Most of us have experienced heartburn. Fred S., however, was diagnosed in California with a more serious heartburn called GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease).
With increasing symptoms and a trip to Oregon for his grandson’s graduation pending, Fred decided to see a doctor. The physician confirmed the earlier diagnosis, wrote a prescription for medication and gave him the go-ahead to travel.
Fred continued to have pain in his chest and across both shoulders which extended down to both elbows. He felt winded and his arms felt heavy to lift. Just days before Fred would return home, he took a fall. He immediately experienced labored breathing and mild chest pain, and his family rushed him to Salem Health.
Doctors quickly diagnosed his symptoms as heart disease and studies found four arteries were 80 percent blocked. Fred needed immediate open heart surgery, and had a three-way bypass.
“I am thankful Salem Health doctors quickly diagnosed my heart problem,” said Fred. “Don’t hesitate if you have symptoms that require surgery. Just get it taken care of. There is support for you throughout the whole process from surgery through recovery.”
Heartburn symptoms can be similar to symptoms of heart trouble. If you’re experiencing pain, be sure to alert your doctor.