The silent KILLER
Taking care of your heart is a full time job
NURSE'S HEART ATTACK EXPERIENCE
I am an ER nurse and this is the best description of this event that I have ever heard. Please read,
pay attention, and send it on!
FEMALE HEART ATTACKS
I was aware that female heart attacks are different, but this is the best description I've ever read.
Women rarely have the same dramatic symptoms that men have ... you know, the sudden stabbing
pain in the chest, the cold sweat, grabbing the chest & dropping to the floor that we see in movies.
Here is the story of one woman's experience with a heart attack.
I had a heart attack at about 10:30 PM with NO prior exertion, NO prior emotional trauma that one
would suspect might have brought it on. I was sitting all snugly & warm on a cold evening, with my
purring cat in my lap, reading an interesting story my friend had sent me, and actually thinking, 'A-A-h,
this is the life, all cozy and warm in my soft, cushy Lazy Boy with my feet propped up.
A moment later, I felt that awful sensation of indigestion, when you've been in a hurry and grabbed a
bite of sandwich and washed it down with a dash of water, and that hurried bite seems to feel like
you've swallowed a golf ball going down the esophagus in slow motion and it is most
uncomfortable. You realize you shouldn't have gulped it down so fast and needed to chew it more
thoroughly and this time drink a glass of water to hasten its progress down to the stomach. This was
my initial sensation--the only trouble was that I hadn't taken a bite of anything since about 5:00 p.m.
After it seemed to subside, the next sensation was like little squeezing motions that seemed to be
racing up my SPINE (hind-sight, it was probably my aorta spasms), gaining speed as they continued
racing up and under my sternum (breast bone, where one presses rhythmically when administering
This fascinating process continued on into my throat and branched out into both jaws. 'AHA!! NOW I
stopped puzzling about what was happening -- we all have read and/or heard about pain in the jaws
being one of the signals of an MI happening, haven't we? I said aloud to myself and the cat, Dear
God, I think I'm having a heart attack!
I lowered the foot rest dumping the cat from my lap, started to take a step and fell on the floor
instead. I thought to myself, If this is a heart attack, I shouldn't be walking into the next room where
the phone is or anywhere else... but, on the other hand, if I don't, nobody will know that I need help,
and if I wait any longer I may not be able to get up in a moment.
I pulled myself up with the arms of the chair, walked slowly into the next room and dialed the
Paramedics... I told her I thought I was having a heart attack due to the pressure building under the
sternum and radiating into my jaws. I didn't feel hysterical or afraid, just stating the facts. She said
she was sending the Paramedics over immediately, asked if the front door was near to me, and if
so, to un-bolt the door and then lie down on the floor where they could see me when they came in.
I unlocked the door and then laid down on the floor as instructed and lost consciousness, as I don't
remember the medics coming in, their examination, lifting me onto a gurney or getting me into their
ambulance, or hearing the call they made to St. Jude ER on the way, but I did briefly awaken when
we arrived and saw that the radiologist was already there in his surgical blues and cap, helping the
medics pull my stretcher out of the ambulance. He was bending over me asking questions (probably
something like 'Have you taken any medications?') but I couldn't make my mind interpret what he
was saying, or form an answer, and nodded off again, not waking up until the Cardiologist and
partner had already threaded the teeny angiogram balloon up my femoral artery into the aorta and
into my heart where they installed 2 side by side stints to hold open my right coronary artery.
I know it sounds like all my thinking and actions at home must have taken at least 20-30 minutes
before calling the paramedics, but actually it took perhaps 4-5 minutes before the call, and both the
fire station and St Jude are only minutes away from my home, and my Cardiologist was already to go
to the OR in his scrubs and get going on restarting my heart (which had stopped somewhere
between my arrival and the procedure) and installing the stents.
Why have I written all of this to you with so much detail? Because I want all of you who are so
important in my life to know what I learned first hand.
1. Be aware that something very different is happening in your body, not the usual men's symptoms
but inexplicable things happening (until my sternum and jaws got into the act). It is said that many
more women than men die of their first (and last) MI because they didn't know they were having one
and commonly mistake it as indigestion, take some Maalox or other anti-heartburn preparation and
go to bed, hoping they'll feel better in the morning when they wake up... which doesn't happen. My
female friends, your symptoms might not be exactly like mine, so I advise you to call the Paramedics
if ANYTHING is unpleasantly happening that you've not felt before. It is better to have a 'false alarm'
visitation than to risk your life guessing what it might be!
2. Note that I said 'Call the Paramedics.' And if you can take an aspirin. Ladies, TIME IS OF THE
Do NOT try to drive yourself to the ER - you are a hazard to others on the road.
Do NOT have your panicked husband who will be speeding and looking anxiously at what's
happening with you instead of the road.
Do NOT call your doctor -- he doesn't know where you live and if it's at night you won't reach him
anyway, and if it's daytime, his assistants (or answering service) will tell you to call the Paramedics.
He doesn't carry the equipment in his car that you need to be saved! The Paramedics do, principally
OXYGEN that you need ASAP. Your Dr. will be notified later.
3. Don't assume it couldn't be a heart attack because you have a normal cholesterol count.
Research has discovered that a cholesterol elevated reading is rarely the cause of an MI (unless it's
unbelievably high and/or accompanied by high blood pressure). MIs are usually caused by long-term
stress and inflammation in the body, which dumps all sorts of deadly hormones into your system to
sludge things up in there. Pain in the jaw can wake you from a sound sleep. Let's be careful and be
aware. The more we know the better chance we could survive.
Be a good friend and pass this information on to someone you love!
Kale & Spinach
Leafy green vegetables like spinach, kale and collard greens are well-known for their wealth of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
They’re also high in dietary nitrates, which have been shown to reduce blood pressure, decrease arterial stiffness and improve the function of cells lining the blood vessels
Whole grains include all three nutrient-rich parts of the grain: germ, endosperm and bran.
Common types of whole grains include whole wheat, brown rice, oats, rye, barley, buckwheat and quinoa.
Similarly, another study found that eating at least three servings of whole grains significantly decreased systolic blood pressure by 6 mmHg, which is enough to reduce the risk of stroke by about 25%