There's a saying, "Scary as a Heart Attack" but, funnily enough, I didn't find it as scary as it you might imagine...
2.00am Wednesday I woke up with a sensation in my chest that, although painful, I wouldn't necessarily describe as pain. More like the feeling I imagine would come from having some big-ass Scotsman using my horizontal breastbone as a resting place for his vertical caber. With that was the feeling that my arms were being asked to support a small Korean car each. Very odd. Sitting up making "AAAAHHHHH" noises did nothing to improve anything. Rather, this added the realisation that I needed to vomit, but without actually feeling nauseous which, at the time, made little sense but I didn't seem to have any say in the matter. There was all too much to try to process really so I just dealt with what seemed the most urgent thing, which was trying not to hurl all over myself in bed - so I focussed all my attention on making it to the bathroom.
Now, throwing up isn't something new. I thought I knew pretty much all there is to know about that but apparently I was wrong. First there is a feeling of nausea but, as I said, I didn't have that. Then there is a degree of physical exertion involved in the actual process but no, not this time. As soon as I had positioned myself and opened my mouth stuff just gushed out like Linda Blair in The Exorcist. It really was more like a special effect than vomiting. I wasn't even slightly physically involved in the process, I was not throwing anything up, it was shooting out of it's own accord as if from a fire hose!
Anyway, once that was done I was left to deal with the pressure on my chest and in my arms but I couldn't think of anything I could do about either. Whimpering wasn't helping so I tried louder exclamations. No help. Doubling myself over didn't help, stretching out did nothing, nor did sitting, standing or making myself into a tight angry ball on the floor. Walking was at least distracting because it was dark and I had to concentrate on not bumping into things, so I did that for a while, groaning because I felt entitled to under the circumstances. Gradually things eased up in my chest and I was left only with the aching arms, which felt better if I swung them around pendulously as if pretending to be an elephant for a small child. So, naturally, I did that.
Eventually I tried going back to bed but I just kind of ached when I lay down so I got up, got dressed and walked up the street to a new medical clinic which recently sent me a fridge magnet advertising it's Accident & Emergency department. I like fridge magnets so I'd kept it. I hoped it might be a 24 hour one but it wasn't. A sign on the door said it opened again at 7am and by this time that was only 4 hours away and I felt better anyway, so I walked home and went back to bed, having decided to drop in there again on my way to work later that morning. The whole thing, from waking to sleeping again took about 90 minutes.
So that is my Heart Attack Story!
Next: the Coronary Procedure Story.