Saturday, 19 May 2012

Your Husband Has Had A Minor Heart Attack- Would You Like A Cup Of Tea?

Because we need just a bit more drama in our lives right now!

Let me start off by saying that The Hubby is fine. He's home and a bit shaken and tired, but he's fine. Apologies in advance for such a long post but so much happened and I just want to get it out there in one go.

We have had a crazy couple of days here at Casa de My New Normal. A couple of days that I would like to never have to go through again. It all started on Thursday night when The Hubby got back from a work trip. He had been travelling for a few days and had been on several short hop flights. All with a carry-on that was too heavy because he was worried about the airlines losing his bag.

When he got home he immediately started complaining that his back and neck were very sore from carrying his bag. He was really tired and just wanted to eat dinner and relax. Because I'm 34 weeks pregnant and in the running for wife of the year, I had nothing prepared. So he settled for a can of chili which as usual he added lots of extra spicy chilies and onions.

Shortly after dinner he asked me for some of my heartburn medication. He said the chili was making his chest hurt. I gave him some but it didn't help. He was making these funny faces and grabbing at the left side of his chest. He said that he was having really sharp chest pains and that they were getting worse.

Trying not to panic, I quickly consulted with Dr Google about the symptoms of a heart attack. I started quizzing him, chest pains-yes, neck pain-yes, back pain-yes, tingling in the hands or arms-yes. Holy crap, he's got the symptoms of a heart attack. We both got really scared and I decided to call 999 (that's the UK version of 911). They answered quickly and we had a paramedic at the house within 5 minutes.

The paramedic hooked him up to her portable heart monitor machine and said that the read out looked normal. His blood pressure was a bit high but that was probably due to the stress of everything. While this was sort of a relief, he continued to have chest pains even as she said things looked OK. She recommended we let the ambulance take us to the emergency room to do further tests. She came before the ambulance so we would have to wait for it to arrive.

During this wait, The Hubby started feeling better. His chest pains stopped and he started grumbling that he didn't want to waste his night sitting in the emergency room with "all the drunks." He said that he didn't want to add any stress to me since I was pregnant and that a night in A&E was not the best place for either of us.

I was having none of this. I insisted that the only way I would feel any less stress would be to have him checked out thoroughly by a doctor. I was worried that the pain might come back in the middle of the night and then what would we do. He was not happy, but begrudgingly agreed to let them take him.

So off we went in the back of the ambulance. I've never ridden in one before so that's one more thing to cross off the list. It's not nearly as fun as you imagine when you're a child. Anyway, we get to the hospital and then we have to wait a bit, but not too long. Although long enough for The Hubby to sigh and make it clear that he thought we didn't really need to be there.

Once they called his name and got him hooked up to their machine things changed quickly.

After his reading, the tech went and got the doctor in charge who quickly rushed into his little cubicle. He started fussing at the tech for making us wait so long and asked The Hubby a bunch of questions. He wanted to know if he had ever had an ECG at the hospital before. As it turns out he has so the doctor sent the tech to get a print out for comparison.

It was at this point that I knew we weren't being silly for coming in. I knew that maybe my instinct to never ignore chest pain was spot on. That this was going to end up being something more serious. And boy was I right.

After a quick comparison of the readings we were taken to a different part of the A&E. A room with a big heart monitor machine. They hooked him up to take some more readings and the room started to fill with people. The cardiologist arrived and so did his nurse. The doctor in charge of the emergency room filled him in and the cardiologist asked The Hubby a bunch of questions.

That's when we both heard some very scary words. "You have had a minor heart attack and we're going to prep you for an angiogram to assess the damage." That's when The Hubby stopped looking annoyed and started looking scared. He went a bit white and started shaking. I was so numb I wasn't sure what do do. So I went over and hugged him. Well not a real hug because the bump is too big to reach over the railing of the bed and he was hooked up to the machine. But the best kind of hug I could manage.

