Heart Attack #1
My name is Randy Lockhart and I have had 7 heart attacks since 2003. The first heart attack I had came on slowly over a few days with symptoms I excused as probably being heart burn because the pain went away as fast as it came on in my chest. Then without warning I suffered a heart attack.
I have been pretty much self employed all my life owning several businesses and spent 28 years as a professional painter and finishing carpenter, and spent several years running my janitorial company after that, all the time running my web hosting business since 1992 on top of everything else.
Anyone that is self employed knows about all the sacrifices one needs to make to keep a business running, and sometimes sacrifices we make such as not sleeping properly, becoming somewhat disconnected with people and other things around us, not eating regular meals, or even taking care of health issues properly do end up catching up to us. In 2003 I was told I had level 2 diabetes and I only found this out after I had my first heart attack.
The symptoms of the heart attack were like nothing I had ever experienced before.
The night before my heart attack I was in bed and had a strange pain develop in my chest and my shoulders were aching a bit but it went away just as fast as it came on so I never gave it another thought.
I had never been one to go to a doctor for anything that I couldn’t just fix myself with a band aid or duct tape. The next day everything went on like normal and after having supper I was sitting on the couch watching tv like usual, and out of no where the feeling of a large dump truck parked itself right on my chest causing some very uncomfortable pain and shortness of breath.
My wife was sitting right beside me, and being the typical man I am, I covered up the pain as being heart burn and told her I was going to lie down for a bit and she was none the wiser. Well let me tell you, I was only laying down for what seemed like minutes when the pain became increasingly unbearable and scaring the crap out of me.
I had never read up on heart attack symptoms before that and was only basing my pain on what others had told me about from either their experience or people they knew. Now like i said I was never one for going to doctors never mind the hospital, so I got up not knowing the full extent of what was actually happening, and I went to the bathroom and had a shower and shaved and once done, ( now why would anyone do that???. I didn’t want to go to the hospital dirty and unshavin ) then I went out to my wife and said I’m having a heart attack with what I remember being a sound of urgency in my voice and almost to the point of tears, and the look and fear in her face was something you never want to see another person go through.
We went out to the car rather than call for an ambulance because I needed to get this looked at like right now. The hospital was only a few blocks away anyways, so we headed down there. Once we parked, I had a sense of urgency come over me to get into the emergency because the realization that this pain was really a heart attack started to take hold and i was clutching my chest trying to somewhat ease the pain.
We walked up the receptionist and I told her I was having a heart attack, and man you never seen people move so fast as she did. She took me directly to the back and got me on a bed and hooked me up to heart monitor, took blood pressure and had several other doctors come rushing in.
It was kinda like watching ER but I was the patient this time. I was asked to explain my pain being 1 to 10 , well obviously I’m at a level 10 right now and my symptoms were bad chest pain, could not breathe properly, pain down both of my arms to the elbows, pain across the back of my shoulders and my jaw was aching.
It only took the doctors a short time to determine i was indeed having a heart attack and told me they were going to have to send me by ambulance to another hospital to have angioplasty done because there was a good chance i had blocked arteries. After they explained to myself and wife what was needed to be done, I was prepped and sent to another hospital where I had the surgery through my groin area.
During the procedure I was asked what kind of pain I was experiencing and I told them the pain was dropping slowly as they were placing stents in my arteries and before long all the pain was gone and I was able to breathe somewhat normal now.
I was released after several hours and sent back to the first hospital where I spent 3 days recovering and getting all sorts of medical advise on how to prevent another heart attack. Once released from the hospital I started to make some life-style changes like what foods I eat and cut back from a pack of smokes to 1/2 pack a day to start off with.
Over the next 2 years, I’m convinced that I have made all the right choices in my lifestyle change, I was eating proper foods, exercising on regular basis through work and on a bike, my Cholesterol and blood pressure are somewhat normal, I am taking my medications as prescribed by doctors on a regular basis, but I was still not able to quit smoking yet.
Not once did i ever get any kind of depression from the ordeal or even question , WHY ME.. Well why not me, after all, I brought this all on by myself with choices I made throughout my life and the consequences of my choices speak for themselves.
I am just now beginning to realize that because of my good nature, my attitude and willingness to always want to help others that I have a sole purpose on this earth, and until my purpose in life is fulfilled I will always strive to keep my health in check. Well guess what ???? I’m back to share yet another story with you.
Heart Attack #2
Well like I mentioned before over the past few years I was convinced I have done everything right, changing my eating habits and so on. Well I would have never imagined that I would be having another heart attack so soon especially giving the facts of how I thought everything was ok.
