Heart of Mine – Part 1

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Dear Heart of Mine, Part 1

Happy Heart

         I heard your cry during my daily walk and made an appointment with my doctor to help interpret your message.

He told me to stop walking on my favorite hills and to rest when you shouted out to me.  He didn’t ask you anything and decided not to perform the standard ECG test because it would be difficult to translate.

ECG          Instead he focused on unconfirmed medical diagnoses and gave me a machine to measure my blood sugar. He signed me up for a food class without learning of my current heart healthy diet.

         Over the next few weeks you continued to shout out to me.

heartacheI responded as instructed by the doctor until I could no longer walk without your interruptions.  I reported your odd utterances to friends hoping for some insights.  Everyone advised I visit a doctor &/or contact the emergency response system – 911.

         The concept of calling 911 every time you spoke felt extreme to me and expensive ($1,000 +/ call).  You always quieted after a few minutes anyway.

I was not ignoring you.  I didn’t know it was you.

         I began searching for a new doctor – one that would listen to you.  There are only a few medical practices in my community open to new patients.  I eventually received an appointment four weeks in the future.

While waiting for my appointment, I stopped walking and reduced my physical activities.  You were quiet and I was pain free.

I also researched the emergency care facilities in my community.  I learned that Urgent Care centers did not treat chest pain and hospital emergency rooms (ER) are the destination of choice.

ER

They have the most experience in interpreting the heart’s language. I arranged for a neighbor to drive me to the ER, if needed.

Prepared, I focused on waiting to meet my new doctor.

       One evening after dinner you began protesting in a new language that felt a lot like I had eaten too much.  I took some antacids and lay down to sleep.

You woke me at 2 AM screaming.  My body felt hot, sweaty and nauseated.  Did I have the flu?

In response to my attentiveness, my chest felt a stabbing pain that moved down both arms and up my neck.

heart_attack1 

      I finally heard you and knew what to do.   It was time to visit the ER.

8 responses »

  1. Do hope you’ve received the treatment you need. Reading your bog was excruciating as I recognised all the signs ( not my experience but my husband’s)
    Did you need some stents? or have you had some other treatment. I shall be on tenterhooks for your next installment. best wishes…

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    • Thanks Valerie for the best wishes. I too observed my exhusband’s MI. I dragged him to the hospital despite his protest and even watched his angiogram/stent procedure. Though the outcome may look the same, my experience as a women without an advocate felt so different.
      I hope to post part 2 today. 🙂

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  2. I’d like to talk about how much I liked the technique you used to write this post, speaking directly to your heart, but my first concern is your health. How are you now? Since this is Part One I assume you’ll be updating us soon. My prayers and well wishes are with you.

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  3. How are you? (I don’t check my email often. It’s hit or miss. Call me when you’re able, 7202343333
    YOU HAVE TO BE YOUR OWN ADVOCATE AND DOCTOR, TO SOME EXTENT)
    Sharon Gately is now a physician’s assistant, but had been a practicing nurse for over 20 years, including for a cardiologist (and picked up things they didn’t). Not sure her number, but look her up and call her! Mention my name (mom of one of Shane’s close friends growing up and had lived on same street as my father).

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    • My clinician experience says:
      TO EVERY EXTENT ! Women’s hearts and ovaries are largely misdiagnosed, even in 2013.
      Great technology (angiograms through the wrist ) don’t make up for sloppy differential diagnosis for a women’s presentation.
      Glad you’re around and blogging intact, sis 🙂

      Like

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