DAYTON – Darke County woman Annette Stewart thought her stress level was just fine. Then chest pains sent her to the emergency department at Wayne HealthCare.
“I’ve always been a busy person. We manage a farm, I have a big house, I mow lawns, I tend to my gardens, I have lots of activities, and I see after my parents and my grandchildren,” Stewart said with a laugh.
It was at one of those many activities – judging the Darke County Fair pageant – that she began to feel uncharacteristically tired.
“I knew I had a lot of irons in the fire and just thought it was that,” she explained.
But once bedtime rolled around, Stewart couldn’t settle herself in and go to sleep. By midnight, the chest pains worried her enough to have her husband of 34 years, Rex, take her to Wayne HealthCare.
“I worked seven years at Wayne in the cardio pulmonary unit and I knew enough to know something was wrong and I wanted to be pro-active,” Annette said.
Physicians at Wayne’s ER called CareFlight to transport her to Good Samaritan Hospital after determining that she might be having a heart attack. She had been seeing Karman Riaz, MD, Greenville Heart Care, for a heart murmur. But this was something entirely different, and much more serious.
“That’s when I began to worry,” Stewart said.
The worry soon gave way to relief after she met C. David Joffe, MD, an interventional cardiologist at Good Samaritan.
Greenville Heart Care is a satellite office of Dayton Heart Center, a Premier Health Specialists practice. Dr. Riaz and Dr. Joffe are colleagues who often confer on cases. Timothy Markus, MD, another specialist with Greenville Heart Care, also consulted on Stewart’s case. Using electronic medical records, physicians can confer with each other much more easily, creating an environment for a positive patient outcome.
“Dr. Joffe was so good at explaining everything to me. He took his time and answered all of my questions. I ended up spending two nights in the cardiovascular intensive care unit,” she said.
Doctors checked her heart and found no blockage or permanent damage. That’s when Stewart was strongly encouraged to slow down and give up some of her activities. She was suffering from takotsubo cardiomyopathy – also known as stress-induced cardiomyopathy, or broken-heart syndrome.
She began a regimen of medicine to control her high blood pressure, and took a low-dose aspirin for blood flow, as well as Lasix to reduce the water retention.
A proactive approach to her health has given Stewart insight into what she is able to do based on her physician’s recommendations.
Many people deserve to be thanked, Stewart said, “I am so grateful for Wayne HealthCare and the physicians who transferred me to Good Sam. And, of course, I am eternally grateful to Dr. Joffe, Dr. Riaz, and Dr. Markus.”
Stewart realizes what a close call she experienced. Her faith has helped her see the positive in the situation.
“God brought the right doctors at the right time into my life for this care,” she said.