Well you may have noticed that i have been a bit quiet lately on twitter and facebook and blogging.
This post tells you what happened.
Back in the summer of 2010 I was fully engaged in my ‘life in Law’ working at a criminal Law firm, starting my traineeship with my full legal career ahead of me.
But something was not right. I felt ill. So tired and with chest pains.
Taking sometime out and deciding that Intellectual Property law was where my interests are i decided to leave the criminal defence firm and go back to glasgow Univeristy to embark on a post graduate LL.M in Intellectual property law and the digital economy.It is a fabulous course and will give me a specialism.
All was going well with a few commercial firms making me offers of training contracts when my LL.M is over. But my health just didnt imporove.
I thought it was because I was in my 40’s and acted like i was in my 20’s. Chest pain dogged my summer and i was admitted 3 times to Glasgow’s western infirmary with posssible Heart attacks.
Each time the medical team thought that the pain was due to angina ( chest pain) and advised me to keep my stress to a minimum. A diffiuclt task when you are as busy as me raising two girls and being obsessed with law.
On the 23rd of novemebr i was sent to the Golden Jubilee Hospital in Clydebank for a procedure called an angiogram. Basicall they put a camer into the artery inside your arm and feed a camera into my heart to have a look and see what is going on.
I really thought they would tell me that all was well and I was just ‘getting old’.
Nothing prepared me for that day.
The medical team told me I had a life threatening Blockage inside my main artery inside my heart.If they did nothing I would die.
Every moment was precious.
When I came outside of the hospital I cried.
The only option for me was to have open heart surgery , the blockage was too big and in too serious a position for a stent.
I was sent home and told to do ‘nothing’ – no exercise , no stress and to call 999 at any sign of chest pain.
It was just coming up to christmas and i was terrified.
On the 6th of December the chest pains started. I thought I would die.
An ambulance was called and I was taken to the western where i would stay until the heart surgery.
In hospital my heart rate fell to 36 beat per minute and my blood pressure fell very low. I was very ill.
All the time I was terrified that i would not make it to christmas or see my girls grow up.
My family all came in to the western daily and just before christmas we had a wee christmas party in my hospital room.
On the 20th of December i was transferred to the Golden jubilee once of the Uk’s specialist Heart and Lung centres.
The night before my surgery the surgeon explained that I would need not a single bypass but a triple bypass as the blockage was covering three of my heart arteries. When my family left that night and I was alone I cried.
I had been told that they would saw through my breast bone with a saw and remove my heart placing me on a heart and lung machine. They would take artery grafts from inside my leg and breats and attach them to my heart bypassing the blockage. The operation would last for about 5 hours. I was warned that when i woke up I would feel like I had been hit by a bus.
On the morning of the surgery I was given a pre-med and taken to theatre. I was terrified.
I awoke in Intensive care around midnight that night.
It turned out that the medical team had operated and stiched my chest back up but I had had a major bleed and had to go back to surgery a second time and be re opened and the bleeding stopped.
My family were out of their minds with worry. they expected me to be in surgery for 5 hours but inside received a call which would leave them pacing up and down for anoth 4 hours.
In intensive care as I awoke I begged a nurse to bring me her mobile phone and to dial my dad’s number. In a grogy voice barely conscious i whispered ” I made it” to my dad and them my head fell to the side and the pain kicked in.
I was wired up to machines attached to my neck, chest, wrists with two huge drains coming out of the centre of my chest.I still had a breathing tube down my throat.
Taken to the high dependancy Unit I was carefully lifted from a trolley to a bed and the pain was terrible. I couldn’t move or breathe.
Gradually over the course of the next few days all the tubes came out and I strated to feel a bit better. My left lung had collapsed and i had to be put on a respirator to try to inflate it. The one thing that kept me going was the possibilty of getting out of hospital in time for christmas with my little girls.
I did everything I was told and despite the pain in my chest , my rib cage has been wired back up with metal and i have a huge scar that runs from my neck down to the base of my ribs and a 10 inch scar on my leg on Christmas eve I came home to my girls.
It has been a very quiet christmas but I am alive.
The recovery will take 8-12 weeks and I am determioned to make a full recovery.
Law is still one of my passions but It will take a back seat for awhile whilst I turn all of my efforts at getting well and enjoying every moment with my family.
This has been the best new year ever because I now have a working heart. I will have to be under the care of a specialist cardiologist for life and always on medication but its a small price to pay for my life.
Happy new year everyone – enjoy EVERY MOMENT like me.
Michelle.L.Hynes LLB(hons) DipLP