I was shocked, as I understand many on this Board were, by a heart attack recently. It was caused by a 100% blocked LAD, and happened last friday (4 days back). I am only now understanding how lucky I am to be even writing this. Despite ZERO past history, chest pain or risk factors, some sixth sense compelled me to call 911 when I started feeling a mild chest discomfort. I felt downright STUPID as I made the call, but by the time they got here ~5 minutes later, I was reeling in pain and in the middle of a full fledged attack. They got me to a hospital quickly and my LAD had been cleared and stented within 90-120 minutes of the initial pain.
Reason I am writing is to get some input from the experts here on what to ask my cardiologist. I am meeting him for my first post-attack, detailed discussion in 2 days.
Frankly, I cannot understand how I could have a heart attack...
...I am 38
...have always been ultra sporty, outdoorsy etc (A wannabe-athlete whose eagerness and desire exceeded his talent is how I would describe myself)
...Been working out 8-10 times/month for the last few years
...6 feet tall and have been ~175 pounds or less my whole life
...have had regular healthcheckups although no cardiac stress test
...no family history, Blood pressure always about 120/80 or lower
...cholesterol has been medium to high but not ridiculous (Total: 200-260 for last 4-5 years, but HDL always between 50-65; Total was measured to be 190 the day of the attack). I was trying to get my cholesterol down HARD the last few years via exercise and diet and was loath to get onto statins unless essential
...I have a very healthy diet. I'm a big fan of oatmeal, fruits, vegetables, grains and lentils. And I have limited red meat to 5-6 times/month or less for the last many years.
...Drink alcohol but not a lot (~5-20 glasses of mostly red wine per week)
I want to understand from my cardiologist...
1. How does a guy like me get a heart attack at 38? If I'd known, I definitely would not have stayed off those steaks, desserts and Big Macs
2. Why would such a big clot form? can a clot form even if there is little plaque in the arteries?
3. How much plaque blockage is there in my arteries, including the afflicted LAD and others?
4. Did they "service" and de-clog the other arteries as well while they were at it? is that usual/unusual?
5. What possible life style changes could I make beyond the above description? Of course, I am getting onto the standard plavix, zocor, zestril, toprol, aspirin?
6. Did I mention - how does a guy like me get such a massive heart attack at 38?
Apologies in advance if this has been discussed ad nauseum here before. Would appreciate any input, additional questions you would probe with the cardiologist if you were in my shoes.