I said I’d update after Mike’s appointment and I promise I meant to right away but……Christmas! Whew! What a busy and amazing and wonderful and blessed time of year….but….busy! 🙂
That was scary, y’all.
Though I have heard all the words that revolve around heart attacks and heart issues, learning about them through the lens of how they affect my husband has been quite an experience. I think in Part 2 I left off with us getting home on Thursday. I think we both slept SO hard that night. Post-hospital exhaustion is so real!!
Mike listened to the advice of the physicians and took it very easy over the weekend. No working, no lifting, just lots of rest and fluids. I was very proud of him for being a good patient. He can be very hard headed in case that was not obvious to y’all by now! 😉
Monday was a big day! He went back to work…but instead of getting up at 4:50 and leaving around 5:45 or so he got up around 6:30 and left around 7:20….which of course changed my schedule around but soooo worth it if it alleviates some stress for my sweet hubby!
I took him lunch around 11:45 and he sat in the car with me to eat for about 30 mins…not talking about work but just chit chatting about kids and our upcoming trip home to NC and how he was feeling. No rushing to get back in the office, just enjoying the time together.
MJ had a basketball game that was earlier than normal and he met us there a few minutes before 4 pm so his day was short. It was probably the perfect scenario for the first day back from his episode last week. The Lord really worked that out for him….not a stressful day back at all. So many of his work days are and I am so grateful that the Lord saw fit to spare him in countless ways!
He has been SO tired. Exhausted, really. I am not sure if it’s the meds, the after effects of the trauma and emotions and lost sleep or the return to work yesterday but he was asleep by 8 pm last night! I had to wake him up to take his nightly medicine with some toast! His wrist was sore last night, likely from using his laptop keyboard – and it’s his right hand – and he’s right handed…so I sort of expected that. The site of the entry looks fine – so thankful for that! He has had ZERO chest pain since before the stent. Other than a mild headache he has really been amazed at how he feels!
We have had so many conversations about how the whole thing went down last week and there are so many ways that we can see how God shaped and orchestrated the days leading up to THE DAY. There are ways that we have both been blessed by family and friends and strangers that I can’t even recount them all. There are new fears and new worries, yes. But there are also renewed promises and faith and knowledge that through it all, we were blessed.
I can’t thank everyone who was praying for us enough. I heard from people far and wide and we felt your prayers. We felt peace. We felt love. I am so incredibly grateful.
Mike’s follow up appointment is tomorrow and I sure hope they are ready for me…I mean him! LOL Let’s just say I.HAVE.QUESTIONS. This post heart attack life is going to be different….we are going to learn from it and we are going to move forward with renewed hope that we can make it through anything with faith and with one another!
I will update again once we have that appointment with any new information that we learn and I am certain I’ll have more thoughts and emotions and yes…probably more questions!!!
So…it’s now in the middle of the night…around 2 am and I am tossing and turning a bit…and each time I do….I can tell that Mike is siting up. The next time I wake up, I notice he’s on his laptop. I sleep a little bit and wake up to more laptop husband. So I ask him what he’s doing. He replies that he is sending something because he thinks he might go to the doctor in the morning and that makes enough sense to me so I again go back to sleep. Not a restful sleep, mind you…as I am stilllllll hurting. Still feeling like, “this is bad…this feeling is bad…”
Around 5:30 am…after waking up multiple times and Mike was still awake, I get up and he says he thinks he needs to go to urgent care or ER. I get ready and we hit the road. We have a little conversation about where we should go – mostly I believe because he thinks that the fine folks at Baylor Scott & White are going to think we are CRAZY – and I win with the ER that I had just been at. We know this place…they already have all of our info…and it is about 3 minutes from home. Winner, winner.
