Friday, January 25, 2008

Heart attacks in women

January 24, 2008 - Thursday

Female heart attacks--was in a large post on my email Current mood: frustrated
This was passed to me by some dear friends. I thought I'd share with everyone who reads my blogs. I'm not doctor. How accurate this is, I'm not sure, but I have heard that these are some of the symptoms. Oh and please forgive the formatting. This article transferred in a non-paragraph format and some of the words were stuck together. I don't remember them being that way in the original. Oh well. the sentement here is the most important.

Subject: Female Heart Attacks !!!Please read this; it could save your or someone else's life!!She said she didn't feel well and had a back ache and was going to lay downon the bed with the heating pad. A while later her husband went to check onher and she was not breathing. They were not able to revive her. This issomething we women should definitely take seriously. Please pass this on tothose you love.I was aware that female heart attacks are different, but this is the bestdescription I've ever read ..........Women and heart attacks (Myocardialinfarction). Did you know that women rarely have the same dramatic symptomsthat men have when experiencing heart know, the sudden stabbingpain in the chest, the cold sweat, grabbing the chest &dropping to the floorthat we see in the movies. Here is the story of one woman's experience witha heart attack."I had a completely unexpected heart attack at about 10:30 pm with NO priorexertion, NO prior emotional trauma that one would suspect might've broughtit on.

I was sitting all snugly &warm on a cold evening, with my purringcat in my lap, reading an interesting story my friend had sent me, andactually 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 awfulsensation of indigestion, when you've been in a hurry and grabbed a bite ofsandwich and washed it down with a dash of water, and that hurried biteseems to feel like you've swallowed a golf ball going down the esophagus inslow motion and it is most uncomfortable. You realize you shouldn't havegulped it down so fast and needed to chew it more thoroughly and this timedrink a glass of water to hasten its progress down to the stomach. This wasmy initial sensation---the only trouble was that I hadn't taken a bite ofanything since about 5:00 p.m. "After that had seemed to subside, the nextsensation was like little squeezing motions that seemed to be racing up mySPINE (hind-sight, it was probably my aorta spasming), gaining speed as theycontinued racing up and under my sternum (breast bone, where one pressesrhythmically when adminstering CPR). This fascinating process continued oninto my throat and branched out into both jaws.

"AHA!! NOW I stoppedpuzzling 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?

Isaid aloud to myself and the cat, "Dear God, I think I'm having a heartattack !" I lowered the foot rest, dumping the cat from my lap, started totake a step and fell on the floor instead. I thought to myself "If this isa heart attack, I shouldn't be walking into the next room where the phone isor anywhere else......but, on the other hand, if I don't, nobody will knowthat I need help, and if I wait any longer I may not be able to get up inmoment."

I pulled myself up with the arms of the chair, walked slowly intothe next room and dialed the Paramedics... I told her I thought I was havinga heart attack due to the pressure building under the sternum and radiatinginto 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 frontdoor was near to me, and if so, to unbolt the door and then lie down on thefloor where they could see me when they came in. I then laid down on thefloor as instructed and lost consciousness, as I don't remember the medicscoming in, their examination, lifting me onto a gurney or getting me intotheir 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 wasalready 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'tmake my mind interpret what he was saying, or form an answer, and nodded offagain, not waking up until the Cardiologist and partner had already threadedthe teeny angiogram balloon up my femoral artery into the aorta and into myheart where they installed 2 side by side stents to hold open my rightcoronary 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, butactually 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 Cardiologistwas already to go to the OR in his scrubs and get going on restarting myheart (which had stopped somewhere between my arrival and the procedure) and installing the stents.

Why have I written all of this to you with so muchdetail? Because I want all of you who are so important in my life to knowwhat 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 sternumand jaws got into the act ).

It is said that many more women than men dieof their first (and last) MI because they didn't know they were having one,and commonly mistake it as indigestion, take some Maalox or otheranti-heartburn preparation, and go to bed, hoping they'll feel better in themorning when they wake up....which doesn't happen.

My female friends, yoursymptoms might not be exactly like mine, so I advise you to call theParamedics if ANYTHING is unpleasantly happening that you've not feltbefore. 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".

Ladies, TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE! Do NOT try to drive yourself to the ER--you're a hazard to others on theroad, and so is your panicked husband who will be speeding and looking anxiously at what's happening with you instead of the road. Do NOT callyour doctor--he doesn't know where you live and if it's at night you won'treach 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 hiscar that you need to be saved! The Paramedics do, principally OXYGEN thatyou need ASAP. Your Dr. will be notified later.3. Don't assume it couldn't be a heart attack because you have a normalcholesterol count. Research has discovered that a cholesterol elevatedreading is rarely the cause of an MI (unless it's unbelievably high,and/oraccompanied by high blood pressure.) MI's are usually caused by long-termstress and inflammation in the body, which dumps all sorts of deadlyhormones into your system to sludge things up in there. Pain in the jaw canwake you from a sound sleep.

Let's be careful and be aware. The more weknow, 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 truefriend and send this article to all your friends you care about**

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