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Readers Respond: Not All Heart Attacks are Built the Same

Responses: 33


Updated October 19, 2008

Womes & Heart Attack

My heart attack began in my back a month (March 2009)before I realized what it was. I would feel a very sharp pain in my upper back asked doctor about it, since I also have stage 4 breast cancer that has setlled in my spine. Did a MRI nothing showed...continued to have thse pains until they were becoming more intense. April 2009 called DR pain was constant...DR wasn't sure what it was kept me overnight in hosp...did blood test to check level...determined was having heart attack. Next day had angioplasty...next day quadruple bypass!!! Yes, I also had some shortness of breath, sweats, high blood pressure, but I had been on chemo since 2005 and was told fatigue high blood pressure sweats common for women undergoing chemo......so-o-o-o YES BACK PAIN is a common symptom for women according to my Cardiologist
—Guest Theresa Winters

Whats going on with my heart?

Im a 44 year old f,apr,2007 i woke up with searing, excrutiating pain in my chest, crushing burning unbearable, traveled down both arms n into neck,went to ER,where i was promptly told by attending physician, ''it couldnt be a heart attack.i was too young'' i woke up 16 hours later in ICU! AFTER A WEEK I WAS DISCHARGED, ONLY TO EXPERIENCE SAME SYMPTOMS AGAIN WITH A MONTH, icu AGAIN,elevated heart enzymes,sweating profusely,couldnt breath...i have experienced this over and over during the past three years, was told i have RA,and Pericarditis,Im tired of going through this!

chest pain/ mild heart attack

I had all the symptoms of a a heart attack, chest pain, left arm, below the arm on the left side pain, shortness of breath, pain below the chest, pain around the hips, etc.. i rushed to the hospital checked ECG and the result showed that i do have some changes in the ECG. blood result shows negative result. doctors asked about my family history and told i' am too young to have a heart attack, (i' am 33 years old) this is my second time experiencing the same symptom. I still do feel pain at times. confused of doctors explanation. Wondering if young age as 30's chances of getting a heart attack is possible........
—Guest mahesha jayagoda

Pins and Needles

while shopping,had pin and needles and then sudden central chest pain.went hospital,diagonised with heart attack.had angioplastry.on tablets now.now have to live in fear of death.but life goes like this.
—Guest Sunny

symptoms of HA

Two weeks ago I have had a heart attack . after catheterization it was found that one marginal artery was 99% blocked. before the HA I suffered from the following: sweating, strong pain in the chest and two arms. That was all what I suffered.
—Guest qasem awad

Symptoms of a Heart Attack

I have had (5)heart attacks. Two of them in 2001 and (3)in 2010 and I'm only 49 years old. My heart attacks started all the same...with my stomach hurting and would throw up, a bowel movement, and then I would continue to throw up, break out in a cold sweat, pain across my entire chest a crushing pain. I did not ignore these signs, someone was always around to call 911. And each time I had a heart attack stents were placed in the arteries. I am truely bless that I'm able to sit here and share my experience.
—Guest Carol Watts


I am very worried about the symptoms that I have been having. I have four children and have been to the doctor many times with no answer. I feel like sometime when I get thes tachychardias at night that maybe one day I wont wake up, I hope someone could help me.
—Guest psoramis

Heart attack

My mother suffered a heart attack last week. Her symptoms on the first day were sore shoulder blades and having trouble to breath but she never stopped doing what she was doing. Two days later the same symptoms but also nausea and weak. She was doing housework and she went back to bed without finishing. My mom is 86 years old and when my brother told me that she had gone back to bed, right away I told him to take her to the ER. She also had a sore arm, but she thought it was arthritis. At the hospital they said that it was muscular. The next day they told her that it was a stroke but instead it was a heart attack. They unblocked the major artery and now she is recovering.
—Guest Dani

chest numbness , sharp pains

Every night my chest is always numb and I get sharp pains on my arms and legs and head. I haven't been to the doctor yet to find out whats wrong with me and I'm always having very painful hot flashes. I wonder what's wrong with me
—Guest diante windham

1st Heart attack

I was exercising -- as I had been doing for four months -- and I started feeling as though a cobra was wrapped around my chest and squeezing the life out of me. I felt my left arm go numb and weak, with some tingling down the arm. My fingers went 'cold' and felt as though they had fallen asleep. I wasn't sure what to do, so I started trying to shake it off but the compression on my chest did not let up. Finally, I did sit down and rest and I knew then that something had happened. The doctor later told me I had indeed had a heart attack. The weirdest thing was that the pain was not at all severe, just a lot of pressure.
—Guest Michelle Bumbaugh

pins and needles in arms

I had a heart attack 1 week ago, and this was after experiencing an entire day of pain in my arms, hands, and occasional upper arms. after spending 6 hours in the ER afterwards, and being sent home to get rheumatologic followup, 2 hours later I was screaming in pain inclusive of extreme breast pain. Never short of breath, never "chest pain", and I delayed almost 5 hours because i had left the ER being told I was not having heart issues... wondering just how I will follow up with smacking down that ER Doc....
—Guest Teri

Mom's Experience

My mom suffered all day long with what she thought was the stomach flu. Nausea, vomiting, wicked indigestion... oh yeah, and a huge cramp surrounding her left shoulder blade up into the back of her neck. She sat in her living room all day and into the evening. A neighbor stopped by and because she looked so horrible took her to the ER where she sat for another 45 minutes. No one noticed in her records, and she didn't think to mention to anyone, that she had been in that very same ER two weeks earlier because she lost partial vision in one eye due to what was determined to be a "possible" blood clot. When she was finally seen, just for chuckles the doctors ordered a blood test to check some sort of enzyme level and lo and behold she was having an MI! She survived with some damage and passed away a little over a year later from metastatic pancreatic cancer.


The article should also reccomend that you take aspirin if allowed by your Doctor, not allergic, and have no other reason that affects your ability to take Aspirin. One regular size adult Aspirin is sufficient. A "heart attack," or Myocardial Infarction is simply an obstruction of the bloodflow in your heart, which is often caused by a clot or narrowing of the arteries. Taking an Aspirin keeps the flow from getting any worse as you await medical care. If you think that you're having a heart attack, once EMTs arrive you need to demand a 12-lead ECG and if you have the option, make sure you're transported to a facility that has a Cardiac Cath Lab that can perform Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI). This will allow the Cardiologist to insert a catheter into your arteries and treat the narrowing or clot in different ways; time is heart muscle, so don't delay in getting the right care. The more time you wait, the more heart muscle that dies when having a heart attack.
—Guest prattjj

Women's Symptoms May Be Different

It's important for women to realize that their symptoms may differ from a man's and might even be less stereotypically obvious. Please make an addendum to the article to include symptoms that women experience. To Guest Ani: I'm so sorry for your loss. (Note from Rod: I do indeed have an article dealing specifically with heart attack symptoms in women and I don't know why I didn't include a link to it. Thanks for pointing out the oversight and I've included a link now.)

Helath - heart attack with no symtoms

I konw that it is rarely read by healthy and young people but nevertheless I would like to let them know - human health is fragile and life is short. This is the lesson bitterly learned by me after the death of my 46 year husband. Young, sportif and full of energy he had some aching in the right shoulder for a day and a half. Assuming that it may be some virus or just trauma from sports, we postponed going to the doctor and this became the fatal mistake of my life. He just fall down and lost consciousness and neither my attemt for CPR nor doctors` interventions could help.
—Guest Ani

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