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For All The Women (and The Men Who Love Them)


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#1 Queen-Evie

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Posted 25 February 2007 - 04:07 AM

I am in no way an activist for this, but I feel compelled to get this message out to as many people
as possible. My reason for this will become clear in this post.

Research supports symptoms are different for women than for men when it comes to heart attacks.
It's easy to miss heart attack symptoms at the initial stages because symptoms
show up differently in women than in men.
In fact, the top four symptoms are often misdiagnosed.

Most heart attacks start slowly with mild pain or discomfort. Here are the symptoms of heart
attack in women:

Shortness of breath. May occur with or without chest discomfort.
Nausea and light-headedness

Flu-like symptoms, including chills and cold sweats
Heart palpitations
Chest discomfort (angina): pain, tightness or pressure in the center of the chest that lasts
more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back
Discomfort in other areas, including pain or discomfort in one or both arms
(especially the left arm), the back, between the shoulder blades, neck, jaw or stomach

Heartburn or indigestion
Extreme fatigue

Women are more likely to experience pain in the upper back, while men tend
to experience chest pain.

Heart attack symptoms in women are often more subtle than those experienced by men.
Women are more likely to experience fatigue, anxiety, sleep disturbances,
or stomach complaints over a period of time before an actual attack.
Unfortunately, these symptoms are not generally associated with a heart attack.
Even members of the medical profession sometimes fail to link these symptoms
with heart problems. It is not unusual for a woman's heart attack to be dismissed as anxiety.

Although considered a classic heart attack symptom, chest pain is not commonly experienced
by women. A study showed that 70 percent of women experienced no chest pain prior
to the attack, and as many as 43 percent of women reported no chest pain
symptoms during the attack.
Further, women who do experience chest pain may describe the pain as "sharp," rather than
"crushing." This description does not match the popular (and traditional medical) perception
of heart attack symptoms, and may be misdiagnosed.
Once heart disease is diagnosed in women, they are still less likely than men to receive
heart disease medication, or to undergo heart surgery. This deficiency in treatment leads
to poor outcomes in women with heart disease.

Jan. 10th, 2007 I woke up feeling great. My son called to tell me my daughter-in-law was in
labor, and I was excited about my first grandchild making her appearance into the world.
Just after noon, I began to feel light-headed, nauseated and sweaty.
(Sweatiness or clamminess during the attack itself is also common). My first thought was that
I needed to eat-went to the kitchen to see what I could find.
I recall feeling so dizzy that I sat down on the kitchen floor; I must have passed out
for few seconds because the next thing I knew I was looking up at the ceiling. It was about this time I began to feel pain in my upper back, and realized something was seriously wrong and decided to call 911.
I picked that up and hit 91; next thing
I recall is my head down on the desk and the handset on the floor.
Replaced the handset, got my cordless phone, and there was a call from the Police
Dept. on caller ID. I called it back (I almost didn't return the call) and was informed that a 911
call had been made from my phone, was everything ok. After I told the dispatcher no,
an ambulance was sent. I remember the ambulance turning into the hospital parking lot.
The next thing I remember is looking up at the ceiling in the trauma room, it felt like elephants
sitting on me. As I became more alert, they told me my heart had stopped twice, once in the
ambulance just as it pulled up the entrance of the ER, the paramedic shocked it back to beating.
It stopped again in the trauma room-3 shocks that time. It dawned on me how lucky I was and that
it could possibly happen again at any moment. I was told that despite what you see on TV,
very few survive a major attack like I had. I now have a stent in one of my arteries.
No one expected me to survive. Yes, it was that bad.
I'd heard that the symptoms were different from mens, but I never took the time to research them.
Looking back, I had been very fatigued for several months, and I wasn't sleeping well. This I
attributed to the stress of a year and a half of caring for my elderly parents,my husbands health issues, and the death of my father last September. Even if I had known about this, I probably would never have
thought it could be a sign of heart disease.

The purpose of this post is to EDUCATE women on these
differences. The symptoms I've listed could be
caused by other things. It's vital that women be aware
of them and INSIST on being checked for heart problems
if you do suspect a heart attack. Even if you don't
suspect one, INSIST that your doctors check your heart
if you do have any of these symptoms. Make an appointment
with a cardiologist if you notice any of the signs above occuring
on a regular basis.
Men, be aware of the signs, and be an advocate for the
women in in your lives. I wouldn't wish what I went through on
anyone.
The latest from my cardiologist-my heart does not have major damage he
expected to see. I live with the knowledge that at age 51 I have heart disease.
It will never get better, and it may get worse or it may not. And my beautiful
granddaughter did arrive safely.

Edited by Queen-Evie, 25 February 2007 - 10:13 AM.


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#2 fozzie

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Posted 25 February 2007 - 06:33 AM

Queen Evie, I salute you for this post. Have been reading this over and over and my heart goes out to you.
Thank you for sharing this.

