Heart issues on Valentines Day

On Wednesday evening while preparing dinner I started getting intense pain right in the middle of my chest. Like a strong pressure. I had had the same pain sometime in the last two weeks but this was more severe. I was worried I might not be able to stand so went to the bedroom to lay down. I didn’t think I had any of the symptoms of a heart attack like a squeezing feeling of the chest, no nausea, the pain did move to anywhere else. After 20 minutes the pain went away and I got up and had dinner and continued on with our evening.

Julia was concerned so insisted I go to a GP to get it checked out. Thursday morning, Valentines Day, I went to work as normal. In the middle of the day I left to go see a GP for a checkup. The doctor checked my blood pressure and a few other things but everything looked fine. She then did an ECG to check on my heart. That’s when it got interesting. The doctor said the ECG showed something wrong with my heart rhythms and I needed to urgently go to the emergency ward at the hospital. There is a public hospital located nearby but it doesn’t have a good reputation. Since I have full private health insurance I instead went to the Sydney Adventist Hospital (or the SAN).

When I arrived I was the only one in the waiting room at the emergency ward so was admitted quickly. Once inside the nurse took my details and re-did the ECG. Two doctors examined me and decided I needed to go straight to an cardiology operating (or procedure) room and have a femoral groin angiogram done to see if I was having a heart attack. Before the procedure I had to take some aspirin and a few tablets to help thin my blood in case I was having a heart attack. I was rolled, on my bed, into the cardiology room and met with the surgeon. The room was very modern with a huge plasma screen hanging from the ceiling. They shaved my upper right leg near my groin where the procedure would take place. There was a quick jab in my leg which I assumed was the local anesthetic. I lay back in bed waiting for the procedure to start and then I realised they were already doing it. On the large screen I could see live scans of my heart and the wires that they had run up to it from the entry point near my groin. There was no pain and it was quite interesting. I can’t remember how long the procedure took but it wasn’t long at all. When done the doctor told me I wasn’t having a heart attack. My heart was strong and clean with no blockages. They took me to the Cardiology Intensive Care ward where I had to rest.

I wasn’t allowed to move and had to remain flat in bed otherwise my leg might start bleeding. It did at one point but only a little bit. The entire time I was hooked up to heart monitor which made a very annoying infrequent beeping noise.
San Hospital
I had to spend the night and managed to get a bit of sleep. The hardest part was being stuck in bed and the boredom with nothing to do. I didn’t have my phone charger with me so couldn’t play on my phone as it was dying quickly. I also had trouble peeing in a bottle while laying flat in bed but after drinking a jug of water and the nurse turned on the water tap that was taken care of.

The following morning I woke up about 6.30am and was given the all clear to stand up. I was allowed to go to the bathroom and have shower which was wonderful. During the morning I had some blood taken for tests, and had a ultrasound of my heart. In the afternoon I spoke with the doctor who advised my heart was fine. The chest pains are not related to my heart, and are not life threatening. The pain may be caused by acid reflux related and not life threatening which I’ll follow up with my GP later on. I was then discharged so I could go home. I was in hospital for exactly 24 hours.

I’ve got to look after my leg to ensure it doesn’t start bleeding again so no lifting things or exercise for the next few weeks. Unfortunately this means no dancing until late next month 🙁 But on the positive side I now know my heart is strong and healthy.

Now for the joke related thoughts:
– I think its amusing that I was admitted to hospital with heart problems on Valentines Day
– The saying is ‘the way to a mans heart is through his stomach’. However my cardiologist (and most men) know that its actually through his groin.

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