Those who've had a heart attack know that classic symptoms don't always happen -- or they don't always feel the way you would've imagined. Readers share their own heart attack symptoms so others can recognize this mother of all medical emergencies. Share Your Story
Symptoms of Heart Attack
- I had a heart attack in 2001 at 58. I was making my bed and I got a pain in my right wrist. It traveled up my right arm and then hit my jaw. At that point I realized it could be my heart but it was my right side but I also knew women were different. Then I started to get light headed and pain in my right chest. Turned out my main artery was 99% blocked. Dr said if I didn't recognize the symptoms I wouldn't be here to talk about it. Got myself to the hospital immediately and even they said it couldn't be a heart attack till they wired me up. Then it all became an emergency. I spent 3 days in ICU but 10 years later I am talking about it because I had read an article about women having different symptoms.
- —Guest sewist2000
- when I started feeling cold all the time and tired I should have listened to my body-then when my arms were going numb after I slept I should have known it wasn't my pinched nerve-when I couldn't eat without throwing up even with antiacids I should have realized this was not good-when I couldn't lift anything without pain that was a sign-when I would fall asleep after working if I went to breakfast I should have known that wasn't normal-when my jaw felt like I was numbed like when the dentist gives you a shot I should have put two and two together-when my shoulder seemed like it was disconnected from my body and even when I held my arm like it was in a sling and that didn't help I should have known-when I would wake up soo sweaty and it was not hot in the house that sure was a sign-just because my weight and blood pressure were great I should have known that doesn't mean anything-my family history was there and so I should have had it checked before---it was harder for me since I always had too much energy so figured it was just nature slowing me down and with more stress in my life I just thought my body was compensating for that---I was making up reasons for all of my aches-like the muscles hurting-I was told if it hurts when you touch then it is a muscle ache but otherwise listen to my body--my problem was I had such severe allergies couldn't take most of the sugar and anti plaque medicines without having the runs which doesn't work well when you are working-so please if you are having things going on that you don't normally have get help-luck was with me-I had gone to emergency and they sent me to another hospital and had my heart attack while they were doing an echo test-had a stent and will need help with some of my other blockages but at least I should be ok-
- —Guest sunshinepatl
afraid and lonely
- I am a 23year old guy with heart related problems and the worst part is that the Doctors can't tell if whats wrong with me, some say its panic attacks but i know thats its not all they do is to just give me false hopes, i sometimes get palpitations, followed by sharp pains on my chest,sharp stabbing pain in my chest, shoulder plate pain,and even chills in the morning. My condition greatly affected my daily routine. I am afraid sometimes i just feel like........wish there could be some Doctor who can just be honest with me because now i always see many young stars dreaming about the future that i might not have
- —Guest odwa
Heart attack after hip fracture
- I fell off a chair onto the kitchen floor, unknowingly broke my hip but tried to stand, felt rushing sensation in head, vomited a lot and knew no more until at hospital gates in ambulance. I had been unconcious for over half an hour. Tests showed blood enzyme, so given Warfarin, then could not have hip surgery for 8 days. I felt no pain despite broken hip, chipped wrist bone and heart attack. The pain kicked in later. Glad my husband came and found me!
- —Guest Chrissie
- Male-59. 2 nights in a row. Bed about midnight, move to sofa around 3 AM, pain at 5, cold sweat follows shortly. Try forced burping and Rolaid. Stumble about, chair to chair, more burping, find wallet, phone, proper attire. Get online opinion to pain and cold sweat. 6:30, Pain gone, go pee and finnish smoke. I'm getting sleepy. Fell out of tree and cracked ribs and pevis last week, blame it on the pain meds. Back to bed.
- —Guest Carl
MY HEART HAS SHARP PAIN
- i get really sharp pain about 1 inch left of my lsft nipple.the pain lately .it comes on hard to breath really sore on lsft side lt lasts for about 10 min goes away then comes back sometimes 10 min later .i have pins needls in my fingers.dizzy. the dr said its ok on eec but it fee;s like it will just hit me hard and kill me i cant sleep
- —Guest aHHH
I'm here for my 61st Birthday Yea! :)
- "But...my heart doesn't hurt!" Symptoms were totally different than men. I had been episodes of being hit between my shoulder blades with a two-by-four, then my throat would close up, I was out of breath, then unbearable pain in my jaws, cheeckbones, and running up both temples. Finally, a huge headache afterward. The episodes would last about thirty minutes. Result, main artery to the heart was blocked almost entirely. My chest and heart never ever hurt and this did not happen all the time. I could be sitting watching television or at rest so nothing strenuous brought these on. I'm so grateful that my lady doctor caught it and sent me to my husband's cardio where he finished testing and literally threw me into the hospital for surgery. Funny thing, for me it was genetic and there are no other problems of blockage or buildup of plaque anywhere else! I'm humbled and grateful to be here today. :) Please everyone listen to your bodies. You are not hypochondriacs! :)
- —Guest Paulette L. Harris
chest pain too
- Hi I'm a 27 year old male and a few months ago I got a severe pain on the left side of my chest near my heart it lasted a few seconds and disappeared soon after I got a panic attack. 5 months later I was sitting on a work top and went to get down and the same thing happened although I was able to stop the panic attack. I've had a shortness of breath leading up to it on both occasions but still don't know the cause.