Just to let you know when I had my first heart attack I was 190 lbs. and since the first heart attack I went to 230 lbs over a 2 year period so the extra weight contributed to this one for sure.
I was working in a sign shop in Vancouver for extra income, making signs, everything from posters to street signs, Realtor signs etc.
I was coming up to 1 year on this job and I loved it. “BUT” I found myself falling back on old habits of not sleeping properly, not eating properly and still smoking off and on.
I never had any clue at this time I was so unhealthy to the point I would have another heart attack and just went on with my daily and nightly work schedules with the company. It was coming up Sept 3rd of 2005 and my Boss suggested that the staff and families go on a camping trip in Squamish BC down by the river.
My wife and I hadn’t been camping for many years so we were both excited to be able to do this. We packed our tent and other essentials we felt we needed for the weekend camping trip and we all met up at the campground. Once everything was set up and we enjoyed our first fire cooked supper then we all sat around and talked about work mostly.
The next day we awoke to the smell of eggs and bacon cooking which was real treat. After breakfast my Boss’s Dad who was also camping with us said he was going to take his Kayak down river and because it was a 2 person kayak he invited me to go along with him.
Needless to say I hesitated because I was never one for being in the water in something so small and awkward. After several minutes of convincing me we only live once and that I just might enjoy it, I went along with him. I told my wife to watch the river from the bank to see us come down river in the kayak and she could take some pictures.
We drove what seemed like 10 miles along the main road up river until we came to a good spot to put the kayak into the river and we both got our life jackets on and got seated, then proceeded to paddle down river. We talked about anything and everything as we paddled down river which was calm and very surreal, surrounded by nothing but mountains.
The river is glacier fed and the water was extremely cold at this time of the year and it was also flood season so there were numerous trees, logs and branches jutting out all over the place which we were able to avoid for the most part.
After what seemed like an hour or so we floated quite a ways down river and then we noticed the river was getting congested with more and more trees and logs in the river and the river was flowing faster at this point, but we just kept moving forward not even thinking that tragedy was about to strike.
We started to get into some very fast moving water so we decided to try to get a little closer to the shore line where the water seemed much calmer and we stayed on the shore line for quite a ways down the river. I noticed that there was a big bend coming up in the river and we could see that the rapids were getting bigger now and we talked about looking for a place to get out of the river, but before either of us could say anything, we were both in the water after the kayak capsized.
I cannot recall much of what happened other than I was being pulled by my friend out of some branches that were keeping me submerged under water. I remember seeing light above me but it was not the normal light we see as humans. This light was different and I cannot explain it to this day other than the obvious, that being God or a guardian angel, and then I was on the surface trying to gasp for air and trying to get my bearings.
All the while I’m trying to get my self under control I am having extreme pain in my chest and arms and I’m thinking it may be due to the accident, but the reality of another heart attack quickly set in. By now the river was pushing me harder and harder down stream slamming me into rocks and trees beneath the water surface and cutting and bruising me everywhere.
I was looking around to see where my friend was and by now he was clutching the over turned kayak trying to keep it from getting tossed down stream, but he too was fighting a loosing battle with that. I remember him telling me I had to get on shore somehow, and by now I was already midway out in the river and was struggling with all my strength to battle the rapids trying to swim to shore and all the time I know I’m having a heart attack, and the pain is unbearable and I’m having a real hard time trying to breathe.
I kept thinking to myself, I’m not going to die out here like this and the thought of my wife waiting downstream watching for us was all I needed to get the strength to get to the shore. Amazing what power LOVE has.
Once on shore I laid there for a bit clutching my chest and trying to get full breathes of air which was very difficult to do, but I managed to get to my feet and call out to my friend to let the kayak go and to get on shore himself which he finally did. It seemed like only a few minutes passed and my skin started to burn like it was on fire and I had to get my clothes off to stop the burning and my friend was also experiencing the same burning pains.
We determined that we were experiencing hypothermia from being in the freezing cold water for so long. Afterwards we both just went and sat on a log to catch up on what we just went through, and all this time I am not telling him I’m having a heart attack, only suggesting that we find some way to get back to the main road so we can get back to the campsite.
We walked only a short distance when we came across some other campers and I went right to them to see if anyone had any aspirins so I could thin my blood down and hopefully ease the pain, but no one had any. We asked where was the path to get back to the main road and they had one of their friends show us the way to the road.
We walked what seemed like miles from the river bank to the main road, all the time I’m having severe heart problems and having to stop and sit quite a few times before pressing on. Like I mentioned before I was not telling my friend I was having a heart attack because I had some sense that he would just tell me to stay put while he went for help, but stubborn as I am, there was no way I was going to drop dead out in the middle of no where without having a chance to see my wife again, so i kept my mouth shut and we pushed on.
