Aa
Aa
A
A
A
Close
976897 tn?1379167602

Heart attack

Just had angioplasty for a heart attack and thought I would post the experiences so others can hopefully benefit in some way or other. It was last thursday morning when I walked upstairs to the bathroom. I felt very light headed, so much that it was a real effort to not pass out. I had chest pains on a scale 1-10 (8) which would not go away even when I was relaxed. Sweating was incredible, I haven't sweated so much in all my life. No palpitations and no shortness of breath. Oh, I felt very nauseous but no vomiting. I asked my wife to call an ambulance which arrived in 5 mins. They did 2 ECG printouts and none showed anything unusual. They insisted I went to hospital, ONLY due to my history. In the ambulance they gave me a single squirt of GTN under the tongue and INSTANTLY the pains vanished. I had to chew on some extra aspirin too. At the hospital my BP and HR were in normal tolerances. As the pains began at 9.30am, I had to wait in Acute admissions until 9.30pm for a troponin blood test. The following morning the Doctor announced my troponin was elevated a lot and I had indeed suffered a heart attack. I was confused at how a single squirt of GTN was still holding the pains at bay, but thankfully they were. I was scheduled to have an angio that morning (friday). I explained how I felt really nauseous when laying flat, and I would probably vomit during an angio procedure, so they cancelled it for the weekend, booking it for first thing monday morning. The condition was if I felt any chest pain, then I would be taken straight in as an emergency. No chest pains all weekend and 9am monday morning I was in the cath lab. It was immediately seen how my Circumflex had developed 2 blockages in 2 major branches. They were very new (soft) and 99%. Their existance had forced collaterals to my lower LAD to close up also which shows collaterals can't always be relied upon. Each blockage was ballooned first to open them up. Then GTN was administered to widen the artery, while a stent was then Ballooned into each lesion area. The second blockage was given extra pressure to entice the collaterals to open up again. The whole procedure took about 2 hours and collaterals to the lower LAD were now back in place. The first blockage was diagnosed as the primary site, which clotted after erupting and causing the second blockage further down. The primary lesion was around 20% last year according to an angiogram. This surprised me, but not the cardiologists in the cath suite, who said this can come from small or large lesions. I felt very strong pinching in my chest for about 12 hours after the procedure and they said this can last anywhere between a few hours and a couple of months. A lot of contrast was used so  I had to drink litres of water to flush it out to prevent kidney problems. My blood pressure is a bit of a concern and they will see me in 6 months. On average it's around 97/65 and this is without a beta blocker. They have recommended I remain on plavix for life. The stents in my LAD from proximal to about 2 thirds of the way down are still open.
The only regret is that they went through my right femoral artery AGAIN (7th time now) and wow did it hurt. The bruise is massive and an angioseal had to be used. I have to check regularly for hardening under the skin (haematoma) and report on the phone to the angio suite if such a situation occurs. They gave a high dosage of heparin during the procedure too, to help dissolve any clotting material.
I will only be too glad to answer any questions anyone has, I've probably missed out a fair bit but I was fully awake, no meds were given to relax me this time. I was discharged this morning (tuesday).
13 Responses
Sort by: Helpful Oldest Newest
159619 tn?1538180937
COMMUNITY LEADER
Sorry to hear of this. I hope all is well and wish you a speedy recovery. Thanks for sharing your story, it was very enlightening.

Good luck,

Jon
Helpful - 0
63984 tn?1385437939
Ed, I'm glad you are OK.  It sounds precisely what I'm trying to avoid with a pair of branch arteries about 90% occluded.  Like you, I'm back on Plavix, probably for life.  Hang in there, thanks for sharing.
Helpful - 0
976897 tn?1379167602
Thank you so much guys :)
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Happy to see that you are OK.

Jesus
Helpful - 0
1346447 tn?1327862572
what is your 2decho-test lvef ? If it was more than 40% probably you could hav emanaged with medicines only. There was no need of angiography.
Helpful - 0
976897 tn?1379167602
I very much doubt it. The cardiac enzyme level in my blood was very high, which is not a good thing to leave to meds if intervention is possible. It would probably have in fact been suicidal.

Helpful - 0
237039 tn?1264258057
EEEEEDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD!  I had not seen your name in here or anything at all from you and I felt so worried.  I was going to post the question "Where's Ed" today because I couldn't stand not knowing.  I thought something was up, but dreading to really know. Praise God.  This is truley a blessing to me. How is your wife holding up?  And your family?  (((((( Ed  ))))) so good to see you in here again.  And as far as what your experience goes, sounds like my stories.  Nothing ever shows up until the cardiac markers show an elevation and they get in there to do the cath.  So good to see you! This is the first thing I came across on the net this morning, so it is gonna be a great day!  Take care, Ally
Helpful - 0
976897 tn?1379167602
Hi :)  and thank you. It is a big learning curve for everyone and believe me, I learned a great deal when in hospital for 5 days this time. Not only did I have long lists of questions to ask my cardiologist each day, but I also agreed to be a benefit to the them. I allowed groups of final year students to examine me each day and ask lots of questions. AND, as you correctly say, I made sure they realise that not all tests reveal heart problems. The good thing is that these students will qualify and end up teaching new students, passing the valuable information on, making it less likely cardiac events will pass through the net.
Helpful - 0
212161 tn?1599427282
wow  just saw this Ed so glad your ok , you have helped me out at times , with your wisdom. thanks and recover fast
Helpful - 0
976897 tn?1379167602
Thank you :)    I know cells get stunned from a heart attack and it's amazing how you can feel a slight improvement each day. Now it's over a week later and my BP has raised to normal levels and the light headedness has gone. I can walk much further without tiring and will be able to finish my decorating soon I hope.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Glad your okay. Wishing you a quick recovery.
Helpful - 0
1542723 tn?1294447438

Hello Ed, just read what happened to you, you must have had tough couple of days. Thanks for sharing and hang on there. Ed, did you have any warning signs before the event?
Helpful - 0
976897 tn?1379167602
Yes, since xmas. I went to my regular Doctor saying how I'd noticed breathing was more difficult and I was having chest pains on the slightest exertion. My fantastic Doctor gave me a inhaler which they use for Asthma, the one where you squirt it and breathe in. Of course this did nothing. I then went to see my cardiologist who said I need an angiogram to see what's going on. As usual, the heart attacks always happen before the appointment arrives. The pains weren't as bad this time, compared to my attacks in 2007, but the dizziness was very bad, I thought I was gonna pass out and never wake up. Fighting the anxiety and staying relaxed is definitely the hardest part.

Thank you everyone so much for your kind words and thoughts :)
Helpful - 0
Have an Answer?

You are reading content posted in the Heart Disease Community

Top Heart Disease Answerers
159619 tn?1538180937
Salt Lake City, UT
11548417 tn?1506080564
Netherlands
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Is a low-fat diet really that heart healthy after all? James D. Nicolantonio, PharmD, urges us to reconsider decades-long dietary guidelines.
Can depression and anxiety cause heart disease? Get the facts in this Missouri Medicine report.
Fish oil, folic acid, vitamin C. Find out if these supplements are heart-healthy or overhyped.
Learn what happens before, during and after a heart attack occurs.
What are the pros and cons of taking fish oil for heart health? Find out in this article from Missouri Medicine.
How to lower your heart attack risk.