Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Have a Heart


Last Thursday the Hubster and I went to our favorite little dive for Chinese food. On the way home, the conversation went like this:
Hub - "So, what are your plans tonight."
Me - "Nothing. I'm gonna kick off my shoes and relax."
Hub - "What would you think about spending some time at ER?"
Okay, this is serious. He'd mentioned the previous Friday that his lungs ached and he figured it was a new form of heartburn. He'd just downed a few chicken hotdogs on bread for a snack. The following week he'd experienced a bit of the same thing off and on. Now on our way home, he said it was getting uncomfortable. He figured he'd dash in, get some antacid pills and be on his way.
Since the hospital is about a quarter mile from where we live, he had me drop him off while I drove home with the leftovers for the fridge. By the time I came back and parked - maybe around 15 minutes, he was already in a room with blood drawn for testing. He's been in ER twice before in the course of 5 years with pains in his chest, but this time he got the red carpet treatment. Maybe they looked at his face and knew this was serious. And this is the first time they did the blood test. Before, he had the standard EKG, and lots of questions. The last time, they kept him overnight for observation and a stress test and pronounced him healthy.
The blood test came back positive for a cardiac enzyme that says heart distress.
He was having a heart attack.
I made the mistake of asking the ER doctor if it was a minor heart attack. Bless his heart, he came around the bed, leaned over towards me and with his very serious doctor voice said, "ma'am, there is no such thing as a minor heart attack." He went on to say that they come in two styles, one can be detected by the external tests, stress, EKG - the ones that monitor the rhythims of the heart. The other, they call the silent ones. The heart looks normal on paper, beats normal and strong, but the arteries are not getting the blood they need. He said these are the deadly ones.
So, we figured that the other 2 times we went to the ER, Hubster's heart was telling him, "hey we have issues here - just giving you the heads-up." But they didn't test his blood for the enzyme.
By midnight, he was shipped to telemetry for a possible heart catheterization.
I left around 2:30AM and returned at 7:30AM to see what the new day held.
Next time - Hospital Tours.

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