A Heart Scare

Most of you reading this know me at some level. I don’t think I get many random readers here, not on the usual entries, anyway (there are a couple of my posts that frequently get random visitors…I may talk about those one day…but not today). So most of you know that I’m a pretty open book.

But, it’s a little spooky for me opening up to write this entry…so deep breath (now that I can do that again!) and here I go.

You see, I had a scare this past week and am just getting out of a few days stay in the hospital. On Sunday, I had a sharp pain in my upper back that knocked the breath out of me; I wasn’t doing anything but sitting down. It became painful just to breathe in deep breaths. I could still breathe, I just had to take shallow breaths. Well, me being in Florida, 750 miles away from my family and with no internet in my apartment, I called BJ and asked her to google a few things. The results came back as signs of a heart attack. Add that to the fact that my extended family has a history of heart related issues…add to that the fact that I just had a birthday that put me one more year closer to 50…and so decided not to take any chances and visit the ER.

Actually, BJ told me to go.

I’d had the pain before, about 5 or 6 times. Each time I’d just written it off as some sort of nasty back spasm that somehow knocks the breath out of me and makes it hard to breathe for several minutes. I know, I know…I’ve never claimed to be brilliant! The last time it happened, Brittany was standing near me and my reaction scared her even though I tried to assure her (I’m sure the look on her face was in the back of my mind this last time, too) I was fine.

And so as I talked to BJ on the phone about going to ER, I remembered I’d read of people have “small” heart attacks and not going in to the doctor…and I thought suddenly that could very well be the case.

So, the folks at Winter Park Memorial Hospital (who were all very fantastic, I might add!—and I say that because I haven’t gotten the bill yet! But the people were still fantastic!) took me in and proceeded to run tests on me.

Truth to tell, the test and testing hurt me more than the initial pain. I’m still bruised and sore as I type this. They drew blood from the back of my hand and I have six tiny holes in my right hand and two in my left. I had an IV in my left bicep (because my veins aren’t easy to get to) and one in my right forearm that stuck nearly straight down—they had to go deep to get blood from there AND they used a thicker needle. Yes, it hurt…and continued to offer a dull reminder that it was there the entire time it stuck there.

I’ll spare you the details of the tests, but the results were that I did NOT have a heart attack, but that I DO have Myocardial Bridging of the LAD. In a nutshell, we have muscles and blood vessels that surround/cover our heart. I have a vein that is supposed to be over the muscle, but in one place dips under the muscle. Every time that muscle squeezes—which it will continue to do as long as my heart is beating—it cuts off the blood in that one vessel.

Yeah—that was my first thought, too, but the doctors assured me that they do not need to go in and move it, that I was born with it and that it shouldn’t be life threatening…but I will be forever bothered with the pains that I now know where they come from and even will have the occasional “attack” (but not as in heart attack) like I had on Sunday and that I’m just going to have to deal with it.

And even though I told her NOT to come to Florida, I was relieved to see BJ when she walked into the room (thanks, JJ!). Needless to say…things were a little scary in the early part of this week.

I know there were a bunch of prayer warriors that I didn’t even know about—thank you for that.

The next post should be back to my normal blathering. 🙂

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15 Comments

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15 responses to “A Heart Scare

  1. Scary stuff Roland, and coincidentally had a similar scare this week.

  2. I’m glad you’re well, Roland! The heart is a scary organ to mess with. My father is getting a valve replacement in three weeks, and even though the doctors say everything will be fine, it worries me.

    Hoping you stay healthy and safe.

  3. Mary Pyefinch

    Please take care of yourself. One question – going forward – how would you distinguish between this type of pain and a real heart attack? I will keep you in my prayers.

    • Thanks, Mary. Y’know…THAT question has been on MY mind, too. I’ll definitely be asking my regular doctor about that when I go see him! Your prayers are GREATLY appreciated!

  4. That’s scary. Glad you are well, and now, know what to expect if it happens again. I know BJ walking in was good medicine! Take care of yourself.

  5. Glad that I could act as your wife’s taxi, my friend. You know I’m always here if you need me!

  6. Heather P.

    I am truly happy that you are still here. I believe that when things like this happen, it’s God interrupting “our” busy lives to remind us to appreciate all that He has given us. I praise God for your wonderful help mate and her countenance, your prayer warriors and your unshakable faith. Keep pushing and stay strong in health and spirit. 🙂

  7. Forrest

    Glad to hear you are alright dude

  8. Pitty Patter.blogspot.com/ pittypatter.blogspot.com

    Thanks for sharing the scary episode and its results so we’ll know what to do if it happens to us/someone we know. God bless.

  9. I had the same thought as Mary. You’ll have to learn new signs. Thanks for the story and glad for the happy ending.

  10. Thankful that you are okay, and that you now know the cause of the pains!

  11. MJ

    So glad you are still here! My instructor is utilizing your skills to teach our class and he’s chosen quite an example! Thank you for contributing to my education and more importantly my future.

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