Tuesday, August 11, 2009

the heart is the only broken instrument that works...

... first let me start off by thanking every one for their kind emails, phone calls, prayer requests and genuine concern for my well being. I was deeply touched by the out pouring. Thank you all tremendously.

I am recovering at home for the time being and taking it easy the next few days.

Over the past week I had been experiencing chest pains which I dismissed as heart burn. The pain got progressively worse and I continued to ignore it; stupidly. I figured I was too young for any serious heart problems.

Around 3pm Saturday afternoon I felt my worst but I also had urgent need to go to confession and mass. At some point during mass my chest hurt so bad that my jaw started to throb. My face got flush and my upper left arm started to burn. I prayed to God just to get me through mass so I could receive the Eucharist. He kept his bargain and I kept mine; driving myself to the ER immediately after mass.

A quick EKG showed some abnormal activity and my blood enzyme test was positive for heart stress. Well, if you are gonna have a heart attack and die what better place then in mass after receiving communion. Yes, I can joke about it now but I was scared when they admitted me and told me I need to have a heart catherization to check for damage.

I felt like a fox hole Catholic, holding my rosary for the first time in 3 months.

I got lots of phone calls from concerned friends checking on my progress and keeping my spirits up. It was good to hear from so many people, especially the ones that mean so much to me.

The heart-cath revealed a torn artery and a severe blockage caused by a clot that formed around the ruptured arterial wall. I had angioplasty to clear the clotted area and a stent put in place to fix the tear.

I am glad the ordeal is over.

Ladies, not every heart attack feels like a stab in the chest with obvious signs. Sometimes the symptoms are mild and slowly build up. Sometimes the pain is felt in other areas of the body like the neck, between the shoulder blades, the face and arms. Do not ignore it. I am only 34 years old, so you can never be too young to take any of the signs flippantly. Have it check out!

We never figured out what caused the tear but the doctor thinks my heart pressured cooked and weakened from over exertion, lack of sleep, periods of insomnia, anxiety and LOTS of stress.

So here I am; forced to simplify my life to reduce stress and anxiety. That's not such a bad thing; so there is my silver lining.

Thank you again, everyone.

58 comments:

Brendan said...

I am very glad to hear you are recovering. I will keep you in my prayers.

God Bless,

Brendan

Cathy_of_Alex said...

CC: Thank God you are ok. I hope your son is alright. I'm sure he was terribly worried.

Prayers continue here.

I'm going to tell you what I told my Dad when he's had similar episodes (and also ignored them) "Don't delay! Go to the hospital today!" /end nag

Adoro said...

So glad you're back and all is well now. Will continue praying, too. :-)

sr_mary said...

Glad you're back ... and with us. But PLEASE: don't bargin with God. Not a good habit! :)

TheSeeker said...

I'm so so so glad you're okay! Thanks be to God!!
<3

Ray from MN said...

I had my first heart incident when I was 42 and running, well, jogging, 10K races.

My mother had a "silent heart attack" at Christmas in 1987. The symptoms? Throwing up! We all just thought it was the flu or something. Two months later she had real heart failure and a stroke at the same time. Her EKG showed a recent heart attack. Had we had her checked at Christmas, that might have been prevented.

God bless you. I have you in my prayers.

catholicconvert said...

Bloody hell, that sounds scary. So glad you are going to be okay. Your son must have been frightened...my kids were scared when i became suddenly ill almost a decade ago. Thanks be to God that you went straight to hospital after Mass!

Christine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Christine said...

Thank God You are okay!

Terry Nelson said...

Yes! Thank God you are okay now - I'm stunned this happened at all! I'm praying for you and your son. You have to get better now - there is no two ways about it.

Suzanne Sadler said...

Cres, glad to have you back so quickly!

Tara said...

What a scary ordeal!!! At age 34, no one would have expected heart problems. Make sure you take your doctor's advice and decrease the stress as much as you can--and you can use this to your advantage--anytime someone starts stressing you out--just put your hand up to your chest, and remind them you need to remain stress free :)

So glad you are doing better and will continue to pray for your health.

rightwingprof said...

Lord, have mercy!

truthfinder said...

