First, I don't recommend them.
But if you really must, go to your local teaching hospital ER.
Have your heart attack, get a stent or 2 (or more)
Get transferred to the ICU for a bit,
Then get transferred to a regular room.
Collect a treasure trove of new meds,
because they found you're somewhat diabetic,
and go home with a large batch of chest pains
from the chest compressions, that it took to bring you back again.
(But it is improving faster than I expected.)
What happened was that I was doing laundry at 11pm Friday night, after getting home at 2am Friday morning, when I felt some heartburn. We were in connecticut, for my brother's memorial (76, Parkinson's). I've been taking Omeprozal for a few years, and I never get heartburn. Took a couple Tums, that didn't help. Took a drink of cold water, that also didn't help. I didn't want to feel like an idiot, going to the ER for heartburn, but this was just sufficiently different that I was going to drive over. Elaine said, "No you're not going to drive, let me get my shoes on" and off we went. (Having taken generic prilosec for years was the key. I knew it was unlikely to be heartburn.)
I walked in to the ER. (Been there before, know the drill.)
and got an EKG which looked normal, but talked to the Dr who ordered a blood test.
Apparently, there's a chemical that's produced when the heart is under stress,
which was just a little high, so he said, "Wait 2 hours and do the test again."
After 2 hours it wasn't better, but wasn't worse, so he said we'd do the test again. but he thought it would be better and wrote discharge papers. Another 2 hours and it was worse, so I was admitted to the ER around 4-5am Saturday. But it still didn't look bad, so I thought I was going home and started to get dressed. My athletic socks slipped on the slick floor, and after getting up, I got a lecture about doing stuff w/o hospital help. Seems that, if there's a fall at a hospital, there's a ton of paperwork that's done. I'm sorry.
Back in bed for a bit, and the next thing I remember, around 8am Saturday I'm told,
(I don't remember anything about the heart attack at all) I looked around,
and 20 people are hanging around, staring at me. (For a stupid slip? Really?)
I'm told that I was not breathing, but making a weird snoring sound. They started chest compressions right away while they were getting the paddles ready. Then they gave me a shock.
I read that I had ventricular fibrillation, and an acute heart attack, caused by coronary artery disease with angina, and 90% blockage of an artery, hence the stent.
Spent several hours in the ER and then went to the ICU Saturday afternoon. (Lots of nice folks, both in the ER and the ICU.) Sunday afternoon, after 24 hours or so, in the ICU, since I was improving, I went to a regular room. Monday afternoon the cardiologist sent me home. Meanwhile, they say I'm pre-diabetic, so I have a bunch of stuff to do related to that. Now I can't have a large pile of rice with fish for dinner. And I have testing to do twice a day. They've also changed my pill regimen and I have to take them twice a day, not just once. What's the new regime? Blood pressure, colesterol, acid reflux, and asprin. Asprin's good for the world. And blood thinner. With a new stent, gotta have blood thinner. OH well, I'm 81, stop complaining. Some years ago, a doctor told me that people originally evolved to live 25-30 years, and I'm in my 3rd lifetime (maybe 4th by now), so quit complaining.
Home again, home again, Jiggity...
Well, uh, ah, that hurts, no jogging today.
Did lay down on the bed and get up again at home.
Not much fun, but tollerable. That was a concern.
Got more instructions than I've ever had.
And they say I'm diabetic as well,
so I got an entirely new batch of pills.
Used to be once a day. Now twice, at least.
"Is the pain from the chest compression or the heart attack?"
"How would I know, I slept through the whole thing."
After slipping in my athletic cotton socks on the slippery floor, I was labeled a fall risk. And there was a guard stationed outside my door. So when I stopped breathing, etc, not only was I in the ER, but I had a guard. (Wanted to say duenya but no clue how to spell it.)
In any case, when I woke up with 20 people standing around, I thought it was a bit of overkill for a simple slip. Chest still hurts some. Coughing really hurts. When I swallow and stuff goes down the wrong hole, even a tiny bit really isn't much fun. Laying down and getting up hurt, but are improving. Doc says the pain should subside in a few weeks. GREAT! Not so steady on my pins, but don't need a walker. I'm home. And need some sleep.
Chest still hurts, but I think there is some improvement. I can feel my reactions aren't up to par, so driving fairly carefully. Not "old people" slow, but more carefully than would have been the case a week ago. I usually go out to breakfast with a friend, Monday and Friday. I didn't make it Monday, but Friday is looking pretty good. And have to stop for a couple errands along the way, so some normality is returning. I'm taking more, and longer, naps. I seem to tire easily. I know, I know, more exercise and walking. I'll get right on that. (Maybe.) In any case, I had an appt with my regular doctor, and think I'm going to get an injection for trigger thumb. There's an operation they can do, but not at this stage of my recovery. Maybe later. Gotta do a hand x-ray first.
If something isn't right, go get checked.
Survival rates increase dramatically, when you're already in the ER.
If I'd been at home, you wouldn't be reading this.
This page may well change again, as I remember stuff, or am reminded of things I forgot.