Two weeks ago, I had a scary weekend in the hospital. It did start on the evening of April 27. My hubby and I with our son were joking around, tickling each other when suddenly I felt like a tight “squeeze” at the middle of my chest. At first my son and hubby thought I was just pretending since I did want to be tickled anymore. But I told them I was serious and so they asked me to lie on the couch. My son started massaging my chest and my hubby gave a glass of water. After a minute maybe, the tight squeeze was gone but I still felt heaviness on my chest. At the same time, I felt gassy as well and kept on burping. I thought, it could be a simple “heart burn”. After half an hour we went to sleep. The following day, I woke at around 6:30 since my husband was doing overtime that day and I felt that the heaviness of my chest was still there. I did not tell him since he will be working but I knew I have to observe myself carefully. At around 9:00 am, I started to have back pains. My condition became alarming for me because I thought that “heart attack” can give you pains at the back, shoulder or even jaw. I rang my local doctor and she told me to go straight away to the hospital. I decided not to drive but did not call triple 000 for emergency. I decided to take the bus to go to the nearest hospital and my scary weekend commenced in the Emergency department.
I was placed on high priority due to my chest and back pains. The emergency doctor interviewed me and took bloods from me. He said to me that he was pretty sure it was only “hyperacidity” . So I patiently waited in the emergency room for the blood test result. Then, the nursing handover began. I heard one of the nurses, telling the other nurses who are starting their shift that ” it was suspected as non-cardio one however, the “trop” came back high”. Having a Science background ( Bachelor of Science in Medical Technology), I knew that “trop” is actually “Troponin” which elevates when there is damage in the heart muscle like in “Myocardial Infarction” or ‘heart attack” and with my symptoms, I thought “this is heart attack”. I really panicked and so everything went up, my blood pressure, my heart rate, everything. I was so scared for my life, I thought of my family, everyone who are dear to me. Nurses then performed ECG again, gave a “vasodilator” medicine and “asprin”. Then the doctor said that I need to be admitted in the “Coronary Care Unit”. I rang my husband and told him that the doctors wanted to keep me for more tests. I did not tell him yet about the alleged “heart attack”. I did not want him to worry that much because he will be driving and I did not know how can he handle a very shocking news which involves myself. I also rang my brother in the Philippines who is a doctor to inform him of what was happening with me and in spite of the distance I felt his concern and love to me. We both decided not to tell my parents yet since they both have “hypertension”. When my husband arrived, I broke the news to him. I looked at him and I witnessed how he tried to put a “brave face” in front of me but his eyes turned red but without tears. He also did not speak for several minutes and I did not have any clue where his mind went. All I knew was he was shocked, he was worried and he felt an “emotional pain” which he tried to hide from me.
My husband stayed with me until the visiting hours was over. My sister-in-law was the one who was with my son in our home. We told him the shocking news in the evening but reassured him that everything will be alright. He wanted to see me but I told him to work on his homework that night and then he can be with me the whole day of Sunday. I was given more medicine to make my blood thinner, they performed ECG as well at 2:00 in the morning since I was still complaining of chest heaviness in spite of all the medicine. A doctor assessed me at 3:00 in the morning and decided to put me on “heparin infusion” ( heparin also makes your blood thinner). I called on to God that night for Him to be with me, for Him not to leave me.
On Sunday, the 28th of April, I was feeling alright and everyone thought I was responding to all the medicine given to people who had heart attack. My son came early in the morning with my husband and my close friends and sister-in-law came in the afternoon. I felt blessed to have a family and friends who care for me genuinely. My brother and sister in the Philippines were also in touch with me all throughout my ordeal.
Then on my third day in the hospital, I underwent several tests to find out how can they can manage my condition. One test was “angiogram” to know if there is any blockage in my arteries and if there were, then they will try to fix them there and then. I also had heart ultrasound and lung scan. That afternoon, all the test came back and they were all negative. It was not heart attack after all. So what was it? The doctor said “it’s still a mystery” and we need to investigate further. Although my question on that day was not answered, I was rejoicing and was thanking my God. My prayer, our prayers were answered.
On my fourth day in the hospital, I went for a “heart MRI”. This is where they found the answer, and the result from this test became their basis for the final diagnosis. It was “myocarditis”, this is an inflammation of the heart muscle usually caused by a virus which we will never know now what virus went to my heart. It is because to know the cause, one should have a “heart biopsy” which is not done when the case has resolved anyway and because of the invasive nature of the said test. There was still something strange though why I had “myocarditis” since I did not have any recent infection, not even colds. But anyway, the most important thing happened, it did resolve on its own and I got well.
I was discharged that same afternoon and of course, my husband and son were the happiest creatures on earth. I felt all the more their overflowing love for me.
Two weeks have passed and now I can say, I did bounce back..I know I have to because there are many people who love me and I love them too and I still want to share so many things with them.
Worries overpowered by love
Allow me to thank God unceasingly for allowing me to bounce back!!!
Happy Mother’s day