Did he really have a heart attack?

The 67-year-old fell heavily into the plastic chair inside Alta Mountain Resort in Utah. It was his third day of skiing in the Rockies, ...


The 67-year-old fell heavily into the plastic chair inside Alta Mountain Resort in Utah. It was his third day of skiing in the Rockies, but his first in Alta. He had been excited to try these new tracks, but his race that morning was brutal. It was a clear, cold day, and the sharp edges of the mountains stood out sharply against the bright blue sky, so different from the eastern slopes where he usually lived and skied. About halfway up a mid-level incline on his first run that morning, the man started feeling unwell, like he was coming down with something. He rested for a few minutes and when that didn’t help he returned to the lodge. The descent was miserable. He felt a weird exhaustion and had to stop every few minutes, as if he was running up the mountain instead of down. It was so bad that at one point he worried about having to be picked up by the ski patrol. But he did. Finally.

When he stepped into the warmth of the lodge, he was greeted by the usual smell of coffee and the cinnamon charm of freshly baked pastries, but he wasn’t hungry. Sitting by the fire, he tried to figure out what was wrong. He wasn’t out of breath anymore, and that was a relief. But now he had a strange pain in his chest, inches below his right collarbone, as if pulling a muscle. And he was sweating like crazy. He could feel the coolness of the saturated undershirt against his chest. He could see the dark damp seeping through his turtleneck. A door opened and the cold air cooled the sweat from his face. He sat there, unable to do anything else. It took almost an hour before he started to feel better; the pain in his chest was still there but the mad sweating had stopped. And he felt good enough to return to these beautiful slopes.

But first he had to buy a new shirt; the one he was wearing was soaked, and he would be cold on the mountain. Finally dry and relayed, he grabbed his skis and headed for the chairlift. On his way, he saw the first aid building. He felt good now but was worried – was he good enough to ski? A young woman was working behind the counter. He described the strange and sudden fatigue he had on the trails and the profuse sweats and chest pains he had in the lodge.

Out of nowhere, a young man appeared. “I need you to come back with me,” he said, then introduced himself as the doctor on call. The man needed an EKG, the doctor told him, and led him to an examining table. He placed the sticky tabs on the man’s chest, arms and legs. “You’re having a heart attack,” he explained gravely as the spikes of heartbeats moved across the screen. “No, I’m not,” the man replied promptly. He had never had a heart attack, but he knew how they were supposed to feel. He had no chest pressure, just this pain. And it wasn’t even on the left side, where heart attack pain usually occurs. The doctor insists: the electrocardiogram clearly indicates a serious myocardial infarction. The man resisted. “Call my son,” he said. “He’s a doctor. He’ll tell you I don’t have a heart attack.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Did he really have a heart attack?
Did he really have a heart attack?
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