Several months ago, I was writing at my PC. It was a Sunday, late morning, and suddenly I felt a squeezing in the middle of my chest. It came and went a few times, and I began to feel slightly nauseated. My left arm eventually began tingling, and I decided it was time to get to the hospital. I’m 54 years old, fit, but with hypertension and a father who died at 46 of a heart attack. I got my husband, and we went to the closest emergency room, which happens to be one that is generally not full to bursting. Once there, I was taken back, given the full questionnaire. The doctor decided to keep me there for 6 hours to get hourly enzyme tests. It was not a fun or interesting 6 hours, I didn’t feel bad, nor did the doctor believe I had experienced an attack, but we were going to be safe rather than sorry. I did not, in fact, have a heart attack. I did go to a cardiovascular doctor several weeks later for a follow-up to check for calcium damage, and very little was found.
I do experience rare anxiety attacks which express themselves through a squeezing sensation in different parts of my body. This may have been just that, but I know I made the right (although expensive) choice, and I would do it again in a heartbeat (ahem). The way I convinced myself to go to the hospital was through a conversation with myself. “What would you do if your best friend called you with these symptoms? You would yell, ‘GET TO THE HOSPITAL!’ ” That is how I took my own best friend advice.
Read the article and memorize it. Just like you would want your best friend to do so.