Last week I had a heart attack or an acute myocardial infarction… at least this is what my EKG reflected. I have an EKG every year because of my age and family history. So last week after getting my lab work done I walk half a block to the hospital for an X-ray and EKG. At this time I was feeling great, no pain, calm, and not stressed at all.
After waiting for around 30 minutes I got to take the EKG. Usually the tech will ask me questions about how much exercise I do. I do appear fit and when asked I will explain I am a runner. No such physical fitness chitchat this day.
After the test I was told to have a seat and wait. She was going to try to fax it to my doctor. The wait was around 10 minutes and I should have realized something was up.
She came back with a couple other techs and told me because of the EKG I could not leave until I saw a doctor. They had tried to reach my doctor, but could not reach him. They kept asking me how I felt and were concerned I might pass out. I assured them I felt great and had run over 5 miles earlier that morning. I know that people who train and exercise can have abnormal EKGs, but I did get a little anxious at this point.
I was eventually told that the EKG showed an acute MI and saw it printed on the readout. She said I would need to be admitted to the ER and see a doctor there. They did let me walk down to the ER. The tech walked me down and said I was very lucky that they had found this on the test and she would say a little prayer for me. She definitely bought into the technology. I do not blame her for proceeding as if I was having a heart attack.
The ER staff ask me if I was feeling OK and I said I was feeling pretty good until they told me I was having a heart attack. After another wait I was allowed to go back and have my vitals checked. They were happy to see my heart rate at 65 bpm. It had been 49 bpm during the test. The low heart rate had also concerned them.
After another EKG in the ER, I saw a doctor and he ask me about my exercise routine. I told him that I run, bike, or swim every day. He was pretty cool headed and said several things could cause my left ventricle to enlarge and one of them was extensive exercise. In the case of exercise the enlarge left ventricle was expected and a good thing.
He released me and after paying a co-pay I was allowed to leave. The admitting clerk told me she hoped I was feeling better as I left. I told her I felt great and walked back to my doctor’s office. I was able to talk to my doctor’ partner. He had been on the phone with the ER doctor and told me not to worry and it was what he called repolarization.
I ask him if I could continue my routine and he said yes.
The next day I rode the bike 18 miles, ran 12 miles the next, rode 23 miles the next and ran over 5 miles the next. I think the rumors of my near death experience were greatly exaggerated.
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