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About Female Heart Attacks - One of the best descriptions I have seen!

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  • Dave McKeen
    Just got this from a friend... it s a real eye opener. FEMALE HEART ATTACKS Women and heart attacks (Myocardial Infarction). I was aware that female heart
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 4, 2007
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      Just got this from a friend... it's a real eye opener.

      FEMALE HEART ATTACKS

      Women and heart attacks (Myocardial Infarction).



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

      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 and 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 completely unexpected heart attack at about 10:30 PM with NO prior
      exertion. NO prior emotional trauma that one would suspect might have
      brought it on. I was sitting all snugly and 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
      oesophagus 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 that had 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 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 moment.'

      I pulled myself up with the arms of the chair, walked slowly into the next
      room and dialled 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 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 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 stents.

      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 explicable 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.' Ladies, TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE!
      Do NOT call a friend... do NOT call a relative!

      Do NOT try to drive yourself to the ER--you're a hazard to others on the
      road, 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 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 is what 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 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 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 You care
      about**

      As someone who has seven stents received during three procedures, I
      can add to this tale that the symptoms can change with every
      episode. Due to other medical complications, my heart problems are
      expected to happen more frequently than others even with excellent
      care and I'm now at two years without a problem which in a
      "healthier"person would be the equivalent of twenty years. Best
      advise, if you don't feel well, find out why. Dave.


      Stormrider Walking Spirit Paths

      The truth as I see it,
      Is right but only for me
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