Occasionally got sudden chest pains that extended to his arm, shoulder-blade and neck. Looked it up on the interwebs (which mostly said he should be dead) so he thought he’d better check with his GP.
Who whacked ECG sensors on him within seconds, prescribed him a nitroglycerine spray and had him in the ER of the cardio unit at the hospital next day.
Another ECG and an ultrasound check later and no-one’s any the the wiser.
Off to the nuclear medicine practice, where they put him on a treadmill until his pulse is 175 and his blood pressure’s almost off the scale before they pump him full of Technetium-99m (yes, it’s radioactive…) and take pictures of the ticker.
Do this 3 times over a couple of weeks and send him back to the cardio unit.
“Well” says the quack (in best CYA-ese) “as far as we can tell there’s no cardiovascular disease, but there MIGHT be some scarring which MIGHT mean that you’ve had a myocardial infarction, but you probably haven’t”
(My friend is by this stage a tad suspicious of the quack anyway. He reckoned that his wife’s 4 year old niece could have drawn a better looking heart. “It just looked like a blob with tubes coming out of it” he said “and this guy’s going to operate on me?”)
“By the way” continues the quack “did you measure your blood pressure when you had your last wobbly?”
“Mate” says this friend of mine “I was more interested in getting the nitroglycerine under my tongue than bollocking around with a sodding blood pressure monitor. It fucking scares me and hurts like shit”
Well” says quack “it would be really valuable information and – given that you’re probably not having a heart attack anyway (even though it might feel like it…) – strap the monitor around your wrist, turn it on, wait until it’s taken a couple of minutes to measure everything and only THEN get the nitroglycerine going”
So if you happen to stumble across some chappy in the early stages of rigor mortis with a blood pressure monitor strapped around his left wrist and a nitroglycerine spray in his right hand, it’ll be my mate.
Just note down the blood pressure on the monitor and send it off to the hospital.
If it’s not too much trouble….