At this point some of the attention turned to me. I think they were worried about what the stress of being told your husband has had a heart attack would do to a 34 week pregnant lady. The doctor in charge of the emergency room told me that it was absolutely the right thing to insist that The Hubby come in to the hospital. He told me that I probably saved his life. Then he offered me a cup of tea.

I swear I am not making this part up. He told me my husband had a heart attack and that my actions may have saved his life and then offered me a cup of tea. How very English of him.

In a matter of minutes they had a team prepped, the room ready, and we were on our way. Through the halls of the deserted hospital (it was almost midnight at this point). Into the elevator, and up to the floor where the operating theatres are.

On the way they explained to us both about the angiogram. That it would be done through his wrist and that he would be awake the whole time. They would be looking to see if there were any blockages or clots and would be fixing anything they found. They mentioned a few things they would do including stents, but I have to say it was all a bit of a blur at this point.

My mind was racing. My husband had had a heart attack. I am pregnant and due to deliver in three weeks. We lost our first son less than two years ago. Seriously??? Now we get to deal with a heart attack?? Can't we ever get away from the drama??

I forced myself to snap out of it. I had to listen, I had to focus, I had to keep calm so I didn't miss anything. This was important stuff they were telling me and I needed a clear head.

Once we got to the floor where they would do the operation they wheeled him straight in, only stopping long enough for me to give him a kiss and another sort of hug. Then I was left alone in an empty ward. A scary empty hospital ward.

Thankfully after a few minutes the nurse came back and told me I could wait in what would be his room. So we went to the CCU which was also pretty dark and empty, but at least I was in his room and there was a bathroom I could use. Yep, this preggo really had to pee by this point.

At this point I finally had time to reach out to let a few family members know what was going on. It wasn't easy though because as you may know, hospitals aren't exactly mobile phone friendly and even when you find a spot with a signal, it keeps dropping off. So I only got through a couple of calls before the nurse came back to get me. She said they were done and that the doctor wanted to talk to me.

So back through the abandoned halls we went, into the empty elevators and down to where The Hubby was. The doctor came out and said something amazing.

He didn't have a heart attack after all.

I couldn't believe it. Not a heart attack?? No damage at all? The doctor said that even though the ECG indicated a heart attack, his heart was perfectly healthy. No blockages, no clots, no damage at all. Apparently it is an anomaly that is rare but happens sometimes (now where have I heard that before?) and that they always err on the side of caution.

I can't even describe the wave of relief I felt at that moment. I was still a bit in shock, but so relieved as well. They let me go into the room to see him and he looked so much better. Not scared anymore and very relived. He kept apologizing for putting me through this for which I told him to stop apologizing. I would go through this a million times with him if I had to. Although I'd prefer not to of course.

I followed him as they wheeled him to his room. They kept him overnight for observation and sent me home to get some sleep. It was about 1:30am at this point. I got home and did my best to sleep.

The next morning he emailed me to say they were releasing him. I rushed over with clean clothes and they finally sent him home in the afternoon. We were both super tired and quite shaken up by the whole experience. It's not something either of us want to have to go through again. But it's also a reminder that you should never ignore chest pain,,, never.

So what was it then? The doctor's think that his chest pain was severe indigestion caused by the can of chili he ate. Perhaps made worse by some muscle strain. But it wasn't a heart attack.

It wasn't a heart attack.

I swear sometimes I feel like my life is a soap opera. The kind that if I was watching I'd think that the writers were taking it a bit far. That no one's life is really that dramatic. That they needed to give this character a break.

Oh, and we're throwing all the rest of the cans of chili away!


  1. So glad your husband is ok! What a scary night!!! I hope the next few weeks are as drama free as possible. If only a good cuppa could make things better!!!

  2. OMG!! You had me crying and finally grinning, I'm so glad your hubby is ok. I'm also smiling at the offer of's a cure all y'know, we love our tea here in the UK.

  3. Thank goodness it was just heartburn and not a heart attack. No more drama till Frostina arrives hopefully.

  4. I sped read that post out of anxiety, and was so relieved to see he was fine at the end!! What a relief!! Now take it easy for the next 3 weeks - both of you!!

