Again thanks everyone for the well wishes. I should be getting out the hospital today.
On a serious note (sounds wrong coming from me I bet):
We all read stories like my as far as heart attacks. I actually thought something was wrong 2 years years ago and asked to my doctor about it. I had been having shortness of breath etc that I felt really could not be explained my lack of exercise and fitness level.
The doctor gave me an EKG in the office (that was the second 1 I had had in 2 years) and it was fine He said there was something a little off but that it wasn't anything to be concerned with.
The doctor gave me a referral for getting a stress test. But I had hurt my foot and could barely walk, so I never got around to doing the tests.
During the 2 years after that I would be the feel problem off and on but didn't really think too much about it. During that time even have been going to the gym and working out and would routinely be able to get my heart rate up to 80% and hold it a while without any noticeable issue.
The night before I had the event that send me to the hospital I had what was pretty bad chest pain when I went upstairs to bed
. But the night after that the chest pain was pretty bad and was radiating into my back to the point that even a pretty pain tolerant guy got worried enough that it wasn't indigestion etc and that I would be having a heart attack.
So I decided to go to the emergency
room. Got dressed and went downstairs all this time in pain. But figuring my wife could drive me to the hos[ital faster than calling an ambulance. But half way to the hospital the pain went away and I felt pretty much normal once I got there.
So at the emergency
room they said my symptoms made me a priority case, but they didn't really seem concerned. I sit in the waiting room for 20 minutes till they came and got me. They gave me an EKG that didn't show any problems. Then left me alone sitting in an exam room for another 20 minutes. Then moved me to a trauma room and drew some blood and then hooked me up to a monitor
So I sit there a couple of hours. All this time feeling foolish for having come to he emergency room to start with. I got word that my blood work didn't show anything. So by now I had been there 5 years, feeling normal, with no problem indicated by the EKG or blood work and NO doctor had even been in to see me yet.
So I checked myself out and went home against medical
advise (this is the biggest bullet I survived really). Yes this in hindsight was foolish, but in my defense you would have had to have been there to have the same sense of no issue that I got while there.
So I got home and managed to get to sleep about 4am. At 5am I woke up from something and had chest pain again that went into my upper back and radiated out to my shoulders and both arms. BUT I didn't do anything.
Later in the morning went to my primary doctor's and told them the events
.They gave me another EKG, that again showed nothing wrong. They even compared it to the one they had given me 2 years prior and they looked the same. But I was feeling pretty forceful and managed to get an opening for a stress test later than morning.
I go down to the lab for the test and the last got stopped in 4 minutes because the doctor monitoring it got ALL freaked out. My pulse went from around 120 to 300 and I was still walking at the time. I gave the chest pain at that time a 4 compared to the 10 that send me to the hospital the night before.
So they stopped the test and I sit down and they gave me oxygen and I felt OK within about a minute. To me it was like what I had been having off/on for a while when I over did it and I recovered quickly.
But they were freaked out and in a panic and called the ambulance and wouldn't let me drive to the hospital (I had of course drove myself there etc).
So I ended up in the hospital and got the strent. Various doctors said it was kind of amazing that I had never passed out and could somehow even Ker walking around. The differences in the pictures of my heart showing blood flow between before and after opening up the artery are amazing!
Maybe my past youth of being a distance runner/marathoner and later a biker in the end saved my life on this one as in thinking about it now I was pretty lucky to have survived this whole thing. My blood work finally did show a heart attack, but a pretty minor one compared to how serve the problem was.
So the moral of the story, that everyone has read before don't ignore heart pain and breathlessness problems. Don't start believing that it is normal etc. Don't let yourself feel you are being a wimp by seeking care and proper tests.