I wrote this article yesterday, Sunday morning, and intended to publish it on the Thursday. However because of some events that happened, I’m going to post this early. I know today is Paul’s day here on LiP, but I’m sure you’ll understand why I’m posting this
I am laying in a hospital bed right now in the ICU unit at Davao Doctors Hospital. At the time I wrote this article, I had suffered two heart attacks last week. I thought everything was over, but yesterday I had another one. That cause me to be admitted into the hospital. I’m still learning more all the time, I don’t know everything that’s going on yet, but today I should learn a lot. I will be visiting with my cardiologists the first time, and I’m sure he will have a lot to tell me.
So what you read below is what I had written before I came into thehospital, I’ll be updating this more as we go along..
To Paul Thompson, I’m sorry to be stepping on your toes today.
Well, it has been an interesting week or two. I have found myself to be broken hearted.
Since moving to the Philippines early in 2000, I have made serious efforts at improving my health. I have changed my diet, I have exercised fairly regularly over the years, I have done whatever I could to live a healthier life.
A little over two years ago, I was hospitalized because of a spider bite (or some kind of insect, most likely a spider) that became severely infected. This year, I have been fighting diabetic retinopathy, a diabetes related disease of the eyes.
I have had diabetes for around 25 years or so, hard to know exactly when I got it, I only know that I was diagnosed about 25 years ago. In the past two years I have been trying hard to control my diabetes, and I have been pretty successful, especially in the past 6 months or so.
I have been feeling good, and feeling healthier than I have in years.
But, I got a big surprise
Last week, on Tuesday night June 21, I woke up in the middle of the night with chest pain. In all of my 54 years, I have never experienced chest pain. But, I had fairly significant pain, and could not sleep for the rest of the night. For several reasons, I did not think that it was that significant. On Wednesday, and Thursday, I had occasional pain in my chest, but only slight pain. Then, Thursday night, I had a repeat of Tuesday night, but this time the pain was much greater, and I was sweating uncontrollably, even though the air conditioning was running on high, and the room was actually very cold.
On Friday morning, I decided that I was pretty sure I had suffered a heart attack and should have called 911. But, I didn’t do that at the time of the event, so I told Feyma that I needed to go to my doctor. I was feeling pretty OK on Friday morning, so I told Feyma that we would just walk up to the highway, which is what we normally do, and we would catch a taxi or jeepney to the doctor’s office. As we started walking, after only about 1 minute of walking, I had to stop, because I was very tired and could not breath. Luckily, a taxi came by right at that time, and we stopped him to ride.
At the doctor
When we got to the doctor’s office, I explained everything that had been happening, and the doctor ordered a full panel of blood tests, a urinalysis, and an echocardiogram. That was Friday morning. On Saturday morning, I went in for my various tests. First we went for the blood test, then we went over to the heart center for the echocardiogram. When we were in the heart center, somebody came from the laboratory, and told Feyma that she needed to return to the lab, because they had something important for her. She went back and they gave her one of the tests and told her to bring it to the doctor immediately. After the echocardiogram was finished, we went to the doctor’s office. He saw us immediately, no waiting for our turn.
The doctor informed me that I had already had a heart attack. There was an enzyme in my blood (Troponin I), that enzyme would only be present if I had suffered a heart attack. In fact, my level of that enzyme was very high. As I had explained how things had happened on both Tuesday and Thursday, the doctor is sure that I had suffered two heart attacks. I am certain of it too, since both events were very similar, although the Thursday event was much stronger.
As I write this, it is Sunday, June 26. Tomorrow, I will be going in to the doctor for him to look at the rest of my blood tests, and the echocardiogram. I have a number of doctor friends, and they have looked at the blood tests, and everything is normal. In fact, many of the results are in the “excellent” range.
I am looking forward to hearing what my doctor has to say about all of the tests. I am left wondering right now… “why did I have a heart attack?” My heart has always been good in the past, never had any problems, and suddenly, BOOM! I am very interested to see what happens.
I know that a number of people will be telling me that I need to go back to the States, etc. There is excellent care here in Davao. Just in the past 5 years or so, they did a major upgrade to the Heart Center at Davao Doctor’s Hospital. It is now considered among the best in the Philippines. Some people say it IS the best. I have good doctors, and full confidence. I don’t need to travel to get good care. If the test results show something that is way out there, that cannot be treated here… well, then I will have to do something, go somewhere or whatever. But, I don’t expect that. And, I won’t be traveling like that, unless it is necessary.
I’m feeling great
It is funny… I had a heart attack last week, probably two in fact, and right now, I am feeling really great. I probably feel the best I have felt in a long time. Lots of energy. My biggest problem is that I am having trouble sleeping at night, not sure why. No pain or anything, I just can’t sleep! Other than that, I feel great.
I am not in the hospital, and have not been hospitalized at all. I am comfortable at home, and I am living my normal routine. I do take at least one nap during the day, and sometimes two naps. I want to get as much rest as I can, and since I am not sleeping well at night, naps are good for me.
I guess one thing that is outside my normal routine is that I am not exercising. My doctor has instructed me to just rest, and not to exercise for now, and probably it will be 6 months before he puts me back on an exercise routine.
I will be writing a second article about this tomorrow, with an update. By the time you are reading this, I will know a lot more, based on the results of my echocardiogram. So, I will update you with what I find out tomorrow!
In the meantime… all thoughts and prayers are fully accepted and appreciated. But, don’t be too worried about me… I really am feeling very good.