Had a Heart Attack? What were your symptoms?

HeartHawk
By HeartHawk Latest Reply 2014-01-06 16:10:31 -0600
Started 2012-07-10 22:53:16 -0500

One of the most frequently asked questions is, "What does a heart attack feel like?" Traditional medicine has suggest several classic symptoms like chest pressure and left-arm and neck/jaw pain. But, a recent study suggests these symptoms are not the most likely to ultimately result in a diagnosis of a heart attacks. Here are the symptomes the study found most often resulted ina finding of heart attack

http://www.heartconnect.com/heart-condition-d...

If you have had a heatt attack perhaps you could share what symptoms led you to seek treatment. Your experience could help save many lives!

HH

Tags: symptoms

33 replies

MommaKel
MommaKel 2014-01-06 16:10:31 -0600 Report

I had a heart attack 10/2013. I am only 32 so when I started to get left arm pain, and pain that radiated towards my back, I didn't think heart attack right away. The hubby called 911, but the firefighters didn't want to take me to the hospital since my EKG was normal. I actually had my heart attack hours later in the ER. My "widow maker" was 100% occluded and they placed a drug inducing stent, yet other arteries show some degree of blockages. I also had the feeling someone was sitting on my chest and a huge amount of sweating. Had I not been in the ER they say I would have died. They think my genetics are to blame even though neither of my parents have had heart attacks. I am lucky to be here, but finding the recovery VERY slow. After my MI, I was diagnosed with systolic heart failure with an ejection fraction at 35-40%. Hoping it recovers, as I am still out of breath and very tired ALL the time.

santaangel12
santaangel12 2013-11-09 16:20:16 -0600 Report

i hurt my shoulder at work so thought was that! i was walking up the hallway i started hurting in my left shoulder and couldnt breath like someone sitting on my chest. i sit down went away weeks go by i was in tears. my left shouder was shooting pain my fingers was going numbe and couldnt breath it scared went to er. it was eye opener

marimoody@rocketmail.com
marimoody@rocketmail.com 2012-11-15 00:37:54 -0600 Report

Three weeks ago I was headed to a Halloween party, and was experiencing some discomfort in my chest, but chalked it up to my Fibromyalgia, and Chostochondritis, 20 minutes later, I couldn't even speak, the pain was excruciating, radiating to my shoulders, neck and a sharp pain right in the center of my back… I was headed home to take a muscle relaxer and a pain pill, and go to bed… at the last minute I told my husband to head to the hospital… within 30 minutes ( the time it took for the cath lab staff to get to the hospital) I was in surgery and had 3 stents places in my RAC, 100% blocked. I was told had I gone to bed, i wouldnt have woke up. I was released from the hospital on tuesday evening, and on thursday morning started having chest pain again, took nitro with no relief, and headed to the hospital by ambulance this time… another heart attack and 2 more stents placed in the OM1 and OM2 90% blocked… I am thouroughly convinced I had a heart attack back in April, same pain, symptoms… etc… but was poo'd out the door of the ER saying I was a pain pill junkie… because of my repeated visits to the er for the fibromyalgia, and chest pain… I have never had high blood pressure, but do have high cholesterol and a strong family history of Deadly heart attacks at a young age. My father passed away back in april from a heart attack at 65… the same age as his father and his grandfather. I am 46, and have quit smoking, I am on several medications, to lower cholesterol, lower Bp, and to thin my blood. I go see my cardiologist in a week or so to see what the prognosis is, I do know my Ejection Factor is 40… and that I do have 2 other blockages that are at 30%, but the doc said the medication should control that… Hope this helps, I am happy to have found this site and the forums. It is a tremendous help with the unknown right now. :)~

HeartHawk
HeartHawk 2012-11-16 00:48:45 -0600 Report

marimoody,

Congrats on surviving a bad situation! If they did not do a cardiac enzyme test (either creatine kinase (CK) or the more sensitive troponin level) when you presented in April this is grounds for malpractice.

On he upside, the COURAGE study proves that optimal prevention therapy is superior to stenting in non-emergency situations so stay on your meds. I would also suggets you have an advanced lipoprotein study (look into LipoScience, Atherotech, or Berkeley Heart Labs) to determine what other factors may be driving your heart disease. You can't treat it successfully until you know all the contributing factors.

Finally, thank you so much for sharing your experience. This is the kind of info that helps save lives and improve outcomes!

