When I showed up in the Emergency Department with textbook heart attack symptoms – chest pain, nausea, sweating, and pain radiating down my left arm – the hospital staff snapped to work and immediately ordered a flurry of tests. These included an EKG, blood tests, chest x-ray and a treadmill stress test. But all test results came back “normal”. I was then told that I was in the “right demographic” for acid reflux before being sent home – less than five hours after the onset of symptoms.
I left hospital that morning feeling terribly embarrassed for having made such a fuss over just a little case of indigestion. It was only much later – after finally being correctly diagnosed, taken directly from the E.R. to O.R. and admitted to the cardiac care unit for a myocardial infarction (MI or heart attack) caused by a fully occluded Left Anterior Descending coronary artery – when I learned that my “normal” blood tests may have been “normal” that day because I had been sent home too soon. Continue reading “Those curious cardiac enzymes”