I rarely post personal items, but this time it’s different. As many of you know, I have had a couple of very tough years with some very serious surgeries, putting me pretty much out of commission. Thankfully, I am on the mend. But last week my wonderful sister-in-law, Suelin, had a stroke. She had no idea what was happening, and luckily my brother Jay rushed her to the hospital.  She is currently in rehab, but has a long way to come back.  So when my friend Walt sent me this email, I thought I’d pass it on. Maybe it will save a life.

NURSE’S HEART ATTACK     EXPERIENCEI 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 and heart attacks (Myocardial infarction). Did you know that women     rarely have the same dramatic symptoms that men have when experiencing     heart attack.. you know, the sudden stabbing pain in the chest, the cold sweat,     grabbing the chest & dropping to the floor that we see in the 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     CPR).

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     stints.
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 ESSENCE!

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.

A cardiologist says if everyone who gets this mail sends it to 10 people,     you can be sure that we’ll save at least one life.

*Please be a true friend and send this article to all your friends (male     & female) who you care about!*

NURSE’S HEART ATTACK     EXPERIENCEI 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 and heart attacks (Myocardial infarction). Did you know that women     rarely have the same dramatic symptoms that men have when experiencing     heart attack.. you know, the sudden stabbing pain in the chest, the cold sweat,     grabbing the chest & dropping to the floor that we see in the 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     CPR).

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     stints.
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 ESSENCE!

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.

A cardiologist says if everyone who gets this mail sends it to 10 people,     you can be sure that we’ll save at least one life.

*Please be a true friend and send this article to all your friends (male     & female) who you care about!*