A couple months ago, when I had my heart attack-turned-pulled chest muscle scare, doctors, nurses, and even the ambulance crew kept asking me the same question:
"Does your father have a history of heart disease?"
And every time, I said the same thing:
"I know he had at least one heart attack, and maybe he had more, but I'm not sure."
But what I really wanted to say is:
"I know my father had at least one heart attack, and maybe more, but I don't really know my father very well because I lost him when my parents divorced, and today he doesn't return my phone calls and has stopped answering my all-too-frequent letters and had never been on the internet in any way, so on the rare occasions when we do connect, at a family picnic or perhaps a Christmas visit if I'm lucky, our meeting is always brief and difficult, so getting an accurate medical history of the man is not my first thought."
I understand why medical professionals ask the question, and I understand why it's important, but when you think you might be having a heart attack and are wondering if your life might be in danger and if you'll ever see your wife and kids again, the last thing you want to be reminded about again and again and again is how you don't have a relationship with your father for reasons you really don't understand and it kind of breaks your heart worse than this possible heart attack that you might be having right now.