Finally a van with 2 occupants came down the road towards us and we flagged them down and convinced them to drive us back to the campsite, which they did. The whole time we are driving back to the campsite I’m feeling nauseous almost to the point of passing out and the pain is now 10+ but still I’m determined to keep my heart attack to myself, because I needed to see my wife again knowing that by now she would be worried out of her mind, and after seeing her reaction the first time I had a heart attack, I knew this one was going to be worse for her.
Finally we reached the campground and my wife in total distress and tearful, come running up to me and held me for dear life.. I thought you drowned she says, continuing on with that she had been waiting for the kayak to come down river she didn’t see it and knew something was wrong.
It turns out a lady in the campsite next to ours noticed my wife looking up the river and and asked her if she was watching for a kayak. My wife told her I had gone up river with a friend and she was waiting for us to come back down the river. The lady told my wife that she had just seen the kayak go past the campsite upside down and there was no one in it.
I did not know it at the time but that message from the camping lady struck instant fear not only on my wife but also the other people we were camping with. She told my Boss to go and look for us, and in the meantime they were able to contact search and rescue and told them we were missing, but to her horror, she was told that there was no way of knowing where we might be, and because of the recent flooding and debris in the water that a search would not come in time and they would not send out a search party at the time.
Obviously I had no idea that things had escalated to the seriousness that it did back at camp so seeing my wife distressed again was too much for me to handle at the time and I started to get severely nauseous and started to vomit and I told her I needed some aspirins like right now.
I recall thinking at the time that I was so mad at myself for putting her through that crap again. I took several aspirins to thin down my blood to a point where I just wanted to go lay down and relax from my ordeal, but when I laid down I started to get severe chest pains again and my wife said we needed to get to the hospital right away.
She asked my Boss Steven to drive us to the hospital because he was familiar with the area we were in and he knew exactly where it was. We walked into the hospital and there were nurses and some doctors standing out in the front lobby area and they could clearly see I was in medical distress and I explained to them that I was having what would be my second heart attack and told them about being in the river and walking out of the bush and so on..
They immediately got me into emergency and started hooking me up to all the familiar things I had done from the first heart attack. My wife was allowed to come and stand by my bed and talk with me while tests were being done and the docs told her that not only was I having a heart attack, but that I had probably suffered several heart attacks over the past few hours.
More and more nurses and doctors kept coming to my room to see what was going on and they told me that I was the luckiest person to be alive because people getting caught up in that river ends in tragedy. After the docs got me stabilized and the pain under control, I was informed that they needed to send me to another hospital in Vancouver, but because the work being done at the time on the sea to sky highway, they would need to fly me to the hospital and that they had ordered a Med-Chopper to pick me up.
I was amazed at the service the hospital was performing on my behalf and yet I also remember turning to my wife and saying, and just who the “””” is going to pay for the chopper, she laughed of course. Once the Chopper showed up I was loaded onto it and said bye to my wife and flew off to Vancouver.
This was a strange trip for me because I have never in my life been on a plane before and I was in awe of the view I had even though I was drugged up pretty good. At the hospital , once again I had to have angioplasty to once again put even more stents into my arteries.
Then like before I spent several days recovering and reading up on heart conditions and diseases vowing that was going to be my last heart attack ever again. The day after I was released from the hospital I went right back to work because my Boss had reserved flights to Hawaii with his family and I was to be left to run his business for him.
Bruised and battered and still not quite recovered I went back to work and continued to work for Steven for yet another year, then circumstances came up that made me want to do a career change again, So i took a a year off to relax and market my web hosting business again.
#3 Heart Attack
Well this time off was short lived after another friend of mine told me about a cleaning company in Delta that was looking for a day porter. I proceeded to put together my resume and made an appointment to meet with the company CEO. Several days later I was hired and spent many hours going around to different commercial buildings and cleaning them up to help the cleaning company maintain a good standing with the clients.
After 4 months of doing this work I noticed that I was drastically losing weight and I was now getting down to an unbelievable – 162 pounds, and I was feeling so much better, so much that I actually went out and spent money on clothes that I would never have bought before, mostly from Moores for men.
I was at a good place in my life now, working hard as usual and knowing that I am making a difference in working with the cleaning company, I found myself not wanting to say no to any jobs they needed me on and before too long I was so overwhelmed with the work and the hours I was working it all finally caught up to me again on the 6 month of working for them.
I could not function any more because I was getting burned out and and the stress of having to continue working like that was too much. I finally had enough and went to the cleaning company and turned in all my keys to them and we parted ways.
