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Frequent Contributor
Posts: 102
Registered: ‎05-30-2011

The scare of my life…. No , is this what I think it is???

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Hello, I just recently retired after 54 years as an RN who served both as a flight nurse in the USAF, OR nurse both at the AF Academy and worked as an open heart nurse in the operating room. My Operating room experience lasted 38 years, in all specialty's , and I loved CV /THORACIC nursing. 

I retired in June. The last 4 years of my long career were in Home  Health nursing in Northern Ca.  I moved to Billings Montana in early July, leaving California for a mutltude of reasons, which is another discussion for another time

WE bought a beautiful tri level home, a lot of steps up and down. I wanted to live in other areas of Montana but Billings won out due to the medical availability's being there  over other areas.. WE are still in the process of emptying out boxes and moving stuff and getting rid of a lot of items. Having been stationed in the upper Pennisula of Michigan and growing up in Ohio, winters are not new to me. All has been going well, really well, ..... until this past Tuesday

I am in my bedroom, sitting on top of my bed. I was sorting thru clothing items that I was either going to donate or keep. All was fine.  Around 3:15 in the afternoon, I felt a "tingling" as if pins and needle sensation in my right hand. It caught my attention. THEN, I felt it in my left arm to my hand. I dropped the item of clothing in my hand and said, to my self, .... what is going on. I told myself, ... if I feel that again, Im calling 911.  Several minutes go by,,,,,  bingo... I feel that tingling( NOT PAIN) in both the right and left arm, shoulder downward and now a sensation in my jaw. OH no, this can not be!!! No, No!!!! I immediately get off the bed, go to the bathroom and CHEW 4, 81 mg of baby aspiring and I call 911. They were they within minutes.... off to the nearest ER, 8 miles away from Billings Clinic , EMS said, you have  an elevated  ST waves, that was it..... I was having a MYOCARDIAL INFARCTION, better known as a heart attack. Chest pressure noted, nitroglycerin under the tongue took the discomfort away, into the ER. 

 MY clothes were quickly taken off. Everything I am very familiar with is being hooked up onto me, 2 IVs started, EKG leads, but when the ER RN placed the defribrillator pads onto me, I started to cry......it was hitting me emotionally. History given to ER doctor , by me. I am alert and oriented, minimal shortness of breath.  Off to the cath lab, and long story short, one stent is placed. Told by the cardiologist that the coronary artery is 100% occluded, what???? 100%!!!! I spent three days in the hospital. I am doing fine. Scared, yes. But Cardiac rehab starts next week. If it had not been for my quick response, to not question what was happening, by chewing the 324 mg of baby aspirin, and of course initiating 911, I would not be here. Echocardiograms do not show any damage to the heart. My EFs( ejection fractions= pump strength of the heart to get the blood out of heart) is between 65-70% , which is great. 

 So the moral of the story, dont ever question the signs. Have that baby aspirin available in several areas of your home, kitchen, upstairs, downstairs, in the car,  ... you get the idea. I am now on 7, yes 7 new medications..... and do not drive yourself, or spouse. EMS gets you behind the nursing station, you dont want to walk into the ER if this is happening and having to explain everything with admitting, call 911. I feel really good, almost lighter in a sense. Hope this helps someone out there!!  I have never smoked in my life. I am 71 years of age, 5ft6in, 180 pounds, and do not drink alcolhol , in case you wondered!!!    MJ

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 7,363
Registered: ‎02-22-2015

Re: The scare of my life…. No , is this what I think it is???

Thanks for sharing your wonderful story! Glad you are safe and on the road to a much healthier life. Stay well for a very long time. Heart

Money screams; wealth whispers.
Honored Contributor
Posts: 8,916
Registered: ‎07-11-2010

Re: The scare of my life…. No , is this what I think it is???

Thank you for posting.  Picking up some baby aspirin today when I go to the store.  Your post was a good reminder that heart symptoms are different for women than men.  Take care and glad you are ok.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 28,965
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: The scare of my life…. No , is this what I think it is???

You are the 3rd female in this age goup that I have heard got stents in the last few weeks, all doing well. pretty scary is right !! I am also 71, quick recovery to you. 

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 5,557
Registered: ‎09-08-2010

Re: The scare of my life…. No , is this what I think it is???

Thank you for posting your experience. I'm sure it was very frightening. Good health to you. I'm so glad you're okay. The tip of keeping the baby aspiring is very helpful. 

Honored Contributor
Posts: 12,972
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: The scare of my life…. No , is this what I think it is???

Wow!  That is quite a scare!  I found myself getting more anxious as I was reading your story!

 

  I do have aspirin and have taken it if I think something might be off but since I'm not a medical professional I really don't know signs.  Even if I am feeling fine how would I really know if I have blockage or any other heart related issue?  I went to the doctor earlier this month and everything seemed fine.

 

I'm glad to hear that you are going to be okay and knew what to do to act fast.

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 5,001
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: The scare of my life…. No , is this what I think it is???

@MILKI, you are a walking, talking lesson on what to do. you paid attention to your symptoms and took immediate & appropriate action.

 

I am 72,  also a retired RN and I'm having new onset cardiac issues. instead of putting off seeing a cardiologist (I mean, who really wants to see another doctor?), I sought out a referral and had a full workup done. now I know what I'm dealing with, instead of guessing what could be going on.

 

the point here is: pay attention. don't hesitate. take action.

I'm so glad you're here to tell the tale Smiley Happy

“All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well.” St. Julian of Norwich
Respected Contributor
Posts: 3,137
Registered: ‎04-15-2014

Re: The scare of my life…. No , is this what I think it is???

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@MILKI   Thank you very much for sharing your story with us and I am so glad that with your RN background you were able to make this assessment of yourself in real time and call 911.  Your story demonstrates such intelligence, an incredible keen eye for detail,  insightfulness and compassion for yourself and others: it will stick with me and I will make sure to remember your story and those symptoms in case it ever happens in my life.  I wish you a great recovery and smooth sailing in your follow up appointments and treatments.  Your story can save someone's life and I applaud you for your honesty and bravery in going through that terrifying situation, making it through it and sharing it with all of us.  Hugs and many blessings to you and your dear and kind heart Smiley HappyHeart.  

Honored Contributor
Posts: 69,737
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: The scare of my life…. No , is this what I think it is???

@MILKI.  In relating your experience, you may have saved the life of another person.  Many of us posting here are retired seniors who need this kind of information. 

 

You were fortunate to have received prompt, competent medical care.  Now you'll start another new phase of your life, probably with some modifications to your lifestyle, but nothing you can't handle. 

 

Please come back and let us know how you're doing and best of luck to you.

New Mexico☀️Land Of Enchantment
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 7,812
Registered: ‎05-08-2010

Re: The scare of my life…. No , is this what I think it is???

@MILKI  Thank you for sharing your experience.  A wake up call to all of us.

 

May I ask if you had/have elevated cholesterol and triglycerides?  Sometimes you wonder if they are the real measuring stick for future problems.  

 

OT My DH was stationed in the upper peninsula in the late 60's.  He was in the AirForce.  That base is no longer there.

Fear not Brothers and Sisters! I have read THE BOOK..........we win!!!