I had never heard of a “silent heart attack” until a year ago last August 2012.

That is exactly what I had and didn’t even know it. In early June of 2012, I made an appointment with my family Physician for my annual medical exam. I have one every year and have been doing so for several years.

When It was my turn, I went into my Doctor’s office and I no sooner sat down getting ready to have that dreaded prostate exam when my physician and friend, announced that he would be retiring at the end of June 2012.

He said, ” Bill i’m retiring June 30th and you and your wife will have to find yourselves another family Doctor !”

Although I wasn’t really surprised by his comments, I was disappointed because family Doctors these days are very hard to find. If you have ever tried to locate a good, dependable family General Practitioner, you’ll know what I mean.

To make I long story short, my wife Shauna has a co-worker who knew a good , general Practitioner and she referred both of us to her family Physician who fortunately,accepted us as patients. I was very happy about having a new family Doctor and soon made an appointment.

During my first appointment with my new Doctor, she informed me that I had Very high Blood Pressure readings. I was surprised because i had never been told that before. As far as I could recall , my blood pressure has always been in the low 130/90 range/. I had never been recorded in the normal range of 120/80.

When I asked her why my Blood Pressure was so high, she replied ” your over 70 years of age and when you hit the 70’s, Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)  is quite common”.Actually I was 75 at the time.Not only was my blood pressure high but she was concerned enough to order several tests for  me and refer me to a Cardiologist.

I’m sure my blood pressure went up a few more notches, because now I was very concerned about my overall well being and general health. I’ve always lived a very healthy lifestyle, exercised regularly, eat healthy foods and am not over weight.   The first  test my Physician sent me for was a electrocardiogram, This was followed by echo sound test, stress tests, blood-work and ultimately an Angiogram.

I couldn’t believe how quickly my life had changed that Summer of 2012. For almost three months, I was in and out of the hospital having all of these test to determine why my blood pressure reading were so abnormal. After I had the Angiogram, my Doctor phoned me the very next day and told me that I had had a heart attack some time in the past. She did not know when but she said the 100% blockage in one of my arteries in the left ventricle of my heart indicated that I had had an EVENT!.

Needless to say I was absolutely flabbergasted and told her that i did not believe her. After all, being a Dentist by profession and having some educational background  in medicine.I certainly was  aware of the critical signs of a heart attack and I don’t recall ever having any of the classic symptoms like, chest discomfort,( uncomfortable chest pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain, burning or heaviness )

On top of that,I don;t recall having any other symptoms like discomfort in other areas of m y upper body ( head, neck, jaw shoulder or arms and back). I’ve never had any shortness of breath that I can remember even following some extensive exercises in the past. I did not realize that there were other more subtle  symptoms of a heart attack, like nausea, profuse sweating and dizziness or light- headed).

My doctor told me that I had what  she referred to as a “Silent Heat Attack” and said they are quite common ! I couldn’t believe it and was still in denial. Subsequently, I was placed on two or three prescription medications and currently appear to have my blood pressure under control.

Being the curious individual I am. I began to reflect back in my past and try to recall when I had the symptoms of Nausea, sweating and being light-headed. Yureka ! About six years ago, I quite vividly remember having such an event that lasted less that one minute. I was sitting in front of my computer in the morning when suddenly, my vision began to falter. I became nauseous  and began sweating profusely. I couldn’t believe what was happening to me. My head was just spinning ! I quickly stood up, shook my head several times and sat down . The event was over  and all of the symptoms mentioned disappeared as quickly as they had arrived.

That moment had to be the time I had the silent heart attack and didn’t even realize it. Imagine having a heart attack several years before being diagnosed with severe hypertention. This is my story. Perhaps you have a similar one . I’m sure I am not the only one to ever have experienced a “Silent Heart Attack” and lived to tell about it!

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