This was the week that almost wasn’t

I had a heart attack last Tuesday. Here’s the story:

Last Sunday evening we were coming home from Heathrow and I was tugging my luggage out of the Underground. I felt a bit of discomfort but paid it no mind.

Tuesday morning I got up, made breakfast, and sent HWMBO off to work and sat down to do the email and Usenet. At 9:30 I felt a crushing pain in my chest, something like the discomfort one feels when one gulps water fast and it stays in your esophagus for a while. It didn’t go away. I called my friend Mark from across the street and he came over, called the ambulance, and that was basically the end of my week.

We went to St. Thomas’s Hospital, which is the primary cardiac care centre for most of southern England. This is a good thing, as normally one would have been taken to another hospital, from which one would have been transferred to St. Thomas’s. In A&E they evaluated me, and decided to perform an immediate angioplasty and put in a stent, all of which they did. The angioplasty flattens the plaque on the arterial wall against the artery so that the pathway is opened again. A stent looks like a tube made of chicken wire, very tiny. That is inserted to hold the plaque in place and medication is imbued in the stent to prevent clots from forming around the stent. All this was performed on Valium and then I got a shot of morphine, which helped me to understand why addicts like heroin so much. By 12:30 I was in the CCU (Cardiac Care Unit, for intensive care after heart surgery or heart attacks).

The rest of the week was one boring lot of minutes, hours, and days. Luckily the angioplasty (which starts from a tube inserted in your groin and threaded into your heart) left no bruises or scars, and most of the tubes and spigots they put in were taken out by Friday. They were taking blood sugar, blood pressure, and the like every hour in the CCU, and 5 times a day on the regular cardio ward, to which I was transferred on Friday morning.

Had visitors: the Area Dean, the Archdeacon of Southwark, several chaplains, my Rector, HWMBO, our houseguest, and a fellow parishioner. Lots of cards and stuff from friends (some from America!!) I did find out through my sister’s card that my brother and sister-in-law have separated (so some sad news too). Got cards from my Masonic brothers too, which was a very nice thing indeed.

So now I’m back home, with lots of email to look at, time to rest and relax before Tuesday’s Civil Partnership ceremony, time to think before I begin rehab, time to be grateful that this wasn’t the Big One that has done for so many people in the past.

Missed all my lj friends, too! Glad to be back!

19 Responses to “This was the week that almost wasn’t”

  1. bigmacbear says:

    Glad to have you back! Best wishes for a complete and speedy recovery.

  2. pyrzqxgl says:

    Yikes! I’m glad you’re all right and that you went right to the hospital. Take good care of yourself, and best wishes for your partnership ceremony!

  3. fj says:



    Don’t do that again!

  4. phornax says:

    I’m so glad that you were alert and caught the symptoms in time! Best wishes and have a nice relaxing period of recovery.

  5. mango_king says:

    Glad you are ok! I was wondering where you had been. I’m glad this didn’t happen on your holiday.
    I wish you a speedy recovery!

  6. legalmoose says:

    I hope you recover quickly and completely. Good luck!

  7. vasilatos says:

    Oh boy, phew! So glad to hear you’re back and basically ok.

  8. spwebdesign says:

    Yikes! I’m glad you’re okay. Take care of yourself!

  9. chrisloup says:

    oh no.. get well soon.

  10. hickbear says:

    As my late half-baked grandmother would say: Oh my goodness-gracious.

    I hope HWMBO is taking good care of you…

    Great big *huggers*, sweetie!!!

  11. kingbitch says:

    If you think about it, it’s actually good news.

    You’re safe and sound today! 😀

    Take care…

  12. chrishansenhome says:

    Do believe me; if I can possibly help it, I won’t be doing that again. If I’m lucky, I’ll recover fully and live out a normal life span.

  13. chrishansenhome says:

    Thanks, sweetheart. Make sure friends me and knows what happened, now! Of course, only if you’re speaking this week! 🙂

  14. skibbley says:

    So glad you are still around.

  15. boyshapedbox says:

    I’m really glad to read you are ok!

    Reading that first sentance scared the CRAP out of me!

    Eat fish and take care of yourself. 🙂

    HUGS from SF!

  16. chrishansenhome says:

    The salmon steaks are in the oven as we speak 🙁 Thanks for the hugs; think of us tomorrow morning your time early: we’re off at 2:00 pm (6 am your time) to the REgistry Office, and we’ll probably be humming “Get me to the church on time” while we’re doing it.

  17. anonymous says:

    Been there, done that (going on 8 years ago). Back tehn they didn’t do stents as a matter of policy, they do now.
    Good luck my friend.
    Kap in MA

  18. chrishansenhome says:

    Hey, Kap! I wasn’t aware you read my blog. Glad to see you around, though.

  19. thaaang says:

    Yeesh! Glad to hear you came through it okay!