Thursday, 16 September 2010

Memories of the morning that lead to this.

A few people have read this and asked me to explain in more detail about the heart attack. Before I had it I always assumed that the symptoms are a tingling down the arms and pain in the chest. What happened to me was far from this.

At about 3am on the 13th Febuary 2010 I woke up with my hands over my head pumping them together not really knowing what I was doing. I remember Kat waking next to me and asking what was going on, she looked at the time and asked if I was okay. All I can say about the feelings I had is that my triceps felt like I had been over working them for hours, all I could feel was the amino acid sensation in them, similar to the 'nice' pain you get the day after a good workout. My chest felt a bit like when I was a kid after we piled on each other on the field at school, that sort of light but crushed feeling, not painful at all.

Kat took my blood pressure (I swear there is more medical kit in this place than a hospital in the 80's!) and it was strange, the Diastolic was very high - 120 from memory. When I turned on my left side though the pain in my arms was not as bad and this made me think it was my back causing the problem. I had been an idiot about a month before and carried a washing machine up 2 flights of stairs causing back pain until April. Kat told me several times that we needed to ring an ambulance but I kept saying I was ok and that it was nothing really, I do not know why I did not listen to her. Fortunately I am young, fit and healthy so my heart was apparently pumping the blood through smaller vessels and some oxygen was getting into it.

I think I went back to sleep, or maybe blacked out. The alarm went for Kat to go to work, it was the start of my school holidays so I didnt have to get up but she woke me to see if I was okay. I told her the pain was still there and she phoned her mum. She came rushing in telling me I needed to call an ambulance right away or I may lose limbs or worse, my life. I called NHS direct, explained my pain and as soon as I put the phone down the flashing lights were outside.

The Paramedics came upstairs and explained that I needed to be taken into the van for tests, the stairs are steep here so they would have found it difficult to carry me, they asked if I could walk which I did with their help. I didnt really feel weak or anything just a bit odd (which in fairness I always feel ;) ).

In the ambulance they connected me up to the machines, told me they were quite certain I was having a heart attack and asked me to sign a form giving them permission to administer a drug to thin my blood. They told me I had a 2% chance of dying due to the drug, but some instinct inside me tells me that it saved my life. Dorset is one of the few counties where the Paramedics can do this. They also gave me morphine so things get a little hazy now.

Kat gathered some things for me, looked really upset but stood by my side all the time. I really dont know what I would have done without her, maybe not been here to type this now. I dont tell her often enough how much it meant to have her with me.

We were taken up to Dorchester Hospital, I remember being quite impressed with the Paramedics balance in the back, telling him he would make a good surfer as we rounded corners at huge speeds. I also admired the space in the van, being a van owner myself. This I know was the morphine having its effect.In the hospital I have little memory of the first morning, I believe the attack stopped at about 11am. I remember feeling lower than ever before, and more reliant on others than I have ever experienced. By the afternoon I wanted to get out of bed and move around but wasnt allowed to do this for the following 3 days.

My Mum was coming over to visit that day, for the second time since she moved to Spain 6 years previously. She was staying for 5 days so it was worrying me what would happen, who would pick her up from the airport, who would tell her etc. Kat was amazing, she got in touch with my good friend Martin and they went to pick her up together. Kat was really good and told her gently at the arrival lounge, then they came to the hospital.

I was still drowsy and high as a kite from the morphine so do not remember much about the rest of the first day. The next couple of days went slowly with lots of tests and a bloody painful injection in my stomach quite often. I will write more about the tests in other posts.

I will try to expand this in the future as it still gets me quite upset to think about it, and need to clarify some of the memories with the people who were around me.

Thank you for reading.

1 comment:

  1. Good luck, my father suffered from heart problems for a long time. He never recovered properly after his first heart attack. You must be determined and strong to keep windsurfing.


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