What I learned after my second heart attack
I had my first heart attack in 2000. I didn’t know what to expect and it was tough to recover, but I did.
The doctors put in one stent and life was going pretty well. Then in October of 2015, it happened again.
I was at the grocery store shopping and I started sweating heavily and I got lightheaded. It was similar to what happened to me in 2000. I immediately stopped shopping and got in the car and rolled all the windows down.
My hope was that the air would make me feel better, but it didn’t. I drove home and told my wife what was happening, and that I thought I was having a heart attack. She had went through all of this before when I had my first one.
She gave me an aspirin and brought me to Advocate Trinity Hospital in Chicago right away. Luckily we are just a short drive away. Once we got there, I was diagnosed as having another heart attack. I had a second and third stent put in. I had to go through so many tests, including an ultrasound and an MRI.
After my doctors examined me, they said that I needed to go through a cardiac rehabilitation program at Advocate Trinity. That is something that I didn’t do the first time.
They told me throughout the program I will work closely with nurses, dietitians, fitness trainers and heart experts to help regain my strength and get back to living my normal life. They signed me up and the rest is history.
I am so glad I am going because I feel stronger and I don’t want this to happen again. I’m learning how to manage my health with easy lifestyle changes and exercising to build up my fitness level. I will continue to go to rehabilitation for six months and will be reevaluated on my health progress upon completion of the program.
What I tell people now is that if you feel that something is going on, especially with your chest, you should go directly to the hospital. They know the procedures and they’ll know if it’s a heart attack or just something that passing. They’ll take care of you.
I know now, it was not in my best interest to just drive home and that isn’t something that I would do again. But the good news is that I am recovering pretty good so far and I am getting stronger every day.
About the Author
Walter is a Chicago resident sharing his first hand account of a heart attack and his experience at Advocate Trinity Hospital.