I Guess I Have A Heart

The Castle

Because two doctors have told me I had a heart attack. You can’t have a heart attack without a heart, right?

My primary was the first to suggest I had a “silent” heart attack. Since I have no memory of any symptoms, you know, tightness in the chest, pain in the left arm and shoulder, etc., I will take him at his word. All that has been happening is exhaustion with the occasional shortness of breath, which has been going on for about three years. And when I say occasional, what I mean is inconsistent. Sometimes, I must catch my breath when I go up the stairs—other times, no problem whatsoever. Also, I had been attempting to resume my exercise regime, but to no avail. Again, due to exhaustion which lasted up to three days.

Yet, I resumed working out recently, with no period of exhaustion. But, the stress test three weeks ago pushed me past any level I achieved during my workouts. I was exhausted for a week. And two problems were discovered. One is a block. Not an arterial blockage but a conductive block. Basically, it’s an electrical issue. The other was some damage to the chamber wall. However, the cause of both problems is in question. Did the block cause the damage? Or was the damage and conductive block cause an arterial blockage?

Today I saw a cardiologist. She also supported the “silent” heart attack prognosis and explained more about the conductive block. Further, she arranged for me to have a coronary angiogram to take pictures and measurements of my heart and its functioning, valves, and arteries. From what I can tell, I will be conscious during the procedure as they go from my left wrist and not my groin. I am very grateful for that. What is scary is her insistence on performing it as quickly as possible. Is there something concerning? She didn’t indicate anything specific, so I’ll chalk it up to my paranoia.

Ultimately, the goal is to repair and strengthen what I have joked didn’t exist; my heart. The cardiologist said I could resume “mild” exercise. By mild, it means still being able to converse while working out and so, walking instead of jogging. The problem – I enjoy jogging. The exhaustion I was experiencing, not so much. Finally, two medications were prescribed, a beta-blocker and nitro.