...but not necessarily what it WAS!!
I took Ron to work on Thursday--like I usually do because Thursday is the day I see Donna--and all seemed normal and FINE. In fact he went into his office and brought me a box of quarters he keeps there because we had discussed how dirty the van was, and why didn't I wash it?
After washing the van, etc. I went back home and did the things I usually do to get ready to spend the afternoon with my friend. About ten o'clock I was getting ready to step into the shower when the phone rang: This is ______ at Dr. Sharp's office. Ron is here. He is having some chest pain and we are running some tests. He says you have the car and thinks he wants you to come get him.
So, thinking: I wonder what this is all about...He sure seemed fine this morning... I headed for the doctor's office. As I start to pull into his parking lot, I realize that there is an ambulance sitting there. My heart fell to my toes! On top of that the lot is full and I am having trouble finding a place to park. I round a cormer and see Kevin coming toward me, so I put my window down to see what he wants. "Dad is okay! I've talked to him. They don't know what is going on yet, but they think he better go to the hospital where they can run more tests." By this time the ambulance has started to move and I get right in behind it. I am encouraged because they are NOT using the siren. Kevin is right behind me in his car.
When they get Ron settled into a room in the ER they invite us to come back and see him. I can tell he is in a LOT of pain, and he says it is all across the top of his chest, but not down his arms or in his neck. They start doing blood tests and EKG and x-ray and asking all of the usual questions... I had remembered to grab his medications [that is the easiest way for them to actually know what he takes. Just grab a plastic zip bag and throw them all in it!] so they took that info down and asked about his previous treatments etc. Finally, they gave him a shot of morphine and in a while his pain started to ease, and his color started to get better. Then they sent him for a CT scan. Gradually, the results from all the tests were starting to come in, and there is NOTHING to indicate he has had a heart attack. "But", the doctor says, "sometimes it may take 6 to 12 hours for those enzymes to show up in the blood. Meanwhile, the CT scan shows you do have some stones in your gall bladder, and the liver enzymes support that you may have been having some trouble there."
So they decide to keep him overnite for observation.
Ron had a stress test at the Heart Clinic in Columbia in late January as part of his regular check-up. A week or so before we went to Branson he had gotten a letter from Dr. Kennett saying that everything looked fine except one little area at the bottom of his heart was a little 'cloudy' and they needed to schedule a heart catheterization to check that out. Ron had taken a copy of that letter with him on Thursday because he was going to call and make the arrangements for the test.
Dr.Sharp and Dr. Kennett conferred and decided it was a good time to send Ron to Columbia for the Heart Cath. test. So Friday I picked him up at Bothwell and drove him over to Boone hospital. Their blood test on him showed that his blood was too 'thin' to safely take the test, so they kept him off of his Coumadin and also gave him something else to make it 'thicker' and scheduled the test for Saturday morning. Meanwhile they continued to have him on a heart monitor, etc.
Around 8:30 Sat. morning they came and took him for the test. The doctor that id the test talked to me and said that everything "looked fine" except for one of the bypasses he had in 2002 was completely blocked[It was the one they had put 'stents' in back in 2007]. Ron and I talked about what that might mean they would want to do to 'fix' the situation. We were both afraid that they would want to do another bypass or something. Dr. Kennett came in and said "This is really a Good Thing! Yes, that bypass is blocked, but your heart has made collateral arteries around that area and it is nourishing the heart very well!" So, no bypass!!
They had to keep Ron for 24 hours after the test.[They make sure you are not going to 'bleed too much.] But I picked him up Sunday morning and he has gone back to work today [went in a little late and may come home early]
They said his pain COULD have been from the gallstones, or it COULD have been something else but they are really SURE that he did NOT have a heart attack. Dr. Sharp told him on Friday morning that after he was checked out at Columbia they would need to "test further" about the gall bladder issue.