In mid-October, the aging body demanded priority time. One morning at 6 AM, my husband stood by the bed and woke me to say, "I think I'm having a heart attack."
Another Panic Attack?
In the past, his PTSD caused him to have many signs and symptoms that I would check out and find no medical reason for his complaints. We would only sit and talk until he was calmer. Then he would go back to bed for a nap or take a Xanax. Frequently, it would only be a panic attack, and he would work at controlling it.
Not a Usual Morning!
This time I checked his pulse; no thready pulse or skipped beats. I sat him down and took his blood pressure; it was 180/108. His skin was cool and clammy. This was for real, and it was time to call the ambulance.
Had Fair Warning
A month ago, our General Practitioner had noticed an unusual heart sound and
sent us back to the Cardiologist. On
examination, he said calcium deposits on the heart valve caused this sound, and
as long as my husband had no pain and no edema, we should just keep an eye on
it. When it is needed, they could do a TAVR (Trans Aortic Valve Replacement). Being the investigator that he is, Gordon went home and read everything he
could on TAVR and talked to others who had it done or had first-hand
He Was Prepared
When I arrived at the ER, doctors, nurses, EMTs, and technicians surrounded his bed, and I realized this was serious. When they had his symptoms under control, they began the studies and tests needed to do the TAVR. It was four days before he returned home to await surgery. After several more tests and x-rays, the doctors scheduled the TAVR for November 17th.