December 31st, 2008


Back and Safe

Tuesday 2am I woke up with a pain in my chest. I thought it was reflux or heartburn at first, got up and took some Tums. The antacid did not make it go away. Then I started to feel pain in my left arm. Acid indigestion does not cause arm pain. I got up to check heart attack symptoms on the computer and was feeling sweaty and dizzy. Hmm, internet listed all of the above and a reluctance to admit a possible heart attack; act now! I woke up Ailsa, told her my symptoms and told her I was calling 911.

The ambulance responded in 2 minutes. They put me on oxygen and the arm pain went away, but I still had chest pain. They hooked me up to an electrocardiogram, I was not having a heart attack at that moment, but there were some irregularities in the EKG so the took me to Caritas hospital in Norwood. Halfway there they gave me some nitroglycerine and the pain faded out over the next few minutes. At the ER they gave me a nitro patch, but removed it a few hours later when my blood pressure went down to 83 over 50.

The first blood test for heart damage enzymes was negative, but the cardiologist did not like something he saw in my ECG, so they held me overnight for observation.

tigerbright came over to the house with her son to help ailsaek at home. David and Joshua had a good time playing. Then she brought me some stuff I didn't have time to grab before the ambulance (jacket, change of clothes, iPhone charger, books), and she brought my car keys back to Ailsa.

This morning all three blood tests were negative (good news), I had a good echocardigram and clean stress test and was cleared to go. No restrictions. Myocardial infaction ruled out, no heart attack. Hallelujah!

I feel somewhat embarrassed for calling 911 when it was not a heart attack but everyone on my case at the hospital told me that I did exactly the right thing. When you are having heart attack symptoms, call 911. If you are having a heart attack, early treatment can help limit the damage. If you aren't, well it takes a team of trained professionals hours and hours to make sure, how can you tell at home in a few minutes? Play it safe and call 911.

One of our neighbors down the street gave me a ride home from the hospital. I got home just before lunch.

I'd also like to thank everyone for the prayers and good wishes from people that Ailsa contacted.
  • Current Mood
    relieved relieved