Take heed of warnings from the heart

I HAVE a story to relate in conjunction with World Heart Day, which is today. For the record, I am 52 years young.

It was late November 2021 and I was on my usual morning run when I felt a tight squeeze in my chest. I had been running since 2015 and never experienced it before.

I stopped running as I was getting breathless from the discomfort. I walked for a while and then continued running when the tightness subsided, but the discomfort persisted. I wondered if my heart was causing the problem, but brushed the thought aside. I ran the next day and the following day with the same discomfort.

After a week of running with the chest discomfort, I rested, thinking it would go away. It didn’t. I went to work on Dec 7. I didn’t run that day, but as soon as I reached my office, I felt different. I knew it was a sign that something was terribly wrong, so I rushed to the emergency department of a government hospital.

After describing my symptoms to the staff at the counter, I was immediately administered an ECG (electrocardiogram), put on medication and monitored. I was informed that I had suffered a mild heart attack (that different feeling) and was scheduled for an angioplasty at about 11pm that night.

During the procedure, two blocked arteries were identified. One was a 95% blockage on the left artery and the other was a 70% blockage on the right one. I was awake and alert while the doctor performed the angioplasty, which took about one and a half hours. I was discharged the next day.

Following the doctor’s advice, I did not exercise for one month. After this, I started walking and three months later, I was running again.

I used to run marathons before, and I’m now preparing for one next month. But I will not be running full or half marathons anymore, just the 10km runs. I need to start enjoying my runs and not get stressed out. This usually happens when I am running full and half marathons.

The most important lesson that I learnt from this experience, and I am sure I am not alone, is never to ignore the symptoms. I have been given a second chance at life. Had I ignored the symptoms, I would definitely not be writing this letter.

A last word of advice – try not to get stressed up when confronted with a problem. If you cannot solve it, someone else will, or it will resolve by itself. Live and think about today; tomorrow will always come. The question is, will we still be around?


Semenyih, Selangor

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 1
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Subscribe now to our Premium Plan for an ad-free and unlimited reading experience!

letters , opinion ,


Next In Letters

Getting the flu vaccine an act of love
Source from the Senate
Law and science of road safety
New structure bodes well for environment governance
Time to elevate Malaysia Day celebration
Moves to ensure higher police accountability
Malaysia is moving away from race- and religion-based politics
Water missing from new Cabinet portfolios
No place for civil servants in politics
Clarify intention on PLUS toll

Others Also Read