So, my sister at 50 just had a mild heart attack this morning. She is fine, no damage done to her heart. Small blockage in one artery that they cleared with a stint, small buildup in another artery that they are going to try and dissolve with meds. I think the worst part is they were in Greenville SC dropping my youngest niece for her freshman year at college.
Here's the kicker. Other than high blood pressure that is controlled by medication, she is the healthiest of all of us. She had semi-high cholesterol that she was able to bring down with diet, but she should have been on statins anyway. She just decided not to.
- Maternal grandfather -- several major heart attacks before the age of 50, dies just shortly after 50.
- Maternal Uncle -- Major heart attack the week before his 40th b-day, dies that day at the hospital.
- Mother -- Series of about 5 heart attacks over a weeks time at the age of 55, triple by-pass, restructuring of heart wall, artificial valve placed. Major stroke at the age of 65 from plaque that broke free and lodged in a vessle in the brain.
- Sister -- age 50 mild heart attack. recognized symptoms, took an aspirin, called the paramedics.
Here's the deal. My own Doctor told me that with this family history, even if my cholesterol numbers were fine, that he would still have me taking statins, because not all bad cholesterol is created equal. He gave the analogy of cholesterol floating through the veins in someone with no family history with numbers inching toward 200, and they were small little beach balls all nice and round and they bounce off the walls of the viens and they don't stick to each other or the veins and form little beach ball communties. Then he said someone else comes in and they have this horrendous family history, and even though their numbers are fine, their bad cholesterol is different, it's all jagged and irregularly shaped and more resembles burrs over smooth beach balls and when they float through the viens they bump into each other and get stuck together and bump into the viens and get stuck on the walls and eventually create nice little road blocks.
But, the thing is I don't have good numbers, I have aweful numbers (think higher than 300 ) and at 36 I was put on statins because no amount of diet change did a thing for my cholesterol levels. I went off the statins to get pregnant for Jaxon, and I stayed off them to nurse him, then I got pregnant with Abigail and am still not taking them because she is still nursing. I have every intention of going back on them when she weans, and I have tossed around the idea that I maybe should wean her. I really wanted to let Abigail decide when she was ready to wean, and I was going to continue nursing her for as long as this took.
But then this happened with my sister. And now I'm wondering if I haven't played Russian roulette long enough? I don't want to stop nursing. I'm not ready to stop nursing. Abigail is not ready to stop nursing. But, how long do I ignore my own health? Did I mention I'm not ready to stop nursing?
ETA: I'd like to know. If this was YOU, what would you do?