WOW..... things have changed since I last wrote in my journa
Journal posted on February 24, 2014
24.02.2014 (australia time)
So I was diagnosed with clear arteries however, because I have a severely calcified BAV, i was to have a AVR in March... no problem... I thought, great, a new life to begin.
NEW LIFE TO BEGIN ALRIGHT !!!!
On Christmas day 25.12.2013, I had a heart attack in the morning about 11.00am.... pains in chest, could not breathe, was in the car so I pulled over, but it all passed as quick as it came... I thought... what the hell was that?... but stupid me chose to ignore it.
ONE hour later, I was having Christmas lunch with my elderly mother (who has Alzheimers) along with 4 x other ladies in the complex from the ages of 80-90,
I felt something strange again so I excused myself and walked home (next door). When I got there I did not know why I was there, I was out of breath and very confused, I began to walk outside again to go and get my mum but I knew I would not make it. I got myself back inside and picked up the hands free phone and called 000 (911). I managed to ask for ambulance but by the time they got through, they told me they could hear me breathing and confirmed my addressed, which really surprised me because I have a silent number... thank god Australia don't make it private to EVERYONE.
The Ambulance confirmed I was having a heart attack and I managed to get through to them to get my mother from next door, because, no one had a clue what was going on. I remember the paramedic saying to the driving 'you better step on it'
That night I was flown to Sydney (Prince of Wales hospital) an hour away. They kept my mother safe in the hospital where I originally went, until my sister flew from Sydney the following day to collect her and drive mum down to Sydney.
My artery literally tore off my heart and when they tried to put thinners through my arteries to clear them (standard heart attack procedure) the thinners went everywhere and they did not want to operate for one week. They told my children who met me at the hospital, they are 25 and 27, and told them the operation won't happen for a week but then they managed to get me to authorise the operation to happen NOW. I remember signing something.
They had a 10 minute window to take a vein from my left leg and do a bypass deep into my heart, and they also performed the mechanical valve replacement.
My children were told to contact the family because I was probably not going to survive the surgery.
I woke up 4 days later in ICU thinking it was still Christmas day derrrrrrrr..... and spent 11 days in there altogether.
21 days later, I flew out of Sydney and back home... still very sick but glad to get home.
2 days later, back in local hospital, my heart had fluid and my lungs had fluid and the lining in my stomach was not allowing the medication to get through to work.. I could not sleep because I struggled to breath every breath....I was in heart failure. Another 9 days in hospital.
4 days later, back to hospital again, vomiting.. no medication would stay down and I had increased 4kg in 3 days... the fluid was building up again.
Now I am home again... have been for a week and 4 days and the last 3 days I feel much much better.
I am on antibiotics because my leg was not healing and I am on double Lasix (fluid retention) medication and have lost over 4kgs in 5 days... wow it feels good.
I still have trouble breathing and that is because the medication I take because my heart is so damaged, keeps my blood pressure low and it is weird feeling cold so often as I have never been a cold person... not looking forward to my favourite season THIS YEAR .... winter !!
I walk with a mobility trolley, I am driving short distances. I am attending my cardio rehabilitation programme and will be starting sessions with a psychologist this week, which I need and look forward to.
I am in the 4th stage (which I was told the worse stage) of heart failure and if, god forbid I have another attack, it will be heart transplant for me... so I am taking one day at a time because you never know what lies ahead..u just never know.
I just want to include a poem I wrote on Facebook the actual night before the attack... I will think twice from now on. Anyone who would like to request me on Facebook you will find me by
Cheryl Lee Condon
Goodbye 2013.... helllllooo 14
Talk about a challenge, where do I start?
This year has been a doozie, way off the chart.
My stepdad died and left my mum,
Too far away, she had no one
So I packed my things and move up to Coffs,
Found loving homes for my cat and my dogs.
Struggled everyday, I had so much to learn
Looking after my mum was my only concern.
A bit further on, mum got diagnosed,
with Alzheimers Dementia,
God only knows.
How she coped before,
looking after Jim
no matter how much she forgets
She does not forget him
Then came along Kaelum
My son has a son
Andrew and Kamri
brought joy to everyone.
Nicole is doing well, still in USA
happily married to Clayton
I miss them everyday.
So the year has been full
another year older
oh I forgot,
I have frozen shoulder.
So I met doctor Sinha
wow isn't he thorough,
He told me a murmur
should be looked into further.
So an ultrasound here
and a cardiograph there,
a CT, an angiogram
I went here, I went there
Then the shock news
it didn't seem fair
with a heart that could stop
any time, anywhere
I will have my heart fixed
early next year,
open heart surgery
is a big thing to fear.
But I am a tough one
I can be strong
too many people love me
To leave would be wrong
So bring it on
come on the New Year
Throw some more curve balls
watch me steer clear.
To all my friends and Facebook family
Have a wonderful Christmas and a safe and healthy new year.
Well my Angiogram showed that my arteries were all clear but my aortic valve was moderate to severely calcified so I had an appointment with the surgeon a month later.
I will be having an aortic valve replacement in March next year. The surgeon has suggested I have the mechanical valve which should last me my lifetime, however, I will be on warfarin for the rest of my life.
I don't care what drug I have to take as long as I live longer.
Today was a bit stressful with mums mood swings, but I managed to occupy her and divert her attention when I noticed a change in her mood.
I found though that I am recognising the stress I feel more since I have been diagnosed, I have always felt tightness in my chest but now I know what it is, it worries me more. Today I have felt like there is material wrapped around my neck.. not tight, but a pressure feeling... will be checking it out tomorrow at the doctor.. I would go down to the hospital tonight but I can't leave mum.. If I feel it is necessary though... i will wake her up and take her with me in the middle of the night.
I have only known for a couple of weeks about my heart condition and now I know how to recognize the signs of my heart straining, I tend to anxious. I now notice how out of breath I get, again something I always thought was normal.
I picked up the results of my CT scan today and didn't learn too much information because I have already had 2 echos but I am booked into the hospital on 23rd Oct to have an angiogram.. I just have to wait..