Heart attack at 35 !?!

@freedomg (1684)
United States
November 16, 2011 11:05am CST
First while this topic is relevant to both genders I must note that being a woman the discussion may get skewed more towards the female end of things. I'm 35 years old (just turned in Sept.) and I had a mild heart attack less than a month ago. Now I'm what you might call fluffy at 30 lbs over weight; but by no means what one may picture when thinking of the type of person that would have a heart attack at such a young age; or at least what I pictured until now. I eat a fairly healthy diet and get about as much exercise as the average house wife would with cleaning and chasing lil ones around and thought the fact that I had even been losing weight meant I was in pretty good shape. I could not have been more wrong, but it wasn't my physical condition that was responsible it was the amount of mental stress I was taking on and how I was "handling" it. Then one morning when I all I had been up doing was picking out cloths and waking children I found myself taking a knee in the kitchen because I was so tired and dizzy I could not stand. With my 8 year old and 12 year old looking over me I played it off that I must just be coming down with a bug and pulled myself up by my boot straps to get through the day. Within a few minutes of the 8 year old leaving for school I got heart burn which I only get if I'm pregnant or eating my mother in laws cooking (lard ); still must just be a bug. It wasn't until my left arm went dead on me and hurt on the inside and I had a strange burning in the center of my chest that I began to get concerned that I might be in trouble. I called my hubby at work still thinking what ever this was was minor and I'm probably over reacting. WRONG! My way of "dealing" with stress has always been to put on a smile and just keep going no matter what. Mom's don't let their kids see that we are worried that we aren't going to make the bills this month or that we are upset because our friend is being a pill we just keep things happy and comfy for the kids as much as possible. Well this practice combined with a lack of knowledge regarding female heart attack symptoms nearly took my children's mom away from them. So I want to take this second chance I've been given and use it to help others avoid the same situation. First know that stress does kill and learning to deal with it in the right way will not only make you a happier person but it can save your life. Each of us will find a slightly different tool for dealing with stress that will work best for them but for me it has been a combination of meditation, yoga, and random silliness. Combined with a more realistic idea of what one is truly capable of doing. I no longer multitask unless I absolutely can not avoid it and I have began to speak up when a person or situation is stressing me out. Another point I've made is to avoid negative situations/people and when I feel myself beginning to bubble over with stress/anger/depression I step back and calm myself down. These may not work for you but if you are one of the billions of people who deal with stress by just not dealing with it please try and find a method that does help you. If you are lost as to what to try simply start with what makes you feel happy. If you are still lost there is no shame in asking a professional for help. Next know your symptoms because the faster you get help the less damage aw heart attack will do. For women the Mayo clinic states the symptoms as: Neck, shoulder, upper back or abdominal discomfort Shortness of breath Nausea or vomiting Sweating Lightheadedness or dizziness Unusual fatigue And for men they list: Chest discomfort or pain This discomfort or pain can feel like a tight ache, pressure, fullness or squeezing in the center of your chest lasting more than a few minutes. This discomfort may come and go. Upper body pain Pain or discomfort may spread beyond your chest to your shoulders, arms, back, neck, teeth or jaw. You may have upper body pain with no chest discomfort. Stomach pain Pain may extend downward into your abdominal area and may feel like heartburn. Shortness of breath You may pant for breath or try to take in deep breaths. This often occurs before you develop chest discomfort or you may not experience any chest discomfort. Anxiety You may feel a sense of doom or feel as if you're having a panic attack for no apparent reason. Lightheadedness In addition to chest pressure, you may feel dizzy or feel like you might pass out. Sweating You may suddenly break into a sweat with cold, clammy skin. Nausea and vomiting You may feel sick to your stomach or vomit. I'm sure for many of you this is old news but if for even one of you this is helpful I'll be glad I posted it. STAY HAPPY AND HEALTHY MY FRIENDS.
