The Hokey Cokey

Thursday 14th March 2019:

In, out…back in again. After being discharged on Tuesday I enjoyed the hospital’s culinary delights so much I was re-admitted via A&E yesterday and am back in the coronary care unit. It’s like the Hokey bloody Cokey!

I joke about the food here but despite it’s “microwaved to within an inch of its life” appearance it actually tastes pretty good…most likely because I haven’t had to rustle it up at the same time as holding down a full time job, running a home, parenting my eight-year-old daughter Dakota-Skye and seven-year-old son Huey-Jay (who by the way are dealing with this like little legends), chairing the school PTA, heading a netball team, as well as ensuring the family fish, Rhubarb Junior, Custard and Sprinkles, and Stripey Dave the cat are fed and watered.

After a stream of visitors and floral deliveries I got what I thought was heart burn on Wednesday afternoon. That’s kind of how my heart attack started but I still ignored it this time for a couple of hours, allowing it to get worse and worse. I must be hungry, I figured. Maybe it was the statin medication…I’ve not had one of those before…or perhaps it was the garlic in the “good for your heart” soup my mate Amy had specially prepared for my lunch (I have the best friends).

Then I started to get pins and needles in my fingers, nose and cheeks, and my arms became heavy. I was hyperventilating. I was having a full-on panic attack…I’d experienced one of these before. But was it just a panic attack, I wondered, or was my heart having a blip too?

I’d been prescribed glyceryl trinitrate (GTN) spray the night before which relaxes and widens the blood vessels and helps prevent a heart attack and gets rid of chest pains. So, of course I used it straight away, didn’t I? Particularly given what had happened on Friday. Did I hell!

But why? I’ll tell you why…because I’m 40 and can’t possibly be having a heart attack! I still can’t believe I had one on Friday.

Blood tests have today revealed that unlike last time the cardiac enzyme troponin is not raised in my ticker. Therefore, there was no sign of attack this time. But I am having regular centralised chest pains, like the most disgusting indigestion you can imagine, and guess what? The GTN spray does exactly what it says on the pack. So now I won’t let it out of my sight.

However, I still need to be pain free before they’ll discharge me. And if it’s not a heart attack that’s causing the pain, what is it and how can it be resolved? All questions that are baffling the experts too given my observation readings are normal.

What we do know is that when dye was injected into the arteries of my heart during Tuesday’s angiogram to test my blood flow, my heart went into spasm. I watched it happen on the screen in a sedated state. I actually saw it jiggling about…mind blown! The spasms happened later when they gave me intravenous morphine too. Totally unpleasant, so I’m sticking to the drinkable version (oramorph) from now on.

I can’t tell you how many times my life has flashed before me in just six short days. Never more so than when I was rushed off for a CT scan when it was feared my aortic valve was torn…code for being on the brink of “lights out”.

Tomorrow we say goodbye to our good friend Sooty whose heart couldn’t quite keep up with his big personality. Sadly, I’ll miss it but…and I’m not religious…I’ve felt him with me throughout the past few days. And what a comfort that’s been. He was only 44. Just unreal.

I’m definitely suffering some sort of post traumatic stress disorder and have been left pondering the meaning of life.

We are defined only by our experiences. I wish having a dodgy heart didn’t have to be one of mine, but it’s tough…it is. I’ve been told how brave I am. I’m not, I’m shit scared but what other choice do I have? Besides, my gran is 91, she has dementia and I had planned to run the half marathon to raise funds for Alzheimer’s Society…there is not a chance I’m letting her outlive me! She would have hated that even more.

Such a funny thing is life and I’ve totally stolen this reference but what if the Hokey Cokey really is what it’s all about?


8 thoughts on “The Hokey Cokey

  1. Cara says:

    Oh sweetie, thank you for sharing your story, I hope by writing it’s helping you deal with all of this, please make sure you keep getting everything out and not suffer in silence, it’s been a emotional rollercoaster hey, and if anything you brings it home to never ever take anything for granted as it can all change in a blink of an eyelid for any one of us. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Helen Bishop- robins says:

    Oh sue you really are going through it love. I hope they get to the bottom of the problem soon. Thinking of you, big big hugs xxx❤️❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Right! Now you are really starting to give me the colly wobbles!! That’s quite an intense read. Especially the bit about seeing your heart go into spasms during a procedure! Surely the time has now come Sue, to listen to these loud messages from your body, and turn down the superhero stuff? Job probably not so easy to stop, but netball captain?…even dare I say (cos you are doing a fab job) PTA chair!! The hardest thing when we reach this stage in life is realising not only how fragile we are, but how fast life is flying by, and we just want to do it all. Make the most of everything! But the reality is often that some balance is needed, between being the linchpin, and being a caretaker of ourselves. 😊. Slow down lass, and take care. Debs x

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Tina says:

    Totally agree Sue how scary our health challenges make us reflect on what really is important and question mortality,lifestyle choices as well as who are true friend’s really are. I feel, like yourself
    its good to talk about these issues to help others understand how life can take such a fast turn…totally empathise with the rollercoaster, hokey,cokey,moments !

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Amy says:

    Sending my love to you and your family during this awfully scary time. Please message if I can help in anyway. The children would be more than welcome over for a play date.
    Thank you for being strong enough to share your story. You are incredibly strong and will come through this x

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Helen Pearce says:

    Hey lovely Sue, so incredibly glad you are still with us. Please take care of yourself and your amazing family x x x x keep that spray close at hand lovely x x x keep talking, we are all listening x x

    Liked by 1 person

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