My motto is ‘escape a problem, by BEING the solution.’
Well in the early hours of the 16th January, around 2.20 am, my motto was of no help at all.
I awoke to my Husband sitting on the side of the bed, clutching his chest – in a tremendous amount of pain. It only took me a moment to think about getting him to the hospital. It was just whether or not he wanted to be driven or taken in by ambulance. The look on his face and his indecision was enough, for me to pick up my mobile and dial 999. This I knew was the best thing to do. Because there was nothing else we could do.
The first ECA arrived at our front door within a few minutes and immediately attached him to a ECG machine – his heart rate seemed normal, his BP ok but he was feeling clammy and nauseous. I think he gave him a spray of something under his tongue but nothing seem to help. Outwardly I didn’t think he was having a heart attack because of the results but the ECA called on the radio for control to send an ambulance, (a hot one) which I think means lights and sirens and with chest pains I know it’s best not to mess around.
As the Paramedic arrived and rung our doorbell – we still managed to find humour lurking within, as the sound of ‘Charge of the Light Brigade,’ melodically played out and the ambulance care professionals, hummingly made their way up the stairs.
Even in his pain Vin could see the funny side of it. Although was unable to show it. They were reassuringly human and professional. It was as if the Calvary had arrived, as they moved him from the house to the ambulance -doing a few more tests before taking him to our local hospital.
On arrival – it wasn’t overly busy, thank god and he was ushered into a cubicle, where once again the nurses and doctors did their checks and he was attached to a bleeping machine which was like having a French Baguette man riding round on his bicycle, beeping his horn and touting his wares. The drugs they gave him didn’t touch the pain but the healthcare professionals all came across as proficient, caring and carrying a touch of humour and as the saying goes: every little helps!
Initially he was told, that the results of his tests didn’t show up a heart attack and so it was a bit of a shock for him to find out the next morning that it was and there is a blockage on an artery on the left hand side of the heart. This cannot be repaired but with medication, being of good health in general, with a bit of weight loss and increased exercise then Vin will be back to living a normal life, with a few adjustments.
On speaking to the Staff Nurse on the ward I asked, why, if Vince were having a heart attack, were there not signs on his BP or ECG results and he told me that sometimes people have what is classed as ‘silent heart attack.’ So I would say its always worth getting things checked out.
At this point I would also like to give thanks to the NHS – we are all incredibly aware of how lucky we are to live in a country where our healthcare system provides it’s services free of charge. Even if it isn’t perfect and at times there are inconsistencies in care and glitches in the system.
Vince is now home, he’s been told that his heart will take around a week to heal and from that point forward it is about taking constructive steps towards rehabilitation, progressively moving towards a healthy and normal standard of living.
Heart Attacks don’t necessarily kill you, but they definitely give you a swift kick up the arse!