From September 1994 to January or February 2017, I had been a medical transcriptionist working from home. In 2006 through 2007, I did take on a travel assignment (my first assignment as a traveling transcriptionist!) One other time I traveled was in 2013 from one month. Oh I SO enjoyed being able to go from the bed right to the computer to work, not having to spend money on gasoline, etc. After about 16 years of working from home, it changed me drastically. I became a recluse, not really knowing anyone to socialize with other than my fellow transcriptionist colleagues, who also were working remotely! At that time, all I was concerned and happy about was being able to work from home, raise my 3 sons. I became so ‘comfortable’ with working from home, the care and effort in my work was becoming lax (as the transcription industry too was quickly phasing out – lack of work, etc). Health-wise, I was on a downward spiral – little did I know that at that time. I was smoking cigarettes at that time (quit in 2008), eating junk food, eating any and everything and going back to the computer to work, not walking, exercising or anything. Looking back, I now realize that that’s what was literally killing me – working from home, being depressed (life stressors where I did not seek out counseling), no motivation, and having no care to exercise, walk, etc. Therefore, in March 2010, my life changed forever when I suffered a heart attack. My heart attack is the type (described to me by my doctors at that time) where a small portion of my heart is “dead’ or irreparable. Thus, the stents were placed to keep the arteries open and free of plaque and to keep a good blood flow through the remaining “healthy” portion of my heart. As I go on through life, unfortunately there is a greater risk of me developing PVC’s (heart flutters, which I have had since around 2015-2016), arrhythmias or many other heart-related disorders.
I’m one of those that if something traumatic happens to me once, you do not have to tell me again to get it right! Now looking back, maybe this was a sign for me. I was given a second chance at getting myself right!
Though my heart attack was not a ‘massive’ heart attack and thankfully I did not have to undergo bypass surgery, I did have two stents placed I believe in my right and left obtuse marginal branches of the heart (left and right arteries of the heart). Having this heart attack inspired me as well as gave me a newfound fascination and interest of the cardiovascular system.
The more I read and study about this strain of the coronavirus and its effect on the organs of the body (especially the heart), the more intrigued I am. Frontline workers in the hospital as well as many reliable health clinicians and scientists are seeing the effects of how COVID-19 is destroying the organs like the heart, the kidneys, the lungs. One patient was very sick with the virus to where he was placed on a ventilator for a short time, but thankfully recovered and was on air telling how, upon entering the hospital, the doctors decided to do a chest -xray on him to see if he had pneumonia. What they found was not pneumonia but multiple blood clots in his lungs. Another case I was reading where a nurse had posted her experience in working in the ICU unit of a hospital in New York where the heart had multiple blood clots. Then they have to give an anticoagulant to break up the clots, then there’s a rush of bleeding, so they have to reverse and stop the anticoagulants, clots develop again and over and over and over again they are doing what they can to try and save these patients. Patient’s kidneys are failing – patient’s who have never been a diabetic or on dialysis but yet their kidneys have failed and/or destroyed permanently because of this virus! This is so unprecedented yet sad to see how this virus is destroying the body!
COVID-19 is an undeniable vicious virus. Because of my many health issues, this is why I choose to listen and educate myself as to the facts and definitely take the necessary precautions. Though I am an essential healthcare worker, for the last 3 weeks, I have been wearing masks whenever I do go out and definitely when I’m in the public portion of the hospital I’m currently working in. Thankfully, they are checking everyone’s temperature before even entering the hospital. So today, I did a ‘no-no’ – meaning getting out in this Phoenix heat (even though it was 9 a.m.) and when I got back, my heart rate was 116! Unknowingly making decisions like this can put more strain on the heart, thus bringing down your immune system. After coming in, taking my heart medicine and drinking plenty of water, my heart rate did come down to a normal range….. Needless to say, I will NOT be going out any more than necessary, and when I do, it will be 5 or 6 a.m. to do my shopping!
Let’s all stay safe, healthy and educated about our bodies and this virus and/or any other virus, disease, etc that may manifest in the future. Now, we ALL are aware of the safety precautions – washing your hands for 20 seconds, using hand sanitizer, practicing social distancing, wearing masks and sanitizing your home/office and keeping your immune system pumped with vitamins! Until next time……