On October 26 I had a heart attack. It was 10pm and a friend had come over for dinner, she was getting ready to depart as I started to feel sick. She left and at 10:10pm I sat down in a chair in our formal living room. At this point pain was radiating from my chest into my back, my shirt was drenched in sweat, and my left arm felt as if a team of horses were trying to pull it from my body.
My husband asked what was wrong and I didn't know what to say. I told him he would need to call 911 or take me to the ER, whatever we decided it needed to happen soon. As he reached for his phone I got up, put my shoes on and got in the car. We left our house at 10:22pm headed for Baptist Medical Center. We arrived in about 10 minutes. I walked into the ER and they immediately took me to a triage room. After placing 30 stickers on me to get all my rates, rythms, and oura's, they moved me to a different area of the ER. That's were the doctor came in and said I had had a heart attack and I would be making a visit to the cath lab in about 40 minutes. What? I had a heart attack? I had turned 45 on September 29th, this isn't possible. I turned to my husband and said, you are going to have to call Mom and Susan.
As they rolled me into the cath lab I remember my Mom and Dad going through this same process, minus the heart attack. A doctor with a fanny pack and six (I think it was six) amazing nurses prepared me for the treatment that would provide me with yet another warranty card to keep up with. It didn't take long, but I was awake for the whole process as the doctor placed two stents in my left anterior decending artery, also known as the widow maker. The LAD is the largest coronary artery and mine had two blockages, one at 80% and one at 99%. As I laid there after the procedure one of the nurses asked how I got to the hospital. I explained my husband drove me. She explained, in only the way a nurse can, that if this ever happens again I need to dial 911 immediately. She explained that if we had been ten more minutes I would have died. Now that makes you think.
My husband called my Mom and Susan that night in the ER. Susan and I have worked together for eight years. She is a HR professional, a mom, and just a damn great person. It was late when she got the call, and I knew that she would know what to do and who needed to be called the next morning. Susan, my boss, and a few others knew what happened. Some may be reading this and learning of it for the first time. How? Didn't anyone notice I was gone? That's the beauty of it, that's the true test. IF I had died that night my team has what it takes to move forward. They may not have all the information, but they know how to get it or whom to call. They know they can rely on each other for counsel and decision making. So do they need me? I hope so! HA! The idea is I've done my job as a leader. I believe I've created a group of people who can function together even if I'm not around. I'm so thankful to work with these people each and every day.
My doctor sat down next to my bed before he released me on my second day in the hospital, he said "You are very blessed to be here." That statement sits at the front of my brain; I am blessed to be here and so thankful for the people in my life. The doctors and nurses at Integris Baptist Medical Center did an amazing job and I'm so thankful for them. They are true professionals.
How am I? I'm okay. I'm getting better every day. I'm on some new medication and I start cardiac rehab next week. I'm ready to start working out again, I hope that will get my body moving and give me more energy. I'm being brave, and it's hard some days. Life in general has a bit different meaning these days, but I'll save that for another post.
It wouldn't be right if I didn't give a quick PSA for heart health. In 2018 I lost weight and started exercising regularly. Cholesterol and triglycerides are genetically crappy in my family. If you haven't had your annual physical, please do that. Get your labs done and specifically ask your doctor about your cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL and HDL. All these things play a big part in heart health. I had a cardiologist who I thought had things under control. On September 13, 2021, he gave me a clean bill of health. Let's just say he's not my cardiologist anymore.
Just a quick shout out to those who have checked on me, made me laugh (no matter how painful that was for the first few days after) and made me count my blessings:
1. My husband, whom I scared the shit out of....I admit this.
2. The car guys.
3. My work folks.
4. My amazing friends.
5. Lindsey who probably saved my life by making sure I wasn't in bed by 9:30p. :-)