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Sue Ligibel’s Story

Manchester, MO

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Sue's Story

After feeling short of breath and visiting my doctor (for my scheduled 6 month check-up), he scheduled an EKG and a Stress Test (treadmill). I failed both. I was referred to a great cardiologist who performed a cardiac cath and pronounced me feel of any problems. I visited a pulmonologist who informed me, “if there’s nothing wrong with your heart or your lungs, then (obviously) it must be all in your head!Less than one week later I had passed out on my Family Room floor in the middle of the night and rushed to ER where I was immediately given oxygen and had blood tests. Ny b.p. had dropped to 77/58.I was admitted to the ICU several hours later after the blood tests determined I had, indeed, suffered a heart attack (docs couldn’t pinpoint exactly when) — it was called a “silent heart attack”. I developed a raging infection, pneumonia, lungs filled with fluid — had a transesophogeal cardiac catheter and bronchosopy and ended up on a respirator for almost three days.To this day, no one can tell me what caused the heart attack — no blocked arteries,  no real heart disease (except for a long standing MVP with regurgitation. After being hospitalized for 9 days, I was sent home with Cozaar, instructions to take baby aspirin and an order to go to Cardiac Rehab. When I went for my orientation at Rehab, I tried to explain that I was dizzy and having shortness of breath again. I was told it was normal because I was so weak from being flat on my back in ICU and having had the infection for six days.At my second visit to C.R. I told the nurse I didn’t think I could exercise because I could hardly walk and catch my breath. My protests were brushed aside and less than two weeks after leaving the hospital, I was back in it, diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure — and by the way, another small heart attack.To this day, I have no explanation of why — except that now I am taking Lasix on a daily basis. I will never again doubt my feelings — doctors/nurses don’t always know best.

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