"From Moshe till Moshe, there arose none like Moshe." (famous Jewish folk saying)

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Have you ever thought you were dying? A Public Service of the American Heart Association.

A few nights ago, I was sitting at my desk when all of a sudden I developed massive chest pain. So I did what I normally do when I have pain, I ignored it! I recently turned 39 years old. B”H, I am reasonably fit, have no cholesterol problem, my blood pressure is great, etc. My only chronic problems are a sore back and occasional asthma. So why should I worry.

After about an hour, I thought maybe I had indigestion. My lovely wife had brought me a 300gr hamburger from burgers bar about 4 hours earlier. So I took a few Tums. But it just did not make sense. I eat burgers all the time, and I mean all the time, and this has never happened. When the Tums did not help, my mind started racing .

I started to think about my good friend Sarah and how two of her close friends in their 30’s had died a week earlier. My mind began to recall all of the people from my childhood who felt sick, decided against going to the doctor and dropped dead. Right there in my head, there they were! I remember how my mother would rant and carry on-and-on, “If only he had called the doctor, if only he had been seen in the ER, if he only………” and then I started to hear my mother’s voice. “What? He had chest pain, for 4 hours and he didn’t call the doctor? If he had only ..., if he had only .....,he would not be d…! Then of course she would add, "These things always happen in threes." Yes, the mind can be very creative, especially mine! Is my arm feeling tingly? What are those warning signs, again?

I have always had a tremendous dislike for going to the doctor. Having been associated with the medical field years ago, I know what these people can do to you. My disdain could also stem from when I went to the doctor as kid. I hated when they “checked” you. I choose not to elaborate here but you can use your imagination. I always hated that part! Oy, how these events can leave scars.

After about 4 hours, of having difficulty breathing, I decided, maybe I should go to Terem. Terem is like an emergency room but not in a hospital. There is a
very convenient Terem about 10 minutes from our home. I must admit, that I was feeling a bit panicked and I did not want to be another statistic. I tried not to show my concern to SB, I did not want to alarm her. She knows I don't like seeing doctors. If I asked her to take me, she would know I was concerned. At about 10:30pm I asked her calmly, if she could drive me to Terem. I told her that I would have driven myself but I was worried that if something were to happen, she would be stuck with out a car. Not sure if that was the best thing to say, but it was all I could come up with.

When we arrived at Terem, I explained in Hebrew that I had chest pain. After asking for my insurance card, they explained to me that before I left, I would need to pay 60 shequel. Then I was asked to sit in the waiting room. I said to myself, maybe they did not understand me or maybe I said the wrong thing.
I thought to myself, Hey, I’m in crisis here, you know this could be an emergency and you want me to sit in the waiting room! I was glad they did not collect the payment right away. I mean, if I collapse in the waiting room, I wont be able to pay your 60 shequel. That will teach them!

After about 10 minutes, I was called in. After asking about my family history where everyone has lived to their 90’s, and determined that I have no risk factors they took my temperature, Normal. Blood pressure, Perfect. EKG, Normal. Chest X-ray to check for spontaneous collapsed lung, hey, it happens sometimes. Clear. Blood test to check for dead heart tissue. Negative! So, says the doctor, your not having a heart attack! Thank G-d I thought. It’s just some muscular skeletal thing. Take some adville and get some rest. It turns out, that after speaking with Dr. Dad, he determined based on my symptoms that I had a virus that affects the lining of the chest wall. The onset can be immediate and can have symptoms that feel like a heart attack. Dr. Dad said that if he was here and had some needles, he would have injected some novacane into the lining of my chest wall to alleviate the discomfort. Great thought. In lieu of Dr. Dad’s needles, he recommended heavy doses of adville and Yes, it did the trick. Both Dr. Dad and the Terem Doc said I did the right thing by having everything checked out. That also made me feel better. No one appreciates a hypochondriac, except my mother.( love you Mom)

So if you think your having a heart attack, do the following:
Call 911 or 101 and/or see your doctor ASAP.
To learn what they real symptoms of a heart attack are, point your web browser to the American heart association.

Enjoy those burgers!

VERRRRYYYYY GLAD that you are OKAY! Shabbat Shalom!
Zahava and David
That would really suck if you ahve a heart attack. Of course you have to blame it on your wife for giving you a hamburger. As REW likes to say. Always balming other. Maybe you shouldn't have eaten the burger. Next time SB gives you food you don't want I'll take it.

I'm soooo happy you were not having a heart attack, and that you are OK, and that you did the right thing and went to a doctor. Good for you!

Just to clarify, for the sake of accuracy, neither of the people who died were "close" friends. One was someone I'd only met a few times in passing - I knew who he was but didn't know him well. And the other was a woman I hung out with a few times and liked very much, but we haven't been in touch for while so I wouldn't say that we were "close." But I was devastated (still am) to hear she died. And I'm feeling sad about the guy, too, even though I really hardly knew him. They were so young and full of life.
AMS- thats a scary post. glad your ok. (really).
love, your sis
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