My Heart Opening/Attack Parts II and III: The How and the Why

crown kundalini

My Heart Opening/Attack Part II:  The How

My heart opening/attack was a STEMI, a 100% blockage in my right coronary artery.  From the American Heart Association: “STEMI is a common name for ST-elevation myocardial infarction, which is a more precise definition for a type of heart attack. It’s caused by a prolonged period of blocked blood supply that affects a large area of the heart. STEMI has a substantial risk of death and disability and calls for a quick response.”

I really could have died.

This is how I didn’t:

  • I didn’t wait around to see if the pain would go away. I got myself to a hospital that thankfully had an amazing protocol for treating MI patients and that was close by to its parent facility with an outstanding Cardiac Care Center.  (Again, PLEASE CALL 911!  Do not try to drive yourself or have someone drive you to the hospital! ) Treatment within the first hour to two of an MI is essential.  Besides the fact that an ambulance can probably get you to a hospital faster, they can also speed up your chances of getting treatment more quickly by notifying the hospital of your condition so they can be ready to begin the MI protocol immediately upon your arrival.  There’s also this…if you code on the way, they can actually do something about it.
  • I took that aspirin. Although I took it because of the headache, it probably saved my heart from permanent damage.  Note:  CHEW the aspirin (a regular, 325 mg., UNCOATED aspirin or four 81 mg. “baby” aspirin) and wash it down with water.  That will get it into your system faster.
  • I stayed centered and calm and open to what was happening and what was coming next. I did not allow myself to dwell upon negative thoughts…when the few that I did have popped up, I simply loved that  part of myself that was fearful and went back to focusing on my breath. Interestingly, although the thoughts seemed fearful, I actually had no emotional fear.
  • I prayed.
  • I loved my heart. I literally put my hands over my heart and told it repeatedly, sometimes even out loud “I LOVE YOU.”
  • I surrendered. I knew God/LOVE had my back (and heart!) and I let go of any resistance to whatever was happening, even the pain, even the unknown outcome.
  • I looked for the blessing, knowing that it was there…and it was. It always is.

 

 

My Heart Opening/Attack Part III:  The Why

So, we have the “what” and the “how”, now for the “why.”

Two main reasons:

  • I asked for it.

and

  • I asked for it.

I will explain…

  • I have known for years that my cholesterol was high and for years did nothing about it. Due to previous not so positive experiences with the medical (especially psychiatric) community, I had developed a pretty heavy resistance to pharmaceuticals and “modern” health care in general and basically chose to ignore the facts and went about my merry way doing my merry thing.  I ate what I wanted, smoked when I wanted to, skipped exercising when I didn’t feel like it.  In other words, I did not honor my body, this sacred temple provided to house my soul upon this earth while I go about the business of learning how to love and be loved.

So, yes…I asked for it.  Silly me.

  • I literally asked for it.  From God/LOVE.  For months I had been asking God/LOVE to further open my heart, knowing that the heart is the not only the key, but also the door to all that I desire, which is, honestly, to be ONE with All That Is.  To be able to proclaim, as Jesus did, “I and my Father are One.” To be LOVE so purely that I am able to fulfill his prophecy, “These things and greater shall you do.”  To get that bushel basket off of my head and to shine my light as brilliantly as I am capable of and meant to shine.  To do what we are all here to do and that it is LOVE, be LOVED AND to BE the LOVE that we all, innately are.

(Note:  Each time I would ask God/LOVE to open my heart more; the passage from Elizabeth Gilbert’s book “Eat, Pray, Love” would come into my head, the part where she tells about her friend that she met in India.  He kept asking for his heart to be opened and he ended up having open heart surgery.  The memory of this had me adding “Gently, please, Beloved One…gently!” at the end of each request.)

For a very long time I have been walking a very thin line between frustration and patience with myself when it comes to my writing.  I have so much to share, so much literal GOOD NEWS to tell.  My testimony of what God/LOVE has done for me is incredibly powerful and it is my heart’s desire to utilize my gift, write it down and give it to the world.

Sounds simple, yes?

Perhaps, if one doesn’t have a practically life-long emotional blockage attempting to keep one from doing just that.

Even knowing exactly the moment the blockage was created, having exquisite memory of being publically shamed for putting my truth “out there” in writing; I had been unable to overcome my huge resistance, to the point of not writing at all.

So, yes, I was frustrated.

