Tell us what's happened to you recently (that's interesting)


Doctors giving me the all clear so I’m leaving with my tail between my legs


You should probably get that looked at.


Jesus Christ, don’t mess with chest pain. I’ve told my story elsewhere here, but I was an idiot, waited 2 hours, and barely made it to the ER in time. Right after I got there, my heart stopped, and everything went black. Dead for 3 minutes the doc said. Shocked me several times to get me back. I was totally conscious and mobile right up until I died, man! Don’t fuck with that shit!

Not what you asked, but including my quintuple bypass two months after the emergency, the grand total was around $200,000. And I was out of work for 8 months, so add that in too. Plus, I now have to go to the cardiologist frequently, so add that in too.


Very cool. The thing is, chest pain can kill you, and you won’t know until it’s too late.
Provided they didn’t have to perform emergency surgery or stick you in an expensive machine, and you have insurance, it shouldn’t actually be too bad.
Mine was bad, cost-wise, but insurance took care of 95% of it. I’m still working on the rest, but I’m now a huge proponent of having health insurance. Up until about 2 years before the heart attack, I had none. My loved ones kept after me until I relented. Plus Obama was going to fine me soon if I didn’t get it, and I hated the thought of paying that fine, and still not having insurance. Didn’t make financial sense. I hated Obama at the time.

Had I not had health insurance, I’m sure I would not have let my gf drive me to the ER.
I’m also a huge proponent of living within 5 minutes of two hospitals with ER’s. :)


Now I see the reason for your avatar. You’re actually a ghost. You don’t fool me, buster!


I never for a moment thought I was a ghost. Waking up with a huge tube going down your throat to your lungs is about as real as it gets. :)


At the risk of wearing out my welcome in this thread, I must add this: If your remaining ER bill causes you financial hardship, some hospitals do have Financial Assistance programs. Worth checking into. The ones that do have been known to write off some or all of your bill depending on your debt to asset ratio. Try that before you ever think of letting it go into collection.


You’re input is extremely welcome, man. I just went out and decompressed with some friends for a few hours to shake off the heebie jeebies. I’m fortunate now that I’m in a position where I’ll be able to pay off a sizable medical bill (albeit slowly via a credit card), so that’s okay… Just not how I’d hoped to spend my disposable income for the medium to long term future :-)

Very grateful for the kind words and deserved admonitions. That call from my doctor scared the shit out of me today.


Glad to hear you’re ok, Armando.

I had an episode maybe four years ago? Something like that. I got a nasty bug that was going around and made me sicker than I’ve been in, literally, decades. I got over it but the cough hung around so after a few weeks I went to the doc. He put me on steroids. It got better, then it started getting worse.

So I go back and he doubles the steroids and gives me an inhaler. I take it for a few days and then, oddly enough, the girlfriend and I are going to a free movie courtesy of AARP. We get our seats and I go for the popcorn and as I’m walking my chest, left arm, and left side of my throat start to hurt. The pain worsens and I’m thinking, jesus, it’s a heart attack maybe, so I sit. It gets better so I complete the popcorn run and watch the movie.

A day or two later I get another episode, a bit more severe. Do I do anything? No. I want to think I can fight through whatever is, just like the guy who is determined to shovel all the snow off his driveway.

Then a day or two later, an hour before I have another doctor’s appointment, I get the worse pain yet. On a 10 point scale it’s a 10.5. Severe pain in my chest, left arm, and left side of my throat. I am seconds from curling up on the floor the pain is so bad and then it starts to subside. I go immediately to the doctor and tell him. He does an EKG and says no damage visible. He takes me off the meds and inhaler, and that’s the last of it.

So I have no idea, but I tell every medical person now I have to deal with – no steroids. And I don’t go to AARP screenings anymore. Bad juju.


Wow. Up until the end, I was totally convinced you were having a heart attack. Your symptoms were almost identical to mine. Glad it worked out. For both you and Armando.


So glad you are cleared.

One of the very bad side effects of prolunged steroids use is hypertension risk, and I heard from somebody qualified, like my butcher or something, that this could be linked with heart attacks? It could be he was totally wrong (don’t blame me!).


It had to be some kind of heart issue. I wouldn’t have the left side stuff otherwise. It’s just that it seems to have been caused by the meds (my guess, but I read that a very tiny percentage of people put on steroids have had some heart issues) rather than the heart itself having problems – but what do I really know, internet MD that I am?

I think I have an idea of what the beginnings of a heart attack feel like now. I was ready to black out and let whatever was going to happen, happen. The pain was so severe.

The funny thing is as a kid and teenager I got a couple of bad cases of poison ivy, and I was put on steroids to take care of it. I didn’t have any problems with it. Now, if I have to go to the backyard and pull weeds (we have like a freaking jungle of stuff that seems grows overnight - I should be growing marijuana back there) I am terrified of getting poison ivy so I wrap up like I’m ready to be mummified. I do not want steroids ever again.


It can also begin on the right side. For me, It was under the jaw first, then right shoulder, then down the right arm, then repeated on the left shoulder and arm. I knew full well I was having a heart attack (there is no way it could have been mistaken for heartburn in my case. I’ve had heartburn, and this was as you described: a 10.5), but somehow talked myself into thinking it would just “get better”. Which it eventually did, thanks to modern medicine and awesome doctors and surgeons.


The most fun part of all this is my brain fucking with me. Everytime I start thinking about the whole ordeal again, I get tiny little pangs of pain right in the center of my left pec. Like 1.5 on the scale, half a second, every 30 seconds or so, the whole time I’m thinking about how I totally could have had a cardiac incident. Similarly, the entire drive to the ER was accompanied by the feeling that my throat was closing up/jaw was clenching. Second I concentrate on anything else at all, the “symptoms” go away.

The mind does weird shit to you.


I hear that! Any little pain now in any of those areas gives me great pause.
Typically though, a heart attack will damn well get your full and undivided attention.
Have your blood pressure checked periodically as well.


Right side? I have never heard of that. That’s…disquieting. Well, I am 58 so I need to have it all checked out. I’m overdue for the anal probe and I should do a stress test, both of which are stressful even to think about.

Sometimes I think my health is like Schrodinger’s Cat – if they don’t observe it, it can’t be shitty! Stay away, doctors!


Just got home and saw a ton of posts in this thread. Cool, I’m thinking, someone did something interesting! But oh no, it’s @ArmandoPenblade almost dying! And @Giles_Habibula and @Mark_Asher too! Gonna have my own cardiac incident with news like that. Glad to hear everyone is OK!


Everyone is likely going to be fine, if they don’t smoke. Except for me. I still smoke.

Anyway, I may have given some bad info on symptoms up above. For instance, symptoms can be subtle. So here’s a better list of symptoms:


Geezus, don’t you scare me like that again young man. Next time it hurts in your chest YOU GET THAT SHIT CHECKED OUT ASAP.

I’m also…glad you’re okay…bro…


Thanks, man. And yeah, you’re really not wrong. I just really hate going to doctors because it almost always feels like it winds up going nowhere and costing me a ton of money.

I am not a smart man :(