"the nicest and the sweetest days are not those on which anything very splendid or wonderful or exciting happens, but just those that bring simple pleasure, following one another softly, like pearls slipping off a string."
Lucy Maud Montgomery

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Listen to your heart (II)...

Before I continue with my heart-attack story there are a few things I need to clear up. First of all thank-you all SO much for your kind well-wishes for Jeffrey's birthday. He and I both appreciated your comments.

Earlier this week I left a comment on another blog which some of you have inquired about. It was in reference to a meme about who you would like to spend five-minutes with and I answered my son. And while I cherish every moment I spend with Jeffrey I was referring to my son Matt. Jeffrey is our second-born son and was our joyous, heart-healing blessing fifteen months after the passing of his older brother Matt. I have posted a few times about him but never in detail and perhaps that is something I will be able to do one of these days.

I began my 'heart' story in June 2003 as that is when I remember starting to have symptoms. I should add here that six months prior to this I had a complete heart workup. I was not symptomatic at that time but was nearing a big '0' birthday and with the diabetes and all my doc and I thought it prudent. I had a CT calcium scoring test, and stress-induced treadmill test with ultrasound and even went as far as having an angiogram. All of which I passed with flying colors. The doctor proclaiming that he could not believe that I was diabetic. Thus, six months later when I was having these odd symptoms there was no reason for anyone to think they were heart related. No Excuses though since women's symptom are very different and can come on quickly.

The next few weeks are kind of a blurr in my mind. I know that I did tell my PCP of my foreboding. He knew me well enough to check out some things and did do EKG and blood work which were normal. I began keeping a journal around this time as I was truly concerned for my mortality and I wanted "proof" that I wasn't crazy.

From my journal dated August 12, 2003:

Scott and I have just returned from a trip to Oregon along the Columbia River and Mt. Hood. We had gone up to the mountain to do some hiking but ended up staying in the lodge due to a sudden hail/snow storm. I was secretly relieved though as there is no way I could have managed a hike. I have been so tired lately, fatigued really. I have been to five doctors in the last month complaining of fatigue, restlessness and insomnia. Everything checks out o.k. but I am not feeling any better and even have stopped going to the gym, I just can't find the energy to workout. Last night I got up from a chair and had a sudden pain in the middle of my back, a kind of cramping really. I lay down for awhile and felt some relief although I wonder if I gave myself a panic attack as my heart was racing and I was having some flutters. Scott didn't think any of this sounded good especially since I have felt so bad lately so we went to the E.R. (again) . No real answers. I did ask if it could be my heart but the tests were all negative. After a gallbladder ultrasound, kidney x-rays, a CT scan, EKGs (more than one) and chest films they decided there was nothing else to do and commented that "I'd probably be back." The attitude being that I am a little 'off.' The doc thinks that I may have colitis or a kidney stone that hasn't moved yet and doesn't show on an x-ray. I was sent home with some pain meds and told to come back if the pain get worse. How much is worse? Tell me it's not my heart...

to be continued


  1. Ack, I can't imagine how you felt, knowing something was wrong and no one could figure out what.....

  2. You really must have wondered if you were losing your mind. That sense of foreboding must have been terrible. I am so sorry you had such difficult days, but I am very grateful you're here now.

  3. weird somehow I missed 5 post updates, weird with you being on my blog roll... hummm.
    Happy Late birthday Jeffery!
    I hope blogger does not hide your future posts from me... sometimes blogger ittitates me in a big way.

  4. My goodness. How frustrating to go through all that checking and finding nothing. I'm very interested in what happened... I'm tired all the time... that could be from being lazy and constantly reading stuff on the computer though... LOL!

  5. Your symptoms are sounding a little to familiar to me. Kind of scary. Can't wait to hear more!!!!

    God Bless~

  6. Oh JoJo--I relate so much to what you went through with the doctors, ER visits, the trying to get somebody to figure things out. Bill and I went through the same thing; it took from the very beginning of December to the following July to figure out he had cancer. I have always wondered how much of the metastasizing took place during that time. I just wish things like this didn't have to happen. So scary, and yet I'm kind of on the edge of my seat waiting for the next installment.

  7. Yikes. I am glad you are sharing this....

  8. This is quite the cliffhanger. Can't wait until the next post.

    I hate that you had to feel so bad with no validation from doctors. I always wonder how many lives could be saved if the medical professionals believed people when they said they knew something was wrong.

  9. Sorry that I missed your son's birthday. He looks like a fine young man and I wish him and his bride-to-be many happy years together.

    I have experienced fatigue all of my life and they've never found anything that they feel is causing it. I'm sure that the sense of foreboding had you in quite a state and I can understand why. Many doctors today don't listen to women and think that symtoms are "all in your head." I've been told this more than once.

    I look forward to the continuation of your story and thank you for posting this for all women to see.


  10. One of the things I've always heard is how different the symptomology of women's heart attacks vs. men's. One of the reasons I think it is important to get any info that a person can is because there seems to be so much less knowledge about heart attacks in women. I have two brothers that are docs and the only reason that they are somewhat more knowledgeable is because of our mom and her history.

    Thank you JoJo for sharing.

  11. Okies, sorry I'm just now catching up , I wanted to read all the updates on your heart at once, and now have the time to do it!
    Idiot doctors!


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