HH

Ranj
Ranj 2012-08-23 21:28:52 -0500 Report

On 12/11/10, at 11pm, I (a 45 year old woman) started experiencing what I thought was esophageal spasms…I had experienced them before, always after eating something starchy, like a bagel or pasta. Earlier that night I had eaten pasta. I felt as though something was stuck, and the spasms were trying to push it through. After sometime of discomfort, I tried to make myself throw up, but nothing came except severe sweating and feeling faint. I placed an icepack on the back of my neck and sat down. A few moments later I projectile vomited and experienced relief from the spasms. I was quite weak, so I threw away the blanket I vomited on and sat up in a chair all night and fell asleep. When I awoke the next morning, the spasms were back. At this point, I decided I had lung cancer, because my mom died from it, and she had similar symptoms before she was diagnosed. As crazy as it sounds, I decided I wasn't going to be diagnosed right before the holidays, so I would wait to have it checked out. Around 3pm, Sunday, 12/12/10, 17 hours after my original symptoms began, I started having difficulty breathing, so I had my neighbor drive me to a nearby hospital. By the time I got there, I was in the exam room, when all of the sudden the nurses were putting defibrilator patches on me…beyond that, I don't remember. I awoke in CICU and was told I had 3 stents placed in my LAD, which was 100% blocked. I was told I had survived the widow-maker and that it was a miracle I was alive. Looking back, I think I was in denial. My cholesterol has always been good and I have low BP, so it never occured to me it was my heart. Now I know better. Unfortunately, alot of damaged occured and I now have CHF and will probably need a VAD or a transplant, oneday. My EF was 25-30% after the MI, but since the CHF diagnoses in March, 2011, it has remained at 20%.

Gulcherboy
Gulcherboy 2012-08-23 18:15:16 -0500 Report

One day at work I had a funny feeling in the middle of chest, but no pain — and certainly no pain that travelled anywhere — no nausea; a normal amount of sweating for my job. I still don't know if that was the heart attack because it was diagnosed during my heart cath for CHF.

HeartHawk
HeartHawk 2012-08-23 21:42:55 -0500 Report

Gulcherboy,

Hey, long time no see! How are you doing? Thanks for the reply. It is more testimonial on how heart attack symptoms are not always typical!

Hope to hear more from you. Experience such as yours on heart attack and CHF are soooo valubale to all the rest of us. Unfortunately, we have too many shy people who have yet to "break the ice" on the discussion board but thousands are watching and reading the brave few that do come forward!

Thanks again!

HH

HeartHawk
HeartHawk 2012-08-23 21:39:17 -0500 Report

Ranj,

Great story and very instructive. Glad you survived "the big one!" This is more proof that cholesterol and BP don't always tell the whole story! There are so many more and better indicators.

HH

Ranj
Ranj 2012-08-23 21:58:37 -0500 Report

You are absolutely right, HH. I have a strong family history on my Dad's side, but it only affected the men. I found out later that my aunt on my Mom's side died from Cardiac Arrest at age 39. She had a congenital defect that caused her heart disease. According to my cardiologist, she believes, after looking at my records taken after my MI, I had the cardiomyopathy that is causing my CHF before the heart attack occurred.

HeartHawk
HeartHawk 2012-08-23 22:02:52 -0500 Report

ranj,

Thanks for the extra info. As you can see it is not always so easy figuring this out. You were smart to do a little extra investigating!

HH

harley64
harley64 2012-08-31 21:26:45 -0500 Report

Hello everyone, I see the discussion is in reply to "Had a Heart Attack! What were your sysmptons? It was over 14 years ago, I was at the young age of 32, was in a dead sleep and woke up to this very bad feeling of heart burn or what I thought was heart burn. I got up to drink some milk and as I was walking back to the bedroom the pain in my chest just got worse, so I called the ask a nurse program here in Wi and they called 911 and told me it sounds like I was having a heart attack. By the time I was in the middle of the conversation with the 911 dispatch my Right arm was tingling and went numb. This was the scariest day of my life. Not to mention I had to be the main attraction at the hospital when nurses found out the patient having a heart attack was only 32 years old. By no choice could I change any of this because it's herederity on my dad's side of the family.

HeartHawk
HeartHawk 2012-08-31 23:43:27 -0500 Report

harley,

Did you ever determine what factor led to your heart attack? I would suggest talking to your doc about checking your lipoprotein(a) if you have not already. It is a newly discovered proven, independent risk factor assoicated with heart attacks in the young.

I know a guy who had a heart attack at 29 after spending all day water skiing. It can happen to anyone at any time. The key is to find out why you had a heart attack and correct it so you do not have another. Statins are not always the answer!

HH

HeartHawk
HeartHawk 2012-08-31 23:43:27 -0500 Report

harley,

Did you ever determine what factor led to your heart attack? I would suggest talking to your doc about checking your lipoprotein(a) if you have not already. It is a newly discovered proven, independent risk factor assoicated with heart attacks in the young.

I know a guy who had a heart attack at 29 after spending all day water skiing. It can happen to anyone at any time. The key is to find out why you had a heart attack and correct it so you do not have another. Statins are not always the answer!

