What’s it like to have a heart attack?
It isn’t pleasant. This happened to me in 2009. The previous night I had attended the Golden Globes and had no clue how my life would change. Once in awhile I still catch a glimpse of a photo taken of me that night- it’s still posted on an obscure NBC Universal site, though I won’t tell you where- and my photo reminds me of an image of a rather large puffy toad.
The following day- in the afternoon, I had just finished a gym workout. The workout went well, and I don’t remember feeling any discomfort while there.
When I arrived home, I started getting muscle cramps on my RIGHT side- mostly my right arm, shoulder and chest.
I had been told that it is the left arm that will sometimes numb up and cramp. Lesson one- apparently not; we all need to be alert to anything out of the ordinary. Any cramping can be a clue that something isn’t right, so pay attention to your body.
In my case I thought I might need some potassium so I ate a banana, and then decided a hot shower might relieve the cramps.
It was not to be.
Fortunately for me, my wife is a critical care registered nurse. She thought I looked rather horrible- more than I usually do, and insisted on taking me to the local emergency room where upon I learned lesson two. The EKG person is not the one to ask how you are.
The kindly soul who took my EKG tried to be reassuring as she didn’t notice anything odd on my electrocardiogram, but she was immediately overruled by the ER physician who flew into action yelling for a crash cart and paddles.
It seems I was about to go visit the real Albert. Now while all this was going on, I thought to myself, “Seriously? Me? Now? You have GOT to be kidding”
Ahh the miracles of medicine and the sharp eyes of my wife- I needed a stent, which they placed in my anterior artery and a with a bit of care I was back to being annoying to those I annoy in no time.
Lessons learned- get a thorough check-up every year, follow your doctors orders, exercise, take your meds, watch what you eat, and live long and prosper.