At the age of 55, my father died from a heart attack. I always worried that I might not make it past 55 myself, because of the genes that I inherited from my father.
In 2016, I was 54 years old, and the thought about my possible demise was always at the back of my head. Not a constant worry, rather just something that was in my mind, below the surface.
Over the years proceeding 2016, I started taking better care of my health. Although I never went in for a real panel of heart tests, I had tests of my blood and other things that gave my doctors a general idea of how my heart health was. I was active, able to exercise with no problems, etc. My doctors always said that it appeared that my heart was in good shape.
First Indication of a Problem
During the last week of June 2016, on the evening of June 21, I woke up at about 1am, I had chest pain. I felt pretty certain that I was experiencing indigestion, heart burn. I sat in my chair in the bedroom for about 15 minutes, and I then went to my office (I work at home, with an office that adjoins the bedroom) for about an hour. I felt I might as well do some work if I could not sleep! I tend to be a bit of a workaholic. After about an hour of working (lightly), my chest felt fine, and I went back to bed.
Next morning, I woke up feeling just fine, no problems at all. I elected not to mention the problem to my wife, no reason to worry her, because it was just heartburn after all.
Second Indication of a Problem
On the evening of Thursday, June 23, I woke up again, as I recall it was at about the same time, 1am or so. This time the chest pain was a bit more severe, but I still thought it was likely to be heartburn. I don’t recall, either I woke up my wife, or she woke up on her own. She asked me what was wrong, I told her I was having some heartburn. No need to worry her, right? 😉
Although the pain was a little more severe, the amount of time was shorter, and I was back in bed and asleep in 30 minutes or less.
The Next Morning
On Friday morning, my wife told me she had some errands planned for the day. I asked her:
Do you think you can cancel?
Why? she said.
I think I should go visit my doctor and find out what this chest pain is about? It is my second time this week.
When I got in to see the doctor, he listened as I explained what was going on, and he then set up an EKG machine in his office to do a quick test on my heart. After he saw it, he said that he could see that there was something going on with my heart and I should go check in to the hospital.
Being the smart guy that I am, I said that it was not necessary to go into the hospital, but agreed to have some blood tests and a 2D Echo cardiogram test the next morning.
I went home after seeing the doctor and felt just fine for the rest of the day!
I’ll tell what happened next in my next post! Confirmation: It was a heart attack