The Big One

On May 2, 2019, I suffered a heart attack. The big one. The one known as “The Widow Maker”. A life changing event that I had no idea was coming. The doctor tells me I did everything right that day. That’s why I’m here and that’s why there was minimal damage done to my heart. I was lucky and I’m so blessed. I’m so glad I had my wits about me that day. There were a few warning signs, I realize now that I look back. For a few weeks prior, I had been experiencing pain in my throat when climbing stairs or when anxiety set in. Nothing too terrible and it never occurred to me it would be connected to my heart because the pain was closer to my throat, not my chest. Well, I know now that I was wrong.

The day of my heart attack, I was working. A cook by trade, I was doing what I normally did on any given Thursday, cooking meals for my 15 residents. It wasn’t until I was serving my last few dinner plates that the pain set in. The pain in my throat started first. Then I noticed some jaw pain setting in. Not bad, but noticeable. By the time I served my last plate, pain had started in both arms. I calmly walked to the bathroom to cool off and catch my breath. Once inside however, my breathing only got worse. The pain in my jaws and arms had also increased dramatically. Scared, I quickly exited the bathroom, grabbed my purse and the phone, then immediately dialed 911.

The ambulance arrived within five minutes, which was a blessing because they are located just across the street from where I work. Even though I was in a tremendous amount of pain, I was trying to convince myself I was only having a panic attack. I even told the paramedics that I was feeling a bit better. Something was still urging me to get on that stretcher and let them load me into that ambulance. I went with my gut feeling.

Once inside, the paramedics gave me baby aspirin to chew on, nitroglycerin for under my tongue, hooked me up to machines, gave me oxygen, and within minutes told me I was not going to our local hospital, but a hospital that specializes in heart conditions, located about an hour away. I tried to relax and take comfort knowing I was in good hands. It worked for a few minutes until they turned on the sirens and we went bouncing towards Nashville. A very rough ride but one I’m thankful I got to experience and talk about today. I need to find out the names of those two paramedics because they were so good to me and really cared.

Once inside the emergency room, everything happened so quick. The nurse even told me things would be super speedy, but if I had any questions, please ask. I stripped, got on the table, heard one nurse say to the other “crash cart”, and was immediately wheeled out of that room, down a few hallways, and into an elevator I think. Suddenly, I was in an operating room of sorts. Still not sure what they called it. It was dim, cool, and looked like a theater. I will be forever grateful for the lively mood the nurses and doctor were in that day. They made me laugh during the scariest moment of my life. The doctor introduced himself, quickly told me he was going to clean out my “widow maker” and insert a stent. He looked at my wrist, said it was good to go and went to work. After about five to ten minutes, he said he was done and told me he was going to remove the catheter in my arm and that I needed to be prepared because it was really going to hurt. He counted to three, and I waited for the excruciating pain to come. He laughed and I realized there was no pain. Laughing, I thanked the man that saved my life, Dr. Andrew Goodman, even though I couldn’t see his face because I’m assuming the movie was about to start.

Brilinta Beat Me Up!

One of the meds I was prescribed after my heart attack, was Brilinta. It’s expensive, but it’s a life saving medicine. It keeps my blood moving through my body and safely through my stent. There are a lot of side effects, but I believe the benefits outweigh the bad things that might happen. One side effect is bruising. I can handle it but it looks like I’ve been in a fight! Might have to invest in some long sleeve shirts, or, and I like this idea better, get some tattooed sleeves! Yeah!

Art Therapy & A Little PTSD

So I’m still off work recuperating from my pulled chest muscle. Relaxing, doing a little drawing, just minding my own business. Feeling pretty good until I receive some bad news from work. Well, first, I need to provide some back story here.

About three months ago, one of the residents I cook for, became very irate. Seems as if I wasn’t providing his coffee quick enough so he waltzes into the kitchen to get it himself. I’ve told him a thousand times that he is not allowed in the kitchen. This time he gets in my face and calls me a dumb bitch. I could see in his face he wanted to hit me. It shook me. I reported it and he moved out that weekend. In the four years I’ve worked there, he has threatened me multiple times. There’s alway something wrong with either the food, there’s not enough, or it’s not what he wanted. I follow menus provided by the owner. This resident also steals from the kitchen constantly despite doors being locked. It has been very stressful.

