Showing posts with label health issues. Show all posts
Showing posts with label health issues. Show all posts

Friday, October 8, 2010

Women & Heart Attacks

Thought this was worthy of passing along -

Did you know that women rarely have the same dramatic symptoms that men have when experiencing heart attack .... You know, the sudden stabbing pain in the chest, the cold sweat, grabbing the chest & dropping to the floor that we see in the movies. Here is the story of one woman's experience with a heart attack.

'I had a heart attack at about 10 :30 PM with NO prior exertion, NO prior emotional trauma that one would suspect might've brought it on. I was sitting all snugly & warm on a cold evening, with my purring cat in my lap, reading an interesting story my friend had sent me, and actually thinking, 'A-A-h, this is the life, all cozy and warm in my soft, cushy Lazy Boy with my feet propped up..

A moment later, I felt that awful sensation of indigestion, when you've been in a hurry and grabbed a bite of sandwich and washed it down with a dash of water, and that hurried bite seems to feel like you've swallowed a golf ball going down the esophagus in slow motion and it is most uncomfortable. You realize you shouldn't have gulped it down so fast and needed to chew it more thoroughly and this time drink a glass of water to hasten its progress down to the stomach. This was my initial sensation---the only trouble was that I hadn't taken a bite of anything since about5:00 p.m.

After it seemed to subside, the next sensation was like little squeezing motions that seemed to be racing up my SPINE (hind-sight, it was probably my aorta spasming), gaining speed as they continued racing up and under my sternum (breast bone, where one presses rhythmically when administering CPR).

This fascinating process continued on into my throat and branched out into both jaws..... 'AHA!! NOW I stopped puzzling about what was happening -- we all have read and/or heard about pain in the jaws being one of the signals of an MI happening, haven't we? I said aloud to myself and the cat, Dear God, I think I'm having a heart attack!

I lowered the footrest dumping the cat from my lap, started to take a step and fell on the floor instead. I thought to myself, If this is a heart attack, I shouldn't be walking into the next room where the phone is or anywhere else .. But, on the other hand, if I don't, nobody will know that I need help, and if I wait any longer I may not be able to get up in moment.

I pulled myself up with the arms of the chair, walked slowly into the next room and dialed the Paramedics .. I told her I thought I was having a heart attack due to the pressure building under the sternum and radiating into my jaws. I didn't feel hysterical or afraid, just stating the facts. She said she was sending the Paramedics over immediately, asked if the front door was near to me, and if so, to unbolt the door and then lie down on the floor where they could see me when they came in.

I unlocked the door and then laid down on the floor as instructed and lost consciousness, as I don't remember the medics coming in, their examination, lifting me onto a gurney or getting me into their ambulance, or hearing the call they made to St. Jude ER on the way, but I did briefly awaken when we arrived and saw that the Cardiologist was already there in his surgical blues and cap, helping the medics pull my stretcher out of the ambulance. He was bending over me asking questions (probably something like 'Have you taken any medications?') but I couldn't make my mind interpret what he was saying, or form an answer, and nodded off again, not waking up until the Cardiologist and partner had already threaded the teeny angiogram balloon up my femoral artery into the aorta and into my heart where they installed 2 side by side stents to hold open my right coronary artery.

'I know it sounds like all my thinking and actions at home must have taken at least 20-30 minutes before calling the Paramedics, but actually it took perhaps 4-5 minutes before the call, and both the fire station and St. Jude are only minutes away from my home, and my Cardiologist was already told to go to the OR in his scrubs and get going on restarting my heart (which had stopped somewhere between my arrival and the procedure) and installing the stents.

'Why have I written all of this to you with so much detail? Because I want all of you who are so important in my life to know what I learned first hand.'
1. Be aware that something very different is happening in your body not the usual men's symptoms but inexplicable things happening (until my sternum and jaws got into the act). It is said that many more women than men die of their first (and last) MI because they didn't know they were having one and commonly mistake it as indigestion, take some Maalox or other anti-heartburn preparation and go to bed, hoping they'll feel better in the morning when they wake up ....... which doesn't happen. My female friends, your symptoms might not be exactly like mine, so I advise you to call the Paramedics if ANYTHING is unpleasantly happening that you've not felt before. It is better to have a 'false alarm' visitation than to risk your life guessing what it might be!

2. Note that I said 'Call the Paramedics.' And if you can take an asprin.. Ladies, TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE! Do NOT try to drive yourself to the ER - you are a hazard to others on the road. Do NOT have your panicked husband who will be speeding and looking anxiously at what's happening with you instead of the road.

Do NOT call your doctor -- he doesn't know where you live and if it's at night you won't reach him anyway, and if it's daytime, his assistants (or answering service) will tell you to call the Paramedics. He doesn't carry the equipment in his car that you need to be saved! The Paramedics do, principally OXYGEN that you need ASAP. Your Dr. will be notified later.

3. Don't assume it couldn't be a heart attack because you have a normal cholesterol count. Research has discovered that a cholesterol elevated reading is rarely the cause of an MI (unless it's unbelievably high and/or accompanied by high blood pressure). MIs are usually caused by long-term stress and inflammation in the body, which dumps all sorts of deadly hormones into your system to sludge things up in there Pain in the jaw can wake you from a sound sleep. Let's be careful and be aware. The more we know, the better chance we could survive.

