Saturday, March 28, 2009

Sheer Heart Attack (alas, no Daring Bakers)

(part of my new cookbook collection...)

Yes, my internet friends, I haven't fallen off the face of the earth and there is no Daring Bakers March Challenge to be found in this post. Why? Well, things have been quite interesting here at Ch├ęz Hatch of late....

My 49 year old DH was driving to work and he felt like he had indigestion, so he stopped for a Chick-fil-A chicken biscuit. That didn't help. He then felt like he was wearing about 4 or 5 layers of shirts and that they were all bunchy at the elbows and about 10 sizes too small (aka: squeezing in the chest and arms). He got to work and tried to lay down to see if that would help his "indigestion" which by now in his head had morphed into "The Flu" since he was now also nauseous and sweating. When his flu and indigestion didn't improve, one of his co-workers asked him if he needed to go to the hospital. He said he was ok and to give it a minute. After a minute and when he refused to take a call from one of his important clients, the co-worker told him "That's it. You're going to the hospital. Now."

So, my DH gets to the emergency room. One of the nurses came out of the back, took one look at him and hustled him back to the triage area at which point he was relieved of his shirt, hooked up to a bunch of monitors, had an EKG, and IV with blood thinners pumped in.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I get a call from one of the company's owners telling me that my DH has been taken to the hospital with chest pain and she thought I needed to go there now. I called school, arranged for the hatchlings, tried to call other people to no avail, resolved to cancel T-Mobile as soon as the contract is up in May (no bars my damn a**) and waited for the calm to wash over me. It did.

I met with the doctors in the triage room and they told me that they were going to take him to the Cath Lab and take a look to see what was going on. The main doctor came out after about 45 minutes and told me that he was all done. Huh? How is he? What did you find? Will he have to have surgery? When will you operate??? Um, Mrs. Hatch, it's all done. Really all done.

Modern medicine is so amazing. They fixed him up completely in that 45 minutes. They ran a cathater (cath) up through the artery which runs from your groin to your heart and took x-rays. They found that the main artery which runs down the front of his heart and one of it's tributaries was completely blocked at the junction point. If he had gotten to the hospital 15 to 30 minutes later there would have been a completely different outcome. {shudder} Via the catheter, the doctor took "a balloon with little knives on it" and roto-rootered out the tributary and put a stent in the other. I saw my DH shortly afterwards and he was awake for the procedure (thanks to the chicken biscuit they couldn't knock him out since he had food in his stomach). They officially admitted him and took him upstairs to the heartcare floor. The nurses all thought he was going home the next day and kept trying to convince us of that opinion, but the doctor kept him for an extra day. There were probably more tests and monitoring to be done, but secretly, I think that the doctor wanted to make a real impression on my DH and kept him the extra day so that it wouldn't feel like a drive-through lifesaving. (I'll have a medicated stent please, and hold the onion.)

Bottom line is that he is fine and that he knows that he has some serious lifestyle changes to make including dates with the nutritionist, physical therapist, sleep apnea/sleep center people and maybe a yogi. Unfortunately nagging wives don't have the same impact as a cosmic 2x4 wakeup call up-side the head. A nagging wife with a real 2x4 might be a different story though.

Please learn the warning signs for heart attack and stroke. Heart attack symptoms are different between men and women. Please learn what the different risk factors are for heart disease and resolve to make better choices, especially if you have more than one risk factor. Listen to your nagging wife, husband, partner, friend or child. Please. You matter.

I may be MIA for a little while longer, but we're all doing well here and taking baby steps on the road to a new heart-healthy life. For those of you who knew about this and who have been supporting us, who brought us dinner, offered childcare, kept us in your prayers and more, thank you. Thank you from the bottom of MY heart.

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