But, strangely, at the same time, I was also patient with myself.  I know the power of LOVE.  I know that its Light illuminates and transforms.  I also know that it has its own, perfect timing and for the most part, I had been able to rest in that knowing but on Easter Sunday I sort of lost my patience with myself AND with God/LOVE and following are some excerpts of what I journaled.

(Note:  I actually do write almost every day.  I journal my thoughts to God/LOVE and I find it to be a potent tool for self discovery and realization.  I actually enjoy it.  I just don’t do it with the intention of sharing it.  That is my sticking point…the putting it “out there.” It’s the pieces like this, written with the intention of sharing, that had me so stymied.)

From my journal:

Good Easter Morning, Beloved One!

Yesterday Bob told me to stop worrying about writing, meaning stop trying to write if it was going to worry me.  I told him I would never, ever give up.  He asked me why and I told him “Because God told me to write.”

Dear God, I know this is true.  I also know that I am not doing this on my own, that YOU are with me, in me, for me and hopefully THROUGH me.  I also know that my contribution to the world is needed.  Dear One, our world is in such chaos and pain.  People are snapping left and right – the whole world seems out of balance.  I know, Beloved One, that the best thing I can do to help is to LIVE my true, Divine identity – to SHINE my light as brilliantly as I am designed, built, capable, MEANT TO – to glorify YOU.  To share and spread the GOOD NEWS – the Power of LOVE. 

Beloved One, I know that in Christ I can do ANYTHING.  Beloved One, I am asking for the upgrade – the expansion in consciousness – the surrender – the opening to and receiving of the GRACE that I KNOW you have ready for me.  I am tired of fighting this, I am tired of being patient.  I am READY.  THANK YOU!  Today, Beloved One,  is the day of Resurrection, of Re-Birth, of Transcendence and LIBERATION.  Today, NOW, AS NEVER BEFORE, I declare my liberation IN LOVE.  AND SO IT IS! AMEN!

THANK YOU!

THANK YOU!

THANK YOU!

So, there you have it.  On Easter Sunday I set myself up for a complete reaming out of my blockage…literally as well as figuratively.

My heart opening/attack happened the next evening.

Just like everything else, there are layers…depths…of surrender.  Over the past ten years I have surrendered…over and over and over again, countless times.  Perhaps I’ve been catching up after a lifetime of refusing to.  It’s that stubborn part of me, the rebel…the revolutionary. Maybe it’s in my blood, I actually am a direct descendant of a soldier that fought in the American Revolution.  (And, then there is that Deep South, rebel birth…)

Whatever the cause, I have never been one to bow gracefully in blind obedience to authority, especially to some gigantic white haired man in the sky continually pointing his finger at me in condemnation, which is how I thought of God for the majority of my 57 years.  That God had no appeal for me and over the years I distanced myself from “him”, the church and Jesus, as well (talk about throwing the baby out with the bath-water!) At one point I actually decided that I did not believe in God, at all.  I mentally and emotionally divorced myself from the relationship, preferring to go my own, confused, messed up way, rather than demean myself by believing in such fairy tales, and declared myself an atheist…or at least an agnostic.  Maybe even an agnostic atheist.  Simply…I did not know and felt like I had never experienced “proof” of God, so I didn’t believe in God…until I did.

It was in June of 2006, ten years ago next month, that I received a “taste” of God through the gift of Reiki.  That “taste” rocked my world and nothing has been the same since.   If I were to never have another direct experience of God’s Love, that one was life changing, paradigm shifting enough to keep me devoted for a lifetime.  THIS, and only this, was something I could bow down…surrender to.

And I have…like I said…over and over and over again and I am sure that I will continue to do so for the rest of my life.  Surrender is a process that, for most, happens in degrees.  We surrender and think we are fully surrendered…until we discover that there is even more to surrender.  Some surrenders are huge, some are small…all are equally important to the process.

This latest surrender of mine was apparently huge.

“Whatever it takes,” was my basic intention.  “I am ready and willing.”

And, there we have it.  I got what I asked for, and in the end, it was a gentle opening.  As physically painful as it was, it was not more than I could endure and there were actually moments of incredible beauty during the attack.  Although I have come to know the awesome Power of Love quite well, the deepening of my understanding of it during this episode once again changed my life.

Absolutely NOTHING is more important than LOVE.

“I may have the gift of prophecy, I may fathom all mysteries, know all things, have all faith — enough to move mountains; but if I lack love, I am nothing.” – 1st Corinthians 13:2

I realized that nothing mattered at all but that I had loved and been loved.  In the end, that really is all that counts.

