Friday, February 7, 2014
"National Wear Red Day" For Women's Awareness about Heart Disease!
My story is told by the very first of the posters below. I AM A SURVIVOR! Of NOT only ONE heart attack but I am fortunate enough to have SURVIVED TWO!!!! My first one at 40 years old and my 2nd on at 50! I HAVE NO PLANS of "repeating" that process again! PLEASE be aware that all too often the "signs" and "warning symptoms" of an MI for women are so much different than men. I know that is true. My "1st" one, the "warning" I had was my ankles swelling about 2 months before the actual heart attack. I gave it not much thought. I had made a mental note to talk to my doctor next time I went in. Then on January 9th, 2001... after 3 days of a mild "chest discomfort".... I gave my doctor a call... (after a dear friend in Malta threatened to call the ambulance all the way from Malta to Ennis TX to come get me, if I did not do something- and Thank God she said that and Thank God I listened)... I did call... thinking a diagnosis of "bronchitis" or could be a start of pneumonia... so when I spoke to the nurse... she told me to hold a moment... she came back and told me, I needed to stop whatever I was doing, and get to the nearest ER pronto! Well, I still was kind of like "yeah whatever"... here we go to the ER, for a bill I can't pay, and some antibiotics he could have called in.... so, I was ALONE... I got in my car, and drove with the flashers on... 25 miles to the "nearest ER".... and I got out of the car very calmly, walked in and said my doctor sent me because I was having some chest pains... they took one look at me... and rushed me through the doors, into a room... hurriedly getting me into a hospital gown, and quickly getting an IV started, doing a EKG, blood work, chest X-ray... and it was not long until the doctor walked in to tell me I had already had a heart attack, or were in the middle of one... and the blood work indicated I may have massive heart muscle damage. By then they had already given me that 2,500.00 injection to "stop" the heart attack... from causing more heart muscle damage.... talk about in shock.... I was in shock... I was taken the next day after I was stabilized to Baylor in Dallas... where they did all kinds of tests, the nuclear one, an angiogram, where I got to see one of my issues... a rare occurence... the artery coming into my heart was in a spasm... thus part of my issues was that. But, fortunately, I DID NOT have a great deal of damage... some but nothing like they expected. I had gotten to the ER just in time... another 30 minutes and things may have been much different... but I got the medication in time to stop the muscle damage, thus that is why my blood work showed such a very high rate of enzyme levels... not due to the damage, but due to the medication stopping the damage at just the right time!!!! 7 days later, I went home, no stents... with just medication for then.. and up until right at my 50th birthday... I was lucky enough not to have much issues with my heart... although as we have found out since then... I have RA, Lupus, Sjôgren's, along with some other autoimmune issues, that may have contributed to me having a heart attack at 40! I was "fit", walked 5 miles a day everyday or more, watched every bite of food that went into my mouth, was a a perfect weight... and was "doing" everything right... but don't let that fool you either... doing it all "right" still may not "stop" it from happening to you.... so, please DO NOT feel stupid... if YOU FEEL something is "off", or "odd"... you know your body better than anyone... and YOU have some "remote" feeling it maybe your heart... don't wait 3 days like I did! GO THEN to your NEAREST ER!!!! It CAN SAVE YOUR LIFE!!!! By the way, TAKE AN ASPIRIN... do that first, then go... don't stall, just go!!!!