Life is full of surprises, especially as regards our bodies and health. About 15 years ago I had this really weird sudden headache pain where something like a worm was throbbing on the side of my skull and hurting me. I could actually feel it moving and it freaked me out. I guess memories of Alien were more present then, but whatever it was it was abnormal for me and I went to a brain surgeon. She had a brain scan done and told me I was perfectly fine and said it was just a neuralgic headache. I said that I had never had experienced anything like that to which she replied "Well, you've never been this age before." Touché.....because it says it all about getting older. You just don't know what will happen down the road, no matter what you have done or experienced so far. Like Forrest Gump said, Life is like a box of chocolates but while some of them are great, some others are rotten and definitely not a good experience.
All this to lead into the fact that despite never having smoked past my teen years, not having consumed alcohol for the past 15 years, having low to normal cholesterol, having low blood pressure most of my life and at normal levels now at 73 years old, and never having been diagnosed with a cardiac problem, on Saturday night I suffered a heart attack. I had been feeling increasingly short of breath and having a hard time walking more than 2 blocks without stopping all week, and was too tired to go to the Friday night jam I always attend. On Saturday night I went to a gig of some old work friends and had a great time, but when I walked out onto the sidewalk at midnight I was suddenly hit with stabbing pain on both sides of my chest which made me dizzy, hot, yawning repeatedly with tiredness and confusion. I sat down on a retaining wall and rested till it went away and thought about what it could be because it really was painful and a totally unexpected even having not walked any distance at all.
I figured it was my Bronchiectasis, but that has never given me real pain, just pressure in the lungs and in fact at this moment I was free of symptoms....no phlegm, no coughing, no choking etc. Part of me said to just go home and go to sleep, but another voice said that it might be my heart and that would be bad if I went home and ignored it. Luckily my hospital was 4 blocks away and I snail walked there and spent the night in the ER being tested every which way. In the morning they said the blood analysis was 10 X higher for some coronary indicator than it had been at admission and they said that it was a heart attack and they admitted me.
So here I have been since then, taking all sorts of meds like Heparin to thin my blood, something to slow my cardiac frequency, aspirin, and all sorts of other things, plus being on a heart monitor all the time. Sunday night I had such shortness of breath they put me on oxygen and on Monday they did a coronary echograph which showed that it was an artery and not the heart itself. But that test is not conclusive and so today I had a Coronary Catheterization exploration which the doctor said shows that one trunk artery is badly blocked right at the entry into the heart. There may also be other arteries that have some blockage so on Thursday they are going a Coronary CAT scan to see more clearly what is what and which is the best option to repair it.
There are only really two options, the first is an angioplasty with one or more stents put in, and the second is bypass surgery. Naturally the first sounds more appealing because it is quick, relatively painless, and the recovery time is quite short. However the drawback is that being practically in the entry to the heart it could cause problems and require a second stent inside the first or worse yet, affect the heart muscle itself. So that would leave the bypass surgery with opening my chest and all that invasive trauma and the long recuperation period that follows. Not enticing at all as it will make me an invalid and put my life as husband, father and sax player on total hold. Bother Bother Bother. And here I thought that my lung disease was the worst that could happen to me while in fact perhaps it was connected in some way to the cardiac problem and to the attack.
At any rate I will have to wait to hear what the doctors recommend and follow their advice since the know more than I do and I do not want to exacerbate my problems due to my lung disease with possible later coronary complications. All I can say is thank god for modern medicine and for my great medical insurance here in Barcelona because I would never have been able to get even this far in life if I had stayed in the States....especially now with you know who doing you know what.
The real irony of this....a kick in the butt really.....is that just that afternoon I posted a thread asking people who the oldest people still playing out on the forum are. I prided myself on playing at 2, 3 or even more jams a week for he past 4 years and that must have jinxed the deal for me because immediately I am out of action of all kinds. LOL.....God's Great Banana Peel got me good.