Well, on June 11 I had the second heart cath procedure performed by my new cardiologist that I love. I was really pissed off when I found that I had to have that procedure. All the lifestyle changes I made and I still needed two additional stents. The new blockage was restenosis from scar tissue. It turns out that one of the complications from my original surgery was that they tore my artery. I had a lot of blockage at the site of the tear from scar tissue. That was a second heart attack waiting to happen if I had taken what my first cardiologist had to say to heart (so to speak).
As I am two and a half months out from the second cath procedure I can see that the re-stenosis diagnosis was a blessing in disguise. When they performed the first procedure on the night I had my heart attack, my arteries were so small that they really could not expand the smallest stents they had completely. Hence the reason my artery tore. As they placed the second set of stents (for a total of 5 in my LAD) they were able to expand the stents farther than the first time because of the scar tissue build up. It actually gave my artery additional strength and allowed a more successful stent placement. Blessing in disguise!
I had a second nuclear medicine stress test in August and all turned out great with that one. My heart looks good, my ejection fraction is good and I actually have only a very, very small amount of permanent heart damage from my heart attack. This is entirely due to the fact that I called an ambulance as quick as I did and I was taken seriously and received excellent proper treatment right away when I arrived at the hospital. Rosie O'Donnell recently had the same heart attack that I had. She waited a long time to seek treatment and is very lucky to be in the 20% of women that survive the "widow maker". Please don't ever wait that long. From what I now know, most women die because they are sick with heart attack symptoms and then go to sleep. Often times, they just don't wake up. Make sure that is never you!
At my follow up appointment in July, I was able to stop taking the lisinopril (BP med) and I now have cut the carvedilol (the other BP med) in half. Good news is that after I got to stop taking those, my BP is back up to normal after dropping really, really low. Really low BP gives you the sensation of being pretty drunk and it is hard to function! I have to take the blood thinners until next June though because the new stents are also drug eluding.
Outside of that news, the new way of eating has been extremely difficult to follow over the summer. I went to vegetarian instead of vegan. I have gained 8 lbs back. I am back to vegan again. It is a very difficult way of life for me if I do not have proper time to prepare. The summer has been so busy that it hasn't left a lot of time to prepare food. Plus, my kitchen hates me so this has not been an unwelcome turn of events!! I had two 25 year class reunions, my company's User Summit that we put on for our client's, vacation and we moved the oldest daughter to college. Whew!! I had the best time at both reunions. I feel very fortunate to have been able to attend!
Me in the middle at the second reunion I attended. Vegas and 30 year friend Deb on the left!
My heart anniversary is fast approaching on October 13. It will have been a year since the near fatal heart attack. I am throwing a party at a local bar--they serve a great veggie burger! What's not to celebrate? I have gotten a rare chance to beat death and be able to see what the turn out would have been at my funeral. It is humbling really. I really had no idea what a lucky girl I am. I look at all these people that have expressed genuine concern and realized that no matter how I know them, I am lucky to have had each and every one of them touch my life in some way, shape or form. It makes me rich beyond my wildest expectations! There really are no words.