Several days later my wife was in the hospital for a scheduled surgery and I got a call in the am next day to come and pick her up from recovery. I picked her up and told her I had to pick up a few supplies needed for one of my floor machines so we went to Langley to purchase the things I needed.
While I was standing in line at the check out I was starting to sweat around the forehead and feeling a tad nauseous but in no way did I attribute this to any signs of heart failure again. I just tried to brush it off as lack of sleep and not eating properly for a few days.
We left the place of business and I drove several miles towards our home when all of a sudden, I got a bad flush and my jaw started to ache worse than ever before. Well because of my previous heart attacks I knew immediately what the sore jaw was about and I stopped at the red light and turned to my wife and told her to drive, saying I’m having another heart attack.
The symptoms continued to progress into sore arms, sore shoulder and then that horrible dump truck sitting on my chest feeling again. I have watched 2 times prior to this, the reaction on her face when I am having a heart attack, but this time I could sense that she was really freaking out. She drove to the hospital, all the time yelling and screaming at people to get out of her way.
I have never in all of our years together seen her get that stressed out or use words that are not even in the dictionary. We finally made it to the emergency and she parked and ran in told the nursing staff I was out in the car having a heart attack and that this was my 3rd heart attack. Emergency staff come running out to the car to check on me and quickly diagnosed that I was in full heart failure again.
Everything seemed to be going good except that the ambulance drivers could not just walk me into emergency. They had to get my wife to pull up to the emergency entrance where they pulled a bed out of the ambulance and put me on it. It was then that they were able to rush me right into the emergency room only to find another patient was getting prepped for a less serious ailment, and they told the nurses to get him out of there and put me right in the room.
I felt bad for the patient at the time for being pushed aside but I know they had to do it under the circumstances. I was immediately hooked up to monitors and had my blood pressure taken and again I was informed I was indeed having my 3rd heart attack, only 18 months from the previous one.
It was also determined from the heart monitor and blood pressure that they needed to ship me off to another hospital for immediate surgery again. Well here we go again riding in an ambulance on my way to have another surgery. We arrived at the other hospital in New West Minster and I was taken straight into the procedure room where they immediately started to prep me for yet another Angioplasty but this time they didn’t go in through my groin area, they did the procedure through my wrist instead.
After a short time to recover they had me shipped back to the Surrey hospital where again I spent a few days recovering. Now this seems to be getting just a tad too predictable that it seems like every few years I’m going to have a heart attack and this time it was determined that I had a full 100% blockage right at the end of my main right artery where a previous stent had been inserted during the second heart attack.
The idea of having a heart attack every couple of years is scaring the crap out of me because I just don’t know what the outcome will be the next time, if there is a next time. Right about now I’m getting concerned that something is not right and we needed to determine what the problem might be.
It turns out that the Plavix I was prescribed for the second heart attack was to only be taken for 1 year. Well after the 1 year was up I was then only taking a baby aspirin to keep my blood thinned as well as a few other medications and now after 18 months here I am again.
I had no beta blockers to stop my arteries from blocking up again. After being released again from the hospital I was put on Plavix for the remainder of my life and my other medications were regulated to either higher or lower doses depending on what the blood tests determined what was going on.
Well I’m sure people around my age remember Corky and the term Life goes On. Well Life will certainly go on for me. Again. Well here I am again going through yet another recovery time and only after a short time to recover the cleaning company approached me to come back and clean as a contract cleaner rather than an employee and after a few days of considering their offer, I took them up on it and went right back to work again doing my own contracts on my own time and no one to answer to.
Together my wife and I took on many contracts working mostly at night and sleeping during the day and everything is looking good now that I’m on the proper medications.3 years go by now and there is no recurrence of any types of pain or nausea. Or so we thought.
4th heart attack Dec 17 2010
Ok I’m back again to tell you about my 4th heart attack. First off I’ll start off talking about things that led up to this 4th heart attack. During the past 3 years my wife and i worked on all our contracts sometimes helping out other cleaners when they needed to take some time off and everything was going great.
We got into a habit of stopping at Tim Horton’s for coffee before heading off to the first job each night. I would have coffee and Sharon would have tea. This became a routine of ours everyday and every night before starting work and we stopped numerous times throughout the night for coffee to help us stay awake.
Sometimes we would have hearty vegetable or chicken soup as well. We had purchased 2 extra vans to carry our supplies and cleaning materials from job to job and just used our car for pleasure now.2 weeks before I had my 4th heart attack I was sitting in the van outside Tim Horton’s while my wife was in ordering our coffee and it was around 1 am in the morning.
We were heading out to our first job for the night. I generally like to look around my surroundings while waiting, but for some reason that night I was not completely focused on anything.