  5. I'm glad he's ok! That sounds so stressful.

  6. I am so relieved for you! I was practically holding my breath has I read the post. How stressful for you! I am very glad all three of you are okay.

  7. So glad everything is fine! Rest up the three of you, and I agree with previous posts, no more drama!

  8. Oh, my God. The thought of losing my husband strikes deep, deep fear in me. It's the only thing I imagine would be worse than what I've already endured. I'm so glad your husband is ok. And that doctor is darling!

  9. This is my first visit to your blog, what an eventful post. Glad to hear that your hubby is okay.

    Also want to add, 34 weeks, from where I'm sitting that is so great. 34 weeks is a magic number for me. It was our goal when I was on bed rest following some complications.

  10. "how very English of him."

    Grin. Yes.

    Oh god. Poor you. No more drama now. Argh to it all.

    Hugs :)

  11. Oh my gosh. HOW terrifying.

    SO glad he is okay but seriously... that scare was good enough to give me a heart attack. Glad they weren't taking your blood pressure during the ordeal either as I'm sure it would've been astronomical.

    But the tea. Hah.

  12. Oh wow! Let's hope that you have NO MORE DRAMA! Let's have a nice baby as scheduled, right? (and a nice cuppa)

  13. So glad you are all well.

    How terrifying! Good on the docs for checking him out properly. Here's to a peaceful couple of weeks xx

  14. Oh wow...I'm so glad he's ok!!!!

  15. woah, I can't even imagine the tenseness off that situation - but SO relieved he is all ok.
    Thoughts and best wishes for the next few weeks. xx Di

  16. That is all so scary. I'm glad your hubby is okay!!!

  17. Oh my word. I had to come to the computer to comment. What an awful ordeal. But I am so glad that you did go to the hospital and get it checked out, I think I have learned now - better to be safe than sorry. Wishing both of you peace and no more dramas....

  18. Holy crap! I think I would have had a heart attack if id had to go through that at 34 weeks! I'm so glad everything is ok!!!!

  19. How scary! I'm so glad he's okay and that it wasn't a heart attack after all. I'm the same though, better check it out than have major regrets if something would happen.

  20. Sounds like you are living in a soap opera! Glad the ending was so good!!!!! Sounds like you got excellent care too.

  21. Holy Schickies! That is just crazy...heart attack, no heart attack, heart heart attack No wonder you are both exhausted. I am glad all three of you are okay.

  22. So glad he is okay! I sort of love that you were offered a cup of tea in the midst of the craziness. It must have been incredibly stressful for both of you. I hope the next three weeks are blissfully uneventful!

  23. What a scare! I'm so glad your husband is okay, but good call on dumping the rest of the chili. I love the English philosophy that a cup of tea can make everything better ... sometimes it really can!

  24. how incredibly scary. but so glad you acted on your intuition, and he got it checked out. thinking of you...

  25. oh my goodness! So glad all turned out to be okay but how scary for you!

  26. How scary! So glad that everything turned out okay.

  27. Oh. My. Gosh.

    As if you needed something else to deal with right now! How scary and crazy! So glad he is okay, though. xx

  28. I can't believe I was laughing in that post! "yes dear your husband has had a heart attack, I'll just put kettle on" I love England!

    I am so glad he is ok, and you are too. Blimey!

  29. Oh hun... my heart was in my mouth reading your story !! You guys have been through so much... and so relieved to hear that he's OK :) xoxo

  30. Oh my GOD. That's incredible - and all either of you need. Thank the lord he's okay...the whole episode feels like a drawn out and deeper version of a potential-failed NST or biophysical that ends up being just fine. The sense of foreboding that Something Awful is happening again and what does it mean and how will it turn out?!?!
    We need everything else in life to stay stable - pregnancy is more than enough, thank you very much.
    So so glad it was an essential nonevent in the long run. Now, to get through the next 6 weeks!

  31. Glad to hear that your husband is putting a great example for others. Heart attack is not end of life but one can definitely overcome from it with proper diet and exercise. I would love to share a link here. You and other readers can easily find health articles on this magazine.


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