Penny Palace

Penny Palace

Sunday, February 11, 2024

HEARTfelt Thanks!

 A big, HEARTFELT THANK YOU to all of you who helped Doc and I through these past two days.  Your emails, texts, and prayers kept us calm and laughing throughout the ordeal.  A trip to the Emergency Room was NOT on my agenda for this week.  I am home now weighing 5 lbs. less and with a stent for my heart.


So many wonderful people have written.  Know that I read each one, but that I don't have the strength to write personal or lengthy responses to each.  Please understand.


Condensed Version:  I am home and have been ordered to take things easy for a while.




Some of you have been asking to Hear "The rest of the Story".  You know me well enough to know there are probably some "behind the scenes stories".  LOL


Wednesday, 7 February I began experiencing some chest pains.  I was advised to go get those checked out.  My reply:  "I have never been pregnant, never cooked a turkey, and never spent the night in a hospital.  I don't plan to do either one of those for the next decade."  That declaration sure changed in less than two days!


Thursday, 8 February I had some chest pains on and off throughout the day.  Went for a Chinese Foot reflexology and massage session.  Severe pain hit twice while on the table. Thoughts:  a)  These people do not speak enough English to call for Emergency Services; b)  I am laying here naked.  Do not want emergency personnel to take me out of here like this!   LOL.  Pain was much better the rest of the evening, but it returned before bed.


Friday, 9 February I woke up to severe chest pains.  9 a.m. I woke Doc.  "Sweetheart please get up and get dressed quickly.  We need to go to the hospital.  No. We are not having a baby.  I think I may be having a heart attack."

Doc quickly dressed.  When he emerged, he saw me in such great pain, he called 9-1-1.  He hung up the phone, while I used the toilet (figuring I might not get to do that for many hours in an emergency room).  Three firefighters were at our door within minutes!  Good thing!  


As the EMTs hauled me down the driveway on the gurney, I felt so thankful for beautiful blue skies overhead versus the torrential rain we had for the first few days of the week.  I could have drowned in that kind of weather before even getting into the ambulance!  LOL


The ambulance driver was able to get through the red lights faster than Doc could have.  They took me to San Antonio Hospital which was closer than Kaiser with whom we have coverage.  The staff at San Antonio said "You were fortunate to be brought here.  WE have the better Cardio facilities and specialize in that.  The nearest Kaiser does not have that."


Emergency Room.  Personnel were wonderful.  First EKG showed no heart attack, but disturbing issues.  Would need to run an angiogram.  "That could happen immediately, later today, or tomorrow depending on urgency".  More tests, nitroglycerine tablets, heparin, etc.  Tech spoke outside the room with the doctor in charge.  I was informed "things have changed".  "Tests show you have now had a heart attack". Suddenly I was wheeled down to the Cath Lab.


Cath Lab.  Fascinating equipment!   I was awake.  Fun to watch the wiggling arteries on the big screen!  Wondering how in the world would the cardiologist run a stent all the way up my arm and insert it into that moving target?  Such a strange feeling to have this thing snake up your arm!



ICU.  Doc said I was talking in hyperdrive!  It was such fun to deal with the caring nurses.  They said they don't get much interface with most of the patients in ICU (who are on ventilators, not conscious, intubated, etc.)  We spoke of solar cars, rescue dogs, kids, their jobs, etc.








It was a long, long night.  When the lights were turned out at 12:40 a.m. I was sure I would fall asleep within minutes.  I was so very exhausted.  Not the case.  I lay there watching the clock for every minute to pass.  Around 2 a.m. I suddenly got very sweaty, with vomiting and diarrhea.  Was it the shock of it all?  The numerous medications?  The chicken fajita at lunch?  The meatloaf at dinner?  Not a fun experience.  No "running for the nearest toilet" when I was literally wired to a bunch of equipment!  


After that nasty episode, I was wide awake.  Thank goodness for both national and international friends (from Australia, Tanzania and Russia) who kept communicating with me throughout night.  Their love carried me through that trial.

Saturday 10 February.  Finally fell asleep at 5:30 a.m. to be woken 30 minutes later for more blood testing!  Early morning visits from the Cardiologist and Doctor in charge, then breakfast. Nurse went over all the discharge instructions.  Released.  Home by noon. Managed two hours of much-needed sleep. Son Steve (medical doctor) came over to check on me.  Weary.  Tried to write this note to you, but ran out of energy.





Today, Sunday 11 February.  Doc said he was planning to watch the Super Bowl Game -- I could do anything I wanted as long as it did not interfere with his game.  He would stay out of my way.  Reminder - no lifting anything heavy or bending over, but I could certainly wash laundry, pay bills, work on some of my many projects, take a nap, complete that paperwork for prepaid cremations services, etc.  Thus, I am writing to YOU!


Next few days?  Rest. Heal. Find a cardiologist to take care of the other artery blockages before they also become emergencies.  Cardio therapy TBD.


THANK YOU for being with us on this scary experience.