Hard2Kill – Heart Attack

https://anchor.fm/mrknitter/embed/episodes/Hard2Kill–Heart-Attack-e197vli

Last week (13th) I was about to leave work and go home for the day but started to feel unwell. I got into the car but did not start the engine, after a minute I decided to go back to the office as my friend and employer just happened to still be there. After a few minutes of telling her how I felt and thinking I had pulled something things started to get worse, so the decision was to take me to the hospital. I called M to tell him I was not feeling well and that I was going to the hospital. Luckily enough A&E/ER was only 1.6 miles away and I was there in no time.

The receptionist was rude and dismissive and was not interested really in my plight, shouting at me to put a mask on. At this point, I was struggling to breathe and was in mass amounts of pain and felt ready to collapse. Both my friend and I told her I needed help and both times all she was interested in was telling us that my friend could not wait with me and had to go. Luckily my friend takes no prisoners and said to me that they will have to bring security and drag her out before she will willingly leave. Within 20 minutes of being there and begging to be seen, I was taken through to triage and had my first cardiac arrest. I had a total of 4 cardiac arrests, suffered three fractured ribs from CPR, and 7 very large defibrillator shocks in order to bring me back to life. The doctor who did all that said it was a struggle to keep me alive and that I was very lucky to have been at the hospital when that happened as the timing was critical. If I had gone home I would have died on my driveway.

Once I was stable, I was taken to Liverpool Heart & Chest Hospital, which is the leading heart hospital in the UK, and again I was lucky enough to be close to it. As it was dark I was taken via ambulance at high speed to the hospital, if it was daylight I would have been transported via the helicopter. Sirens and blue lights all the way once I was there I was rushed into theatre to have an angiogram, that is a stent fitted all whilst awake. Whilst I was in Southport hospital I kept vomiting every time I was moved, which was not nice for the staff there as it was very unexpected and dare I say exorcist style. I did the same in theatre, however, the staff I managed to take out said it was not a problem as they deal with that all the time and not to stop myself as it is better out than in.

After a few minutes after me claiming down the operation began through my wrist (details below). 20 minutes later a blockage was removed and a stent fitted and I started to feel a little bit better but was still in pain with the fractured ribs. Now I was starting to stabilise I was taken to the critical care unit for my recovery. I have to admit, life in Critical Care was amazing, one on one nursing, doctors in and out many times day and night, wired up to every machine possible monitoring everything from oxygen levels, heart, pulse, blood pressure, several drips and transfusion machines and of course I was also on oxygen as my lungs were filling with fluid because my heart was not working properly.

My angiogram was through the wrist

Whilst in hospital I had many x-rays, 4 transfusions, blood was taken every day, injections into my tummy daily, and lots and lots of medication both IV and orally. I had many heart scans to determine the extent of damage my heart had sustained, unfortunately, the news was not good. I have severe damage to the left side, muscles are no longer working there, however, the other muscles are overcompensating for the damage. The doctor did show me it after the scan which was amazing to see, but worrying as I could see when he pointed out the lack of movement in the damaged part. I still have another blockage, but they said medication will get rid of that and they are not concerned at this stage. Unfortunately, it looks like the heart attack was caused through DNA as heart problems are on my maternal Welsh side, with my uncle dying of a heart attack at 31, my grandmother also at a much later age, and others. The doctor said he thinks I have a good lifestyle and this change to my life will only make things better.

I am now home after my 8 days in critical care and being honest feel quite well considering. I have been for a couple of little walks in the village and this morning we took the dogs for a little walk too. I have been signed off work for 4 weeks and not allowed to drive until 17th November, but that will be here in no time.

Next is recuperation and rehabilitation starting next week (I hope) and building my strength, counselling and more.

I am lucky to be alive and owe my life to my friend for getting me to the hospital. She has been a real champ during this as she has checked on M every day, both through visiting, calling and messaging. She took him to hers for Sunday lunch last Sunday along with the dogs to get them all out of the house. M enjoyed it a lot, and needless to say, the dogs enjoyed running about her garden.

