Fw: Re: Chest Pain?
- From my friend David... this is the real deal. Not handwaving or tweaked for sensationalism.Be careful out there....
From: David Wright
Subject: Re: Chest Pain?
Date: Fri, 27 Jul 2012 15:10:52 -0500From my Heart - July 2012by David WrightHaving survived quadruple bypass heart surgery two weeks ago, I would like to share some of what I have learned.Three years ago I had a heart catheterization, this procedure allows the doctor to see the blood flow in vessels around the heart. At that time I had two areas of blockage neither of which required further treatment. I have taken various cholesterol drugs for years whose purpose is to prevent plaque build-up (the blockages). While I have had excellent cholesterol numbers, clearly the drug didn’t live up to expectations.My wife (Sue) and I began riding our bicycles in early June 2012 to get into better shape for a biking trip. I expected some shortness of breath, after all I hadn’t been riding our 11 mile loop for many months. We continued this training loop each week but my breathing wasn’t improving and I began to notice a bit of very light pressure at the top center of my chest. As my breathing came back toward normal, the pressure disappeared. That pressure on the chest was very light, about like someone just laying their hand there; not pain in the usual sense, you just knew it was there.On July 4th, I began to struggle riding the last mile or so home which is all uphill. Sue asked if I was OK? For the first time, I mentioned the light pressure on my chest and shortness of breath. She reminded me that the cardiologist want to know of any chest pain. Looking back, clearly, I’d been in denial and it was time to contact him.Let’s talk about pain for a moment. To me pain is like hitting your finger with a hammer; that hurts a lot for some period of time. What I have learned is that any abnormal discomfort is pain which medical folks often ask you to rate on a scale of one to ten. During my hospitalization I may have said the pain was as high as 4 once to be sure they gave me some pain medication.Resuming the story, on Thursday, July 5 I called my doctor’s office asking for an appointment due to mild chest discomfort the previous day. My appointment was for the next Wednesday. In addition I was advised not to do anything too strenuous and if the pain/discomfort returned I should go to the Emergency Room.When I saw the cardiologist that next Wednesday, we talked. The end result was that he scheduled me for a heart catheterization with another doctor at the Heart Hospital. He knew it was highly likely that either a stent or surgery would be needed and wanted me in the best location with the best personnel at hand. I knew things were urgent when I was scheduled for this just two days later. Wouldn’t you know that would be Friday the 13th, at 10:30 AM.Catheter procedure started right on time. When I woke up about Noon, the doctor had me look at the video of the procedure. He then told me the blockage of the left descending anterior artery was 98 or 99% and we needed to do surgery immediately; which they did.That day I was blessed with miracles. One is that I have lived to tell this story. The second is that I appear to have no damage to the heart muscle. Therefore, recovery is going very well. A third could be that a surgeon and surgical suite were available along with all the other required skilled personnel. Thanks be to God!If you learn just one thing from me, let it be this. Any (and I shout: ANY) discomfort around your heart is cause for concern especially if you have never felt that before. Get medical attention. Who cares if they send you home saying it is just heartburn; it might have been a heart attack or a close call.
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