Sharing an email about an RN who had a heart attack...women't symptoms are different

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by DDD, Feb 13, 2012.

  1. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    This came from a first hand experience and I'll cut it short as I can...but...every woman should know how differently heart attacks hit women. Women's heart attacks (Myocardial infarction) rarely have dramatic symptoms like stabbing pain in the chest, cold sweats, grabbing chest, collapsing. The RN had no prior exertion, no emotional trauma. She was curled up with her cat reading a book. Suddenly she felt as tho she had eaten too much or too fast and had indigestion. She had no eaten for hours. It subsided. Then she felt little squeezing sensations that raced up her spine and then hastened to her continued up to her throat and jaws. Then she went AHA and realized she was having a heart attack.

    She didn't have a phone in the room and, although afraid to walk, she slowly got up and managed to call the Paramedics who asked her to unlock the door and then lie down on the floor. She has no memories of what happened next but she luckily lived close to a major hospital, a cariologist was on duty and she had surgery almost immediately.

    She suggests:
    1. Pay attention to anything very different that happens and don't assume you can sleep it off.
    2. Call Paramedics...don't drive yourself or have your husband drive you and don't call your Dr.
    3. Don't discount heart attack because you know your cholesterol count is normal. Elevated cholesterol rarely causes an MI. MI's statistically MI's are caused by long term stress or body inflamation.

    Since most of us live with stress daily I thought it wise to share. If an experienced RN didn't know what was going on...we might not either. Female heart attacks are different. DDD
  2. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    DDD, I only have one thing to add... A lot of people think, "oh, I'm too young."

    A VERY close friend had 2 heart attacks last summer at age 31.
  3. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Geez...that is young. I've had two friends who passed away in their 40's because they didn't recognize the symptoms. Just two months ago I had strange symptoms and it triggered my concern enough to get fully evaluated. The weird nature of female MI's is scarey. DDD
  4. ctmom05

    ctmom05 Member

    I had a heart attack in 2004. I didn't recognize the symptoms as such, but something deep inside compelled me to seek medical attention. Whether the symptoms of females and those of males are the same or different ~ there is a lot of variability from one person's heart attack to another's. My advice would be "don't second guess" .. .. .. ever. If you do, it might be your final decision.
  5. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    And even if it isn't a heart attack, it could be something else very serious. I had similar symptoms and I did call 911. My pulse was 180 and my blood pressure was erratic, even the paramedics thought it was a heart attack but it turned out to be a pulmonary embolism -- also very scary.

    Call 911 -- they'd rather come out and have it be a false alarm than not be called when needed.
  6. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    I was 33 and thought I had heartburn for 4 days.
  7. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Do you guys realize on such a short thread how many people have had this issue or been effected by it?
    That's scarey! DDD
  8. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I'm an oddball, I had many of the classic symptoms. Which actually, is sort of what threw me........I knew the thing about women.

    But I also knew in my gut that there was something really wrong, that wrongness was profound. by the way don't wait for the "wrongness" feeling either. husband didn't get it until his 3rd day......and many folks, male and female alike never get a feeling like that.

    I was very very lucky. Mild heart attack with no significant damage done.

    My symptoms were crushing chest pain that came and went, pain up the side of the neck tracing the path of the caratoid artery up into the jaw, a searing piercing pain through my armpit that felt like someone was shoving a red hot metal lance through it, and pain down the left arm.

    husband just had the chest pain, and burping. LOTS of burping. BUT.........and now I feel like a complete :censored2:, the burping was caused by the body trying to get rid of CO2 that was building up in his system from heart failure. But unfortunately those are also the symptoms of severe GERD and esophogeal stricture which husband had suffered from for more than 20 yrs. So those of you with GERD, slightest doubt, go get checked out. No one will be upset you did so, in fact, they'll be thrilled you came in to get checked.

    easy child still comments on husband's triponin levels (what they're looking for when they do blood work to see if you're having a heart attack). She works the cardiac ICU at a major hospital, has had YEARS of experience, and had never heard of a triponin level of 400 before. Even the cardiologist had never seen such a thing. Let's put it this way, 40 is severe....

    My mom only had pain in her left arm and jaw. Sis had one huge crushing pain and was down for the count. She was lucky she was riding with my step mom caught in traffic behind a major accident on the freeway.......step mom didn't know what to do when she couldn't find a pulse and went running for the medics. Luckily for sis there was an extra medic unit on scene.

    I think the fact that so many have been affected by it at such younger ages is alarming myself.
  9. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    I had lots and lots of burping, too, which just reinforced the heartburn idea. My pain was in my shoulders, neck and jaw until the 4th day. Then it was my upper back and a thin line (felt like nerve pain) down my left arm. I had to be talked into going to the ER.

    During that 4 day period , I went out to eat, went shopping and on the day I went to the ER, I took difficult child to a doctor appointment 30 minutes away.

    I kind of had a "warning" feeling, but I had had a "warning" feeling for a couple of years by then - I knew something was really wrong, but was dismissed by doctors - so I ignored it. I was second guessing myself by then. I learned my lesson.
  10. amazeofgrace

    amazeofgrace New Member

    oh gosh, it's heart month, I am 100 lbs over weight and have been beating myself up about it lately not to mention heart disease and stroke run in my family. I have no excuse other than eating peanut butter m & m's and drinking coke don't inhibit my driving skills.

    On a serious note I always worry the stress from difficult child's will cause a heart attack. Last year when I started getting in shape again and refused to take it slow cause I thought I was still 20, I blew out my lungs and found out after a gazillion tests later that I now have asthma...
  11. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Thanks, DDD. I know that women's heart attacks are diff than men's, and the indigestion type symptoms are prevalent. Interesting about the squeezing sensation in the spine that moved to the chest.

    I agree with-this, too, and also, in how it relates to Alzheimer's: inflammation.