around because you ignored your own health.

Take care of yourself and try to make those lifestyle changes you know you need to make. And then spend lots of years enjoying those grandchildren :)

Be Brave
by: Sandra

You have been through a such a lot, Yolanda. I hope everything goes more smoothly from here.

I understand your shock at finding out you had heart disease. I felt that way too and like you, my blockage (also 90%) was in the LAD and I reblocked at 90% within 3 months but it's now been almost 5 years since I got heart disease and so far so good so I hope you will have a similar experience.

Good luck with your dear granddaughter, and take care of yourself!

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