I am a 56 year old 6 foot 13 stone 12lbs male and 9 months ago I had just returned from my 2 mile run. This is an additional run to my weekly 6 mile run with the local running club. Things felt fine on the run, I even recall quickening up a bit on the final 600 yards. On entering my house however I felt a pain in the centre of my chest. It wasn’t a doubling up kind of pain, just an annoying, gnawing kind of ache. My first thought was that I had over exerted my lungs but when it did not subside after 45 minutes, despite trying various positions, I decided to ask my son to drive me down the infirmary to get it checked. I walked into the infirmary and was seen pretty quickly, they clearly take chest pains seriously. The first doctor thought it was skeletal and gave me a couple of pain killers but when neither of these worked I suspect they guessed it could be more serious. The next treatment was a spray under the tongue which dilates your arteries. This did the trick and the pain was completely gone after 10 minutes. In the meantime blood had been taken and was being checked for signs of a heart attack. I was way over the limit and this time it was not my driving licence that was at risk. As Eric Morecombe famously once said, its not until they tell you that you have had a heart attack that you really have a heart attack. I was transferred to a specialist hospital where I stayed for 4 days during which time an angiogram was performed. This involves injecting dye into your blood stream and then x raying your arteries to check the flow of the dye and hence the openness of the arteries. My main arteries were fine but a minor artery showed some signs of narrowing and the doctor suggested a stent was not mandatory but he would advise it. Now here is my first piece of advice. If the application of a stent or stents is precautionary rather than life essential then I would suggest you refuse them, although this is not always easy to do when you are lying on an op’ table with no phone a friend let alone an alternative Cardiologist. You will see why I suggest such action later in my blog entries, but bare with me for now.
You are out with your stent the very same day along with a bag full of drug goodies. Mine included Aspirin to thin the blood. A Statin to lower cholesterol and anti oxidate. A Platlet aggregate reducer to lower Platelet stickiness. A beta blocker to lower heart rate and finally a drug to reduce blood pressure. In my next post I will explain why I rejected all of these drugs in favour of a dietary approach to the problem and how the doctors penalised me for adopting such a course of action. I will also look at how woeful the NHS is at tackling route causes of disease whilst pouring millions of pounds into suppressing symptons on behalf of drug companies.
Quick footnote to this first entry. How would you recognise a heart attack and what should you do ?. The symptons can vary and some people complain of pains down the arms, neck or even chin. In my case it was a central pain. I think most people report that the pain is permanent, that is to say it does not ease with lying down or varying your position. What you need to do is sit down rather than lie down and whilst waiting for an ambulance or lift to the local hospital, get your arteries to dilate. The quickest natural way to do this stick some Cayenne Pepper under your tongue and/or drink a glass of water with a tea spoon of Cayenne Pepper in it. I would actually recommend the cayenne drink on a daily basis regardless. You will quickly get used to the heat after the first few experiences. Its probably wise to also immediately take a couple of baby aspirins. Hopefully you will need none of the above and I hope to explain in future entries how to improve your chances.