Heart Attack Medical Records
People have been asking for updates on my heart attack recovery progress. There isn’t a huge amount to report here yet. As you can imagine, I haven’t really been doing much so don’t have much to blog about. I have been chilling on the patio in the sunshine though.
I am feeling a little better than I was. I’ve been told not to do anything more than easy walks, so that’s all I’ve been doing. The damaged tissue in my heart needs time to heal so I’m doing as I’ve been told. It does feel as though I should do a little more as a walk doesn’t elevate my heart rate at all. However, I think at the moment too little is probably better than too much. So, until I’m given the green light to do more I’ll stick to walking.
I did lengthen my walk to 4 miles on Saturday. That was 4 weeks after my heart attack.
I might therefore do a 5 mile walk sometime this week. I’ll then do a 6 mile walk in week 6. I’ll stop increasing it there though as 6 miles should be plenty. I will also be starting my formal cardiac rehab exercise program in the week after that.
We’ve been gradually gathering the various medical reports etc. For some reason these are more difficult to get hold of than they should be.
Cath Lab Report
I have managed to get hold of the ‘report’ from the emergency Cath lab. It doesn’t say much but does show that my right coronary artery was 100% blocked quite high up.
In some ways it’s good that it was the right artery not the left. However, a 100% blockage isn’t good. The fact that it was so high up in the artery isn’t good either as it means that more of the heart was starved of its blood supply for the 5 hours it took to get to hospital. That means there’s likely to be more dead tissue and permanent damage. It also shows that two stents were inserted.
I’ve got one of the ECG traces that were taken. This one was recorded 24 hours after the stents were inserted.
The bradycardia is normal for me. The arrhythmia isn’t and the acute MI / STEMI definitely isn’t! One of the positives of all of this is that I’ve been learning more about interpreting ECG traces. This one shows the classic elevated ST segment indicative of a STEMI heart attack. It also shows pathologic Q-waves indicative of tissue damage. If these are still there on subsequent echocardiograms then they are unlikely to ever improve.
The only other thing I’ve managed to get hold is the report from my echocardiogram.
It doesn’t make great reading, but it was taken a day or so after the stents were inserted. Hopefully some of this will improve over the next few months. I’m hoping some of the inflammation will reduce. I hope the ejection fraction will increase and that the ‘mystery structure’ will remain unchanged.
I haven’t managed to get hold of the results from any of my blood tests yet. It’ll be nice to see these so that I know how high my Troponin levels were. It’ll also be good to see my cholesterol levels, potassium levels and blood sugar levels. We’ve asked for them so will hopefully get them soon,
I’ve got an echocardiogram scheduled for later this month, followed by an appointment with a cardiologist. That should give us an idea of how well recovery is going and how much permanent damage has been done. I have of course got plenty of questions to ask as well. Mainly about determining the underlying causes, investigating the current condition of my heart and coronary arteries and about the amount and intensity of exercise I should / can do. Obviously I’d like to get back to some sort of exercise / training, but only if I can do so in a safe manner.
I should also be starting formal cardiac rehab exercise classes in August. I’m not sure about these yet. I imagine they’ll either be really good, or really frustrating – we’ll see. As long as they treat me like ‘me’ rather than treating me like just another heart attack patient then it should be fine.
I’m still feeling a little fragile at the moment. Walking is fine but anything that involves bending, pushing, pulling or lifting is difficult. Anna and Morgan are looking after me though and keeping me from doing such things. I still have discomfort in my chest and occasionally some pain. There’s some muscle aches and nausea now and then as well which could well be medication side effects. There’s obviously some worry whenever there’s pain, twinges or anything new or different as well.
I doubt it’ll ever be business as before but it’ll be nice to start making some plans and to do some fun things. At the moment it feels as though life is on hold while I recover. I’m hoping the cardiac rehab will allow us to start looking forwards.