Well, the owner let him move back in this weekend. I should say here that the resident is the owner’s dad. Yeah. I’ve been sick to my stomach thinking about going back to work and serving this man his three meals every day. I go back tomorrow and I’m dreading it. I’m supposed to be removing stress from my life and here’s someone else giving me more. Not sure what I’m going to do. I’m starting a new job soon, but I can’t afford to be out of work until my new employer opens up her bistro. I’ll just take it one day at a time. Fingers crossed I make it!

In other news, here are some doodles! The prompts for the art challenge I participate in were, ‘ocean’ for June 8th, and ‘monument’ for June 9th.

Scare Of The Day

I arrived at work this morning at 7 a.m. At 7:15 I had a sharp pain in my chest. It lasted no longer than five seconds. It was scary but I brushed it off. About ten minutes later, it happened again. I sat down and took some deep breaths, trying to relax. That seemed to work. It happened again 30 minutes later. Then again. Then again. I decided I needed to get to the ER a.s.a.p. The doctor ordered an EKG and bloodwork. Long story short, they couldn’t find anything wrong. Everything looks good. Which is great, but what the heck is going on? Their best guess is an intramuscular injury. Which is entirely possible given my job. I’m always lifting or tugging on something. So I guess no lifting for awhile and I’m supposed to rest. Thank God it wasn’t my heart again!

Brilinta Side Effects

File this under “tips”, I guess. I was prescribed Brilinta after my heart attack and I am experiencing a side effect. A UTI. Yes, that’s personal but I want to share in case others might experience this and maybe not know what’s going on. I didn’t know until this morning. From everything I’ve read, it’s more common in males 60+. Well, I’m neither of those things. Guess I’m just lucky. Taking meds for hypothyroidism increases your chances even more of having fire crotch. Damn, it’s my lucky day.

P.s. I’m thankful it’s keeping me alive, so I’m complaining but not complaining. Make sense?

To Hermit Or Not To Hermit

I think I’m trying to turn myself back into a hermit. I used to be one, ya know. Scared of everything and everyone, I stayed in my room watching movies and eating chips. Bad habit, that is. To hide oneself away and to eat chips. I’m more outgoing than I used to be but that’s not saying a lot. I was so shy that I couldn’t even order my own food in a restaurant. That was a lifetime ago and nowadays I can talk to almost anyone. I had to get used to the fact that I belong on this earth just as much as anyone. I used to put myself down, telling myself that I wasn’t good enough. There’s always going to be someone prettier, or smarter, or more talented, but we all matter. We’re all important. Where was I going with this? I’m not sure. Anyway, here’s a drawing of an ice cream cone. The prompt for today is scoop.

Swinging On The Mood Swing

Whew! The mood swings are horrible tonight. I’ve been experiencing a lot of anger and I’m not sure why. I don’t like to be angry. I’m a laid-back kinda gal. I mean, today was my day off work, so why the hell cant I be happy? I guess earlier in the day I was happy. When the sun was out and the birds were singing. I saw a dog pooping and a cat following the pooping dog back home. A pretty blue lizard visited me while I was swinging on our porch swing. Ah, that helps. My mood is getting better just thinking about today. Anyway, I drew a desert scene today. Here it is. The prompt for June 3rd is ‘desert’.

And another thing…

My happy place is filled with pens, pencils, markers, paper, canvas, paint, m&m’s, puppies, kitties, Dave Grohl, blankets…okay, I’m feeling better now.🤩

Is This Going To Kill Me?

I never thought I’d be afraid of food, but that’s still an issue right now. Last night, I had low sodium tacos. It’s good, but it scares me. I eat healthy now, but I get cravings for my old favorites. I just choose healthier substitutes that I make at home. I stress the whole time I’m eating something I shouldn’t because my weird brain tells me I could have another heart attack right then. I know that’s not how it works, but the fear is still there. Hopefully those fears will fade.