Kelby Hassenzahl

First post: Dec 20, 2017 Latest post: Jan 3, 2018
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Last Wednesday evening, I began experience pressure in my chest that I was convinced was was acid reflux. While I had never experienced it that strong, I thought it would go away with some Rolaids and sleep. It wasn't painful, but was an uncomfortable pressure right behind my sternum. It hadn't changed by morning, so I decided I would stop at a med-check on my way to work. After describing what I was feeling to the doctor, he insisted that I go to the ER to get a work-up of my heart. He did an EKG on me which didn't really show anything, but made me promise to go.

Anna met me, and we drove separately to the ER (I was still convinced I was going to work after all of this). "Chest pain" is the magic work in the ER, so quickly another EKG was performed and I was sent to get some blood work done. I was still convinced it was just acid reflux, but when my blood tested positive for troponin, an enzyme found after a heart attack, things began to get a little surreal. Next they wanting me to go to the heart cath lab so they could investigate what was going on. After the procedure, the doctor explained to me and Anna that I had two significantly blocked arteries, and that the pressure I had been feeling was a heart attack. We heard different stories about the severity of it, but it seems that I have had the mildest form.

Later, an ultrasound was performed on my heart, and the results showed that there was no damage and that I have a healthy heart. However, the blockage to the main artery, and possible the smaller secondary artery would require some form of correction, either through the use of stents or with bypass surgery.

Since I don't fit the typical profile (age and health level) for people with heart disease, there was some discussion between doctors as to what the best solution would be for me. Without going through all of the details (which included a few days of waiting), we have decided that the best long-term solution for me will be to undergo open heart bypass surgery. I am currently scheduled for surgery this coming Friday, Dec. 22. Right now I am just sitting in the hospital, waiting for my scheduled surgery. I feel pretty normal, but have to be careful with my activity level.

Thank you for your prayers! Please also pray for Anna and the kids, as this has put a huge load on them. We are grateful for so many who have reached out to us and to offer help during this time.

We will update this site when we have a final surgery time and with other news.

Thank you for visiting.

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