So, onwards and upwards, here is to a fixed heart and better times to come. Pics below with captions to see changes.

Me, 1 hour 20 minutes before my heart attack.
Me 24 hours after my heart attack in Critical Care
Right arm
Left Arm
Me finally at home with M 10 days after my heart attack

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  11 comments for “Hard2Kill – Heart Attack

  1. October 24, 2021 at 3:54 pm

    I was following this through M’s updates on Instagram, and I just kept thinking of my grandmother’s heart attack, which happened when I was about 10. I think my mom was at work at the time, but my dad was home. We got a call from my grandmother (who up to this point didn’t have the best relationship with my dad, her son-in-law) saying she wasn’t feeling well, and my dad, brother, and I all rushed over to her apartment, which was about 3 miles away from our house. When we got there, we noticed she looked pale and very sweaty and tired. My dad immediately called 911 and the paramedics came and rushed her to the closest hospital, which was less than a couple of miles from her apartment. They managed to get her stabilized (I don’t think she suffered cardiac arrest at any point during this, but I’m not 100% sure), but the tests showed she required bypass surgery. She had to be transferred to another hospital over in the next county for the surgery. I was too young at the time to visit her during her stay in that hospital, so the next time I saw her was when she was taken to a rehab facility for her recovery.

    After her heart attack, she actually took the lifestyle changes very seriously (she was also diabetic, which was triggered by weight gain she experienced after quitting smoking in her early 60s), and managed to live another 7 years. Ultimately, it wasn’t heart disease or diabetes that killed her. It was cancer (believed to have originated in her spine) that developed and spread somewhat quickly.

    I sure hope you get a lot more than 7 years, and I think you will. Now is the time to rest and heal, and I wish you well in your continuing recovery.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. October 25, 2021 at 4:31 pm

    OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am stunned! I am so thankful you are going to be ok. The last photo of you and M is heartwarming. My husband had his first heart attack while in his 40’s. I thank heaven for the wonderful medical staff who came to your aide.
    May your health continue to improve. Thank you for sharing this with your online family!

    Liked by 1 person

    • October 31, 2021 at 10:36 am

      Thanks Regina, getting better each day but a long hard slog, however I’m determined to get back to normal soon.

      Liked by 1 person

      • November 1, 2021 at 4:24 pm

        You have a great attitude which in the long run will serve you well! Rest up and stay positive.
        xoxo Regina

        Like

  3. October 26, 2021 at 11:14 pm

    Such a shock to hear this and so relieved you are still here and now home again. Wishing you all the best on your road to recovery.

    Like

  4. October 27, 2021 at 9:03 am

    I remember so well all those wires and tubes when I had my valve replacement. It’s amazing how quickly you get back to normal after something like that. Glad you’re on the mend.

    Liked by 1 person

    • October 31, 2021 at 10:35 am

      Thanks Tony. It was a bit of a shock (pardon the pun) to the system and a bit hard to get used to that my body is tired after doing light exercise, but increasing a little each day. Hoping I’ll get back to walking 15-20 miles in one go.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. October 31, 2021 at 9:45 am

    I found you through Tony’s friends on rav, and saw that you had a blog going on, so I was curious – OMG what a post to start.

    Going back was such a smart decision and I’m glad that you have such good friends who had your back and saved your life. Wishing you a speedy recovery, I hope that rehabilitation is going well!

    Liked by 1 person

    • October 31, 2021 at 10:31 am

      Many thanks Julia, recovery going well, and a big welcome.

      Liked by 1 person

      • October 31, 2021 at 10:48 am

        Thank you!! I’m really happy to hear that you’re already feeling better. 🙂

        Like

  6. Sonja
    November 1, 2021 at 8:34 pm

    I read on Instagram what happened to you, but to read the long version here shocked me, if I’m honest. I’m really sorry that you experienced such an awful situation. 😦 I can imagine it’s not easy to cope with doctors telling you that you were close to death. I wish you all the best and the best possible recovery. I’m glad that you survived!

    Like

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