I had a heart attack Monday, 13 October. Around 3:30 that afternoon I got a sharp pain the middle of my chest. There is no history of heart problems in my family My mother lived to 105; my father 87 and both died of natural causes. I thought it was the fall pollen kicking up, so I took three shots off my inhaler. But the pain became more intense. Obviously, something serious was happening., My wife called 911. Four or five big Firemen showed up in minutes. They took my vital signs which appeared normal. But the chest pain was for real! Then the EMC ambulance arrived. They also took my vital signs and declared that they couldn’t see any danger signs. But the pain was BAD!
They put me in the ambulance and rather casually took me to Eastside Medical Center. They didn’t use the lights or siren, stopped for every intersection, but I was really hurting. At the emergency facility they took x-rays, did a CAT scan; blood samples and my heart enzymes were normal. But the chest pain was getting worse. I was admitted to the hospital about 8:00 PM where the tests were repeated. They decided I had an irregular heartbeat (a “flutter” they called it). I was put in a room and a couple of nurses checked on me. My chest pain was constant. Then around 3:00 AM Tuesday suddenly, I was surrounded by 8 or 10 staff members sticking IV’s needles, and monitors on me. “We’ve called two doctors and have to get you down to the OR right now!’ Finally, someone recognized I was having a heart attack.
The two doctors ran tubes up the main arteries to my heart and found no blockages, but I was really hurting. My chest felt like it was on fire. When they told me my arteries were clear, I asked them why I still had so much pain. The doctor was honest. He said, “I don’t know.”
I went to the cardiac section and was still in pain. Tuesday afternoon, Doctor Sims, a big old friendly Santa Claus type, came in to say he was going to do an “esophageal something I had never heard of.” He would stick a camera down my throat and found no clots in my heart, he would use an electric shock to try to get the heart to beat regularly. He had a radio he placed beside my ear playing cool jazz and said, “I’m going to spray the worst tasting stuff in the world down your throat.” He was right! Then he stuck a tube down my throat and declared there wren no clots in my heart although I was still in pain. Then they shot some Versed (a sedative) in me. Then he tricked me. I asked him when he was going to electric shock me. He said after the sedative took effect. The sedative was ALRADY working. He had his phone out and was showing me pix of his home and family and kids and dogs and cats and as I was talking to him, he moseyed down to the end of bed and hit the button. The shock was amazingly “shocking!” But, as soon as it happened my heartbeat became normal – AND THE PAIN STOPPED for the f first time in two days.
Doctor Sims saved my life. I came home Wednesday afternoon and now feel fine, just tired. I’ve thanked God over and over for, if this was going to happen, He had me in a hospital when it occurred. I didn’t realize it before it happened, but I’m in better shape now. I have added two medicines to my collection, but I’m cleared for any activity I can do. And, I have Dr. Sims now as a cardiac physician to check me from time to time. Everyone at Eastside Medical was as nice and as kind as they could be to me and my wife, and I appreciate all they did.