Life sometimes throws you a curve ball at you, something totally unexpected that stops you in your tracks. Well that happened to me just over a week ago. I had had a busy day, nothing unusual there, we went to an Information evening at the school about the new qualifications and then on the way home I got sudden and severe chest pains and breathlessness. We got home, phoned NHS24, who duly dispatched an ambulance. Paramedics arrived, took ECG reading, then said looks like a possible heart attack! The next couple of readings said no and by this time I was feeling a bit better, but obviously had to go into A&E, where they took blood tests. We waited but as I was beginning to feel better just tired by this time we were not unduly worried - then the doctor came back with results. The blood tests showed a mild heart attack, so I was admitted and hooked up to monitors.
I was feeling rather stunned at this point as you can imagine. To cut a long story short as it was the weekend I had to wait till Monday to get an angiogram to find out the cause - I do not fit into any if the usual triggers for heart attacks.
Monday arrives and the angiogram test, which was rather painful actually. Thankfully the results were good and there is no sign of coronary heart disease and no blockage in the arteries. So what caused it? They are fairly sure it is TakoTsubo cardiomyopathy, which is stress related. There is a good explanation of it here. The stress builds up and causes your heart to be stunned and the effect is the same as that of a heart attack. The good news is that, after the initial period, there should be no lasting damage to the heart. I just need to work on my stress management!
So I am resting, off work for several weeks, no driving for a couple of weeks, taking it easy although starting to take short walks every day and doing my relaxation exercises.
Longer term I shall need to take stock and see what signs I have ignored re stress build up and do something about them.
The moral of this tale is - look after your octopus! (If you haven't already you really need to look up the link and read right down to the end of the page to understand the octopus)