Finally sitting down for the first real moment of peace that I have had in the past 48 hours. I’m here at the hospital with mom and the floor is quiet. It’s past visiting hours and everyone has gone home. I’m spending the night again to keep an eye on mom since she had her procedure this morning. I’m hoping that tonight will be more quiet than the last. Last night we were kept up all night with frequent blood draws, constant vitals, and alarms and monitors going off at all hours of the night. I think I got about 30 mins of sleep. About 7 am I finally said enough is enough and got up for the day. I went down to the café for breakfast and came back to the room to help mom eat her heart healthy oatmeal. The nurse came in and explained the catheterization procedure to my mom and said that it looked like she would be on the schedule some time after lunch. After being here with 2 days and no shower because the hot water in the room isn’t working, I was sent home by my mom to shower. Of course by the time I get home, and as soon as I stepped out of the shower, I get the call saying that she is in prep and her procedure has been moved up. I barely had time to put on clothes and totally forgot the deodorant. I ran like a mad woman out of the house after kissing my husband with soaking wet hair and completed a 35 minute drive in about 20 minutes. By the time I made it up to the room, she was gone. Her nurse came in saying that she was looking for me because they had just taken mom back about 15 minutes prior. All I could do was wait in the room. And about an hour later, they brought her back to the room and her doctor came in to tell me exactly what they found. Her little chest pain wasn’t pneumonia of course, which I knew. The doctor showed me the following pictures…….
The picture to the left was before her cath procedure. She had a 100% blockage in her right arterial artery and a partial tear in the arterial wall. The picture on the right is after the procedure with a stent put in. Needless to say if she hadn’t been forced to the ER she would more than likely be dead. Her “pneumonia”, “asthma”, “allergies”, “just a cough” turned out being a mild heart attack from a totally blocked artery. Not good. Take note ladies. She has been experiencing chest pain and shortness of breath for awhile now. She chalked it up to having the flu at Christmas, getting older, the seasons changing, and about every other thing she could think of. She didn’t think that the pain in her chest and her back hurting was a sign of a heart attack. But it was. When she told me how bad she felt I made her immediately come to the hospital. I knew something was seriously wrong. This wasn’t normal, this wasn’t ageing, this was a cardiac event. My message to everyone reading this, especially women, is that a heart attack doesn’t discriminate. It doesn’t matter how old you are, what your genetics are, if you’re male or female, thin or thick. You could run on a treadmill or barely walk up the stairs. You could eat barbeque for lunch every Tuesday or drink only kale and banana smoothies. None of it matters. Your heart doesn’t give a shit about any of that stuff. Does some of it help?? Oh sure. But there are so many factors that go into having heart health. Take Bob Greene for example. One of the lead trainers from the tv show “Biggest Loser”. He has followed a health lifestyle for years. Then one day he was at the gym running on the treadmill and he just completely fell out. Turns out he had a “widow maker” blockage and nothing could have prevented it. His healthy lifestyle put a cardiac event off a lot longer than it would have been if he had not been so vigilant but ultimately his genetics got the best of him. And that’s my point. I’m sitting here in this chair writing this watching my mom recover in bed knowing damned well that she and I share the same genetic heart condition. And lately I’ve been lax as hell about my health. Not to mention I also suffer from an autoimmune condition, gastroparesis (slow emptying of the stomach), and food allergies. It could be me next in that bed. So yeah this is a total wake up call. I need to change before things change me against my will and wishes. I mean why not now? My whole life has been a total roller coaster this past year. Time to start controlling how and when I ride.
Oh and to add fuel to the fire? My realtor texted me today about the farm. Remember how we walked away because of the soil quality and the family dynamic about the land? Well the family had a fit and were heartbroken that we were walking away. They want to see our organic farm dream come to fruition. And so do we. They are willing to negotiate either price or soil amendments to keep us happy and ensure our plans with their family farm becomes a reality. Talk about a whirlwind of emotions. I can’t keep up with all that’s going on in my life lately. But if I’m totally real…I cried today when she texted me that. My husband and I gave up on a dream when we decided to walk away. Sure this may now take longer to get what we want but hey…..they say the best things in life are worth waiting for right?
Here’s to hoping I sleep tonight.