Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Journey from Cardiac Arrest till Angioplasty operation on self

This is 21st September, 2011, time is 5.15 p.m.   Exactly  eight days before (on 13/9/2011) something happened which  made me change my lifestyles, my priorities. As if, Ctrl-Alt-Del has been pressed for my life.
On 13/9/2011, at around 6.15 a.m. I was doing cardio work outs, hardly aware of events which were to unfold soon.  I had first indications of a Cardiac Arrest at around 6.30 a.m. Now its very easy to say as past tense, but most difficult  to acknowledge it,  in its present tense. I  mean, we always harbour some notions about how heart attack looks like. Our filmy impressions only over amplify. In reality, I had absolutely no chest pain.  Perspiration was there; but as I was undergoing Cardio exercise in routine manner, it was difficult for rational mind to conclude that heart attack was in happening !  
After completing 50 minutes of cardio on 5 machines (and burning 490 calories), I returned home. Feeling some discomfort, I tried normal means, long breaths-water intake-rest.  For the first time, I felt that the discomfort is something different, it was causing congestion and heaviness above chest region, though without any pain. I told my wife, and she in turn sensing the gravity called our family doctor, Dr. Nehete. As per his instructions, we rushed to Om Navjeevan Hospital, Kharghar and initiated basic medications, ECG etc.   Doctor called for cardiac ambulance and took me to Cardiac Care Unit oft MGM Hospital Vashi.  Dr.Uday Jadhav told my wife Gitanjali that, the attack is massive, best Doctors from Breach Candy and Jaslok Hospitals,  Dr. Bryan Pinto, and Dr. Anand Rao, are available here, so decide in next 10 minutes whether to go ahead with angioplasty, or no.  Gitanjali was literally trembling. Very critical decision to be taken almost singularly, and that too, within next 10 minutes. No room for emotions. True to her characteristic,  she swung into action, consulted Umeshrao (my brother-in law) on couple of phone calls and conveyed her decision, and what happened thereafter, is now history. 
Operation was very interesting (!) affair to watch. The fear factor was certainly there; however, the confidence, faith and  trust in God, in Doctors, and the goodwill of all near and dear ones was very strong enough to allay my fears. I could see on a big screen  x-ray type images of heart, arteries, the stent (stainless steel tube fitted). It was indeed scary to see so many foreign objects freely moving inside my heart.  I asked doctor how much time will it take. He comforted me and said, "another 10 minutes". It was a team work. All doctors were consulting, opining, discussing and taking online opinions from outsiders, and then after having arrived at the consensus, implementing. I could not understand most of their discussion, but could make out the direction in which it was going.  Just like scientists monitoring rocket launching, express their joy by hurray, clapping, hugging , same way, doctors hurrayed  as soon as stent was fitted in place, and went to pick up their cup of coffee.   It was a junior doctor who came to me, patted on my shoulder and smilingly told me that no need to worry now I am out of danger. With great precision, in about 45 minutes doctors accomplished their goal. No anasthesia was given to me,  in fact, I was witnessing the whole operation.  After having removed the block which was 100 % in main artery, I felt relieved, and thanked God who was immediately in the form of Doctors carrying the surgery, and in the form of all near and dear ones who helped me come out of the red.
Now that I am recuperating at  home, I have many questions in mind. A major one: Why it happened to me in spite of relatively disciplined life followed by me ? For last one year, I have been strictly following gym/ diet regime, with no habbits as smoking, drinking, etc. All parameters, such as Cholesterol, Sugar, BP, everything  are normal. Therefore, doctors are also surprised, and say that cause of block is not cholesterol, but a clot which is formed possibly by stress.  I have no habbit of taking stress; but,it might have sub-conciously taken its toll. I can not deny that it was indeed very busy time professionally.
What policy changes I intend to make in life style, I will discuss in the next blogg. 
CA M.V.Mahashabde