Bruce Adkins West Virginia
OK… I had lost 30 pounds, was walking, exercising daily, and was getting “fitter." I had even just been to Alaska and done a mountain hike the week prior, attended a Cincinnati Reds game with my family and walked several miles 3 days before, on my 59th birthday! But on May 24th, while attending a regional playoff high school baseball game, I began having nausea and abdominal pain. I shrugged this off as “eating something bad” earlier in the day, but the severe nausea didn’t go away. I really didn’t have typical symptoms of a heart attack.
I was in good shape, was not obese, and recent lab work and physical didn’t point to any cardiovascular issues. I do have a strong family history of heart disease. With my symptoms actually getting a little worse, I chose to drive home from the game (at this point I really wasn’t considering calling 911 or going to the hospital). However, on the way home I became more ill and started having some diaphoresis and left shoulder chest pain. I thought, “GOSH! This could be my heart!”
So, after taking 3 aspirin I happened to have in the car and being just about 5-6 minutes away, I chose to drive myself to the local cardiac hospital. After some excitement in the ER, I was rushed to the cath lab where my right coronary artery was found to be 90 percent occluded and in severe spasm. I am now the proud owner of a 30 mm stent!
I have just walked in my first Heart Walk with many new friends and family! I am blessed (and lucky) to be completing cardiac rehabilitation and have significantly increased my stamina and exercise tolerance. I just celebrated my granddaughter’s first birthday, and am planning for many more! My story is another one about doing many things wrong and still surviving. I hope with education and advances in medicine, more people will survive and live wonderful lives.