I did notice one of the cashiers run out one of the side doors of Tim Horton’s and that drew my attention to what she was up to. While watching her while she was looking in my general direction and not paying attention to my other surroundings, the van door opened and I thought it was my wife getting into the van.
Wow what a shock I got, when this guy jumps into the passenger side of the van and pushes himself right up into my space pinning me up against my door still with my seat belt on and I cannot move. I’m completely in shock as to what is happening while he is yelling at me to drive him to the hospital because he had just been stabbed.
I tried to look at his belly area to see where he was stabbed but he became increasingly more violent and was slamming his elbow into my ribs then into my forehead, and all the time I’m trying to get a grip on the situation and trying to push him out the door, but he continues to get even more violent and proceeds to pull the gearshift into reverse causing the van to back up in the parking lot.
I managed to get control of the van again and drove it back into the parking space. In the meantime , people were starting to gather around wanting to help and after a short discussion with a patron of Tim Horton’s he was convinced to get out of the van because the police were on their way.
Once out of the van he was taken into custody by the police and I just sat there in the van with it still running trying to come to terms with what had just happened. I could see my wife freaking out with the guy telling him I have a bad heart and trying to calm herself down from this bizarre episode.
The police approached the van and asked me to shut it off and to follow them to the car to give a statement which I was just barely able to do because I really didn’t get a chance to even see the guys face and could not give the police a good description of what he looked like, only what occurred in the van.
Well when all was said and done and we were allowed to leave, I drove to our first job with my head swelling up from the blows I had received from the guy elbowing me, and a headache was coming on as well. I knew we had to get to the job site because we are responsible for maintaining our contracts before the am when the clients show up for work.
I managed to work throughout the night all the time thinking about the attack from this guy. When we got home the next day, I tried to go to sleep but the visions of what took place the previous night were constantly on my mind, not only because of what he did to me, but also because things could have gone drastically wrong in other areas as well.
All through the week we continued to do our contracts and eventually the memories subsided enough to allow me to gain control of my life again, but I think the whole ordeal was causing some stress.. There was only one other problem now. I could not find myself wanting to drive the van anymore because it was a clear reminder of what happened in it and it was kind of like going back to the scene of the crime.
I parked that van and never drove it again. I eventually traded it off for a nice office desk instead. I started to drive our other van and we continued to work like we did every night without any other instances like that one. Now we are coming up to Christmas and its Dec 17 and we are down in Chilliwack cleaning one of our contracts.
Everything was going great and we were close to finishing up and I started to get chest pain, but then again I’m in the middle of mopping a large floor area which is causing muscle pain anyways, so the thought of another heart attack was not even on my mind at the time.
We finished up and started to head out of town to drive back to Surrey and the pain in my chest was not getting any better so I asked my wife to give me a couple of tylenols not wanting to alert her that something was wrong. I swallowed a couple of the tylenols but the pain didn’t seem to want to go away.
I drove for quite a few miles not wanting to complain about the pain I was having but eventually the pain just got to be too much, so I turned to my wife and told her to call 911 because by now the symptoms were leading right up to another heart attack with all the previous symptoms I had during my other heart attacks.
She didn’t seem to freak out so much this time like she had during my previous heart attacks, probably because she was educated enough to know what it’s all about. She was on the phone with 911 and I was still driving trying to find a place to pull off the highway which I eventually did, and we sat and waited for the ambulance with the 4 way flashers on.
My wife is telling the 911 operator that this is now my 4th heart attack, and after hearing that, I’m sure an escalated call went out because 2 ambulances were coming at us from 2 different directions and a fire truck showed up on scene.
The attendants were quick to get to me and get an oxygen mask on my face and get me into the first ambulance that was on scene. After telling them this was my 4th heart attack, they didn’t waste anytime in getting medications into me and rushing me to the Abbotsford Hospital where I spent only a short time and was rushed again to the New West Minister hospital for another Angioplasty.
It was determined that I had yet another 100% blockage again in the same stents that were placed in my arteries years before as they had completely blocked up.
Again the Angioplasty was done through my wrist and I spent several hours in recovery again before being shipped back the the Abbotsford Hospital. Well there you have it.
My 4th heart attack and I needed to get answers from someone. Once again it was determined that the Plavix was not doing the job it was intended for and now I’m on a new drug called Effiant which is supposed to be much better for controlling blockage in the arteries.
Well now that we have determined this, I now find out that I have to have another echo to make sure everything is ok. After the echo results come back, I’m informed that I am being taken back to New West Minster for yet another surgery because of a blockage they found during the echo, and off we go again.
Final results now of my 4th heart attack, I have 9 stents, and 1 medicated balloon in both my right and left main arteries. Several days after recovering from the surgery they release me from the hospital and like before I go right back to work because I don’t want to compromise my contracts and lose them.
