Back to work!

I’ve been released by the cardiologist to return to work today, for all I know it will be my last. I missed several weeks in May and June due to a suite of confusing and worrisome symptoms after surgery to correct a serious ailment. At first I seemed to be recovering well. But beginning in late April I started having periods of dizziness, intense weakness, for several days I could barely crawl out of bed. Sometimes it would feel like my heart would jump or gurgle. Blood pressure was all over the place, soaring as high as 160/100 to as low as 100/60 over a period of an hour or two. The only time I would feel halfway normal was when I would walk a mile or two on a treadmill per doctors orders. Finally one morning in May, right after I got out of bed feeling extremely weak to go to the bathroom, I found myself suddenly staring at the ceiling; I had passed out so fast I didn’t notice the blood gushing out after my skull had apparently cracked against the ceramic toilet seat on the way down.

The last time I had symptoms like this, back in December, I downplayed them and kept working. Mostly because my employer ruthlessly penalizes absences regardless of the cause and I was terrified of missing work. But the symptoms persisted, eventually got evaluated by a specialist. That’s when I found out the effort to try and keep working over Christmas was probably the worst decision I ever made: I was suffering a massive heart attack, the kind where the first and most common sign of a problem is often instant death. [Read more...]

The two America’s on parade

In Wellsville things are great. Better than great, they’re selling a bunch of super rich stuff. I wish I lived there, in that America, or at least on the outskirts where I could visit once in a while, to taste basic financial security for a weekend. But I live in the other America, where you can also spend money! In fact you can rent all kinds of necessities and pay many times what they would cost if you could just afford to buy them. First a peek at how the well off are doing: [Read more...]

I suffered a massive full-blown widow-maker heart attack

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Update 25 Nov 2013: Med students, heart patients, and interested people, here is an actual post written detailing the signs and symptoms felt while I was suffering what was later diagnosed by a cardiologist as a major heart attack. If you’re up for kicking in a few bucks to help with spiraling healthcare costs due to heart attack and poverty level disability pay, my paypal email is posted above.

So I got the cath results: It wasn’t a minor heart attack folks. It was a full blown widow maker where a primary coronary artery got blocked 100%, and that blockage was right at the top, high enough up that the bottom two-thirds of my entire heart could have been deader than fried chicken. I would have been dead before my body hit the floor.

How am I still alive, much less able to spend the last several hours running up and down stairs, straying all all over the hospital, flirting with night nurses (Oh man, the brains on these gals, I can’t stop talking to them, their science-y minds are so incredibly hot!) just a few hours after the cath that confirmed a massive myocardial infarction? Well, it’s not a miracle … [Read more...]

The Heart Cath

8:40 AM Central: Driving to St. David’s North Austin Medical Center, I don’t know if I’ll have Internet access or not, but I smuggled in a tablet. I’m geting a heart cath shortly, will tweet under tag #heartcath using @SAndrewDKos. BTW, my aol email address is completely borked and the cust service I got when I called in to get it fixed was horrific. Later this week I might call them and record how terrible it is for Kagro on the Morning and me to ridicule.

Another day in the life of a middle aged peasant

Update: Medical students, cardiopulmonary specialists, and heart patients, this is an actual post written while I was having what was later diagnosed by a cardiologist as a relatively ‘mild’ heart attack. Bear in mind no heart attack is truly mild in any sense of the word. Read below, learn what NOT to do when having symptoms.

So I’m having the usual holiday AS flare up, it seems to get worse in December like clockwork every year. And yesterday afternoon there’s a new worrisome symptom: chest pain! It was kinda behind the sternum, seemed to be in the base of the throat a little bit. It wasn’t debilitating but given my age, 50, and general risk behaviors, eating crap and smoking, not to mention constant high blood pressure and high blood fats, I’m a prime candidate for an MI and this could be a warning sign. To complicate matters, I also used to suffer from chronic panic attacks, so last night was real fun. [Read more...]