Tag Archives: Heart Attack

A Heart Too Broken

I want to thank you all for your kind thoughts and words. They are a crutch for me to lean on in this trying time. I hold foremost the enemy within and I am doing my best to not let it out of its cage. I realize I will be no good to anyone if I let a flare overwhelm me. I suppose we are never strongest than when it’s crucial that we be so.

It’s been two weeks now since my husband’s massive heart attack. It’s taken this long to determine what route to take in treating it. I was hoping for the possibility of a bypass where they would build new coronary vessels to do the work of the arteries that are no longer perfusing the heart.

Sadly, that is not an option. There is not enough viable tissue left for the doctor to form a bridge to. Yesterday, they placed an Automated Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillator (AICD). 

This tiny device will monitor his heart and, when necessary, will deliver a shock to reinstate a normal rhythm. We do not know what his overall prognosis is. The major organs do not do well when they are deprived of oxygen for a prolonged period of time.

For the present, he will continue to receive dialysis, while we wait to see if kidney function returns to normal. His mentation is now improving. His initial confusion was also due to the kidneys not clearing out the sedation he was given while on full life support. With dialysis, he is coming around.

It’s a long road ahead, a long, long, arduous haul. There are no easy answers; we just have to wait and let time heal, if it can.

I urge everyone to run, not walk, to the ER if experiencing symptoms of a heart attack. Unfortunately, the first instinct is denial. Please don’t listen to that. Go!

 

Advertisements

How Can You Mend a Broken Heart?

I’ve been off the grid for a while. It had been due to mundane, everyday reasons.

But now it’s because of my husband, I don’t even know how to say it. To write it, for writing it makes it real.

He is in the hospital. And that’s the good thing, that he’s in the hospital.

The planets aligned just right so that when his heart gave out, it did right in front of the paramedics.

He’d gone on a bike ride. No big deal, just for one hour this time, not the normal three or four. Just to the park ten minutes away, not the 50-mile ride he always does.

The kids were coming over for an early dinner, by a fluke all three of them. Our youngest, on a whim, came down from NYC for the weekend.

“I’ll be back,” he said.

He didn’t come back for seven days. Seven days where he rode the waves of full life support.

It’s been nine days since he went for that last bike ride and the journey to recovery has barely begun. The journey that we all embarked on when I answered the phone without thinking. Normally, I won’t answer unless I know who’s calling, but this time something made me pick up, even though I was in the midst of cooking and cleaning.

The journey that continued down that long, cold, endless ER corridor, my eyes drilling holes into the floor in front of me as I followed the tech who escorted me, afraid that if I looked up I would suddenly be confronted with a team in crisis moving in that synchronous, familiar ballet of saving a life.

This time with my own husband at the center of it. Lying there, helpless, colorless, and I feared, lifeless.

Hours and agonizing hours later, they came to me. They’d been successful in stabilizing him, enough to be moved to an ICU bed, enough to say he was still alive.

And he remains there, slowly, slowly moving along the slippery bonds that bind us to this precious earth.

Redondo Beach, California

Last summer at his beloved Redondo Beach, California, where he grew up surfing the waves.