July 27, 2014 - 3:30pm - Sunday. I was 43 years old. I was painting a bedroom. Had a Myocardial Infarction in the Front Left Descending artery of my heart. The Heart Attack I was to later learn is known as the "Widow Maker" 100% blockage of the biggest artery around your heart. If I had gone to lay down until I felt better, I would not be sitting here typing this today. Even with today's advancements, there is still a high mortality rate with this type of Heart Attack.
Like you @Scythe , I felt that enormous weight on my chest, was losing use of my left arm. I went and changed out of my painting clothes, grabbed a phone, called 911, and went and sat on the front steps to my house waiting for the Ambulance. 911 stayed on the phone with me until the Ambulance arrived. They took me first to the Hospital closest to my house (4 minutes away) for the initial diagnosis, even though they knew from just looking at me what it was. They contacted the Interventional Cardiologist on call at the other major hospital in town, it specializes in Cardiology and is a major teaching hospital for Cardiac Care. Cardiologists from all over North America come here to learn. Back into the Ambulance, over to the other hospital and straight up into the Heart Cath Lab I went. Ironically, part of the job that my work team does, is calling in the Heart Cath Lab staff after hours and on weekends. So enroute, I knew that my colleagues were calling in the Team for ME!
From the moment I called 911 to when I was sitting in my bed in the Coronary Care Unit after the stent had been put in, texting my parents to let them know what happened... total time elapsed. 3 hours. Pretty damn good for a Sunday afternoon.
I still recall the moment laying on the table in the Cath Lab, the stent placed in via the small wrist incision, the EXACT moment the stent was inflated I felt INSTANTLY so much better, because well, blood was flowing in my heart again.
At that time, it had been 17 years since I had played hockey. But, I was planning a return to the ice, and told my Cardiologist that was my goal. I was not out of shape when the Heart Attack happened. I had remained very active my whole life and always ate very well. In fact at that time, it had been 15 years since I had eaten anything deep fried. My Cardiologist told me I certainly did not look like a Heart Attack patient. All my cholesterol numbers were excellent. He said I was "a healthy guy, screwed by genetics". While in hospital I also found out I was Diabetic. Both my parents had a Cardiac History and both of them are Diabetic.
2 years ago this past April I returned to the ice. This past season I played sometimes 6 times per week, seems I still know how to stop a puck quite well, so I get many calls asking me to play for different teams. I workout using H.I.I.T. regimens and have altered my diet slightly. After initially being on 7 medications total upon release from the Hospital for both Cardiac and Diabetes (was on Insulin for 6 months) I now have it down to ONE heart medication (half dosage at that) and am off all Diabetic medications. It's hard work, and have to stay on top of it. But, it's worth the hard work, as I don't want to ever go down that road again.
Sorry for the long winded novel, but this is a subject that certainly hits right at home for me.