Take Your Medicine!

About two weeks ago, my 42 year old husband had what is being called a “mild” heart attack.  It was his third, my first.

We drove 70 miles to a hospital that our insurance would accept, and found out when we were there that in the state of Oregon, if it’s an emergency the hospital must take the insurance you have, and the insurance you have must accept the hospital you land at.  When he was in the worst pain, he was 2 blocks from a hospital with a heart center but did not go for fear our insurance wouldn’t pay the bill.   So, there was lesson number one for us…. know more about the laws in your state, knowing them could save a life.

Lesson #2: A lot of people don’t know the symptoms of a heart attack.

Symptoms as posted here:

  • Angina: Chest pain or discomfort in the center of the chest; also described as a heaviness, tightness, pressure, aching, burning, numbness, fullness or squeezing feeling that lasts for more than a few minutes or goes away and comes back. It is sometimes mistakenly thought to be indigestion or heartburn.
  • Pain or discomfort in other areas of the upper body including the arms, left shoulder, back, neck, jaw, or stomach
  • Difficulty breathing, shortness of breath
  • Sweating or “cold sweat”
  • Fullness, indigestion, or choking feeling (may feel like “heartburn”)
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Light-headedness, dizziness
  • Extreme weakness or anxiety Rapid or irregular heart beats.

PLEASE, PLEASE don’t take any of these symptoms lightly.  My husband had a sore wrist, he had pain between his shoulder blades, and his chest felt like he had “a softball in it trying to come out.”  He had heartburn for ALL of the little over three years I’ve known him, and it’s gone now.

He had six blockages, and had to go through by pass surgery.  He had four by passes, one was a twofer, and one they cut open and cleaned out and sewed it back up.  It’s two weeks post surgery and he’s doing great.

It was inevitable that this would happen, his family genetics prove it.  His biological father was dead at age 34.  His older brother and sister have had heart attacks and stents placed.  My husband had two stents until the by pass took them out.  But, do you know he could have prolonged this situation by doing some favors for himself!

1. Be Educated & Follow Medical Advice:  He was diagnosed with diabetes after receiving his stents. He never tried to control his sugars, he never tried to learn about the disease.. and diabetes causes arterial disease to accelerate.  Diabetes and Stents do not mix, if you have stents and develop diabetes, do what your doctor tells you to do, it can save your life! Be educated and follow medical advice.  Talk to your doctor and if you don’t like your doctor find one you do like so that you feel free to discuss issues, these discussions can save your life!

2. Take your medicine… Take  YOUR MEDICINE… TAKE YOUR MEDICINE, and just in case you didn’t hear me… make sure you Take Your Medicine.  My husband put our bi polar son first, he put his wife second, and he put himself last, and that put him so close to death it wasn’t’ funny.  The cardiologist at the hospital told him it was bypass surgery or it was death, more than one of his blockages were at 100%.  Had he been taking his blood thinners, and statins (Lipitor for example), along with his metformin and toprol, he might have put this off a couple years!

3. Watch your diet.  A good diet before these things happen can forestall them. A good low cholesterol diet that is mostly plant based is the best.  Stay away from fried foods, bbq, broiling, baking are good choices.  Stay away from salt and too much sugar too.  If you stay away from too many sugars now, you can even keep diabetes from visiting you as soon as it might have.  And I’ll tell you, if you are the same place my husband is in now, watching your diet can even help you live longer! It’s never too late to start all over… you can start over EVERY SINGLE DAY!

Okay, I’m done preaching now! LOL…

Take care of yourself, in EVERY WAY. Peggy

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