21 September, 2022

Tuesday (ish) Truth

"Truth" as in "This is what I believe is true." I do not have 100% proof as to the factuality of what I am about to relate. Here we go:

I think I had a heart attack recently. It was a few weeks ago, and since I wasn't about to go to the hospital, I'm not really telling people about it. This blog is anonymous,  so I've decided to put it out here for posterity, in case something else happens later.

Here is what happened:

I was washing dishes, and suddenly felt strong pressure, as if someone was pressing their fist - or the wide end of a baseball bat - into my sternum. I leaned on the counter for a moment, but it didn't go away. The pressure started climbing up my chest, slowly. I was having trouble catching my breath, so I retreated to the bedroom to recline in the cool dark. Maybe that would help.

The pressure grew up to my throat, and I focused on breathing. At this point, tears were coming to my eyes because I was confused and in pain. But I didn't want to panic over nothing, so I worked on relaxing as much as I could. 

Gradually, the pressure eased and my breath came more easily. I waited a few more minutes to calm myself and take some deep breaths, before returning to the kitchen. During this time, I think I started laughing at myself: Was it a heart attack? Was it a gas bubble? SO OFTEN on TV and in movies, someone thinks they are having a heart attack, go to the hospital, undergo a battery of tests, only to find out that there was just a big gas bubble or some other harmless thing. 

I'm not going to do that! Seriously? Pay for a hospital visit and testing to find out what? A)Yes, you had a heart attack. Now you must alter your life in these ways. Or B) No, it wasn't a heart attack, but you should alter your life in these ways. 

Not worth it, IMHO.

Here's the thing, people. I am genetically highly likely to have a "cardiac event". On a scale of 0-3, my bloodwork came up a 9. My blood pressure is LOW; my cholesterol is healthy. I eat healthy. (Since moving to Vietnam, I have a diet high in turmeric and garlic, both good for the heart.) I exercise regularly. My heart situation is purely courtesy of my dad and his dad and others who came before.

After finding out I was a cardiac risk years ago, I started a pinterest board for heart health. After this "heart attack" I looked through symptoms common in women. Apart from the obvious ones that I felt in that moment, during the weeks leading up to a heart attack, many women complain of: 

  • Insomnia
  • Excess fatigue.  
  • Nausea. I don't often feel nausea, but shortly before this I had felt it during some of my yoga workouts. 
  • Many women also mention a high stressor leading up to the event. (Not relevant to dredge up here.)

So, I think I had a heart attack. I'll happily continue on in ignorance of the medical truth, just with this personal truth in my head, and will watch for the next one.


  1. Yikes. Are you sure you shouldn't see a doctor. I thought they could run tests to let you know if it was a heart attack or not. I thought these did damage to the heart that needs to be looked into. But what do I know? I don't even have a doctor, so if I were to get sick, my only option is an ER or urgent care.

    1. That's kind of what I mean: they can confirm whether it was a heart attack or not, but then if it was... what use is it to know?

  2. That is scary but I feel you. It's actually a fear of mine is something happening and I ignore it because "it can't be that." I have a pretty high tolerance for pain and I feel like the doctor is going to tell me what I already know so I definitely won't go to the ER unless I'm completely out of it. On the positive, I had a heart health test done for free at work and I only have a 10% chance in the next 10 years. That doesn't rule out a lot of other stuff that I fear might happen though. I am turning 50 next year.

    Hope it wasn't a heart attack and just gas. Hope you guys are doing well.

  3. Wow! You are turning into me. Worst case scenario, we drop dead. Then, it just doesn't matter any more.

    1. I almost didn't even want to tell you about it, because with no proof, the concept can sound hypochondriacal (hypochondriacesque?).


I enjoy a good debate. Feel free to shake things up. Tell me I'm wrong. Ask me why I have such a weird opinion. ...or, just laugh and tell how this relates to you and your life.