There are two points I want to make about this experience. First, the heart attack had virtually no effects on my body or mind. The reason for this is that I didn't wait for an ambulance I had my partner drive me directly to the closest good emergency room that has a catheter lab. A 5 minute drive.
The harm from a heart attack is measured in public health circles in time from event-to-balloon. The balloon refers to a device that is inflated in the artery to block the blood flow and substitute an x-ray visible die. For me that was a terribly short time.
What I take away from this is that everyone over 45 years of age needs to know where the closest catheter lab is. I think this should be an app on every smart phone. I think it should be subsidized by health insurance.
The second relevant lesson is based on my long-term view that medicine is pretty much still voodoo.
All of my doctors were wonderful and competent and I take the prescribed medicines without ever checking the relevant literature.
But the catheter lab is the most extraordinary room you will likely see. It is a large room filled with technology that has one purpose: surgery on the heart. The catheter is a tool that is used to enter your artery and go to your heart and carry out microscopic surgery.
To me, the catheter lab and my successful heart attack treatment are primarily due to surgery and the associated pro-commerce generated technology.
Surgery is over 2000 years old. Indian surgeons were restoring ears and noses before Jesus was born. Medicine is roughly a century old. My grandfather went to dental school (at UC Berkeley) for three years. My grandmother went to medical school (same place) for two years. She was filled with witchcraft and other nostrums as best I can remember from my father. Medicine really begins with sulfatiasol and penicillin, 70 years ago.
Find out where your nearest catheter lab is. It is also helpful to know where the nearest trauma center is too. A trauma center is a standard emergency room with roughly 20 doctors on immediate call. That is where you go for a gunshot or automobile wound.