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I'm Radioactive and I didn't have a Heart Attack!
Old 10-02-2011, 10:22 AM   #1
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I'm Radioactive and I didn't have a Heart Attack!

Last Thursday afternoon, after having a pain in my left arm since I got out of bed, I felt what was like a non-burning, indigestion feeling in my chest which I described as vague discomfort, not pain. I had slept on my arm wrong during the night. I remember waking up to arm pain and numbness in my arm in the middle of the night so I was not concerned about the left arm pain. Once I got the sensation in the middle of my chest I looked up heart attack symptoms on the web. Since I have high risk of heart attack after having diabetes for 51 years (cured in '96 by a pancreas and kidney transplant but I still have all the damage) those two symptoms were a big deal together.

So I called 911 and got the rural fire department to send an ambulance to take me to the hospital. They advised me to chew an aspirin which I did. I couldn't drive myself as I had earlier taken Percocets for nerve pains in my foot. Percocets are a go-to med for me. I use them three to four times a week for pain so this was not unusual.

I printed out my two page medical history and my full page med list of 18 prescriptions for the ambulance guys and the emergency room.

When the ambulance pulled up to my house in the country I walked outside and told them I was the one they were here for and locked my front door. They were amused that I was so calm and walking around. I climbed into the ambulance on my own and sat on a stretcher. They took an EKG and gave me oxygen and a spray of nitroglycerin under my tongue. They inserted an IV and drew blood. They had seen it all before.

When I got to the ER they had a thousand questions and many more EKGs. They ran the cardiac enzyme blood test and some other heart attack blood test. My blood work was all normal and my EKGs showed no abnormalities. They kept saying that it was a good thing I called because of my diabetic history. They admitted me into the hospital at 1:30 am.

I was in for observation and three more cardiac enzyme blood tests, one every six hours. This was a different hospital from my transplant hospital that I had so much trouble with in the past. This is a small local hospital. They treated me well.

I am pretty sure that my roommate was awakened by the hour and a half admittance procedure at 1:30 am! He paid me back by getting up at 5 am and turning on a political channel on the TV that was the exact opposite of my leanings and left it on all day! How did he know?

So after 18 hours of confinement and four cardiac blood tests they tell me that, since I am no longer showing symptoms and all my tests are negative, they want me to have a cardiac Thallium stress test. Since I am "a cripple," as my receptionist at one job referred to me, with a walking brace on my foot, I have to have the non-treadmill test where they inject a med that temporarily induces stress on the heart. I have had it about five times now, it's a weird feeling but it only lasts for about 5 minutes. They also put two kinds of radioactive elements into your blood stream to check for dead spots on your heart. I will set off radiation detectors at airports for 30 days!

So I finally get the news for the radiology dept that my stress test was normal. I was discharged with a diagnosis no "no trouble found!" Everyone up and down the command chain made a big deal about telling me that I did the right thing by calling 911, especially with my history.

So, that chewed up a day or two of my life!

Mike D.
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Old 10-02-2011, 10:42 AM   #2
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Glad you're around to write about it.
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Old 10-02-2011, 10:47 AM   #3
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Glad you're around to write about it.
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Old 10-02-2011, 12:12 PM   #4
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Mike ,
Glad you reacted so quickly and that you are okay !
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Old 10-02-2011, 12:33 PM   #5
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Wonderful outcome! So glad to hear that it was not a heart attack after all. And I agree with the paramedics, that it was a very good thing that you called them and went to the hospital to get checked out.

Now just be sure to sit down and take a deep breath before opening any bills that you might receive from all of this. My dear companion F. was hospitalized several years ago with what turned out to be indigestion instead of a heart attack. He still refers to it as the "$6,000 crab cake incident".
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Old 10-02-2011, 01:33 PM   #6
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Now just be sure to sit down and take a deep breath before opening any bills that you might receive from all of this.
Yeah, I try not to think about the financial consequences of going to the ER when I go. I'm a medical basket case so most of my problems end up with me in the ER and then getting admitted. Most of our "disposable" income is disposed on insurance payments, co-pays, or meds!

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Old 10-02-2011, 01:43 PM   #7
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Happy to hear you are OK and it wasn't a heart attack.
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Old 10-02-2011, 01:57 PM   #8
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MikeD, glad everything worked out for the best in your situation. I had a heart attack and a single bypass in 2004. Everything is OK since then but when I get some pain or stress, you know what I think about. And, I keep that bottle of aspirin right at eye level in the cabinet.
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Old 10-02-2011, 08:24 PM   #9
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Yeah, I try not to think about the financial consequences of going to the ER when I go. I'm a medical basket case so most of my problems end up with me in the ER and then getting admitted. Most of our "disposable" income is disposed on insurance payments, co-pays, or meds!

Mike D.
Mike, glad to know you are ok. What you have written in the above quote is so true esp in my parents case. My dad spent half of his retirement funds on medical related bills.
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Old 10-03-2011, 03:50 PM   #10
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So, whattaya do all day?

Glad for the outcome!
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Old 10-03-2011, 04:47 PM   #11
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Like others, glad you did what you did.... better safe than sorry....

MY BIL was not having the same symptoms, but was not feeling great one day and did have some of them.... he talked to my DS on the phone about noon and when she got home about 2 hours later he was dead... he had heart problems, but had seen his cardiologist less than a month before this happened and got a clean bill of health....
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