Heart attacks in Women

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by Zookeeper9000, Aug 29, 2008.

  1. Zookeeper9000

    Zookeeper9000 Songster

    Mar 1, 2008
    Gladstone MI
    I received this from one of my sisters today and felt that it should be shared sure hope it can help someone and if you want to copy and paste it to a email and forward it to family and friends it couldn't hurt and it just might save someone.

    I usually do not send these types of things, but some of these things I didn't know and I'm glad now that I do.

    It's good to be aware

    Because you are all important to me. Please read this!



    I am an ER nurse and this is the best description of this event that I have ever
    Please read, pay attention, and send it on!
    Diane K. in AZ


    I was aware that female heart attacks are different,
    but this is the best description I've ever read.

    Women and 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 10 :30 PM with NO prior exertion,
    NO prior emotional trauma that one would suspect might've 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 with 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 about 5:00 p.m.

    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 spasming), gaining speed
    as they continued racing up and under my sternum (breast bone,
    where one presses rhythmically when administering CPR).

    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 an MI
    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 footrest 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 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 unbolt 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 Cardiologist 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 stents to hold
    open my right coronary artery.

    'I know it sounds like all my thinking and actions a t 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

    'Why 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 as 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 the road.
    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).. MIs 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 survive.

    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 life.

    **Please be a true friend and send this article to all
    your friends (male & female) you care about
  2. AK-Bird-brain

    AK-Bird-brain I gots Duckies!

    May 7, 2007
    Sterling, Alaska
    Thanks for posting this. I teach First aid / CPR courses and a lot of people don't realize that women suffer different symptoms than men.
  3. LuckysMom

    LuckysMom Songster

    Jun 14, 2007
    South Carolina
    Thank you for taking the time to share this. We all need the reminder that women's heart attacks can be different than men's
  4. That was a very detailed description. Thank you for posting it. i will definitely forward it to all my female friends and relatives!
  5. cockadoodlemom

    cockadoodlemom Songster

    Feb 25, 2007
    Thanks for sharing that! I am a high risk and never heard those symptoms before. Thanks Again
  6. Zookeeper9000

    Zookeeper9000 Songster

    Mar 1, 2008
    Gladstone MI
    You are all most welcome. I just figured if it only helps one person then it did what it was suppose to do. And if everyone passes it on then how great is that.
  7. BettyR

    BettyR Songster

    Mar 1, 2008
    Texas Gulf Coast
    Thank you for posting this....I'm going to copy it and send it to all the women in my family.
  8. Missouri chick

    Missouri chick Songster

    May 15, 2008
    Homer, GA
    Thank you SO much for posting this. [​IMG]

    Ladies, you can have a heart attack at ANY age. People in their 20's, even though it's not as common, have died from heart attacks.
  9. sianara

    sianara Songster

    Apr 27, 2007
    Central MA
    My friend (who was 46 at the time) had a heart attack 3 years ago. She had all those symptoms PLUS she said her elbows ached. Just wanted to add that symptom to the list as well.
  10. LilRalphieRoosmama

    LilRalphieRoosmama Officially Quacked

    Oct 15, 2007
    Elyria, OH
    Thank you for posting this! My dad had a mild heart attack last week and just passed out so we didn't know what was wrong. He fell and was banged up pretty bad. He is diabetic and diabetics - men and women - have different symptons than non-diabetics too. He just said he wasn't feeling well.

    Found out his left femoral artery was 99% blocked but after stent, he is just fine. The doctors said if mom hadn't called 911 when she did, he wouldn't be here with us today.

    If you are diabetic, please research the symptoms because they will also be different!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: