A Scary Story

This blog is for our women readers–have you ever researched heart attack symptoms for women?? The symptoms are often very different from what men having a heart attack experience.  The following list of symptoms for women who might be having a heart attack was taken from the American Heart Association website:

  1. Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest. It lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back.
  2. Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
  3. Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.
  4. Other signs such as breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.
  5. As with men, women’s most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and back or jaw pain.

I am sharing this story with permission from a childhood friend my age–62–who on Wednesday had a heart attack.  She has no family history of heart disease, eats well, is thin and is very active.  She had been experiencing shortness of breath after climbing one flight of stairs and her heart would race.  She was to see her family physician on Thursday, her birthday, to talk about these symptoms.  Wednesday following lunch with a friend she experienced a racing heart and tightness in her chest as if an elephant was sitting on her chest.  She opted to drive herself to the ER where on her birthday she received a heart stent for a 95% blockage of a cardiac artery.

My friend had researched heart attack symptoms–and her actions prevented a much worse outcome.  So–pay attention to your body, read what’s out there about women and heart attacks.  In one article I read the woman was having pain in both arms with no other symptoms–she was having a heart attack.  I have no family history of heart disease–none–am relatively thin, eat well and am very active yet I have high cholesterol.  I take a low dose statin and in light of my friend’s little episode, I think I will continue to take the statin!

Around here it’s just been more roof work and the Cowboy even had me on the roof today–how did that happen???  He has laid the “rolled roofing” on the flat surface of one half the roof of the main house.  He has to cut pieces to lay over the areas of the parapets.  Once all the “rolled roofing” fabric is in place we will then coat it with that expensive Henry’s silicone coating.  Progress, progress!!

This is a scupper which drains the roof–that hole seen in the photo is actually a galvanized metal square tube thingy. 🙂

This particular scupper drains a portion of the guest house roof onto the garage roof (the white you see in the photo) and from the garage roof onto the ground.

Normal chores for me today after I was released from roof duty–laundry, cleaning, etc.  I did complete another bunny.  And here’s a precious grand baby photo–Millie at 6 months.

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9 thoughts on “A Scary Story

  1. Thanks for reminding us all of the various symptoms women can experience. A few years ago I had to go to a doctor in Bakersfield, CA because I was literally covered in poison ivy. While there, I mentioned that I had terrible heartburn two nights in a row just under my breast bone and I had a pain in my jaw and back. Well, that was all they needed to immediately perform an EKG, then set me up for a stress test that afternoon, and an untrasound the next day with blood work. Wow! They was no fooling around. Thank goodness all was great and it was heartburn. But I did have several symptoms. They said to never hesitate when I experience any of the symptoms. They would rather I bother them than actual have a heart attack. I couldn’t believe what a fantastic medical practice this was and they didn’t even know me.

    “Roofer” a new job to add to your list of skills!
    Millie is just too cute:)

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    1. Glad your symptoms were heartburn but tell me how you ended up with poison ivy all over your body??? I am deathly allergic to poison ivy, I only have to stand next to it to start itching!!

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      1. We were staying in Monterey Bay and I found a website with a variety of trail that went from Hwy 1 down to the cliffs in several locations. So we spent the day taking these trails and exploring the cliffs. The trails were very tight and not used often so we were rubbing the bushes the whole time. Turns out it was poison!! I was covered from where my shorts ended to top of my socks. I would wake in the morning and my pj’s were stuck to my skin. It then moved to my arms. When it hit my face, I knew I needed medical care. I haven’t had it like this since I was little. Lucky I never scared.

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  2. Oh my, I remember feeling pains in my chest, driving to the ER and having tests done. No heart attack, but my dr the next day said it was probably my esophagus contorting in my chest. Didn’t know that could happen. The pains didn’t last, but were strong enough to send me to the ER.
    Thank you for showing the ‘scuppers’ drainage system for the parapet. Good luck with the rest of the roof!

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  3. Ladies: I have had all the above symptoms in the last approximately three years, been through three cardiologists and “a million dollars” worth of tests, and no valve, ventricle or great vessel reason found for what became described as PVCs, PACs and a small bit of tricuspid regurgitation for about two years. With racing and irregular beats, I felt like I was on an adrenaline high the entire time; felt every heartbeat 24/7. During that time, I read that calcium citrate could be a cause of heart attacks (it builds up in the small vessels). Although I have no history of bone density issues, I routinely took calcium carbonate as generally advised, but switched to calcium citrate because it was considered better absorbed by people like me with gastric bypass. The switch was in a January and I was in the ER with abnormal EKGs by the following July. I quit taking calcium citrate, did not resume calcium carbonate, and was much better within three days. My last cardiologist (the third one) seemed to doubt that this could be the problem, but had no other answer. It has been about a year since quitting the citrate and I still have daily short runs of “river dances” in my chest, occasionally take a nitro for pressure that lasts a bit too long, and the right arm will ache, usually in the evening. But I am still better and feel only slightly limited compared to before I stopped the citrate. I am obese, age 75 and fairly sedentary with no prior history of heart problems myself or in my family, most of whom are/were overweight and have lived into their late 80s and mid-90s. For more information, Google calcium citrate and heart attacks, and you should see the NIH and Mayo Clinic references regarding this problem (since 2010!!!).

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    1. Isn’t it aggravating how we switch from one thing being bad for you to the next. Eat yogurt, take calcium then the next time I go to the doctor–oh, no, don’t take calcium, it clogs your arteries!! GRRRRR

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  4. Such an important reminder that women’s symptoms can be so different from men (and what we know as the “norm”). I’ve been fortunate to have attentive medical personnel anytime I’ve had any kind of pain or pressure above the waist – they’ve always done immediate tests to rule out heart issues. Of course I have probably “waited” longer than I should in some cases 😦 Glad to see the roof coming together – like the tile work, I’m sure you’ll be glad when it’s all done!! Millee is so precious!

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