Heart Attack Warning Signs
Some heart attacks are sudden and intense — the "movie heart attack," where no one doubts what's happening. But most heart attacks start slowly, with mild pain or discomfort. Often people affected aren't sure what's wrong and wait too long before getting help. Here are signs that can mean a heart attack is happening:
Chest discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.
- Discomfort in other areas of the upper body. Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
- Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.
- Other signs may include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness
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.
Learn the signs, but remember this: Even if you're not sure it's a heart attack, have it checked out (tell a doctor about your symptoms). Minutes matter! Fast action can save lives — maybe your own.
Then there is me. I have all the signs above except the cold sweat. And if you recall, a few days before my dad died, I had an "episode" I decided was a bad case of indigestion and thus self-diagnosed myself with an ulcerated esophagus. I only write this post now because, in all honesty, I didn't want to go to the hospital to if there was nothing really wrong with me. Why spend all that money on unnecessary tests because I had bad chest pain, couldn't swallow and couldn't breathe? Today I realize I should have gone immediately.
Do yourself a favor. Don't be a stubborn knothead like me. If your wife complains of the symptoms above, encourage her to go to the doctor in the midst of the symptoms. If your husband is anything like mine and says, "I'll be alright in a few minutes," ignore him and make him get into the car. I did this and two days later my husband had open heart bypass surgery to replace 5 arteries that were blocked with the main one blocked 100%. He'd never had one iota of warning except tiredness and shortwindedness.
Pride is all that really keeps us from doing what we should. I don't know what my "abnormality" will turn out to be. One man's abnormality is another's normality. But if I love my grandchildren, daughter, husband and friends...it behooves me to do my part in the process of healing as I rest in the Lord to take care of it all. selahV