I soon realized that I had gone back to work too soon this time because other complications became all too apparent.
I was constantly running short of breath while working and finding it harder and harder to walk any distance and had aching muscles all the time..
I went to the doctor to have my medications renewed and he informed me at that time that I had yet another blockage that was not mentioned to me at the hospital and he wanted to send me to get another echo in the local hospital. The doctor also informed me that there was significant damage done to my heart this time and I would need to work less from now on.
He scheduled me for another echo and I waited in anticipation for what the results would be for a few days.
Then I get a call from 2 different doctors telling me they needed to see me right way. I went to the doctor and he told me that the echo showed that 2 of my heart valves have shut down so to speak and that I have only 2 valves pumping now and that there appears to be serious damage to heart muscle.
It is at this time he tells me enough is enough and I need to retire from working anymore because I needed to heal properly. 2 days later I write a 30 day notice to the cleaning company cancelling all my contracts at the suggestion my doctors and heart doctor and as of May 1st 2011 I retired from the working force and came back to running my Web Hosting Company full time again.
It will be our 30th wedding anniversary on Aug 19 2011 and I am so thankful that I will be able to celebrate 30 years with my wonderful wife Sharon. Well I hope you enjoyed reading my story and that you will share it with as many people as you can.
Over the years I have discussed my health issues with many people and one couple in particular, Janet A Jackson and her husband Walter have become a great inspiration to me and very dear friends. Janet is an Inspirational and Motivation Speaker and they provide Self Awareness Training. We have discussed at length what motivates me to move on after suffering heart attacks and I tell them it’s all about attitude, about not feeling sorry yourself and don’t question why did this happen to me.
Well like I mentioned earlier in my post, WHY NOT ME.. After all, we are responsible for what happens in our life and we need to take responsibility for our own lives. I have always found ways to get past the heart attacks and focus on my life to move forward and not to dwell on what happened, but what to do to stop it from happening again.. In short we need to take the negative things in our life and turn them into something positive.
There are many, many online support forums for people to share life stories with as well as your local support groups. You do not have to suffer on your own. Pay attention to what your body is telling you because you are the only one that knows your body and when something is not working properly, get immediate help.
Regards Randy Lockhart
DEC 3 2014 Update
HEART ATTACK #5
Well I’m back to post some more news, and up until the 3rd of Dec 2014 I have survived 4 heart attacks, but on Dec 3,2014 I had another one. Almost 4 years since my last one. I have been under some considerable stress for the past few months because I did go back to work cleaning and I’m convinced this heart attack was a result of my stress factors and perhaps the fact that I was not eating properly for the past few months.
All previous heart attacks were while I was awake, but this one actually woke me up at 1:50 am. I would have to think that the pain was so great that it woke me up. I knew right off that it was a heart attack because of the pain in my jaw, my arms and chest and I quickly got up and chewed on 3 aspirins and within minutes the pain was all gone.
This is one of my scheduled work nights cleaning a commercial building and I had no choice but to go to work at about 2:10 am. I finished the job which is a half hour drive each way and 1 and 1/2 hours to clean. I never experienced any further pain while driving or working so I figured all was good for now.
When I got home my wife was up by now and I told her what happened and said there was no point to rush now to emergency because it was all over by now. On Dec 4 I spent 12 hours sitting in emergency waiting for a doc to check on me only to be told that the tests they did confirmed i did have a another heart attack.
Today is the 5th of Dec and I’m not experiencing and further problems. I will keep this post updated over the next little while if further complications should arise, but until then I will just go on with my life like normal and not dwell on past events.
March 30/2015 Update
Well so far everything is stable as far as my health and thankfully I just celebrated my 59th birthday on march 5 , but recent tests revealed that I have considerable damage to my heart and my doctor told me enough was enough and told me I need considerable time to rest and heal and was told quite bluntly I had to quit working because I’m too much of a risk to be driving back and forth to work and said if I didn’t quit that he would have me surrender my drivers license.
Well the choice to quit was the obvious one so I am now retired from the work force and the doctor is assisting me to get on a disability pension until I reach my 65 th birthday then I would go on old age pension…. I will be back here in a few months to post any new updates which will hopefully be more positive.
April 11 2015 Update
Heart Attack #6
OMG, just 11 days after I finally quit working I had my 6th heart attack on Saturday April 11 at 1:00 pm.
I was outside putting canopy/tarp clips on my RV awning to stop it from flapping in the wind and I was feeling great, then without warning I started to get flushed and my forehead was sweating quite a bit.
Within seconds I recognized the symptoms of the sweating and in only a few seconds after that, my jaw started to get sore, then my chest began to ache and then the pain radiated down both of my arms.
