About three weeks back Teresa and I were doing some landscaping work in the back yard, I was digging up some of the dirt by the new shed. The ground level was too high to open the door on the shed during winter, which inhibited being able to drive through the shed with the snowblower. So we decided to repave a lot of the area surrounding the patio with larger stones.
During said shoveling activity, I felt a generalized, non acute pain in my chest. Not necessarily concentrated but from shoulder to shoulder. I stopped shoveling and attempted to understand where it was coming from. I really couldn’t. If you know anything about the potential for death in the US, pain in the chest is nothing to mess around with as it’s a primary indicator of a “heart attack” or myocardial infarction–a situation where arteries are struggling or incapable of delivering blood to the heart at which point the heart cannot get enough oxygen to properly pump blood. Without oxygen the muscle tissue begins to die off and often leads to death.
After stopping shoveling I took it easy the rest of the day. I went and saw a general practitioner to get their opinion on it. I work out three to four times a week and never have any issues. My thoughts were that it was a general muscular strain that could be confused with issues from coronary arterial disease. The doctor was very cautious but thought that was a good guess. They ran and electrocardiogram (ECG/EKG) and everything seemed fine.
Since then I’ve been trying to be aware if there are any other issues but nothing seems too off other than the occasional twinge from reaching a certain way. All good, but this type of thing is a big wakeup call generally.
The idea of having issues with your heart is really scary. Not necessarily on a personal level so much as that my daughter is so young and the idea of not being around was terrifying–and worrisome. I was thinking about it nonstop for a few days and everything else seemed a lot less important. I’m 99% sure it was all just a scare, but it will probably only serve to help me focus on the things I’d already been wanting to do–eat healthier and get in better shape.
Regardless of how old you are, taking care of yourself is important if only for those around you that depend on it.