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Re: [momspcvsn] Fwd: Heart attacks in Women/Please Read

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  • Michele Coady
    thank you!
    Message 1 of 2 , Mar 20, 2007
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      thank you!

      On 3/18/07, Jacqueline Guyer <jacqueline.guyer@...> wrote:




      If this kind of thing freaks you out, read this anyway...it is very
      IMPORTANT.
      This woman does a great job of describing what was felt during her
      heart attack.

      THE TIME TO READ

           I've meant to send this to my women friends to warn them that
      it's
      true that women rarely have the same dramatic symptoms that men have
      when
      experiencing a 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.

             Having had a completely unexpected heart attack about 10:30
      p.m.
      with NO prior exertion, NO prior emotional trauma that one would
      suspect
      might've brought it on, it was this past April,'06, about 1-1/2 hours
      after
      I'd spent a pleasant 2 hrs. rehearsing with the Note-a-Belles.

            I was sitting all snuggly & 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 wa ter to hasten its progress down to the stomach,
      which
      doesn't do much good, as your esophagus and throat muscles are in spasm
      and
      it hurts to swallow.

             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
      a
      heart attack 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 guess when one reaches
      them,
      your address automatically flashes on a screen, as the operator
      verified my
      address immediately and asked my symptoms.


             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, ma'm. 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.  No, I didn't take an aspirin, as
      I'm
      allergic to it, but I did take a 100 mg magnesium oxide
      capsule...which
      bottle I keep handily in reach on the kitchen
      counter...which is a small detour on my way to the front door...with
      about
      a 3/4 glass of water to get it dissolving ASAP into my bloodstream.


             Magnesium relaxes blood vessels as it dissolves to get them
      expanded
      to let blood get through the constriction of the vessels. 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 two side-by-side stents to hold open my right coronary artery
      and
      now was being taken into the CCU, and looking up at the three anxious
      faces
      of Karen, Mark, and Wendy. Since I'd been a patient at St. Jude in 2002
      for
      my TIA treatment, they had my emergency info in their system and had
      called
      my kids. I spent two days in CCU and two in general ward, then was
      discharged.


             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
      firsthand, as a Certified Medical Back-Office Assistant in Internal
      Medicine Clinics, and as one who has lived through a heart attack due
      to:

      1. Being aware that  something very different was happening in my 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!) heart attack 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 try to drive yourself to the ER. You're a hazard to others on
      the
      road, and so is your panicked husband/friend who will be speeding and
      looking anxiously at what's happening with you instead of the road, and
      so
      are your kids or friends a hazard as well. As sure as I sit here, they
      will
      get the attention of a cop who will pull you over for speeding--more
      wasted
      time.
             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 -- I did, and do, too. Research has discovered that
      a
      cholesterol elevated  reading is rarely the cause of an heart attack
      (unless it's unbelievably high, and/or accompanied by high blood
      pressure.)
      heart attack'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 (and, of course, family genetics can be a
      factor.
      I qualify for the latter, and the years 2005 and 2006 have been the
      most
      stressful of my life since Jack died in 1981.)

      4. Read on for the e-mail I received today that prompted my above
      lecture
      to you:

      SUBJECT:  Drinking ice water at mealtime (which I've always done until
      now.)
      Noting neither Urban Legions nor Snopes has a anything to say about
      this
      one, it must be true.  Interesting, if you've read it before, re-read
      it.
      It may save your life.  Send it to your friends and family.  It may
      save
      their lives....

      This is a very good article. Not only about the warm water after your
      meal, but about ladies and their heart attacks.  This makes
      sense...the
      Chinese and Japanese drink hot tea with their meals...not cold
      water...maybe it is time we adopt their drinking habit while eating!!!
      Nothing to lose--everything to gain...

      For those who like to drink cold water, this article is applicable to
      you.
      It is nice to have a cup of cold drink after a meal. However, the cold
      water will solidify the oily stuff that you have just consumed. It
      will
      slow down the digestion.  Once this "sludge" reacts with the stomach's
      hydrochloric acid, it will break down and be absorbed by the intestine
      faster than the solid food. It will line the intestine.  Very soon,
      this
      will turn into fats and lead to cancer. It is best to drink hot soup
      or
      warm water after a meal. (Make it green tea--a great antioxidant!)

      A serious note about heart attacks: Women should know that not every
      heart
      attack symptom is going to be the left arm hurting.  Be aware of
      intense
      pain in the jaw line, or even pressure there and under sternum, or
      "indigestion" symptoms, especially if you haven't eaten in several
      hours.
      You may never have the first chest pain during the course of a heart
      attack, but heaviness /pressure under the sternum is common.

      Nausea and intense sweating are also common symptoms, but not
      necessarily
      in the women.  60% of people who have heart attacks while they are
      asleep
      do not wake up.

      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 email and sends it to
      ten
      people, you can be sure that we'll save at least one life.

      **Please be a true friend, and send this article to all the friends
      you
      care about.**

       



       


      --
      Jacque


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