I knew exactly what was going on and went into the RV and quickly chewed down 3 aspirins and sat down to wait for the pain to go away, but to my surprise, the pain was only increasing far greater than any of my previous heart attacks.
After about 2 minutes I decided this pain was not going to go away so I sprayed 2 shots of nitro spray under my tongue in hopes that would decrease the pain, but again the pain was only increasing so I had my wife call 911 to get an ambulance there.
She told the 911 operator that would be my 6th heart attack and explained the symptoms I was having and that I had already taken 3 aspirins and 2 shots of nitro and they were not doing anything to ease the pain. I found myself clutching my chest now because of the pain and finally the ambulance showed up and they put me right in and hooked me up to oxygen and hooked me up to the ecg monitor to confirm I was having a heart attack
I explained to the ambulance attendants what I was experiencing, and they said that maybe my nitro was too close to expiring and they decided to spray 2 more shots of their nitro under my tongue but within a short time I told them it was not doing anything, so then they decided that morphine would ease the pain so they shot me up with morphine, but again the pain was not going away but only increasing to the point where it was getting unbearable.
Then again they increased the dose of morphine to try to get the pain to ease off, but it was not working. It was about a 45 minute trip to the VGH Hospital from Tsawwassen and when we arrived there, the pain was at a 10+ from 1 out of 10 pain level.
They took me straight into emergency and right into surgery to put 3 balloons into my blocked arteries and as soon as my arteries were able to pass blood through them again the pain instantly dropped to -0
I was taken from surgery into recovery where I spent 4 days recovering from this last heart attack and I also quit smoking with the help of quit smoking aids, and nicotine patches.
Now that I am once again on the road to recovery, maybe the new meds they have me on will decrease the risk of having another heart attack. The attending doctors told me that was probably the worst of all my heart attacks
I will continue to keep this post updated as to my recovery.
This Angiographic Report clearly show previous stents, and there is a total of 9 stents, some which are inside each other because the original stent blocked up, and a total of 3 balloons inserted and removed after the arteries were expanded to allow blood to pass through the arteries again. Click on the image below to see the full size report
Update April 19 2015
Well so far so good, I am still on the patches and am smoke free thus far. I do however experience some breathing problems for the past few days though. I have been experiencing gasping for breath while I am awake. I will be breathing normally and suddenly my chest heaves and I take a fast, almost alarming, gasp of air.
This happens while sitting calmly, walking, or laying down. It is not related to active or stressful behaviors. This happens several times a day and I will need to talk to my doctor when I see him this coming Tuesday if I should be concerned about this or not. I am pretty sure it is related to my heart disease and or the fact the docs told me I now have COPD. Will know more once I see a doc on Tuesday.
Well my visit to the doc was interesting, I found out that I have over 30% of my heart is damaged and while he was listening to my breathing he determined that I had pneumonia as well and sent me for chest xrays. Have not heard anything back in regards to that.
Nov 25th 2015 – I’m Still alive
Update Dec 14 2015
While we are nearing another new year, I will continue to keep my health in check. I have a doc appointment on the 29th of dec for an echo to see what’s going on with my heart. I have not experienced any issues thus far, but because of past heart attacks I cannot rule out anything. I will update again once I have been to my doctor.
Sept 28 2016 **UPDATE**
I have recently had ultrasounds and CT Scans for my heart and everything seems to be fine without reoccurring problems with my heart. However I have recently found out that I have a blocked artery in my left leg in the Popliteal Artery. This blockage is causing me consider pain and it is extremely hard to walk because my calf muscles get so tight and sore, and my lower leg is cold and numb and my foot is very sore and sensitive to touch.
I am going to see my Vascular surgeon in a week and see what he has planned to fix this problem. I will re post back here with an update as soon as I have visited with the surgeon.
Heart Attack #7 Nov 2016
*UPDATE* May 5 2017
Well since my last update, I have had another heart attack in Nov 2016 while I was waiting in hospital for surgery to put a stent put in my aneurism behind my left knee in the Popliteal artery. I had to have that dealt with first before they would operate on my leg… I had the surgery and everything seemed to be ok, I was able to walk again, but there was still problems with my foot and in Jan 2017 the stent blocked up and caused me to go back to ER, in worse pain than the initial visit.
The doc said he would do a bi pass this time and I told him enough is enough and instructed him to just amputate my leg above the knee which he did, but it took almost a week laying in the hospital waiting for the amputation and as a result I was going into Reno Failure from the leg getting infected and was turning black from the knee down. The Hospital was so busy at the time, the surgeon couldn’t get an operating room scheduled. I have felt so much better since that operation and I’m getting around just fine with only one leg.
