The Story of my Completely Unexpected Heart Attack – Part 1

It all started on the night of Monday 30th December 2019.  I had been working that day, getting things ready for my teams returning on the 6th January.  I had said I would man the office during the two week break to give myself some holiday time later in the year.

I came home from work quite happy and my OH suggested we eat out that night as I had been working and he knew I would be busy the next day.

Tuesday the 31st December was to be a very busy day as at 9.30 we had an appointment with my father’s oncologist to see what the prognosis was.  He has had stage 4 Prostate cancer held at bay by hormone injections for the last 3 years.  In addition, he has now been diagnosed with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukamia.  Once I had attended that and taken my father back home to my mother, the intention was to go back to work.

On the Monday night, we had a lovely dinner and brought back some dessert for afters.  Once home I decided I wanted to completely relax and my way of doing that is a hot bath. 

I had a fabulous hot bath with a lush bath bomb (part of my Christmas from OH) and came downstairs ready to have a relaxing couple of hours until bed.

My OH was talking about holidays and whilst I was listening there seemed to be something quite peculiar happening to me.  I slid back on the couch so that my head was supported and thought it would go away.  Unfortunately, it didn’t.

Chest pain and a few tingly feelings in my fingers were ok, that I surmised was just because of the extreme temperature of my bath.  Then the chest pain extended and both my arms felt like they had been inflated and the whole arm on both sides now had a buzzy feeling.  Then the chest pain got worse and my jaw got sore.  I swear my jaw was made of balloons and some maniacal puppet master was pulling strings making my jaw swing from side to side.

This got me a tad worried and I thought I possibly should take off my cardigan as being menopausal, I was obviously having a rather severe hot flush.

As I was lying looking relaxed with my eyes closed my OH had no idea anything was going on.  It wasn’t like I could speak, that skill was long gone.

Eventually the band of steel around my chest loosened and I felt a bit more normal.  Cue Google and the NHS and BHF websites for symptoms of a heart attack.  Once I had read these, I sat back and dialled 999.  My poor OH got quite a shock when the first thing he heard me say in about 30 mins was “Ambulance”.

I could feel him looking at me as I talked to the emergency call centre.  As they took details he started to move.  The laptop was switched off, he started clearing things in the sitting room to ensure the ambulance crew had easy access to me.  The emergency call centre person asked if I had asprin, I had no idea so asked him to check the basket with otc medicine.  It seems we do not have asprin as a normal thing.  The emergency call centre advised that they were rather busy but that someone would be with me shortly. 

When the call ended my OH was looking at me in disbelief.  I don’t suppose I can blame him really.  Who does that?  Sits beside their partner and calls an ambulance without saying anything.  Well in this instance it is someone who is used to being on their own and dealing with things on their own.  The call would have had to have been made sooner or later and according to what I had read, it was better to be sooner.  I do love him to bits but having been on my own for almost 2 decades, it is still difficult sometimes to not just go do things that need done and this certainly needed done.

He went upstairs to let my daughter know to expect the ambulance and the two of them came downstairs to wait with me. 

Much kudos to the Scottish Ambulance Service who arrived within approx. 10 mins of the call.  My daughter let them in and she and my OH stood back and let them do there thing.

The ECG was normal, my sats were normal, my blood pressure was normal but due to the symptoms, they advd going to the local infirmary.  I said I would go straight after dad’s appointment the next day – they meant right now.  I have to say I hadn’t expected that but was more than grateful that I was wearing my new Christmas pyjamas.

My daughter produced my slippers and I headed out the door to the waiting ambulance.

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