My heart isn’t what it used to be…

Problems afoot in this heart of mineSitting down to write what has happened over the last two days of my life is quite strange. Something I didn’t expect to have to write about but a lot of people have asked what happened. Sit back and read what my body has been through in that short amount time.

Wednesday started out like any other day for me. Up and out of the house for a 06:50[ish] train to Preston and then a second one onto Manchester and the office in the Northern Quarter. Nothing strange about that as that’s what I have had to do almost every working day for the last 10 months.

That was fine, getting into the office a couple of minutes before 9 was also quite normal for the day. Sit down and check emails and outstanding items on my to-do list, and probably adding a couple more, was all done and dusted. Sorting out some paperwork for a meeting later on in the morning went well as it was just checking that the data was all correct. All that data was checked and it seemed fine for me.

Then around 11:30 I went into a meeting with a colleague to discuss the previously mentioned paperwork and a site that needed some of my advice over. We had managed to get through most of the first part of the meeting and then my chest felt strange and I got hit by the room spinning and a bout of nausea. I thought it was something to do with me breaking my laptop a couple of days earlier – that seemed to involve my head and the corner of the machine!

We had to put that on hold for a while as I wasn’t feeling at all well. A call to the UK’s 111 number got a reply that they were dispatching an ambulance to me there and then – I think it was mentioning that I had some chest pains changed the tone of the whole conversation. Whilst on the phone I was feeling more and more faint and felt that I was about to slip into unconsciousness – a strange sleepy feeling! I had to hand the phone over to someone else in the office as you can tell I was in no state to answer any questions about where I was and how to get into the building.

This now puts us at around 12 midday when a nice paramedic turned up and wired me up to see what my heart was doing. At that time I was still feeling quite bad with chest pains – then two of her colleagues turned up to assist in, firstly, getting me out of the building and then stable in an ambulance and then off to hospital. The told me that they had noticed something strange on the heart trace and wasn’t going to risk it and as such I was rushed over to the nearest cardiac unit, not that far away at Manchester Royal.

Now we’re at about 12:30 to 1pm when I arrived at the hospital. With being an avid user of social media I did actually tweet that fact.

As I might have been having some heart issues they then by-passed, no pun intended, casualty and ended straight into a triage area where the medical team assessed me more. At that time they couldn’t detect what was causing the odd trace. It was my luck that I was showing atypical signs of a heart attack [a Myocardial Infarction – MI] at that time. shortly into that assessment I then started to show the more typical actions of having a MI. The pain was moving upwards and leftwards in the chest so they decided to use “best practice” and take me into surgery there and then.

A stent outside a heartJust over an hour later I ended up with, what I later described as a “piece of a drinking straw” put into an artery, about an inch scar on my wrist – across and not down 🙂 – and something that wouldn’t have looked out of place on Blakes 7 over the cut to stop any chance of bleeding. I have been told that this piece of drinking straw was inserted into the Left Anterior Descending Artery.

Due to the lack of any mobile signals in the recovery ward I was out of contact with the outside world until about 7 in the morning of the next day, Thursday. When I was next contactable from the outside world I did realise how many people were worried about me and wanted updates as time went on.

When sent to recovery after my, urgent and possibly life saving operation, I was informed that it might not have been possible to transfer me over to a hospital nearer to where I live. That was just after I got in, that all changed a couple of hours later when the shift changed and they managed to get a bed in Blackpool. Early the next day, Thursday, I was lugged over to an ambulance and driven the hour, or so, over to Blackpool Victoria hospital.

As I’m writing this part on the 3rd day after my attack, Friday, around about the time that this whole saga started. With that I have been told by my consultant that I am going to be discharged sometime today. That could be in the next hour or next eight!

I would prefer the sooner the better approach to leaving hospital but, currently, I have to be in the lap of the NHS transport gods!

News has just come in that I can’t work at all for the next 6 to 12 weeks but as I can work from home they have said that this could be closer to the lower end of the scale, even so I’m sure that I’ll be stir crazy after the first week…

Finally I have to thank the teams at Rocket Fish and Local World for their help, compassion, and understanding when I was having my problems in the office and the resulting paramedics taking over the building for a short while.

That basically sums up the last couple of days of my life. Normal service will now continue on this blog after this post with one about death!

As a postscript to this long and drawn out post, the pills that I am currently on, some for the rest of my life are:

  • Asprin
  • Ticagrelor
  • Bisoprolol
  • Ramiprill
  • Atprvastatin