2 people like this
8 responses
@mentalward (14716)
• United States
16 Nov 11
OMG Freedom! PLEASE remember to do the things you're mentioning here to deal with stress. I don't want to hear that you've had another heart attack. One at 35 is simply way too young! If you ever need someone to vent to, I'm always available. Just say the word! I am glad that you've found a channel for your stress, though. Everyone needs that. For me, it's usually gardening. If it's winter when I feel stress building, I'll play with my houseplants, repotting, trimming, rooting, stuff like that. Working in dirt always makes me happy. If the plants have had enough of me ( ) then I'll dive into one of the many crafts I enjoy doing. Actually, I think that baking bread (without a machine) would be an excellent way to get rid of stress while you're pounding on that dough. I'll have to try that sometime. It's been ions since I baked bread, outside of things like pumpkin or banana nut bread since they're more like cake and you don't punch them down. I've also found that writing my feelings down sometimes helps reduce the stress. I think it's a matter of just releasing it in some way so it's not inside fermenting and ready to erupt at any moment. I've known for awhile now about the unusual signs of a female heart attack. I've had problems with palipitations for years now and went to Johns Hopkins Hospital to be tested up one side and down the other and found that my heart is very healthy. I just have this weird palpitation issue that is not hurting me at all. It's just scary sometimes when it seems to go on forever. Have you had your blood pressure checked? A lot of times untreated high blood pressure can cause a heart attack because it causes the heart muscles to harden, making it harder to pump until it simply can't pump anymore. Please stay healthy and do everything you can from this point on to get rid of that stress as soon as you feel it! Don't forget, I'm here if you need to talk to someone.
@freedomg (1684)
• United States
18 Nov 11
You are too sweet! I may just have to take you up on the venting offer and the same goes for you. I will most definitely be taking good care of myself that was one of the scariest things I've been through in my life. So not trying to do that again.
@freedomg (1684)
• United States
18 Nov 11
PS I agree that baking bread is a wonderful way to blow off steam. Here's another one my mom taught me Aggression cookies... Ingredients 6 cups rolled oats 3 cups packed brown sugar 3 cups butter 3 cups all-purpose flour 1 tablespoon baking soda Directions Put ingredients together in a bowl. For each child's bowl, use 1 cup oatmeal, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup butter or margarine, 1/2 cup of flour, and 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda. Then mash, knead, and squeeze with hands until there aren't any lumps of butter. Form into small balls not as big as a walnut. Put on ungreased cookie sheet. Butter the bottom of a small glass and dip in granulated sugar. Flatten each ball of dough, dipping glass in sugar each time. Bake at 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) for 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool on cookie rack. They taste great too!
@sreekutty (1051)
• India
16 Nov 11
A good warning, thank you my friend and I pray for your long life and health. I felt dizzy two weeks back and was told that i had BP, runs in the family, so I will take your advice and stop multi tasking. I am also a housewife and try to do chores as fast as i can till I am nearly run out, well, I will slow down after I have read this.
@freedomg (1684)
• United States
18 Nov 11
Yeah us house wives do tend to develop super woman syndrome but we need to realize it is ok to just be human. I wish you the best in health and life.
@sreekutty (1051)
• India
19 Nov 11
thank you dear and the same to you
1 person likes this
@Rosa26 (2620)
• United States
16 Nov 11
Thanks for share with us your experience it have been a very significant story that I will never forget,so I will folllow your advises and take it easy because I am near you age and don't like to worry the people with my problems so I stay quite in silence with all my strees inside me and that is dangerous. Stress itself might be a risk factor, or it could be that high levels of stress make other risk factors (such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure) worse. For example, if you are under stress, your blood pressure goes up, you may overeat, you may exercise less, and you may be more likely to smoke.
2 people like this
@freedomg (1684)
• United States
18 Nov 11
I am glad it got your attention and I hope that it helps you to stay in good health. If you feel like you are just "bothering people" by talking about your stress feel free to vent to me; it would be no bother to me and I would feel better knowing that you are healthier for not holding it in. Us women need to look out for each other.
@devi53 (348)
• India
16 Nov 11
hello friend, thank you for your writeup this is helpful for many mylot friends. in my opinion we won't get worried for anything,what are coming in our life is purely god's wish . the god will look after us in our sufferings.if we think like this he will guide us.
