HEART ATTACK EXPERIENCE
I am an ER nurse and this is the best description of
this event that I have ever heard. Please read, pay attention, and send it
I was aware
that female heart attacks are different, but this is the best description
I've ever read..
heart attacks (Myocardial Infarction).
Did you know that women rarely have the same dramatic symptoms that men
have when experiencing heart attack... you know, the sudden stabbing pain in the
chest, the cold sweat, grabbing the chest & dropping to the floor that we
see in the movies.
Here is the story of one
woman's experience with a heart attack
'I had a heart attack at about
with NO prior exertion, NO prior emotional trauma that one would suspect might
have brought it on. I was sitting all snugly & warm on a cold evening, with
my purring cat in my lap, reading an interesting story my friend had sent me,
and actually thinking, 'A-A-h, this is the life, all cozy and warm in my soft,
cushy Lazy Boy wi th my feet propped up.
A moment later, I felt that
awful sensation of indigestion, when you've been in a hurry and grabbed a bite
of sandwich and washed it down with a dash of water, and that hurried bite seems
to feel like you've swallowed a golf ball going down the esophagus in slow
motion and it is most uncomfortable. You realize you shouldn't have gulped it
down so fast and needed to chew it more thoroughly and this time drink a glass
of water to hasten its progress down to the stomach. This was my initial
sensation -- the only trouble was that I hadn't taken a bite of anything since
After it seemed to subside, the next sensation was like
little squeezing motions that seemed to be racing up my SPINE (hind-sight, it
was probably my aorta spasms), gaining speed as they continued racing up and
under my sternum (breast bone, where one presses rhythmically when administering
This fascinating process continued on into my throat and branched
out into both jaws. 'AHA!! NOW I stopped puzzling about what was happening -- we
all have read and/or heard about pain in the jaws being one of the signals of
happening, haven't we? I said aloud to myself and the cat, Dear God, I think
I'm having a heart attack!
I lowered the foot rest dumping the cat from
my lap, started to take a step and fell on the floor instead. I thought to
myself, If this is a heart attack, I shouldn't be walking into the next room
where the phone is or anywhere else ... but, on the other hand, if I don't,
nobody will know that I need help, and if I wait any longer I may not be able to
get up in a moment.
I pulled myself up with the arms of the chair, walked
slowly into the next room and dialed the Paramedics ... I told her I thought I
was having a heart attack due to the pressure building under the sternum and
radiating into my jaws. I didn't feel hysterical or afraid, just stating the
facts. She said she was sending the Paramedics over immediately, asked if the
front door was near to me, and if so, to un-bolt the door and then lie down on
the floor where they could see me when they came in.
I unlocked the
door and then laid down on the floor as instructed and lost consciousness, as I
don't remember the medics coming in, their examination, lifting me onto a gurney
or getting me into their ambulance, or hearing the call they made to St. Jude ER
on the way, but I did briefly awaken when we arrived and saw that the
radiologist was already there in his surgical blues and cap, helping the medics
pull my stretcher out of the ambulance. He was bending over me asking questions
(probably something like 'Have you taken any medications?') but I couldn't make
my mind interpret what he was saying, or form an answer, and nodded off again,
not waking up until the Cardiologist and partner had already threaded the teeny
angiogram balloon up my femoral artery into the aorta and into my heart where
they installed 2 side by side stints to hold open my right coronary artery.
I know it sounds like all my thinking and actions at home must have taken
at least 20-30 minutes before calling the paramedics, but actually it took
perhaps 4-5 minutes before the call, and both the fire station and St. Jude are
only minutes away from my home, and my Cardiologist was already to go to the OR
in his scrubs and get going on restarting my heart (which had stopped somewhere
between my arrival and the procedure) and installing the stints.
have I written all of this to you with so much detail? Because I want all of you
who are so important in my life to know what I learned first hand.
1. Be aware that something very different is
happening in your body, NOT the usual men's symptoms but inexplicable things
happening (until my sternum and jaws got into the act). It is said that many
more women than men die of their first (and last) MI because they didn't know
they were having one and commonly mistake it as indigestion, take some Maalox or
other anti-heartburn preparation and go to bed, hoping they'll feel better in
the morning when they
wake up ... which doesn't happen. My female friends,
your symptoms might not be exactly like mine, so I advise you to call the
Paramedics if ANYTHING is unpleasantly happening that you've not felt before. It
is better to have a 'false alarm' visitation than to risk your life guessing
what it might be!
2. Note that I said 'Call the
Paramedics.' And if you can take an aspirin.
Ladies, TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE!
Do NOT try to drive yourself to the ER - you
are a hazard to others on the road.
Do NOT have your panicked husband who
will be speeding and looking anxiously at what's happening with you instead of
Do NOT call your doctor -- he doesn't know where you live and if
it's at night you won't reach him anyway, and if it's daytime, his assistants
(or answering service) will tell you to call the Paramedics. He doesn't carry
the equipment in his car that you need to be saved! The Paramedics do,
principally OXYGEN that you need ASAP. Your Dr will be notified later.
3. Don't assume it couldn't be a heart attack because you have a normal
cholesterol count. Research has discovered that a cholesterol elevated reading
is rarely the cause of an MI (unless it's unbelievably high and/or accompanied
by high blood pressure). MI's are usually caused by long-term stress and
inflammation in the body, which dumps all sorts of deadly hormones into your
system to sludge things up in there.
Pain in the jaw can wake you
from a sound sleep.
Let's be careful and be
aware. The more we know the better chance we could
A cardiologist says if everyone who gets
this mail sends it to 10 people, you can be sure that we'll
save at least one
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Thursday, December 1, 2011 - 12 Noon
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THANK YOU FOR YOUR REPLY IF WE DON'T HAVE A DIALOGUE WE HAVE VERY LITTLE SHARING OF KNOWLEDGE AND INFORMATION
Thank you so very much for this information. This has made me concerned and I will take this as a blessing.
In Love Sister Denise