So, the moral of this story is be careful what you ask for.  If it is in alignment with your highest good and the well-being of all…in other words, with LOVE, you will get it, although it may come packaged in a way that you may not have envisioned.

In LOVE!

Joy Ayscue

May 7th, 2016

fierce love

Addendum:  a couple of interesting notes…

  • My heart actually suffered no damage during the opening/attack!
  • Shortly after my opening/attack, I suddenly remembered finding a snake in our bedroom a couple of weeks prior. At the time I was extremely aware of the kundalini symbolism and was excited by and welcoming to its presence, although I had no premonition of its intent.  I believe the incredible headache that began my opening/attack was my crown chakra blowing wide open in a “top-down” awakening, which unblocked my third eye, throat and its ultimate target, my heart chakra.
  • My heart surgeon’s name is Dr. Ahmed, which means “One who praises God and one whom God praises.” When I saw Dr. Ahmed for my follow up and thanked him for saving my life, he simply said “It was God.”  I silently thought, “Of course…God sent me exactly who I needed!”
  • My heart-felt thanks and gratitude to the following individuals for their loving teachings which helped me prepare for this experience: Dale Allen Hoffman, for bringing the true voice of Jesus to my ears.  Matt Kahn, for offering the spiritual practice “Whatever arises, love that.” And, Graham Cooke for his prophecies and teachings of what is possible in the Kingdom of Heaven, and how to reveal and live it here on Earth.  Each one of you hold a very special place in my heart.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Medical Disclaimer

The medical information included in this post is, at best, of a general nature and cannot substitute for the advice of a medical professional (for instance, a qualified doctor/physician, nurse, pharmacist, and so on). I am none of these. I am simply sharing my own, personal experience. 

Nothing in this post should be construed as an attempt to offer or render a medical opinion or otherwise engage in the practice of medicine. 

My Heart Opening/Attack Part I: “The What”

 

Part I:  “The What”

heart mind opening

The bruises have mostly faded, save a few (stubborn, like me.)

Last night made three weeks since my heart attack, which I prefer to call my heart opening.   The hip to knee bruising was from the angioplasty’s aftermath, when the site where they entered my femoral artery leaked for a while until they went back in and sealed it up.  As painful (and colorful!) as the aftermath to that was, I am grateful that it happened, for it slowed me down and gave me time to reflect and savor the experience I had been given, and honestly, compared to the pain of the actual heart opening/attack, it was nothing.

You know how there are particular events in your life which alter your thinking to “Before” and “After?”  Those things that happen to you which days, weeks, and years later you are able to recall exactly where you were and what you were doing?  “Three weeks ago tonight at this time I was watching The Voice when all of a sudden I thought the top of my head was going to explode.”

This, for me, has been one of those experiences.  And, it began with a headache, which, according to my cardiologist, doesn’t happen.

But it did. Many of you have asked me questions such as “What did it feel like?” and “How did you know?” So, I am here, doing what I have previously resisted so mightily, writing my story to share with those who wish to know.  Maybe it will help someone…I know it will help me.

I don’t want to forget the pain, but even as I type that, I realize that it is already fading.  I suppose it is similar to the pain of childbirth which, once your baby is in your arms, recedes in your mind to a dull memory of secondary importance.  I want the experience in whole to stay fresh in my consciousness so I don’t ever begin to minimize its impact on my heart and mind, and writing it down is an excellent tool to do just that.  Perhaps someday I will read this again and think to myself “Wow! I don’t remember it as that excruciating,” but I don’t think so.

One doesn’t easily forget one’s crucifixion…or one’s resurrection. Which is exactly what it felt like, or, at least, what I would imagine it to feel like. Nor does one lose the gratitude which surviving such an experience births.

So, here’s what happened, what it felt like, how I made it through and what it all possibly means…the “why.”

I really was laying in bed enjoying watching The Voice when all of a sudden, out of no-where, it felt like the top of my head was going to either ex- or implode.  The pressure was incredible, and unlike any headache I’ve had in my life and I have had some doozies, although these past many years since I began practicing meditation and Reiki, I have only had very mild ones and those only very infrequently.

