“The shortness of breath stayed with me for most of the evening.”

My main symptom was shortness of breath, not chest pain.

I returned home from teaching an evening class, carrying course outlines, handouts. When I came into my home, I could not catch my breath. There was no pain, my breathing just seemed to improve with shallow breaths.

I began to consider the possibilities of what was happening. My first thought was the items I was carrying were too heavy, or perhaps I was coming down with a respiratory infection.

The shortness of breath stayed with me for most of the evening.

A week later, I visited my doctor, and shared my experience. He made a referral to a cardiologist who provided a brief examination and was sure it wasn’t my heart. He provided a prescription for an antacid and instructed me to take it for 30 days.

A month later, when I returned to his office, he asked if the prescription helped. I told him it hadn’t helped at all with the breathing issue. He then arranged several tests, including a cardiac catheterisation, which detected three arteries with more than 70 percent blockage.

He indicated my condition was manageable with medication, and after five years, I may require surgery. So, I took the medication and off I went about my life thinking my heart condition was under control.

A month later I had a heart attack. Six cardiac catheterisations, and six stents later, I had open heart bypass surgery.

After surviving all of this, I’ve come to the conclusion someone has more in mind for me to do.

– Suzanne, 55