I was released from the hospital yesterday around noon. I was supposed to be in for at least a week but they let me go a day early.
They are almost totally sure that it was a very acute heart attack caused by a blood clot in the coronary vessel. The blockage was so slight that it dissolved or dislodged itself due to the pressure. This is apparently quite common and happens in about 10% of heart attacks, many of which go unreported because they are not even recognized as being heart attacks.
Still uncertain is where the blood clot came from and whether or not there is a high risk of it happening again. The doctor said it was not the result of a thrombosis caused by laying in bed for 3 days. Nor was it caused by any defects such as faulty valves or holes in the wall of the heart. It could be a hereditary predisposition as heart problems seem to run in the family. This lack of certainty is frustrating. Was it a one-time fluke? Could it happen easily again? Am I walking around with a time-bomb in my chest? Questions, questions! Even though I am out of the hospital the doctors are still doing blood tests to determine other possible causes.
Next week I am staying home and will just take it easy. My brother will be visiting and I’ll hang out with him. The original plan was to go into Hamburg to the Reeperbahn and get crazy. That plan has been scratched. I predict there will be some collective chilling going on accompanied by extended periods of taking it easy.
The week after starting on the 16th I will be sent on a 3 week treatment at the Herz- und Gefässzentrum Bad Bevensen. This will consist of cardiovascular exercise and training along with teaching about the heart and its proper care. The other important aspect of this will include doing some treadmill running hooked up to EKGs and doing various stress tests. (“Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology”). These tests will hopefully help determine the cause and ways to prevent it from happening again.
More to come…
*Dude Ranch Nurse – Sonic Youth