When it comes to heart attack symptoms in women, I am somewhat of an expert, and after the recent news that Rosie O’Donnell had suffered a heart attack, I decided it was a great time to share my story. A little over 11 years ago, at the age of 31 I suffered a heart attack. I must admit that when it came to taking the proper action, which can save your life, I simply went to bed, in the hopes I would feel better in the morning. That mistake could have cost me my life. The trend of young women and heart disease was becoming a hot topic, and that is what saved my life. When I woke up the next morning and felt like I had been hit by a truck, I stayed home from work, flopped on the couch, and flipped on the TV. While channel surfing I came across a promo for that day’s episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show. A young woman was explaining her symptoms, which mirrored mine, and she had suffered a heart attack. I decided I had better tune in. After the show was over, I realized that I had many of the heart attack symptoms in women and immediately went to the ER, and after talking them into running tests, they found that I, in fact, had a heart attack.
Heart Attack Symptoms in Women vs Heart Attack Symptoms in Men
Heart attack symptoms in women and men can be very different. I had no chest pain. Most men will say they had crushing chest pain and a heaviness in their chest. My physical symptoms were, pain behind my left shoulder blade, a clenching pain in my throat and left side of my jaw, and a radiating pain into my left elbow, a sickening feeling in the pit of my stomach, and a soaking cold sweat. Beyond the physical symptoms, the feeling that has stayed with me for the last 11 years was the feeling of dread. I have to say that I have never experienced a feeling quite like it before, and never since. I somehow just knew that there was something seriously wrong with me, and I was truly afraid. Surprisingly, after all of these symptoms, it never really occurred to me that I was having a heart attack. I now know the importance of knowing the heart attack symptoms in women, and the urgency of spreading the word.
Heart Attack Symptoms in Women and Becoming your own Advocate
Even after watching the show, and being educated on heart attack symptoms in women, when I walked into the ER that day, the medical staff was truly reluctant to test me for a heart attack. Initially they believed I pulled a muscle. I explained that I had watched The Oprah Winfrey Show about young women and heart disease, and I had many of the symptoms mentioned on the show. I also told them that the show said that most health care facilities are not taking young women’s symptoms seriously. I told them that I had three young children at home and I wanted to be around for them, so the finally agreed to do an EKG, and run blood work which looks for enzymes in the blood that show up after a cardiac event. Not long after, the staff kicked into high gear. My tests came back that I had, in fact, had a heart attack. I was whisked to the trauma side of the ER, and hooked up to more contraptions than I could count. Turns out I had a blood clot catch in on of my smaller cardiac arteries, and due to the blockage, I suffered a heart attack. I am fortunate that I needed no surgery, they dissolved the clot, and after about a week, I was back home with my family. The moral to this story is, speak up for yourself! Doctors are not perfect, and they make mistakes. I am thankful for The Oprah Winfrey Show for saving my life, and I have appeared on the show twice to promote awareness and making healthy lifestyle changes. Educate yourself on the heart attack symptoms in women, and use your voice!