It was about 4.00 pm and I was busy at the office when I felt a shooting pain in my chest and one of my arms. It so bad that I had to go to the medical center. Normally the receptionist would ask for your name, what your problem was, enter your name in the computer and ask you to wait for a nurse/doctor to call you. Well, that didn’t happen to me as the receptionist panicked at the self diagnosis I gave. “Ongoing heart attack” I told her knowledgeably and confidently. She panicked, went to get a nurse who rushed to get me.
The nurse had a quick consultation with me, did an ECG and then had a more detailed chat with me.
Nurse: Can you tell me again what your problem is?
Me: At about 7.00 am this morning …..
Nurse, interrupting me: I thought the pain just started a few minutes ago.
Me: Well, I first had it at about 7.00 am and it stopped. I came to work and was fine until 4.00 pm when it started again.
Nurse, chuckling: So, your ‘heart attack’ started earlier, stopped and started again?
Me: Yes, that is what happened.
Nurse: Who told you that you were having a heart attack?
Me: No one. I have heard and read about heart attacks a lot and so I know the signs of one.
Nurse: Your ECG is fine, so you do not have a heart attack. Heart attacks do not start, take a break and start again. The pain is just random but come back if it starts again.
To say that I was relieved is an understatement because I had been afraid. I was slightly embarrassed, though, because it looked like I had exaggerated the pain. Needless to say, I thankfully never had the pains again (knock on wood). I had self-diagnosed because I had heard a lot about heart attacks and I was not ready to die yet! 🙂