I have also been told I may have to get a built in defibrillator because of my heart condition being as how my heart is only functioning at 30% below normal, but we will see what happens regarding that when the time comes because I do have a signed DNR in place. I will post again when I have new updates.
UPDATE June 13 2017
I had an appointment to see a prosthetic doc today. They are going to get me fitted for a new prosthetic leg over the next few months, but in the meantime, I have to wear a compression sock on my stump to shrink it down for the next 2 weeks so the new leg can be better fitted. Will post more as I get more information.
UPDATE Sept 13 2017
Well after several meetings with the prosthetic people I got my new leg on Friday the 8th of sept 2017. 9 months of not walking and now I’m standing on my own 2 feet again. I strapped on the new leg and started walking holding onto the rails of the platform I was standing on.
The prosthetic doc watched in amazement that I was walking. She said it normally takes people months of therapy to be able to walk. She said she could not believe her eyes and said she would allow me to take the leg home and continue to strengthen my stump which by now was just a mass of flab, so I need to build up the muscles in it again.
I walked out to my car and managed to get in the passenger seat without difficulty and when I got home I used my walker to walk up to my ramp, then I walked up my ramp hanging onto the rails. I walked up and down the ramp several times then walked up to the 1 step that goes into my RV and stepped up onto the step then stepped into my RV, and by now I was getting a little sore so I took the leg off to relax my stump.
Sept 20 2017
I am now off my training wheels (Wheeled Walker) and now using some awesome new crutches to keep my balance. Life is great…
New Update February 3 2019
Once again I am experiencing heart problems, but this time it is not a heart attack. My heart is fluttering rapidly, I have a really hard time breathing and when lying down I feel like I am drowning.
Sharon calls for an ambulance and I am rushed to Delta Hospital. My heart rate was close to 140 BPM and I was starting to spit up a lot of flehm and cannot eat without getting sick. I spent almost 3 weeks in hospital because the doctors would not release me until they got my heart under control at below 90 BPM.
I also had Pneumonia which is why I was coughing and spitting up so much. After finally being released, I went well over a year without further complications.
New Update July 20 2020
I have been doing fine up to this point. I was doing night Security at the Big Splash Water Park and finished my shift at 5 am. I came home and found it hard to sit because my groin area was extremely sore. When I looked to see what was causing it, I found that my Scrotum was swelled to the size of a baseball and was beat red and sore. I got Sharon to call for an ambulance and was taken to Delta Hospital.
A few doctors came in to see what was going on and when they lifted my Scrotum they gasped at what they saw. It would seem I had Gangrene all through the lower groin area. The Doctors expressed their concern but said they had to ship me to Surrey Hospital for immediate Surgery.
When I arrived at Surrey Hospital, several specialists came into my room and had a look at the infected area. They took me straight to Surgery. When I was back in my room recovering, my nurse explained what took place. She said I have what they call a rare infection called Fournier’s Gangrene caused by a new pill I had just been put on for my Diabetes and if I had not had treatment immediately I would not have survived.
The Nurse further explained that the Surgeon had to cut off my scrotum and cut and scrape all the remaining gangrene away and they put a Vac pump down there which they had to change every 2 days waiting for the area to heal before they could do graphing to rebuild my Scrotum.
After awhile other disease specialists came to talk to me and said I have a bad looking Pullup on my butt and they wanted to biopsy it. After the results came back I was informed that the test came back positive for Squamous Cell Carcinoma Cancer. That Pullup had been there for over 40 years and never gave me any grief.
Then they informed me that they noticed the psoriasis I have on my left leg (Stump) looked bad and they biopsied that as well only to find out it too was positive for Cancer. The psoriasis too was there for over 40 years. Needless to say they sent me into surgery once again after the Vac Pac was removed for graphing and they took 4 layers of skin from my right leg, about 1 foot long by 5 inches wide to rebuild my scrotum and lower area, and the same time they cut the cancer from my butt, as well the cut a large section of my upper thigh on my stump to get the cancer cut out.
On September 20, I am finally released from Hospital and was able to go home and they arranged for Fraser Health Home Care to come and change dressings. The operation on my stump was about 9 inches long and instead of stapling or stitching shut they just glued the wound shut.
Needless to say a section of the wound opened up about the size of a baseball and it took along time for new skin cells to grow to heal the wound. Almost 5 months of home care, my groin area is all healed up, only thing is the wound on my leg is still not closing up properly, so home care decided to use a Pico Pump on the wound to encourage new skin growth which it finally did and now after 5 months I was finally released from Home Care.
It is now February 4th 2021 and I will update with any new information that comes along.