May 17, 2007 8:35pm CST
To start off I am a 37 year old woman and last Thursday (May 10th) I had a heart attack. I wanted to start this discussion because there are many people out there that ignore signs and symptoms for one reason or another. I was no exception! I was working with a metal bar Thursday at around 5:00 pm, it was fairly heavy because it had to be long for the job it needed to do. I was at work, working road construction I was putting in 15+ hour days, I had just gotten this bar while I was stopped to have a tire changed and I decided to try the bar out to see how well it worked (I was a little bored. LOL) Anyway, after using this bar for a minute or two and my tire was changed I hoped back into my tractor and headed out again. Not 2 minutes later I had my heart attack. I got a sharp, stabbing pain in my chest and it ran across my left shoulder and down my arm to my elbow. Now being the person I am I ignored it figuring it was a pulled muscle from the bar. I should also mention that I was having a very hard time keeping my eyes open that day and the day before but again brushed it off as the fact that I was not used to putting in the long hours. We had just started back to work after having the winter off. Anyway, I ignored the pain until supper time at 6:00pm when I was so nauseated that I could no lnoger ignore it. I then asked the foreman if I could go back to my room and not complete the evenings work. I guess I was so pale that he graciously drove me back to the room where I was staying. From there I decided to relax for a bit but the pain was not subsiding so I chose to have a warm bath hoping that would help my "pulled muscle" It didn't! I then threw up, which would have normally helped my stomache however it didn't this time. So I again relaxed more on the bed and was talking to a friend on the net and she suggested I go to the hospital if I could find someone to bring me, I was in another town and didn't even know where the hospital was! Anyway, the person who managed the place I was staying at was an aquaintance of mine and so I thought I would see if she was around. Luckily she was and I guess she thought I looked like death and "flew" me to the hospital. I went in for my arm and started to tell them that my chest was also sore so when they looked at my arm and saw it wasn't swollen or anything, which I thought it was, they decided to hook me up to a heart monitor. It wasn't long before my room was full of people running back and forth taking blood and doing ekg's etc...and I never left. The first thing the doctor said was "I don't want to scare you but..." Well I don't know about you but when he said that I got scared! He said that he was faxing the tests to a specialist to confirm the diagnosis (heart attack) Of course the specialist said YUP definitely heart attack. I stayed in the hospital there with them taking vitals every 15 minutes for a few hours then gratually went to every 4 hours. I didn't get much sleep that night. Although the nurses said I was the happiest patient they have ever had. I didn't have the heart to tell them I get "giddy" when I am tired. Monday I went to see the specialist and he did another test on me and shipped me to another hospital (closer to home) I stayed there for a couple days and now I am back home. With a whole lot of warnings, I never knew that you can give yourself a heart attack just by having a bowel movement but now I can. As well as other trivial things that most people take for granted. I am brused from head to toe, literally, from all the bloodwork they did on me. I can barely walk up and down my stairs in the house now amoung other things that get me winded now which is all signs that I am overexerting my heart. I don't know if I will get back to work this year or not and if I do how much I will be able to do. It is scary! The fact that I am so young for these issues is even worse. This can happen to anybody which is why I started this discussion so that those of you out there that ignore the aches and pains in your chest, putting it off as something trivial you are better off getting it checked to be sure! Mine could have been worse but it may have been a whole lot better if I had of NOT ignored the signs. I hope somebody benefits from this. Remember as well that not all symptoms are the same for each person and woman have more vague pain than men, apparently. Have a great day!
• United States
18 May 07
Oh !! Sorry to hear this.I hope you are feeling better now.I understand and I know much about heart attack pain or its symptoms since my mother herself is a heart patient.She recently had a open heart surgery and she is not still properly recovered.Well the Heart attack pain is really terrible.But some peoples doesn't understand it.They thinks that it is only a muscular pain and they keep on taking pain killers which makes it more worst because you are not suppose to take any pain killer if you have a heart attack.I do not know if you have high blood pressure or something that made you heart patient,but my mother has.Every patient has unique signs of heart attack,Even some feels indigestion,Some feel nausea,Some have pain in their left hand,some cannot breathe properly.I didn't see my mother when she had a heart attack because he is very far away from me,but my siblings were telling me she was crying badly cause of pain.Then doctor told her that her 3 arteries are shrink and she need immediate surgery.So,Thanks God her surgery went successful,but her whole body is like slitted.They took out veins from both legs and whole chest is stitched,She is still under recovery but she doesn't take much rest due to which she still got high blood pressure.I suggest you to take proper care of yourself now and be alert if any of those signs come back do not work too hard.Stay healthy.
18 May 07
Thanks for that input, you're right most people will assume it is something else and make things worse. I can honestly say I am one of those people, although I didn't take pain medication I did take my asthma medication which increases heart rate. The strange thing is that the doctors can't or won't tell me what caused it so I don't even know what all to change, so I am changing everything to be sure! LOL I am still in recovery although out of the hospital. My blood pressure was elevated slightly but not enough for a heart attack. When they did the angiogram on me to see what damage was done they said I was very lucky because there was no damage to the one side and the other only had a little blockage on the end of one artery. My biggest problem now is trying to take things slow and easy because I was always an active person. I pray your mother has a full recovery.
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