Am I The Heart Attack?
A few weeks ago, I woke up at 3 a.m. with excruciating chest, arm, neck, and back pain. It was the kind of pain that resembled everything I’d ever read or heard about the pain which precedes a heart attack. I don’t know what the typical response is for a man who senses that he’s experiencing a cardiac emergency, but my response was probably a textbook example of what not to do: I stayed in bed and let my thoughts run wild. This can’t be a heart attack. I’m not breaking out in a cold sweat. I’m a healthy and well-controlled type 1 diabetic. I’m not short of breath. I exercised last night and felt fine. I had carrots and celery for my nighttime snack last night. I can’t afford to have a heart attack. What does a room in the cardiac ICU cost, ten thousand dollars a day? What if I die? What will my wife and son do without me? Why did I neglect my diabetes in my 20s? I ate too much pizza in college. God, I really can’t miss work today. I wonder if I can get to the emergency room and be out in time to get to work. After about 30 minutes of panicking and waiting for things to get better, I vomited. I remembered that my father-in-law had experienced the same symptoms when Continue reading >>