Heart to heart talk

A sufficient number of people have expressed interest in this heart attack biz to do a post on it, but against that, on Sunday, the point was made, in conversation, that there’s nothing worse than people who reply to, ‘How are you?’  … with the unexpurgated version … every nuance, every tablet taken.

What brought all this on was David Olney’s death:


… similar to that of Douglas Adams … I’d started a post but was waylaid.

The thing with stroke, cronny trombones and heart attacks is that they can be quite different in emphasis, differently placed in the body – mine was inside the heart itself. Depends on so many factors that you can be lucky, you can be unlucky.

I’d had some grumbling in the region for a week and a half but not being a doctor type person, had thought to myself that if it got worse, I’d call my GP.

Not having had one before, the notion of calling anyone is not realistic and I was very, very lucky.

On the late afternoon in question, I’d been lying on an 8 x 2 inch beam on edge supporting what would be the deck, leaning over and doing some glassing, which compressed the heart, I thought it was a bit sharp to stay out there, so came upstairs and lay down on memory foam on the floor.

Bad move – memory foam is like concrete and that’s when it hit. When it hits, one does know it – it’s been likened to the level of pain of childbirth but I really couldn’t comment.

That was the moment which took out Douglas Adams:

Adams died of a heart attack on 11 May 2001, aged 49, after resting from his regular workout.

David Olney’s was just a cessation of life functions and that’s the whole point – it can take you just like that, especially the second or third.  I just stood up and stumbled to the kitchen, which was apparently the best thing if it could be done, the pain was medium but building and it was the getting up in those opening seconds which was handy.

Came back to the phone, still moving, phoned the GP at about 5 p.m. Friday – what chance? The Press 1 for this, Press 2 for that was on, GP was there, ambulance in 8 minutes, I threw some things in a bag, went out, locked the front door and walked downstairs.

Ambulance people dealt with me on the step.  GTN worked a treat and the rest was history.

The nonchalance of those I know with stents or even bypasses is commendable in one way but foolhardy in another. By all means have a packed bag by the door, have the phone biz worked out and the GTN – it guarantees nothing.  If it hits, it can easily take you out.

Or it can spare you. It’s in the lap of God. One thing I do know is it must be dealt with in minutes, so don’t try to drive your partner to A&E, get the ambulance, they’re allowed to scoot.

How does that compare to longterm, progressively disabling conditions?  Well personally, i prefer this way – it’s just the unpredictability and the pain but it’s over in minutes.

So they say.


2 comments for “Heart to heart talk

  1. Tom
    January 22, 2020 at 07:39

    Very much the expurgated version there James, without so much as a date for the late afternoon in question. Sorry to hear of it, whenever it was but glad still to have your distinctive voice among us. Take care of yourself.

    • January 22, 2020 at 08:28

      Late July, 2017 it was. It’s just looking back, in terms of yesterday’s Grand Probings at the hospital.

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