My Heart and Monorail Stent...

by Marie
(Maryland, USA)

We must trust our instincts. I've been losing energy and feeling fatigued for several years. I nap every day when I come home from work. I've been tested for thyroid disease, Vitamin D deficiency, sleep apnea, and I've even had a stress test and EKG in the last year. In the past few months I've had difficulty going up a flight of stairs, and sometimes have trouble getting a good, deep breath.


I am a 49-year old woman. In the evening on December 15, 2010 I had discomfort, or sensation in my mid-back on the right side, like a soreness or muscle ache. I had two episodes that lasted no more than five or ten minutes. It slightly referred to my right neck/jaw but I didn't think that much of it because when I'm stressed out I clench my teeth at night and it passed quickly. The next day I had the ache in my back again and the pain went up my right side and to my eye. I thought it was a migraine. Over the weekend, I was fatigued and achy, the discomfort on and off, but it was making me anxious.

11 p.m. Monday night Dec. 20, the discomfort turned to pain that felt like a "brain freeze" in my back, I was nauseous, anxious and clammy. I thought for sure I had some intestinal issues...or gall bladder or kidney. I went to the emergency room, and they drew blood and ran an EKG (which they said was normal). My cardiac enzymes came back slightly elevated, and because of that, they admitted me. Cardiac enzyme tests are run every 8 hours for at least three cycles. They did a chest x-ray, CT scan with contrast to check for blood clots, and an ultrasound of my organs - all normal. The second enzyme test was elevated a little more, but the third one was down lower than the first, so they released me with instructions to follow up with my primary care physician and a cardiologist for a stress test with contrast. The cardiologist couldn't get me in until January 3, but on the 23rd I saw a fill-in PCP for my doctor who is on maternity leave.

He was skeptical of the emergency dept ordering all the tests they did..."running up the insurance bill." On my diagnosis he wrote "Headache, Mixed Tension," and prescribed a combo anti-anxiety/muscle relaxer to "get me through the holidays." As I left the office, he told me to get a massage; which I did that afternoon. Well, Christmas Eve into Christmas Day was the worst. I had the pain for at least 2 hours straight in the middle of the night. I know now I should have gone back to the ED then, but I suffered through it waiting for the muscle relaxers to work. Around 10 pm Christmas night I went back to the hospital.

I was taken immediately for an EKG which showed changes. The ED doctor told me he was calling a Code Heart and the Cardiac Intervention Team immediately came into place (like eight people) and a CI Specialist was called in. Within minutes I had oxygen, IV lines in both arms, cardiac leads and De-Fib pads on me, and the pulse points in my feet and ankles marked. Everything moved VERY fast and my blood pressure went to 210/170. The CI doctor arrived and took me to the cath lab for an angiogram. Next thing I know, I woke up in ICU and was told I had been in the midst of a heart attack, I had a 99% blockage in my left anterior descending artery and that a stent was put in. There is no doubt in my mind that this doctor saved my life.

So, now I begin let all this sink in, and to heal. On echo my heart function shows "near" normal but has damage on the heart walls. This could resolve, or not. I will be off work for at least three weeks. No strenuous activity, no housework, no lifting, etc. Denial is big; acceptance is hard. Even though I'm well aware of my family history of heart disease, I guess there was always a part of me that thought I'd avoid it until I was at least in my 60's, which is when my parents experienced their first cardiac events. I believe strongly in the body/mind connection, so I'm trying to think positive thoughts and send lots of love and acceptance to my new stent. I am optimistic that I will soon feel better than before and have more energy, which I've been lacking for years. I accept ALL good thoughts and prayers. It has been proven that people who are prayed for recover and heal faster than those who are not. It's been a very emotional time for me, my family, and friends.

Comments for My Heart and Monorail Stent...

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to Janet
by: Anonymous

Hi Janet - Thanks for your prayers and well wishes! I'm just wondering, with the changes in your EKGs, high blood pressure and family history...has your doctor every suggested an angiogram? Your symptoms sound an awful lot like mine, and my first EKG was "normal." Before this incident, I even had two EKGs and a stress test within the last year that were "normal." God bless you; I'm not trying to be an alarmist, but better to catch something before it happens. Good for you for following doctor's orders and making healthy life style changes. Me too!!!

to your heart and stent!
by: janet

this was a very compelling story. i will pray for you so you can add that to your healing!

A few years ago i had very similar symptoms. the ache would start in my middle back... move up to my jaw, go down my left arm and plant itself in the left/middle of my chest. it would build up to a horrible pain, nausea, dizziness, then slowly it would "leave my body" just as it came! it would last anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes and i would have episodes like that on and off for about 6 months. i had gone to the er numerous times. my ekg always showed changes, my b/p sky rocketed, my pulse would be very irregular which showed both atrial and ventricular irregularities. i was admitted and all the standard tests were done which all came back normal. i too was released and followed up with my cardiologist. i didn't have a heart attack evidentally..i was sent to a neurologist for tests on my nerves and spinL cord, which also came back normal..so to this day i don't know what caused the pain. i have had them on a few other occasions..but so far i'm still here!!!!
i am being treated for the hypertension, which is still high most of the time..and i just pray these pains don't start again...they seem to come and go every few months. have no clue what they are because each time i get them, there are changes in my ekg. i too have family history of heart disease...my parents and all 4 grandparents had attacks or strokes in their 50's and my dad had angina and a mild heart attack in his late 40's. i will be 60 this year.. so i consider myself lucky not to have had anything that serious to date. but i know it could happen...that is why i follow up with my dr on a regular basis, take my meds. follow a good lifestyle , eat pretty good quit smoking finally! and hope for the best. so i hope you get to the point of accepting what happened and use it as a wake up call to better health. good luck to you.

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