Sunday, April 28, 2013

Recovering from My Heart Attack

In an earlier post I described my experience with myocardial infarction, i.e., heart attack. It's been 4 weeks and 4 days since my MI and hospitalization. My cardiologist told me it would take 6 to 8 weeks to recover. After the first I felt pretty good and thought I'd beat his prognosis. Now I'm not so sure.

My cardiologist prescribed Coreg 3.125 mg, once per day, and Ibuprofen 200 mg twice per day. The purpose of the Coreg was to reduce blood pressure (BP) and, in turn, the burden on the heart. I am slender, have a relatively healthy diet and life style, and benefit from good, Italian genes, so my blood pressure has always been normal, at close to 120/80, with a pulse of 60. After taking the Coreg with breakfast, I was finding my BP and pulse ranging between 97/63, 59 to 117/79, 59 during the mornings, and 94/61, 59 to 130/81, 58 in the afternoon.

During the first two weeks after my release from the hospital my feeling of well-being varied from a sense that I was getting better rapidly, to a sense that I was weak and unable to exert myself. I often had pain in my upper mid back (which could have been referred pain or arthritis) and occasionally had brief stabbing pains in my left chest, and on one occasion a throbbing pain in my left carotid artery.

On Saturday, the 14th of April, two weeks out of the hospital, I felt well enough to do a lap on the treadmill and a few strengthening exercises. In the afternoon, we went to a movie and dinner. I experienced chest pain and weakness later in the evening, and a throbbing pain in my left carotid artery when trying to sleep. I took an aspirin and a Benadryl (which I find relieves stuffiness and helps me to sleep). Sunday I lay around all day.

Over the last two weeks my BP and pulse has been varying between 100/72, 63 to 126/83, 64. I frequently feel as though I need to take deeper breaths -- to get more oxygen in my lungs. I tire easily; on one occasion I walked a block and felt faint. Frequently, I have pain in my upper mid back.

My cardiologist had me start back on Livalo on April 1st, but I discontinued it on the 19th after again experiencing cramping in my lower left leg.

On April 25th, I started experiencing a dull pain in my right groin where the catheter had been inserted into the femoral artery. The artery was sealed using a collagen plug, which simulates normal coagulation and closure. This plug is expected to dissolve after about 30 days, and this action may have been the cause of my groin pain. The pain went away after the second day.

I'm scheduled to see my cardiologist May 10th. I may call him before then and relate to him my feeling of not getting enough oxygen. It may be that I should stop taking the Coreg.

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