I had my heart attack on May 2, 2016, at which point we discovered that my LAD (a.k.a. “The Widowmaker”) was 90% occluded, or blocked. A stent was put in place, and I underwent cardiac rehab for several weeks during which time I was out of work. I was only 45 at the time, and the cardiac surgeon informed me I was the second youngest he had ever seen with that condition and severity. Since then it seems every few months my symptoms recur and I end up in the hospital being tested and/or cathed again; in July 2017 I needed to have my stent stented. This past October I was having symptoms and they put me in the hospital overnight, put me through both physical and nuclear stress testing the next day, and decided that I didn’t need another cath at that time. However, my cardiologist decided to see me in three months rather than wait the usual six because while the irregularities seen on the stress test at that time weren’t consistent with a blockage in my LAD again, there were some anomalies.
Fast forward to today and my follow-up appointment. I’ve been feeling okay, and haven’t needed to take any nitro in the past month. However I get an achy numbness in my left arm when I exercise sometimes, and it turns out my triglycerides are ridiculously high. They should be around 100, but are over 300. The doctor said this isn’t my fault, it’s due to genetics. This absolves me of some guilt but doesn’t help much otherwise. At any rate, he’s ordering another stress test be done.
I’m so over this whole heart thing.
I’m tired of silently wondering if I’m going to die soon. I make jokes about it because I deal with all difficult situations with a sense of humor, but tonight I don’t have it in me. I’m not afraid of dying, but I worry about those I’ll leave behind. And I don’t want to die, so there’s that. But the cardiologist told me today that my coronary artery disease is “aggressive” and so we have to treat it aggressively. I get it. I do. But I’m tired of the disruptions to my life. Every cath is a few days in the hospital with a long recovery period, especially if a stent is involved. And it’s expensive. If anything is going to stress me out and aggravate my cardiac issues, it’s the medical bills. I can only be deeply grateful that I have insurance, but I used to be covered by two insurances and now only have one, creating a steeper financial burden moving forward.
Oh well. I accept that I have CAD, and that another heart attack is a possibility, although not imminent to the best of my knowledge. I’m just having a pity party tonight it seems, and I need to get over it since I do have it better than so many others.
Thanks for listening.