THE ROBERT W. WHITAKER ARCHIVE

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AS SERIOUS AS... | 2001-12-07

I had a heart attack this week, but don't worry (or in some cases, don't get your hopes up). I am healthy as a horse and almost as smart.

For over a decade I have done heavy workouts and kept my weight down. Just a few weeks ago I had a complete physical and, as usual, the doctor complimented me on what amazingly good shape I'm in, especially my blood pressure and cholesterol level.

I have family history of heart trouble. But when I got really awful pain in my left arm during my heavy hour-long exercise session, I went right on. I thought it must just be arthritis or something, because it couldn't be my heart, not with my excellent tests and my excellent health regimen.

So first of all there is a personal lesson here. Keep your family medical history in mind. They can't tell whether you are having this inherited blockage that I had without actually putting the catheter into your heart to find out.

By the way, this catheterization procedure is a completely painless procedure with the drugs they give you.