In just a short time, my beloved husband has gone from someone who hasn’t had a day’s sickness for many, many years, didn’t go to the doctors’ unless there was no alternative and wouldn’t even take headache tablets unless absolutely necessary, to someone who now takes eight tablets a day and will have to do so for the rest of his life.
How so, you ask?
Six weeks ago, I had a phone call from a nurse at our local hospital. ‘I don’t want to alarm you, Mrs Harvey, but we have your husband in A & E with chest pains.’ Scary! When I got to the hospital, it was to find him in the Resuscitation Room wired up to various machines. It seemed that he’d had a chest pain that wouldn’t go away and a tingling in his arms and legs, so thought he’d better take himself off to the hospital.
That afternoon, he was rushed to Sheffield Northern General Hospital, the area cardiac treatment centre, with blue lights flashing and two paramedics in the ambulance with him, feeling, he said, a complete fraud. Once there, he was taken straight into theatre and had a stent fitted in a blocked artery. One amusing note here, the surgeon who performed the operation told him, ‘You’ll be as good as new now.’ Having been told that, my husband thought he’d be going back to work on the Monday!
Believing that, he wasn’t best pleased when I told him that I’d phoned his boss that afternoon to tell her what had happened. He now realises just how unrealistic his expectations were.
We learned later that it was only a minor heart attack but the consequences, had he not gone to hospital, it might have been much more serious. He’s recovering well, I’m pleased to say, but more slowly than he would like. As a very active person normally, I can well understand that, but he’s being sensible and takes frequent rests between doing anything that requires exertion. He’s back at work, though on reduced hours (he only works part-time anyway) and in a couple of weeks he will be starting cardiac rehabilitation.
Before we got together 27 years ago (we celebrated our silver wedding last year), he’d been working long hours running his own business and grabbing snacks and chocolate bars as and when he could to keep him going. He sees now that that was probably led to plaque building up in his arteries and causing high blood pressure and a high cholesterol level.
But you just don’t think at the time, do you? And as a result of what’s happened, my son has been checked out and found that he, too, has high blood pressure and a high level of cholesterol, which he’s now vowed to do something about. As for me, well, I’ve been on tablets for high blood pressure for some time and my cholesterol is checked regularly.
Was it just my husband who chose to think he was invincible and that as long as he ignored anything medical, he’d be ok? Or is that you? I can only advise you, from my husband’s experience, get yourself checked out now. Or what happened to him can happen to you.