- —Guest grahamo cork
- I'm just 14 years old and I was diagnosed with Rheumatic Heart Disease associated with Left Ventricular Hypertrophy. Sometimes, I experience symptoms like sharp stabbing pain in my chest, shoulder plate pain, shortness of breath and even chills in the morning. My condition greatly affected my daily routine. There's this one time that I thought I'm gonna die but my mom explained to me that my condition is not severe and not fatal. But sometimes I feel symptoms which are experienced by heart attack patients and anxiety grows inside me. My sister died of Myocardiac Infarction at the age of 9 last September 2010 and I'm really anxious of it. I have Gastroesophageal Reflux Disorder too so I'm a bit confused about the symptoms I'm feeling. Sometimes I thought to myself that, if I didn't know I have a heart disease, I should be having a very good life now. I'm forbidden to get exhausted but I exercise so that my hear rate would be kept at pace. To all my fellow heart patients, BE STRONG GUYS!
- —Guest Walter
- Yesterday I was feeling unusually tired so thought I would sit outside in the sunshine and read. At some point I dozed off but was awakened by a "door slamming thump in my head". I opened my eyes and immediately felt very dizzy almost like being sea sick. Then a bout with diarrhea. Both my hands were tingling, feet too. Today I am still very nauseous and tired. As a side note ...we have had an extremely emotionally stressful week. Don't know if I should be concerned or if I am adding to my stress level by worrying.
- —Guest Regina
I don't know what this is
- all of a sudden I feel sharp pain in my chest and upper back and then sharp pain in my head (temple area) on both sides. like my head is being squeezed. and the pressure is highly painful in my chest like crushing me. some anxiety and the chills. It is and was scraey. pain subsided but I'm just chilled.
- —Guest Rhonda Duarte
scared and alone
- i've been having palputations for the past 10 yrs. or so, drs. finally done a ecg, now going to a cardiologist, having a lot of pain in my left shoulder blade, up into the left side of my neck, not severe but frequent pain in the middle of my chest, left side on the ribs, going toward my back. getting really scared, but i dont go for my stress test until the 17th. so another 11 days. wake up on a nightly basis, severe sweeting, and dull ache in my chest, i called the drs. office they told me just to hang in there and make sure i show up on the 17th., for the test, whatever i do just don't miss it. am i even gonna still be alive when test day gets here? but thats whats going on with my symptoms.
- I am a 24 yr old mother of two. I started with migraines from my neck up and blood pressure probs so went to doc and had a ECG. he sent me to a specialist. Turns out the sharp pain in my chest and not sleeping and being moody is somethin i should have paid more attention to. I, at 24 had a mild heart attack. Im stiil seeing my doc and running tests. He dont even understand y it happened and say im lucky we caught it. I didnt think it was even a possibility when it all began. Trouble sleeping, slight chest pain, back pain. And trouble breathing! Not to be ignored
- —Guest Toyoung24
possible pre-heart attack symptoms
- I am a 42 yr old mother of 4 girls. I have a ver stressful homelife and job as well. I have been having what I think is "pre" heart attack symptoms. Chest pain, numbness in my chest into my right shoulder, shortness of breath, and nausea attacks and chest pains from time to time. I went to the ER earlier this week due to my symptoms and I had several tests ran and the doctors told me I was fine. I hesitate to believe them. It has been 3 days and my entire chest into my right shoulder and up into my neck is still numb and am still having chest pains. This evening I am experiencing some leg discomfort in both legs and it looks to be a rash on my inner left arm. My blood pressure and heart rate is been insanely high. I wonder if anyone else ever experienced these type of symptoms.
- I had a heart attack on Oct.13,2010 I was at work and began having very bad pain in my chest, it was a pain I had never experienced (it felt nothing like heartburn) and I felt very weak I just wanted to lie down, and sweated so bad (normally Southern girls just glisten but I sweated!!) and I knew what was happening so I asked for an ambulance to be called. I also experienced pain that went around my back in my shoulders and down both arms to my elbows and also had a nausea feeling. My husband has had a heart attack and I knew his symptoms and mine was a lot like his to the point I knew I was having a heart attack. I had angioplasty and 2 stents. I am feeling better now but still recovering. Still have a long way to go but with God's help I'll make it.