#3 Darthy

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Posted 25 February 2007 - 11:14 AM

Queen-Evie, I don't know what to say. I only know that my heart will always be with you.
I wish for you only the best things I wish for me and my beloved ones. Many and many thanks for this post.
May God (if He exists) be always with you.
Regards,
Darthy
Εν οίδα οτι ουδέν οίδα - Socrates
Thanks John

#4 Queen-Evie

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Posted 25 February 2007 - 01:01 PM

Thank you for the kind replies. It was an experience I never want to repeat.
The one thing that stands out for me is the PAIN I felt on my lower left side after I
was revived. It felt like that spot was on fire.
Found out that's where one of the shock paddles was placed.
I was very lucky. If I'd decided not to call the Police Dept back, they would have
sent an officer to my house, but who knows how long it would have taken one to get
here. And I would have told him/her that I need medical help, he/she would have called it
in, and help would have been delayed. Those few minutes of delay would have been the
difference between survival and death.
I also had a great team working on me, from the Fire Dept. paramedics, the ambulance
paramedics, (LOL, I remember thinking WOW, all these good-looking guys
are here in my living room) and the entire ER team.
A week and half after the event, I saw one person of that team in Winn Dixie.
I told her who I was, and she remembered me and was amazed that I was doing so well.
All the credit goes to the medical team, and the staff of the Acute Cardiac Care Unit.

#5 Animal

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Posted 25 February 2007 - 01:10 PM

Queen-Evie,

All I can say is THANK YOU, to whomever decided that it was not yet time for you to leave us. And more importantly to you Queen-Evie, for sharing very valuable information. If it saves just one woman it will have been so very worth it. Welcome to Bleeping Computer.

Be (Heart Awareness) Safe :thumbsup:

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#6 Queen-Evie

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Posted 25 February 2007 - 01:15 PM

Animal, thank you darlin'. It sure is good to see you again.

#7 MaraM

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Posted 25 February 2007 - 01:15 PM

Your post touched me in so many ways and deeply, Queen-Evie, for surely an experience like this is something that will chance your - and other's lives - completely and forever. And I'm thrilled that your grandbaby arrived safe and sound! Gentle hug.

And you are right, so many women are misdiagnosed or their symptoms simply not taken as seriously by the medical profession. I'd like to add one wee thing here, if I may.

I lovely friend of mine died at age 32 - in 'perfect' health, ran every day and ate properly - and died of a massive heart attack. Heart attacks can strike both men and women at any age and I'm just so pleased that you hit that '9' button and got help in time, Queen-Evie! Yipee!!!

Be well and happy, lovely lady.
Never let your computer realize you are in a hurry or just typing the last few words of a vital document.

While outer events might make one happy or sad, happiness itself is entirely internal, and at all times completely within one's power.

#8 Queen-Evie

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Posted 25 February 2007 - 04:35 PM

Mara, I'm sorry to hear about the loss of your friend. You are right, it can happen to anyone at any age.
I had no risk factors-no family history of heart disease, my cholesterol, triglycerides, and all that kind of thing had great numbers. And it happened to me. One thing you mentioned makes me want to say this:
Women tend to be short-changed by doctors, especially male doctors who don't take our complaints seriously. I'm blessed to have a wonderful internal medical doctor (male) that I feel totally comfortable with and have great confidence in him.

If anyone has had any experiences they'd like to share, I'd love to hear them.

Edited by Queen-Evie, 25 February 2007 - 06:34 PM.


#9 boopme

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Posted 25 February 2007 - 09:31 PM

This was a wonderful selfless thing to do Queen-Evie :thumbsup: . Thank you and I thank God you're OK. I've copied and printed and forwarded the 2 posts. I had no idea that men and woman had such different symptoms. You're a blessing. catch a hug..
How do I get help? Who is helping me?For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear....Become a BleepingComputer fan: Facebook

#10 Queen-Evie

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Posted 25 February 2007 - 10:08 PM

Thank you boopme for sending that to others. As Animal stated, if it helps just person, the time taken to post it was worth it.

#11 petewills

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 11:16 AM

Finally read your story.
Worth bumping, I think.
Best wishes, Queen-Evie. :)

#12 Queen-Evie

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 02:07 PM

It has been 5 years since that day (seems like it was last week) and I haven't updated this topic.

I see my cardiologist and my primary doctor every 6 months. Both of them assure me that my heart is fine. I have had a few "scares" over the years that put in the hospital for a few days and tests show nothing is wrong with me cardiac-wise.

Each time I see the cardio doctor I have to take the latest pics of the grand-daughter who born that day for him to see.

In October 2007, my daughter and her husband had their first child-a sweet little girl who is now 4 years old and one of the lights of my life.

As for awareness, things have gotten better but there is still a long way to go. To many women are still not being taken seriously and are still dying because their symptoms were dismissed.

#13 Capn Easy

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 11:20 PM

Thanks for getting this out, Queen-Evie!

Another factor to consider is the tendency of many women in our culture (and many others) to avoid being the center of attention. As you mentioned in your post, when police dispatch called back to ask you about your 911 call you almost didn't return their call.

I was on the Medical Aid Squad at my former employer's. One day I encountered a woman in a hallway who just didn't "look right." I asked her if she was alright and she assured me everything was fine. I showed her my ID and asked again. This time she nearly broke down while describing her symptoms. Not a heart attack, but she really needed to get to a doctor!

If something doesn't feel right, don't be shy about saying so!

#14 MissPlaced

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 09:04 AM

Queen Evie,

This is such an important Topic that i felt it was worth reviving and adding this...
http://www.heartrescuenow.com/
I thank GOD All the time that you're still here with us :heart: :heart: :heart: :heart: :heart:

Happy Happy 5th Birthday my friend!!

MissPlaced

You want to be great, Learn how to heal people, To hurt people is easy


Be Kinder then you have to be,you never know what battle someone else is fighting~~~
~~~~Martrys song~~~~~
~~~~My Deliverer~~~~~~




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