Did he really have a heart attack?

The 67-year-old fell heavily on a plastic chair inside the Alta mountain resort in Utah. It was his third day skiing in the Rockies but his first day at Alta. He was excited to try these new slopes, but his run that morning was brutal. It was a clear, cold day, and the sharp ridges stood out against the clear blue sky, a stark contrast to the eastern slopes where he lived and often skied. About halfway down an intermediate slope on his first run that morning, the man began to feel bad, as if he were falling with something. He rests for a few minutes and when that doesn’t help, head back to the motel. The ride down was miserable. He felt strangely exhausted and had to stop every few minutes, as if he were running up a mountain rather than sliding down. It was so bad that, at one point, he worried he would be caught by the ski patrol. But he made it. Final.

When he entered the warm space of the motel, he was greeted by the familiar smell of coffee and the seductive cinnamon aroma of freshly baked pastries, but he was not hungry. Sitting by the fire, he tried to figure out what was wrong. He was no longer short of breath, and that was a relief. But now he has a strange pain in his chest, a few inches below his right collarbone, as if he were pulling a muscle. And he was sweating like crazy. He could feel the coolness of his bra seeping into his chest. He could see the dark dampness as it seeped through his turtleneck. A door opened, a cold sweat broke out on her face. He just sat there, unable to do anything. It took almost an hour for him to begin to feel better; The pain in his chest was still there but the frenzied sweat was gone. And he felt well enough to return to those beautiful slopes.

But first he had to buy a new shirt; the shirt he’s wearing is soaked, and he’ll be cold in the mountains. Finally drying off and energizing, he grabbed his skateboard and headed for the elevator. On the way, he saw the first aid building. He feels fine now but is worried – is he well enough to ski? A young woman is working behind the counter. He described the strange and sudden fatigue he experienced on the slopes and the drenched sweat and chest pain he experienced in the motel.

Out of nowhere appeared a young man. “I need you to get back to me,” he said, then introduced himself as the on-call doctor. The man needed an electrocardiogram, the doctor told him, and led him to an examination table. He placed sticky patches on the man’s chest, arms, and legs. “You’re having a heart attack,” he explained earnestly as heartbeats sped across the screen. “No, I don’t,” the man replied immediately. He had never had a heart attack, but he knew how they felt. He didn’t feel any tightness in his chest, just this pain. And it’s not even on the left side, where the pain from heart attacks usually occurs. The doctor was adamant: The EEG indicated a severe myocardial infarction. Man against. “Call my son,” he said. “He’s a doctor. He’ll tell you I didn’t have a heart attack.” Did he really have a heart attack?

Fry Electronics Team

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