Wow! How fast our lives can change! Calling 911 is probably better than driving yourself there: glad you made it, and that you were diagnosed and treated quickly. Prayers will be said for your recovery and in thanksgiving for your continued presence among us. Rosemary

Jon said...

Kat,

I'm so glad you're well. Our Lady heard me and did her part!

Maggie said...

Deo gratias!!

Adrienne said...

Prayers coming your way...

elena maria vidal said...

You poor dear girl, I am so sorry to hear you went through this ordeal. May Our Lady heal your heart forever!

Rich said...

Rosary tonight for you and your son. We will pray for a special gift of peace.

Fr. Erik Richtsteig said...

CC--
VERY glad that you are recovering and doing well. However, I expected the torn artery to be the result of a fight with ninjas, liturgists, or something. You may have to torch your backyard again to redeem yourself.

Charles said...

CC,
Great relief and thanks follow prayers from the Left Coast.
I dunno, but there might be something 'bout living in NC; every one of my many cousins up in Fayetteville has fought the heart fight, while those of us in the midwest, west coast and Hawaii have been sitting on pin cushions, awaiting.
But, we all need you for many years; God needs you here for even many more.
HT to Fr. Z for the updates.

RJW said...

Glad you're doing better. Prayers of thanksgiving and continuing health for you and "the Boy".

Mac McLernon said...

Praying for you and yours.

Mike said...

Continued prayers for you!

Sarah - Kala said...

Fr. Erik's message is hilarious.

Anyway, I learned of your troubles from Adrienne. Be sure of my prayers for you and your little boy. Thanks be to God that you went to the ER - that you were able to get there on your own, you goofball! I'm almost 40 and recently I made the ER folks nuts for not coming sooner with my chest pains. Fortunately I was right and it wasn't my heart - it was my gall bladder (found out nothing too wrong and we're watching it). Still. Take care of yourself!!! Mother of God, keep Cres under your loving and protecting mantle.

rhapsody said...

Prayers your way Kat - please feel better soon...

Lotsa hugs & God bless.

Anonymous said...

CC- Sounds like your guardian angel and a whole squad of special duty medical angels had you well covered during your visit to the hospital.

You and your heart will remain on my permanent prayer list until you either a) graduate from nursing school and are working happily as a nurse; b) get married to your dream hubby and can be a stay-at-home mom and don't have to work any more, or c) hit the Power Ball for a gazillion or three and move to a gated compound in the Bahamas, with hot & cold running servants. Or Malta.

Whichever comes first. Meanwhile, double up on the "chill pills".

Very, very glad you're ok.

Pax et Bonum- P&B.

Christine the Soccer Mom said...

Glad you are recovering and will be okay. Women very often present VERY differently for heart attacks. Sensations of heartburn are common symptoms.

Stay well, I'll add you to my intentions.

Angela M. said...

CC, I was at work when I got the news but held in the tears until I got home! Praying for your full recovery. If you need a miraculous medal I will send one to you. Ask Chris how powerful Our Lady's intercession is!

Vincenzo said...

Praying for you

Coop said...

Be assured of prayers.

Keystone said...

