My husband is 59 yrs old and a few Sundays back he was in town (about 8 hrs away) to put our truck in the shop. During the night he thought he was dreaming about having a heart attack in which he was experiencing heavy pressure on his chest and his heart felt like it was in a vice being squeezed from left to right. He awoke with chest pains and breathing difficulties. He was by himself and 'waited out' his symptoms and left it at that. If I had of been with him I would have rushed him to the hospital; as it turns out he didn't seek medical help because he is afraid of being put on more medication. I am worried that he may have had a heart attack and it was more than just a dream. Does anyone know more about these symptoms?
I am quite concerned for him because he has been a diabetic for about 15 yrs now and in 2005 was diagnosed with angina and small vessel disease. An angiogram showed 10 blockages of between 50-80% blockages of which surgery would have been the preferred treatment; however, the stents for some blockages and the bypass surgery for two places was advised against as a result of his small vessel disease. He has been treated with medications since.
November 2008 he was rushed to the hospital experiencing numbing in his left half of his body and subsequent blood work showed 7.2 levels of potassium that he was fortunate to get to the hospital when he did as this would have led to a massive heart attack if untreated. Since then he has had to go for monthly blood work for monitoring including adapting diet again. Who knew coffee was so high in potassium and he was drinking about 4-5 pots a day at the time! We have had to adapt to low potassium produce as well.
This past spring he was referred to the Chronic Disease Management clinic in Prince George, BC, Canada and required a series of blood work for the kidney specialist prior to our first visit. The blood work showed an increase of uric acid and his kidneys were functioning at 32% at which if it reached 25% he would be placed on the kidney transplant list. He is now also being medically treated for gout and kidney disease. He is extremely frustrated with all the meds he is taking and it is hard mentally and emotionally for both of us.
I am especially concerned because we live in a remote community that is accessible only by a gravel forest service road or by schedule flights from a small plane. We are about 6 hours drive from the nearest hospital. Our community has a small clinic but limited health services. The clinic does not have a defibrullator and the RNs are here only on alternating weekdays (wed-fri) this week then off one week then wed-fri the following week) then after xmas back to their regular schedules. Our dr does not live in the community but is a visiting physician and will not be back until mid January 2010.
We have community health representatives (CHR) who work as a liaison to qualified medical personnel and are able to take vitals, hook pt up to ecg but do not know how to read but send the readings to the dr via fax machine, and coordinate medical travel out to hospital if advised by the dr to do so. The CHR calls the dr and gives the pt information to him/her over the phone and follows the advice of the dr.
Our community is located within the Rocky Mountain Trench in Northern British Columbia, Canada
I look forward to any comments you may have. Sorry for the long message but I felt it appropriate to give as much background as possible.