So…I clearly knew what to expect since I just had this same scenario (since even though his shoulder hurt, it was his chest too)….and it was all just the same….until that part where they gave me the 4 aspirin. When they brought his….they also gave him a nitroglycerine tablet. I knew what that meant but honestly was hoping it was a preventative measure. I did not want to hear those words. We waited in silence for a few minutes for the ER Dr to confirm our fears.
My sweet hubby, with a heart of gold…a heart that I love and that I know without a shadow of a doubt loves me….had suffered a heart attack.
(I can’t even skip this part where after the Dr confirmed this, my sweet hubby said, “Man, I thought I’d be at least 50 before my first heart attack…” NOT THE TIME FOR JOKING MIKE JONES AND THIS IS NOT A GOAL WE WERE GONNA HAVE!!)
The next couple of hours were a blur of pain meds for him…waiting…his pain returning…and more pain meds. He was hurting just as bad if not worse than when we first got there. In the midst of all of this they were working on admitting him and figuring out when they could do the heart catheterization so they could check for what they suspected, a blockage.
He was admitted and it was honestly a whirlwind of people in and out…taking him for tests, blood/lab work, getting him comfortable, me trying to inform his parents and my parents and coordinating MJ getting to school (thank you Jesus for Christian – my helper always!!!) and SO.MANY.QUESTIONS. From me, I mean. I have never been through this and I had heard words like heart cath and stent and balloons and bypasses and I just had no idea what to expect. It was pretty rough, y’all. Especially considering that I was still hurting. He was still hurting. And we just both wanted to SLEEP.
Once his case was reviewed and the cardiologist stopped by it was very clear that he wanted to waste no time getting him in for the cath. He wanted to take any advantage to lessen the damage to the heart. We got the word that we had 45 minutes until his procedure. I had already reached out to a dear friend back home that has been through lots of heart stuff and was texting back and forth with her with questions and thoughts and fears. What a blessing to have someone who was right there with me…who had walked this walk before. (I mean, besides Jesus, y’all…becuase HE WAS THERE.)
When the team came in to get him (after I helped him prep and prayed SO hard that they would be able to enter his freshly shaven wrist) I asked them a few last questions – mainly reiterating that they would be able to perform any necessary procedures while they were there. They took him away, told me where to wait and the wait began. It seemed like the longest two hours of my life!! Thankfully, I had technology to help (mostly messages and texts between my mama, my heartfully-challenged-husband-experienced friend and my sweet friend who was going to take care of MJ that evening.
The waiting room was completely empty besides me. (How often does THAT happen??) I prayed aloud since no one was there to bother. I video messaged my friend. I tried to pass the time by the best I knew how. My sweet friend (that was taking MJ that evening) also came by to pray with me…which was an amazing gift. I finally got word that he was back in his room and I rushed as fast as my little legs would take me to lay my eyes on that cute little bald guy!!!!
He was telling me all about the procedure….the huge TV he watched a lot of it on….and that he thought the heard some of the outcome but he’d let me ask for sure. When the right person appeared, I only heard “we found a 100% blocked artery” I am pretty sure. I had to ask the next part to be repeated after that because I absolutely missed it. Yes, in fact, his obtuse marginal artery was blocked 100%. They were able to place a stent and were confident in his recovery.
Y’all. Immediately in that hospital room….he had ZERO pain. They were able to go in his wrist. His heart cath was at 2 pm. Once they brought him back, he was able to eat (which he did not do a ton of, mind you….it was….mysterious!) and rest. And rest. And rest. The rest of the evening is a blur but I remember being KNOCKED OUT on the couch in his room in no time. I actually slept for a few hours at a time…amazingly. I got up bright and early the next morning…they were taking off the “box” that was over his punctures on his wrist and I left to get MJ to take her to school. The next few hours were a blur of tests, doctors, basically everyone checking all the boxes to release him! SO THANKFUL!
MJ had a basketball game at 6 that night. I was there…with my hubby and his new titanium stented artery.
Mike has told me more than once that while I was at the ER getting checked out, he was sitting there asking God if He was using my situation to get him there. He certainly remained steadfast in his stubbornness and went back home for a bit but thank God he came back to be checked out.
