Alex Trebek: My Heart Attack Had My Wife in Tears with Worry

06/28/2012 at 06:20 PM EDT

Alex Trebek Heart Opens Up to PEOPLE About Heart Attack
Alex Trebek
SSI Photo/Michael Germana/Landov
A "mild heart attack" is not slowing Alex Trebek down.

The Jeopardy! host, who was hospitalized in Los Angeles Saturday and released Wednesday, is back to planning home improvement projects already.

"Maybe I'll take a little better care of myself," Trebek, 71, told PEOPLE on Thursday, "but I wouldn't count on it."

Trebek went Cedars-Sinai Medical Center over the weekend after experiencing "a squeezing, tight pain" for a few days.



"I had been doing some work around the house working with a heavy ladder," he said of his activity in the days leading up to his chest and back pain. "I just thought it was muscle strain."

It was not until his wife became concerned that the game show host agreed to go get checked out.

"She was very adamant and had tears in her eyes," says Trebek, who suffered a heart attack nearly five years ago. "I didn't want to upset her more than I had already so I went – and she was right."

Trebek says doctors found evidence of a blockage in one of the arteries that supplies blood to his heart, but there was no need to install a stent.

"My body cleared the blockage itself," says Trebek, who credits the aspirin he was taking for what he thought was simple muscle pain. "My heart seems to heal, so that speaks well for my future."

Trebek and is eager to return to the show he has hosted since 1984 when production beings in July.

"I'm going to try and take it easy, but I have a lot of things to do around the house," said Trebek, who was planning to attend a hardware tool sale later in the day. "I'm going to make sure someone helps me haul the stuff to my truck. I'm not going to do it myself. I'm not that dumb – yet."

The game show icon maintains a positive attitude and is finding ways to laugh at his recent health scare.

"It's just an attempt to get attention," he joked. "[It had] almost as big an effect as when I shaved my mustache 12 years ago."

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