Friday, March 19, 2010

A little of this and that

Whew!  What a crazy busy day!  Remember  a couple of months ago when I had that spot floating around in my right eye and the eye dr. told me it was a sign of aging and was called a vitreous detachment??  Well, yesterday, I noticed with my LEFT eye, a cobweb like matter floating around in my field of vision and a couple of times, a few light flashes.  I remembered that the eye dr. had asked me if I had seen any light flashes with the right eye when I was there last month and I had not.  So this morning, I was able to get in to see the doctor right away.  Turns out, this cob-webby thing is blood.  Doesn't sound too good, huh? Last month when I saw the eye dr, my vision in my left eye was 20/20 ... today it was 2/40.   I am going to see a retina specialist in Charlotte next Friday.  This could mean that the vitreous is pulling away from the retina or that the retina itself is becoming dislodged from the inner back of the eye that contains blood, nutrients and oxygen vital to healthy function. When the retina is torn, vitreous can invade the opening and push out the retina — leading to a detachment.  Right now, my eye dr. doesn't see that but he wants to be safe than sorry.  Yeah - me too!  What I've read about this is:   "A study reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association in late 2009 found that sudden presence of eye floaters and flashes means that one in seven people with these symptoms will have a retinal tear or detachment. And up to 50 percent of people with a retinal tear will have a subsequent detachment."   So,  if you believe in the power of prayer, please say a prayer for me this week.  I'm really pretty scared.  And I just hate that there is nothing I can do but wait.

On to happier topics!  Today was the first day for my Stamp Club.  I had 7 ladies and they really enjoyed stamping.  I just need to remember to make simple cards!!  They really don't know anything about stamping and that's hard for me to remember when I was like that!  But, really, the most challenging thing to them was tying the bows!!!  We did 2 cards and a little Easter basket.  Unfortunately, I only remembered to take a picture of one card and I gave my samples away!  I am going to make the other card and the basket tomorrow for one of the ladies who was out of town so I will share it with you then.  Here is the first card we made.  I wanted them to know watercoloring because I think you can get a really pretty look very easy by using watercolor pencils or crayons.

This uses the stamp set, Abundent Blessings from the Occasions Mini Catalog.

I also colored this panel in different colors to give them another idea of how to do their flowers:

Most of them just did the yellow flowers but I did have one lady who "stepped out of the box" and did multi-colored flowers.

After the ladies left, Sonny and I hopped in the car to meet a group of his Golden Boy members at the movies.  We saw "The Green Zone" - a real action packed movie.  The focus of 'Green Zone' is on the early stages of the 2003 US Iraq invasion.  The war being fought in the film is more between the Pentagon and the CIA than the US vs Iraq which makes it all the more interesting and the film allows you to see things from Iraq's perspective for a change.  No matter what your view is of the Iraqi war, this film will make you think as it deals with looking for the non-existant WMD (Weapons of Mass Destruction.)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Getting Old, Jeff Reed and Monday Mailer .... all in one!

I've decided that I don't like getting OLD!!  But I guess it beats the alternative until someone finds a fountain of youth SOON!!  Last night, I noticed a spot floating around in front of my right eye.  I got pretty scared after my eye problems from a few years ago.  For those who don't know, a couple of years ago, I woke up one morning and the vision in my right eye just wasn't right.  I went to my opthamologist who examined me and eventually referred me to a specialist who examined me, did some tests and referred me to another specialist.  This took about 3-4 weeks.  The final Retina Specialist determined that I had suffered a small Retina Artery Occlusion (or retina stroke).  A portion of my center vision was lost.  It really bothered me quite a bit at first but over the years, I've gotten used to it.  So, first thing this morning, I called my eye doctor and begged to me squeezed in to his appointments today.  After dilating my eyes and examining me, he told me it was called a Vitreous Detachment.  These clumps occur when the vitreous gel begins to liquefy or shrink, usually with aging, and detaches from the retina.  A couple of friends have told me that they also have these and eventually, I will get used to them and not notice them.  So, along with not having central vision, I now have a floating spot! 

Ashley returned from her cruise today.  She was cruising to sunny, warm Cozumel!  She said the temperature highs were maybe 50 degrees and it was windy, cold and rainy!  But, she still had a good time.  She has taken this cruise for 4 years.  It is called the Rock Boat Cruise and is hosted by Sister Hazel (a band).  A bunch of other bands are on board and I believe it is a virtual rockfest!  She was hoarse when I spoke with her this afternoon so I believe a good time was had by all.  And to top it off, she called me again tonight and was UBER EXCITED!  She and her friends were having dinner in Tampa and Jeff Reed .... the Pittsburgh Steelers KICKER was sitting at the table next to her!  Well, folks, she is as big a fan of the Steelers as anyone!  She went over and told him she was a super fan and could she have a picture please!  I can't wait to see the picture!  The only thing better would have been to have Big Ben sitting there too with Hines Ward!

OK - I do have a card to share with you.  I received this Valentine card last week from my Monday Mailer partner.  Yes, our program has started up for January.  Our theme this month is Hearts and Flowers.  I'm hoping to get some good ideas for some heart cards.   I really like this card and I don't have this flower but I have always admired it.  (NO .... I don't need more flower stamps!!)

Tomorrow I am expecting a delivery from Stampin' Up.  Unfortunately, I have a busy day and may not get time to play with my new goodies!  I have a mammogram in the a.m.; then taking my Mom to lunch.  Then we are going to hear a program put on my Newcomers group from a Cardiologist.  And tomorrow night, I have Bunco!  I'm making up for lost time!!