Torry’s Top Ten: Signs of a heart attack

Top ten signs you might be having a heart attack

by Torry Stiles

(Dear readers – April 10th will mark the fourth anniversary of my first heart attack and subsequent bypass operation. A friend of mine recently had his own flirtation with death. This week’s list is provided as a public service to help others out there.)

10. Chest pain or burning sensation in the chest. Kind of like the time in school when you went jogging right after Taco Tuesday dinner.

9. Tightness or heaviness in the chest. Remember that one extra-large cousin who used to beat you up every Thanksgiving? Yeah. Imagine him sitting on your chest again.

8. Pain in the arm, neck and/or jaw. Just like that time when your date fell asleep on you on the couch and you spent four hours cramping because you thought that this was what romance was all about.

7. Sweating. Not a good kind of sweat but more of a have-to-go-to-the-potty-but-there’s-another-hour-left-in-this-exam kind of sweat.

6. Anxiety. You aren’t sure what’s going to happen but you know it could only be bad. Rather like the feeling when you drive Dad’s Buick into the neighbor’s swimming pool.

5. Light-headedness. Again, not the good kind. More of a I-think-I-won-this-breath-holding-contest and less of a this-is-some-good-weed kind of feeling.

4. Shortness of breath. Remember that lardo cousin on your chest? Yeah, that again.

3. Confusion. “Is this a heart attack? Am I going to die? Did I delete my web browser?”

2. Nausea or vomiting. Imagine that cousin on your chest right after Taco Tuesday’s jog.

1. Every friend or family member you know will contact you to give you their account of their heart attack, the name of the doctor who saved them and a description of how much worse their heart attack was than yours.