“Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.” American Heart Association
My mother had a doctors appointment on Monday the 19th. She was concerned that her stool was looking very black. Her doctor suggested that she go to the emergency room. My mother refused. On Tuesday the 20th she began to experience pain in her upper abdomen area and slight shortness of breath. The symptoms would come and go, sometimes be severe, but never very long-lasting. I finally took her to the emergency room on Saturday. They diagnosed her with a bleeding ulcer. They switched up some of her medicine to decrease the threat of another ulcer.
She had been diagnosed with polycythemia vera about four years ago. This is a blood cancer where the bone marrow makes too many red blood platelets. She underwent some therapies for it at that time. She ended up stopping those strategies because she did not like the side effects. While we were at the hospital for the bleeding ulcer, they noticed that the polycythemia vera had increased dramatically. She was in the hospital until Monday the 26th. On Wednesday the 28th, she saw a hematologist to again start therapies for that illness.
We thought we had the problems solved. Then on Thursday night into Friday morning the 30th, she experienced more pain. Instead of waiting, I took her immediately to the ER. Her blood test showed that she was actively in a heart attack during this time. Long story short, after EKGs, sonograms and blood tests they decided to do a pharmaceutical stress test.
After the chemical stress test the cardiologist said that there is no blockage, but there is permanent damage. He thought there would be no need for extra tests or procedures. However, she did have a blood transfusion to replace the blood that was lost through the black stools, which amounted to more than 1/3 of her blood.
She is home now and doing well. Lots of meds for the variety of health needs. The worse part of the whole ordeal was the blood tests and transfusion as her veins do not cooperate and she is bruised quite a bit. She will be starting cardiac therapy soon.
I mentioned before that she has been going 90 miles an hour for 90 years. I think the exercise routine she has done on a very consistent basis, will help her with the ability to bounce back fast. We are hoping she will be starting cardiac rehab soon.
Heart attack symptoms in women are different than men. It did not look like a typical heart attack to me or her, or even the doctors the first time we were there. But we were so wrong. Please take care that you understand the symptoms for a heart attack and stroke as noted on the American Heart Association’s website. Heart.org.
Thank you, thank you for all of your prayers and concerns! There has been a lot of prayer surrounding her and I know that God is watching over her every second! He has her in the palm of his hand!