2 people like this
@freedomg (1684)
• United States
18 Nov 11
That is a great way of looking at things and could go along way towards taking some of the pressure off. I'm a little bit of a control freak but this is something I am working on. Hopefully some day in the near future I can join you in this way of thinking.
• Philippines
16 Nov 11
Hello freedomg! Thank you for sharing with us your experience. It is an eye opener for me and for everybody. I have personally been dealing with a lot of stress lately so I guess I am lucky not to experience the same thing that you have experienced. Or perhaps I should say "not yet". Good thing I read your discussion. It makes me stop for a while to re-evaluate my priorities. Sometimes I am stressed over unnecessary things. Now I am kind of curious, where you sent to a hospital? And are you taking in medicines? Once again, thank you for sharing and I will keep in mind to stay happy and healthy all the time :)
1 person likes this
@freedomg (1684)
• United States
18 Nov 11
I went in through the emergency room but because I said I thought I was having a heart attack and was able to state "chest pain" I went straight back to the cardiac observation unit. As for meds I'm on an aspirin a day and Valium twice a day. My doctor is much like me in the belief that life style changes can do much more for us than shoving pills at something with out addressing the cause. She is the one who ordered me to meditate 3 times a day and take up yoga. Don't stress the petty stuff my friend and you will be a happier and healthier person.
• Philippines
20 Nov 11
Oh, I love to try yoga and meditation too! I try to stay healthy by eating at least one fruit a day. That is just a start of my 'get healthy' plan. Then I also plan on writing a diary again. Writing used to soothe me. Whenever I feel mad, I would just write and write and then the weight on my chest disappears. I might just do that again :)
1 person likes this
@freedomg (1684)
• United States
21 Nov 11
For me I draw or paint and I can usually trap bad emotions in the work but kids do not give me the time usually. If you take up yoga go into with a sense of humor because NOBODY I know starts off looking anywhere near graceful. With the right attitude though this can be a great thing to relieve stress laughing at your self. I wish you the best of luck.
@Hatley (159641)
• Garden Grove, California
16 Nov 11
hi yes I learned too that s tress is a killer and e ven causes myblood sugar to go up even though I ate properly.stress can makes diabetes worse, can cause heart attacks and so on. I h ave a method taught me by my nurse, diabetes educator. I picture a large stress p proof bubble that envelopes me and keeps all stress out.You can stop stresses and not let it bug you. with me I envision this big bubble thats so strong it will keep out all stress all day and night. no one can see my bubble but its there keeping me calm and serene.
@freedomg (1684)
• United States
18 Nov 11
I so love that idea! Thank you for sharing
@sreekutty (1051)
• India
19 Nov 11
that's a nice idea idea hatley
1 person likes this
@MsTickle (25014)
• Australia
24 Nov 11
Goodness, I'm so glad you are over that horror. It must have been scary and horrid for you. I've heard of those symptoms but you have expressed it in a way that I have actually taken on board. I am having some symptoms ...extremely tired, lots of heartburn, catching my breath and my heart races. I'm very much over weight and I eat too much and don't exercise enough. I am trying to improve and I'm eating less and exercising more but I know I can do better. I lack consistency. I do suffer from anxiety and depression but my stress levels are pretty well non existent - thank goodness. Thank you so much for this great info.
1 person likes this
@freedomg (1684)
• United States
14 Dec 11
Don't beat your self up on where you fall short of your own expectations, we are all a work in progress and you need to appreciate the steps you have taken and set reasonable goals for yourself. I would suggest that you let your doctor know that you have these issues, they call it the silent killer for a reason and keeping silent only gives it the upper hand. I would be very sad to see you go through this ordeal or worst to lose you to it. You are one well worth keeping around.
@ebuscat (5949)
• Philippines
17 Nov 11
For me I'm not amaze on that case because in this time many at the younger age became that way they are eating to destroy there heart like always very sweet food,fatty foods,very salty foods.
1 person likes this
@freedomg (1684)
• United States
18 Nov 11
This is true when I took a closer look at my diet I found just how much junk we (especially in America)call "food". I still miss some things but remind myself of what is really in them and it's amazing how fast reading an ingredients list can ruin your appetite.