Go Red For Women!!!
|Go Red For Women|
Please support this critically important disease. As a woman "survivor" of not just one heart attack at 40 years old, but a 2ns one at 50 years old, I have first hand knowledge about just how differently MI's and their symptoms maybe for women.
I had NO crushing chest pain, or pain running down my left arm. I was actually a healthy eater, an avid exerciser, walked daily 5 miles plus, did not consume much alcohol, and I was at a "normal" almost a bit too underweight at the time.
My symptoms were very little. My ankles and feet began to start swelling on me, especially if I sat down at my computer for a bit. I thought not much about it, but I did notice that they continued to do that throughout the weeks before. Other than that, I had been having some "chest discomfort" for about 3 days off and on. I mean something like well, indigestion, and not really even that bad. Yet, no jaw pain, no arms pain, no other "real" symptoms that would have clued me in for what would happen on January 8th, 2001.
As I said, I had been having this "pain" off and on, and thought maybe I had a case of bronchitis. So, I rang my physician to tell him a bit, including the strange thing about swollen ankles and so forth. I had been on the phone with his receptionist explaining what had been happening, and she had me hold just a moment. I thought oh boy, they want me to come in. Nevertheless, she came back quickly, and said your doctor wants to you to get to the nearest ER now, and if you are having breathing issues, etc. call 911! Lord, I still thought this sure is a lot of trouble for a bit of pain in my chest. In fact I had almost decided NOT TO GO at ALL! If it were not for a dear friend of mine who lives in Malta.... "screaming" at me online telling me IF I did NOT go, she was going to find an ambulance to pick me up.
So, I agree. I throw some clothes on. I was totally alone (another story for another time)... and no one to drive me 20 PLUS miles to the nearest hospital. And I was out in the country enough, by the time someone came to get me, I could just drive myself. So, I grabbed my purse, keys, and cell phone, got in the car, & started to the ER, which was about 20 miles away. At one time I thought to myself "MMM.. maybe I should turn on the flashers" on. Needless to say, I began to be a bit frightened when the thought crossed my mind "What if I pass out?" Just when you need one, not one police officer in sight! So, I went through the "back way" of the town the hospital was in, and missed red lights and traffic as best I could.
I pulled up, parked, got and out and walked myself in, and calmly told the receptionist my doctor asked me to come straight to the ER, he thought I might be having a heart attack. Well, all heck broke loose! I guess my doctor may have called ahead, because they were escorting me back very quickly, right to a room, and right with IV's, EKG, Oxygen and the entire ordeal before I was even able to say much of anything. I realized when one of the doctors that I happened to know (I was a Patient REP at that hospital before this happened), when he came in after about 10 minutes or so to speak with me, he basically told me that if I had NOT gotten up, and drove myself there, the situation would not be nearly as great (even though it was not great at that moment) if I had waited even another 45 minutes. I was having a "massive" MI, from what all of the labs were telling them. There was already "clot busting" meds going into the IV, they actually even gave me an aspirin, and all kinds of things were beeping and going on around me. He told me that when I was "stable" enough, hopefully the next day, they would move me from the ICU unit their to Dallas at Baylor. Well, of course I was totally terrified!!! At the time I had NO ONE there!
My parents lived in the next town up towards Dallas, but by the time someone called them, and they drove about 25 - 30 miles there, it took a bit. They gave me meds, pain meds, and IV's , etc... all night long, with the telemetry on watching me. So, the next morning, I took that HORRIBLE ambulance ride to Dallas! NEVER if you can AVOID it HAVE TO RIDE in an AMBULANCE!
From there I spent about 7 days, lots of labs, cardiac tests, they did an angiogram, and the old fateful "treadmill" test... of course they could not put me on the walker, and just gave me medication to up my heart rate instead.
I was totally fortunate through out it all. When ALL of the tests, work ups, labs, plus the other 100 things they did were finished, it was then known the YES the heart attack was SEVeR, BUT due to ME getting at the ER when I did, the clot busting meds, STOPPED most of the damage to the heart muscle. :):):) I did not have to have a stent at the time, had some issues with the artery above my heart going into spasms, gave me meds, sent me home, and told me to walk, eat right and call the doctor if anything else came up. :):) Talk about a miracle! This is THE time, I honestly DID see myself.... as I was laying in the ER on the gurney, when my first doctor came in, I was "watching" myself from above... It was the oddest, surreal, but most amazing feeling I ever had.
IT maybe not that was for some, and some say they see the white lights and so forth... I just knew either my own mind kind of "detached" for a few moments, and then I could kind of look down objectively upon the situation.
So, I could go on BUT I stop there... (by the way my 2nd MI took place in 2010, only about a week or two from the date of the 1st first, just 10 years later. I had already been extremely ill, and in the 2 hospitals, and I was so totally weak, I think my heart, was so almost "broken" I feared going home. I still even after 6 weeks, was terrified of leaving the hospital. Thus the day before they were thinking of sending me home, I truly was so totally out of it, the terrible fear and stress I was in, they feel caused the 2nd one!!!
So, "Go For Red" It Could Just Save Your Life!!!