What you don’t know about your health may kill you

During the past few days, I learned that I was missing vital information concerning the care and maintenance of my body. As a result, I am blogging from the Cardiac Care Unit of the Roanoke Memorial Hospital instead of working at home.

I now know that shortness of breath and a feeling of great pressure in my upper chest and neck area was a sign that I was experiencing a heart attack early this week.

I did not have a clue at the time and I continued working at my regular pace for the next few days. When the pain returned, I realized that I had a problem. I Googled "chest pain" and learned that "Angina Pectoris" is the body's way of telling you that the heart muscle is not getting enough oxygen.

When I went to my family physician, she routed me immediately to ER at Radford Hospital. After a short round of tests, they sent me on to a Roanoke Hospital which is equipped to perform heart operations.

Since my condition was stable by then, they put me in the Cardiac Care unit for testing and observation. In the last two days I have learned how close to the edge I have been living, even though I have always been careful to eat natural foods and what I thought was a balanced diet.

I had been monitoring my health by my physical strength and the general lack of aches and pains. I am now aware that this approach can be a trap. I had shoveled 5 tons of gravel with no discomfort just days before my first heart attack, so I had no physical warning of the impending disaster.

Tomorrow I am scheduled to discover what blockage exists and to hopefully find a resolution of the problem.

I have already resolved to develop a healthier lifestyle. It is my big New Year's resolution for 2009.

If you are experiencing any chest pains, you might want to make sure they are not serious. They can be permanently damaging.

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