Yes, it’s been a LONG time since I’ve been here……but I am BACK!!
We hear so much these days about being “heart healthy”, being careful in what we eat to keep a healthy heart. Well……it’s all true! The heart is a very interesting organ. It plays many, many roles in our health. The role of the heart is to pump blood throughout the body. It’s located between the two lungs and lies left of the middle of the chest.
Though there was no early-age family history of heart problems/heart disease in my family – mother’s and father’s side – I just brushed off those ‘signs’ as family members being OLD and developing heart problems. My dad was generally healthy – was still driving at 92 years of age! But it was then I started realizing that yes – there IS a family history of heart problems. Dad developed heart problems in his early 80s (actually probably before that, but with his ‘pride’ in the way and his generation of people with the thought process of “i’m okay – nothing’s wrong”) probably developed it earlier than the age of 80.
My own personal experience with the heart came in 2010 when I had a myocardial infarction (heart attack). I was doing my usual…..working at home transcribing, early morning around 6:00-6:30 a.m. I was actually feeling quite great, until I had a sudden pain in the center of my chest right at the breast bone. Okay…… I brushed that off and kept working. Five minutes later, I had a second pain which was even sharper than the first, in the same spot. It was so sharp, it moved me out of my chair. I began to feel queasy, so I sat on the bed for a moment. Still not thinking ANYTHING about having a heart attack, I still brushed it off as maybe having indigestion. It certainly was not indigestion as I later came to find out, to sum it all up.
All in all, it took me approximately 2.5 hours from the time of initial chest pain to getting to the hospital and being diagnosed as having a heart attack. One of the tests that determines when one is having a heart attack is called a troponin level, which is part of the cardiac enzyme levels. Normal levels are around 0.00-0.02. My troponin level in determining my heart attack was 34!!! Needless to say, I have damage to my heart and I’ve had to have 2 stents placed. Cardiac stents are placed to keep the arteries open, free of plaque buildup and used for better reducing chest pain in the event of another heart attack.
With a 6-day hospital stay during that time and now 3 years later, I must say that I am doing fine, changed my eating habits (I DO tend to fall off the wagon from eating right, but I get back on track) and taking Crestor (a statin drug) to help reduce the amount of plaque in me. I was VERY reluctant at first to take any type of statin drug (and had been on 2 other different statin drugs prior to the Crestor to see what works best for me) because of its side effects. Yes – pretty much ALL medications have some sort of side effects that are listed, but if you have a concerned, caring physician and in tune with the things going on with your health, different alternatives can be reached between you and your physician. I had ‘heard’ so many negative things about statin drugs, but I’ve had to take it upon myself to educate myself regarding statins.