"A glad heart makes a happy face;
a broken heart crushes the spirit.
~~~Proverbs 15:13

May you always make a happy face.

I echo Sr_Mary who says:
"But PLEASE: don't bargin with God. Not a good habit! "

sr_mary knows her "habits".
Listen to her wisdom. :-D


Glad you are better CC.

Anonymous said...

CAT!

Crap - take care of yourself, chick!

:(

-Cathy

Brate said...

According to the American Heart Association, heart disease is the nation's single leading cause of death for both men and women. At least 58.8 million people in this country suffer from some form of heart disease.
And on the whole, cardiovascular diseases (the combination of heart disease and stroke) kill some 950,000 Americans every year.
Still, there are many misconceptions about heart disease: "The biggest misconception is that heart disease only happens to the elderly," said Elizabeth Schilling, CRNP with the Center for Preventive Cardiology Program at the University of Maryland Medical Center.
In fact, according to the American Heart Association, almost 150,00 Americans killed by cardiovascular disease each year are under the age of 65. And one out of every 20 people below the age of 40 has heart disease.
So, it is now a wise decision to keep a constant monitoring of your health. Why to take a chance if we have the option. I was in the similar misconception that heart disease are far away waiting for me to get aged. But to my surprise, I was found to be having a calcium deposit in my coronary arteries. I need to have my advance diagnostic scans due reassure whether something really deadly is waiting for me. Though it was some dreadful going on in my life, but I never felt any kind of discomfort in Elitehealth.com advanced diagnostic facility. They were having some of the latest diagnostic equipments and non invasive techniques which made me feel safe.

Dino said...

Thanks to God for pulling you through.
Welcome to the stent world, and if yours in metal, don't let some jerk with a metal detector stress you with a demand that you take it out and show him.
Long life.

Anonymous said...

Dear CC,Praying for you !
You are in my heart...

Lee Strong said...

Thank God you got to the hospital before it was too late! I pray for your recovery.

LarryD said...

Praying for you!

Paul Nichols said...

Glad to hear you're on the mend, Kat! I'll be offering some prayers for you...

Dymphna said...

Oh my goodness. When I read somewhere that you had torn artery I thought you must have accidentally cut yourself in class. Don't feel like a fox hole Catholic. When I was in the hospital my rosary never never my hand except for when I was in surgery. I'm so glad you're home.

Donna said...

Cannonball,

What a shock!!! I'm so glad you're safely on the other side of the incident. Please do all your docs instruct. God be with you.

The Wallaces said...

We are glad that you are recovering safely at home. Our prayers are with you. How is your son doing?

Lola said...

We'll be praying for your recovery and your Boy!

And we'll be praying in gratitude to God!

Please go and enjoy the sunshine and your Boy.

Anonymous said...

Praying for a healthy and lasting recovery! Though of course, now you've got me thinking I should actually get a GP and go for a checkup...

And Fr. Richtsteig's comment was hilarious.

God bless,

Lina

kired said...

Dear Caro

I never imagined this kind of situation for you. I keep praying for you.

Londiniensis said...

Welcome to my club!!! My own little Hello St Peter experience was way back in 1999. Two stents - neh, neh, ne-neh, neh! And I must say that for about a year afterwards I was the fittest and slimmest I have ever been in my adult life - the hospital had gym sessions for recovering heart patients! And now it's the pills, the pills ... I dare say that if you were to shake me in the morning I would rattle!

Get back to tip-top condition soon. Many prayers.

The Ironic Catholic said...

Holy cow, Cat! I'm really shocked. I will pray that you make a full and swift recovery.

Jenny Lewis said...

Wow.....this is incredible...34? Thanks for the wake up call. God Bless you and prayers for a speedy recovery!

Brian Michael Page said...

Add me to the list of those who are thankful that you are home and recovering. My prayers are with you.
Peace,
BMP

Father Anthony Ho said...

Good to hear that you are going better. Wish you get well soon. May God bless you.

Father Anthony

Jeff Mc said...

I am 35 now, and I had exactly the same symptoms when I was 34. Guess what, I brushed it off as heartburn too. After I finally went into the ER, they found my cardiac enzymes elevated and I had an angiogram too. In my case it was myocarditis, attributed to a virus, but the effect is the same as a heart attack. Thank God you live in a time with such technology available--I would have survived, but you probably would have died without the stent. I think we can both confidently say--don't ignore chest pain simply because you think you are young! You are in my prayers...

matthew archbold said...

Praying for you. God bless.

Agnes B Bullock said...

God bless you- please recover quickly- you are soooo needed!!!

Gail F said...

Bless you and wishes for a speedy recovery! My father (age 74 at the time) had an emergency triple bypass a couple of years ago. No risk factors at all besides age. He is doing great now. Heart surgery is a wonderful, miraculous thing.

DominiSumus said...

I am glad to hear that you are back and recovering.
I pray that you heal quickly!

SherryTex said...

Get some rest.

It's not foxhole Catholicism to pray when afraid, it's legitimate time to pray harder.

Our every day actions even in our distracted stressed out mundaneness are also in some capacity, if done out of love for others (caring for your son via caring for your home, for his physical needs and your own), are a prayer and a gift.


Glad you are whole and well and resting. Peace.

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pammi said...

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