My father, Grandpa and Great-Grandpa to my kids & theirs, Papa Joe, went to the hospital yesterday.
Given his heart history and other health problems, if he went to the hospital with every pain and suspicious symptom they'd have to put in a revolving door at the ER. But, he awoke Saturday morning pre-dawn in a cold sweat, slight pressure on his chest.
Did some deep breathing, felt better, slept a bit more. Took the morning meds with a very small breakfast and went back to bed. This does not happen. This is a man who makes his bed as soon as he arises, and refuses to rest (beyond a recliner nap) until bed time. (Only sick or lazy people lie abed in the daylight, apparently. ;) ) He figured he'd likely go in, sometime during the day, because in his mind, any time he's ever had a serious health issue it's always hit him in the night, and he wasn't going through that again!
So, he and my sister, with whom he lives, discussed it, and they agreed he'd go to the hospital. She got him there about 2:30 pm.
Once they took him in and started the electrode-attaching and IV-inserting, as you do for any suspected heart attack, and began checking pulses in extremities and looking for his blood pressure -- he didn't have any. I started getting word from sister and her husband about that time -- "Your father went in to ER, he's having a heart attack" -- stopped hanging laundry, changed to decent clothing, Spouse got home then -- he undertook to drive me, figuring I'd be too nervous to drive.
The cuffs measured about enough BP to keep a zombie or a vampire alive. They couldn't even find his pulse anywhere, though he was pink and alert and replied when they repeatedly asked him how he was feeling.
After he was all hooked up, he settled down and got very quiet. Then he began to answer with nods, no words, and became quieter still. The nurse sent a helper to fetch the doctor -- his heart had stopped and they had to shock him back. About that time came text from Brother-in-law: "She says it doesn't look good".
I say, if you're going to code out, do it in the Emergency Room, already hooked up to monitoring equipment, already receiving fluids and anticoagulants and so on. Other than a few protesting noises when they shocked him, he came back around right away. He's a veteran of that; they had to do it two or three times when he had bypass surgery about 10 years ago. It was rough on my sister to watch that, though. Very hard to see your father treated that way, however necessary.
It wasn't big heart damage -- they were able to act quickly. His heart just gave up, tired, I guess, from trying to deal with a narrowed artery.
The cardio Dr. on call sent him immediately to the cath lab for an angiogram. That's when I arrived; they almost ran me over with his gurney, getting him there. He smiled at me, alert again by that time. They found one of his stents had started to gather a blockage (he's had them over 8 years). So they stented the stent, and sent him out to Intensive Care.
He needed watching more because of caution about possible bad effects from the angiogram than about his heart -- possible hematoma around the groin entrance to the arteries, and possible kidney difficulty getting the dye filtered & urinated out. The ol' arteries are open and the heart's chugging away, for now.
They had him up and walking about this morning, eating breakfast. (They had been feeding him a normal diet since he got to his room.) And to think I was considering funeral arrangements on my way there...
Thanks for prayers -- he's had a rough time this past year, and we'd like to see him get a chance to enjoy his retirement in reasonable health. (He and my father-in-law (Mike Sr.) are about the same age, 71, both with serious health issues but doing so well despite them.) He's doing very well today, for a guy who basically died yesterday.