Paramore: Heart attack ‘hit me hard’

Published 11:00 pm Thursday, January 30, 2014

Marcus Paramore felt a little discomfort in his chest, but he had been working in the yard and cleaning the pool. He’d probably pulled a muscle or strained something. Nothing to worry about.

It was the day after Christmas, and he was taking advantage of the time off work to clean up around the house. He thought he would eat lunch and then get back to work.

“I ate lunch, but I had this weird feeling,” Paramore said. “It was as if something was pushing on my chest. I decided to take a shower, thinking that would help.”

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While in the shower, Paramore said something “hit me hard.”

“That’s when I thought, ‘You’re having a heart attack,’ but I shook off that thought,” he said. “Then, when I was brushing my teeth, my fingers started to tingle, and then they went numb.”

The pressure on Paramore’s chest increased and his thought was, “If this is a heart attack, give me a sign.”

“That’s when I felt a hard punch in my chest,” he said. “I went downstairs and sat on the couch, hoping I would feel better. I thought about calling 911, but I didn’t want the fire trucks and paramedics piling up in the yard. My wife was in the kitchen and she kept asking me how I felt.”

Finally Paramore admitted that he was having chest pains.

“I went to the car without my shoes,” he said. “Leigh Ann exceeded the speed limit getting me to Troy Regional Medical Center.”

At the hospital, Paramore was immediately hooked to monitors.

“The doctor and nurses were very professional,” he said. “They knew exactly what to do and how to do it. I couldn’t be transported to Flowers for a catheterization until I had been given clot busters, so I remained in the ER for 45 about minutes.”

On the ambulance ride between Troy and Ozark, Paramore said that he had some anxious moments.

“I was having a heart attack and I didn’t know what the outcome would be,” he said. “I was in an ambulance and I was … scared.”

The cardiac catheterization could not be done until the next day, and Paramore’s anxiety increased.

“I wouldn’t take anything that would make me sleep,” he said. “I didn’t want to go to sleep.” After a pause, Paramore admitted, “I was afraid I wouldn’t wake up.”

The catheterization revealed that Paramore had 95 percent blockage in one artery and 10 percent blockage in two.

“They put a stint in the artery that had 95 percent blockage and I was told that there had been muscle damage, but it could repair itself with the right diet and exercise,” he said. “I’m eating much healthier – leaving off the fried foods and salt and just eating better all around. I’m exercising every day, even if it’s cold outside. I know how important that is for me. I should have known all along … and I did. I just didn’t take it seriously until I had a heart attack.”

Paramore said that his cholesterol has been high for five or six years. He took his medication but not as regularly as he should.

His mother died of heart disease, and his dad has heart problems.

“I should have know that if I didn’t take care of myself I would end up in the same boat,” he said. “I’ve had a heart attack and I’m doing all that I can to be heart healthy.”

Paramore said that he is thankful for the advances in medical research into heart disease that provides doctors and nurses with the knowledge, the know-how and the technology to save lives and to prevent heart disease.

He is a beneficiary.