My second heat attack presented itself as chest pain, with a very low heart rate and high blood pressure. My cardiologist told me to get over to the hospital STAT! I complied. Upon arrival, I was placed on a Nitroglycerin patch and had the standard IV inserted in my left arm. The blood enzymes that indicate a heart attack were high, but still in the normal range for most people. I was given some drugs and held for observation. My heart rate at rest was usually in the high 40s or low 50s. Around 02:00, the alarm on the monitor that was set for 45 BPM went off. I was alert and sitting up when the nurse rushed in. This surprised her and since I was no longer experiencing pain, I asked her if the monitor could have the alarm set lower so she could treat her other patients. The cardiologist on duty agreed, so 40 was the new target.
By 03:30, I hit the magic number and my heart seemed bound and determined to keep me awake and alert enough to beg the nurse to turn off the alarm so I could sleep, or get me some coffee so I could get the alarm to silence itself. The cardiologist on duty nixed both suggestions and had the nurse remain in my room the rest of the morning. We spent most of the time telling each other stories about the places we had been and would like to go and the alarm stayed on, most likely annoying other patients, and making the other nurses run ragged trying to calm them down.
Around 06:00, my cardiologist came in to the room and looked at me, the monitor and immediately said, “Get this man some coffee, about 2 cups should be enough!” After the third sip, the alarm went blessedly silent. Between the vampires drawing blood and the heart monitor, I showed drastic improvement over the next 6 hours and by 17:00 I was able to go home.