The Chest Pain Conundrum (or How I Spent the Last 48 Hours)

Chest pain. You know it when you feel it. When you’re fifty-years old, overweight and have a family history of heart disease, it can certainly get your attention. When I woke up in the middle of the night my chest ached. I mean it ached enough to make me forget my knee and I was to see a specialist about it today. 

I think there is one axiom in life which is true: just because you’re intelligent, doesn’t mean you’re smart. I moved around a bit and decided it was likely a muscle pull. I based this diagnosis on my many hours of watching Quincy as a young man. Having made my diagnosis, I went back to sleep. 

When I awoke the next morning, low and behold the chest pain continued. I debated going to the emergency room. The inner debate went something like this: “You’re not having a heart attack and you have a lot to do today.” “Oh yeah, trying to finish the to-do list from the other side of the rainbow with Dorothy and Toto.” 

Finally, after talking to a friend, I decided to drop the kids off with the Mrs. and head to Baptist East. After an EEG failed to make them happy, they gave me Nitro which made the pain go away. The pain being gone is a good thing. Well, it’s good in that I know longer had any pain. The bad news is it usually works when you have heart issues. 

Based on my family history (my brother has already had a bypass surgery) they admitted me and the tests began. Blood work was negative and the stress test this morning did not turn up any problems, so they kicked me loose. I’ll see my cardiac doc next week for an echo-cardiogram to make sure there are no problems not picked up by the last two day of tests.

But learn a lesson from my actions. This time, I turned out to be alright, at least so far. Perhaps the next time, I won’t. Waiting until the morning was an incredibly stupid thing to do when having chest pain. When you feel it, GO. Don’t wait. I won’t the next time, I can assure you.

My thanks to Jaclyn, Adam, Becca and the many others who took wonderful care of me over the last two days. My thanks to Pastor Dan, Rachel and Sue from St. John’s United Methodist for both checking on me and praying for me. Thanks to my family and friends who checked up on me. And thanks to the Big Guy upstairs for taking it easy when I made a very poor decision.  

12 thoughts on “The Chest Pain Conundrum (or How I Spent the Last 48 Hours)

  1. Oh no! Gotcha in my prayers cuz. It’s not time to go yet. You’ve got 2 beautiful daughters to take care of. If you need anything, let me know. Love ya, cuz.😎

  2. Glad you’re relatively ok. Gotta take care of yourself. If the nitro worked, that means that there was probably some inflammation in your arteries. Coupled with just a tiny blockage, that’s where your chest pain came from. Keep aspirin nearby wherever you go. Also, for the long term, there’s two things I highly recommend:
    1) CQ10. Coenzyme Q 10. It’s a very safe supplement. This enzyme is the fuel for all your major organs, especially your heart. As we age, the amount of CQ10 decreases dramatically. Take at least 100 mg. My cousin who’s a famous cardiologist in the Philippines recommends it to all his patients.

    2) Look into a product called OPC-3. It greatly reduces inflammation. If you have arthritis, asthma, or anything that’s from the inflammatory response, you need to take this.

    Neither product is cheap. But neither is heart bypass surgery…or worse.

    * I had a virus attack my heart muscle. Nearly died. Randy Travis was hospitalized for the same thing, although I’m sure his heavy drinking also caused the cardiomyopathy. Most people who go through this either die or need a heart transplant right away. Taking the two above supplements allowed my heart to remodel itself.

    ** I also had a client that was president of a company looking to help heart patients. His own daughter has the same thing I did as a baby. She had to get a heart transplant when she was older. I asked him what do you think is the #1 issue facing heart patients, he said: the inflammatory response.

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