I have tons more to say about this….and updates will come from the cardiologist appt as this week progresses. I just needed to get this out….between being 40, having a lot going on and brain fog from the chronic fatigue syndrome….if I don’t write something down, the details become VERY sketchy to me!! 😦
To be continued!
This is likely part 1 of something….but we will see how far I get. It is 12:38 AM and just being honest I have presents to wrap, laundry to ignore and sleep to avoid.
Let’s start at the beginning.
Sunday 12/8 – 4 pm: Mike and MJ decide to go outside and play basketball. I wish I had taken a pic of them out there. (Hmm, squirrel….shall I check Ring to see if a camera caught them….hold please….) (Please forgive this grainy pic but I zoomed in…)
Okay…I am also not sure if I have mentioned that my baby girl is following in the steps of her big brothers and is playing basketball. It is middle school ball and it is a great opportunity for her to learn the fundamentals and to experience a TEAM and y’all it is the best group of girls. All rooting each other on and they just seem so happy to see each other at the beginning of each game…as if they have not spent the morning together at school! 🙂 I am so happy for her! Her coach is an AMAZING lady who loves the game and you can tell she genuinely loves these girls. It has just been great for us. SO – her Daddy was giving her some extra practice time, doing some drills with her and getting outside on a beautiful afternoon. They enjoyed themselves so much!
Monday evening: Mike gets home from work and is complaining about his shoulders and chest hurting. We talk about it and both figure out that he likely overdid it the day before since he does NOT regularly play ball and use those muscles. He takes some pain meds….goes to sleep….and I think all is well!
Tuesday evening: Mike texts me in the evening to tell me he is not going to a work dinner that he had planned to attend. He was trying to finish something up and would pick something up on the way home because he was not feeling well.
Tuesday night around 11:30 PM: I felt SO stressed out. I can’t really explain it and if you have never had a panic or anxiety attack, it probably sounds silly….but I had this feeling of a weight on my chest and could NOT shake it. I felt “impending doom” and was just SURE I was having some kind of episode. I had gotten out of bed because lying down seemed to make it worse. My left arm hurt. I was hot all over (and that is WEIRD for me!) and felt nauseated. I got back in the bed around 12:30 and honestly I just wanted Mike to wake up and check on me…and he did. When he heard how worried I was, instead of his usual “trying to fix things” or just being laid back and telling me it was all good….he said, “You want me to take you to the ER?” With those words, I got up and got ready. If HE thought it was that serious, well so did I!!
Wednesday morning around 12:15 am: We get to the ER and there is NO one in the waiting room (yeah!!) and when I walk up and say “I’m having chest pains”…you can imagine the urgency that evokes. It seemed like it was about 23 seconds before I was in an exam room and having leads stuck to me and an EKG being taken. IV is inserted and blood taken and then they brought me 4 aspirin to take. I am explaining my symptoms to every nurse, tech, dr, PA, visitor, and anyone else who will listen. A short time passes and the ER Dr comes in to tell me that I am suffering an anxiety attack. We talk about that for a minute…the fact that I take anxiety meds….that I am really shocked that it’s “only” an anxiety attack and that I feel this sense of “impending doom” and he sends me home with orders to take some medication at home and get some rest.
We get home around 1:30 am and I do as I am told and then I went to sleep. I can’t say that I really felt better when I went to sleep but knowing that I was physically or clinically “okay” and my heart was okay did help me to know that it was my anxiety and helped me to try to get some rest.
All this time, Mike is still hurting and sadly I do remember him sitting in the chair beside my ER bed and he was talking about his shoulders….and I seriously remember thinking……….”REALLY, CAN’T IT JUST BE ABOUT ME FOR A SECOND??” Bahahahahahaaa….ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh how funny that is today!!!
See you in the next edition because THIS story is far from over! 😉