I recently suffered a Heart Attack, which when I come to think about it was no surprise at all. I am overweight, middle aged, and in no good physical shape at all. In addition to all that, I have always had a short fuse (hot temper), and I like to eat junk food. Still, getting a heart issue was always far away from my thoughts. I never thought about it at all.
So when I go it, and the ambulance personnel confirmed it, I was never any scared of dying at all. Strange really, I just laid there trying to figure out what was going on around me. Family and friends have asked me how it was, and so on. Ok, Let’s track back a few months.
We had been visiting one of my sisters for a little party. It was myself, my two sisters and our plus ones (wife, boyfriends, etc). Lots of eating and drinking. The taxi was ordered at around 1:30 am, And I went to bed almost immediately after we came home (to my mother’s place).
I woke up around 6 am I think it was, with chest pains. I felt very uncomfortable and I thought it was some indigestion since it had been a of lot eating and drinking during the previous evening. So I tried to sleep it off. But it would not go away and I started to feel more unwell, so I went to the bathroom to see if that could help. And it did not. Back to bed, and I tried several sleeping positions, still sure it was something which would pass. But it didn’t
I got dressed, went to the living room and tried to stretch my body in all directions, but the pain was not going away. In fact it had increased in intensity. This was probably a good 45 minutes after I woke up. I sat down in a chair and now seriously started to wonder if I was suffering a heart attack, so I started to think of symptoms I had learned over the years in all the first aid courses, and what I had watched on the TV. And the intensity of the pain increased all the time.
I guess almost 2 hours (or 90 minutes maybe) had now passed, cant remember for sure since the time was kind of not in my mind anymore. Anyway, my wife came to the living room because I was not back in bed, and she heard me moaning in the living room. I was sitting there and now I started to feel the pain in the arm, which is the sign we all have learned. So I told her to wake up my mother and tell her to call the Emergency number and let them know I most likely was having a heart attack. So she did, and after just a few questions I got confirmed the Ambulance was on its way. Luckily they had a station with Ambulances stand by very near my mother’s home.
Now everything started to happen fast. The ambulance came within minutes, and they hooked me up and asked a couple of questions, since I was still awake and sat on a chair. I could walk with help to the Ambulance, and got hooked up with more stuff. I also got myself a Morphine shot (I think it was) for the pain, and that helped immediately. This was good stuff indeed. I only struggled a little bit with keeping my eyes open. I guess due to lack of sleep and the shot I was given. But I could easily listen to everything that was said in the Ambulance. It was very interesting to listen to the Doc’s communication with the Hospital, so I knew all the time how many minutes we were away from it, and my own medical condition.
At the Hospital, things did not slow down. I was slid over to another bed in some sort of arrival lounge, then rolled into another room which was the operations room. Again hooked up to a lot cables. A big monitor was adjusted in such a way it was just over my face, so I couldn’t see anything, but i still could listen. And listen I did. It was fascinating to be awake when they did the procedure on me. How they inserted something into my wein (from the groin area) into my heart, in order to get rid of whatever had blocked that artery. Then a new wire was inserted with something they called a Stent. Lots of technical talk, and a new shot with morphine, or whatever it was. I remember I managed to make a joke about be careful so I don’t get addicted to this good stuff. A silly joke from a man in distress.
I remember at one point during the procedures, I started to get this feeling I needed to shift my position, since I had been laying in the same position for a long long time. So I got a bit restless, and started to move my feet a bit. I also told the staff I felt this urge. No, the Doctor said, very loud. Lay still! I have a wire into your heart right now, and if you don’t lay still I will have to put you under a full anesthetic. That kind of made my mind take control of my body again. Funny, after the procedure and before I got rolled into the ICU, the Doctor apologized for being so rude and loud to me. I just smiled and said, no problem Doc, you are Boss.
And that was that. Easy fix. Speed and Service.
After some good sleep, just interrupted by all the times I had to pee, due to all the fluids they poured into me prior to the procedures, I had no pain, or felt uncomfortable at all. I could easily gotten home that same day they did the surgery. But they wanted to keep me for observation for a few days. I managed to get home a day earlier by arguing with the Doctor about me getting better sleep at home than in the noisy hospital. And he agreed about that. So home I went, to reschedule the flight from Norway to Thailand, since we actually should have been on the flight the day after the heart attack. Which could easily had happened over some undesirable country if they they had to emergency land me there.
Lessons learned. The Doctor was very upset with me since it took almost 2 hours from when I felt it until I got in the Ambulance. It should take 10 minutes max before you call, he said. Never mind if it is not life threatening, always call. Point taken Doctor. And now, I eat a bit healthier. At least I do not eat that much junk food anymore. The medicines have helped me a lot. And I am more active (exercising) these days. I guess I live to see a few more years.