Yesterday was an important anniversary for me. On January 9th, 2005 I was in a lot of trouble. I was in the emergency room of the hospital because I had just had a heart attack.
I had it while I was on the ice playing ice hockey. It wasn’t a severe “Hollywood heart attack”, I didn’t go into cardiac arrest or lose consciousness, and in fact I didn’t even know I was having one. Thinking about it later I recalled that at the end of the game I felt momentarily winded to the point of almost feeling nauseous. I didn’t think much of it at the time because I had just finished playing an hour and a half of hockey, and sometimes that might happen if you go too hard, or stay out on the ice too long before a shift change (for example, staying out on the ice for 3 minutes or more is usually considered too long a shift, you need to come off at that point and catch your breath). When I came off the ice a few minutes later I felt absolutely fine, but my arm was really sore, like I had fallen on it. Once again, I had just finished 90 minutes of hockey, and bumping and falling are all part of the game. It was funny how the hockey I had just played hid all of the signs of the heart attack. I was told later that they call heart attacks “The Silent Killer” because the majority of people that have them either don’t realize or don’t believe they are having one. It is very easy to pass the signs off as other things. When I got home my wife insisted I go to the emergency, but it was late Saturday evening and it was pouring rain, and I was the classic “guy” telling her it was nothing, and that I thought I was just catching a bit of the flu or something. I eventually drove myself into the emergency room to make her feel better. I thought they would give me an aspirin and send me home after a 2 hour wait.
Boy was I wrong….
Stay tuned for part 2…