For some reason, instead of treating it with Reiki like I normally would any physical (or mental or emotional) pain, I got out of bed and took a dose of ibuprofen (my regular go-to for more than minor pain) and a 325 mg (not baby sized) aspirin (kept on hand “just in case” but not routinely taken.)  I told Bob I was going to just get ready and go to bed, thinking I would sleep the headache off.  I scooped the litter boxes, brushed my teeth (I was already in my pajamas) and laid back down to relax.

That’s when it started.  The Pain.  THE PAIN.

In my chest.  Then my arms.  Then my neck.  Then, even my ears.

This rolling wave of all encompassing misery.  And, it did come in waves…left to right, right to left, from up to down and back up again. I had never, ever, felt anything like it, and I immediately knew something was very wrong.

I got up, went back into the kitchen and told Bob just that…

“Something is very wrong.”

“This is not good.”

“I think I’m having a heart attack.”

Now, here is where we should have called 911.  Here is where ANYONE should call 911, so if you find yourself thinking you may be having a heart attack, do NOT do what we did, which was get in the car and drive to the hospital, even after I ended up melting onto the front hall floor…I just had to lay down…on the way out the door.

Since they closed our local hospital, we had to drive to Wake Med North in Raleigh which is 20 miles, 30 minutes without traffic, from our home.  The waves continued the whole way like big, bad, rolling thunder with a continual, underlying sense of pure illness.  I wasn’t sick to my stomach but I did have spells of slight, clammy sweating and a need for fresh air.  About half way there, passing Rex’s Wake Forest facility, I asked Bob if they had an urgent care and if we could stop there because I was beginning to wonder if I was going to make it…literally.  He said they did, but it was closed.

I stayed calm.

That amazed me.  Even in the throes of that incredible pain, I stayed centered and focused on my breath, which was becoming more precious with every inhalation, although I was not actually short of breath.  It was more a sense of not knowing if my whole body was going to hold up.

It was an odd thing for me to wonder if my next breath was going to actually come.

At the door to the emergency department, Bob threw the car into park and jumped out (car still running) to get me a wheel chair.  We were directed to the registration desk where I gave them my name and birth date and then insisted I couldn’t answer any more questions right then…

“I need help NOW!” (I’m usually not so impatient/demanding!)

To her credit, the registrar recognized that I really did need immediate attention and notified the triage nurse who wheeled me directly into a room with an EKG machine, which she hooked me up to after a few, perfunctory questions.

I laid there as the machine did its quick thing and watched the nurse rip off the print out and run out of the room.  Before I knew it, I had been wheeled into another room and was quickly surrounded by about 20 people…each one of them either poking me with needles or questions, all talking to each other…

“Heparin.”

“Heparin in.”

“Morphine.”

“Morphine in.”

(YESSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!  Morphine!!! Relief!!!)

(NOOOOOOOOOO!!! It’s not working!!!)

As they packaged me up for transport to Big Wake for cardiac catheterization, I told Bob “I love you. Call the kids and tell them I love them.” I wanted those to be my last words, if they were going to be my last.

I still just didn’t know.

My paramedic in the ambulance was an angel named Michael.  As we barreled down the highway somehow my pain actually got worse.  I rocked from side to side, my legs doing some kind of weird cycling thing, my whole body now caught up in an agony that I was beginning to question would ever end.  Waves and waves of pain and underneath that pain was a whole other ocean of misery.  Every time the driver hit the siren I prayed, “Jesus, open the way.”

He did.

Arriving at Big Wake, I was wheeled directly to the cardiac cath lab, where the whole team was standing by, ready for me.  At this point, the morphine and Ativan I had been given began to really kick in…not so much relieving the pain, but allowing me to relax my body a bit and making everything even more surreal.  More poking and prodding, instructions to lay still, lights being turned off and on, monitors glowing.  I saw my heart on a screen.  I felt the doctor pushing, tapping something into my body.  I looked at his tired, intent face, saw him yawn.

And then, suddenly, the pain was gone.

Just like that.

GONE.

(NOTE!  Heart attack symptoms can vary WIDELY between individuals!  Here is a great article and website to get you familiar with what to watch for. http://myheart.net/articles/signs-and-symptoms-of-a-heart-attack/  And, have some aspirin on hand…”just in case!”)

To be continued…

 

Medical Disclaimer

The medical information included in this post is, at best, of a general nature and cannot substitute for the advice of a medical professional (for instance, a qualified doctor/physician, nurse, pharmacist, and so on). I am none of these. I am simply sharing my own, personal experience. 

Nothing in this post should be construed as an attempt to offer or render a medical opinion or otherwise engage in the practice of medicine.