HH

Anonymous
Anonymous 2012-08-23 09:36:00 -0500 Report

Jan 28, 2005 I was awaken with severe pain in he bones of my right shoulder, 7hrs later I called a co worker to take me to the hosp, couldn't drive because there was too much snow on my car. I walked into the ER with the widow maker. I received 3 stents 2 days later a fourth, 5 months later a 5th and 3 months later a 3 vessel bypass. I did not know I was having a heart attack when I walked into the hosp. Later looking at months earlier I can see some possible symptoms. Oh, I quit smoking, jan 28, 2005. I was 58, thought I had time to quit and get healthy.

HeartHawk
HeartHawk 2012-08-23 21:45:24 -0500 Report

Anon,

Hey, if it got you to quit smoking then there was a silver lining to that dark cloud. It is NEVER too soon to quit the single biggest yet most controllable cause of heart disease.

Congrats on breaking through!

HH

pappa4ever
pappa4ever 2012-08-21 10:07:40 -0500 Report

On August 31, 2010, I laid down to go to sleep and realized my heart was racing. Got up and checked my blood pressure. It was 187/120 and my heart rate was 153. Proceeded downstairs to alert my son. When they stood me up I could not catch my breath and I almost passed out. Left anterior artery was 95% blocked and had 1 stent put in. Doing real well now after losing over 60 pounds and a lot of walking for exercise.

HeartHawk
HeartHawk 2012-08-22 22:25:59 -0500 Report

pappa,

Great story and a good lesson. Sounds like you had little or no pain, nausea, sweating but did have shortness of breath. Great news on losing the weight and using exercise. These two "prescriptions" are the most powerful tools in our health arsenal.

HH

pappa4ever
pappa4ever 2012-08-23 12:42:16 -0500 Report

I had no pain, nausea or sweating. It was, to put it simply, a weird experience that I do not wish to participate in again anytime soon.

grammaschell
grammaschell 2012-08-16 15:54:24 -0500 Report

when I was 52 I had bad indegestion and jaw pain, which led to 4 stents & a double bypass, now 143 yrs later with healthy eating habits, and becoming a vegetrian I'm doing good

HeartHawk
HeartHawk 2012-08-16 22:47:01 -0500 Report

gramma,

At what point did you realize it was a heart attack? Most people tend to dismiss these symptoms as somethng else but there was a point where you finally sought treatment. How long did you wait?

HH

grammaschell
grammaschell 2012-08-19 17:23:05 -0500 Report

about 1 week until one night at work ,the indegestion wouldn't quit & the person I was replacing wouldn't leave & called an ambulance

HeartHawk
HeartHawk 2012-08-19 21:49:07 -0500 Report

gramma,

Wow, you had the pain for a week?! How did you make it through the day with all that pain. Did it come and go?

HH

MRainey
MRainey 2012-08-14 10:50:15 -0500 Report

June 21, 2008, I experienced nausea only at first. The sweating and chest pain came soon after. I had trouble breathing and asked co-worker to call 911. I had no previous chest pains or symptoms. One of my main arteries (forget which one) was totally clogged. A good thing I was at work and only minutes from hospital, otherwise I wouldn't be here. Heart damage was so severe that I will need a transplant somewhere down the line. I was only 39 at the time.

J Kate
J Kate 2012-08-14 14:02:13 -0500 Report

Wow. 39, that is so young. I'm glad you were so close to a hospital. When my dad had his heart attack, he ignored it for a few hours. He thought his back was out because the pain was in his back. He lived, but he's not the same. His quality of life went way down. I don't think he will ever really recover.

MRainey
MRainey 2012-08-14 16:14:15 -0500 Report

sorry to hear about your dad. How old was he when he had his? With all the damage I suffered I now have congestive heart failure too.

MRainey
MRainey 2012-08-14 23:03:08 -0500 Report

thank you. It's hard sometimes, but the dr's have me feeling pretty good now so it could be a lot worse. Thanks again.

CWMecca
CWMecca 2012-07-12 18:37:43 -0500 Report

August 12, 2011, I experienced severe vomiting, sweating, pressure in my chest and back (like being in a vise), pain in my jaw and shoulder. We thought it was my gall bladder and called the paramedics. I was told in the hospital that I'd had a heart attack! I had NO clue those were symptoms. I've since found out that women have the symptoms I had more often than the classic signs of pain in the arm and chest.

HeartHawk
HeartHawk 2012-07-12 23:09:40 -0500 Report

CW,

Yup, pretty classic symptoms. You can see how valuable your experience is for others. So many do not realize these are heart attack symptoms! You may have saved many lives.

HH

polina123
polina123 2013-08-14 20:01:02 -0500 Report

my heart attack happen at three 15 in the morning while i was asleep in my bed i woke up out of my sleep and could,en breathe its just i could,en breathe at all no pain what so ever… just could,en breathe had no other symptoms until i got to the hosb then they sent me to more testes and it show i have 100% block inside of my heart and only have two small artr lift everything else was block..and i have the same heart trouble my mom had she died at the age of 54 the same age i am now! that happen three years ago but along the last few years was have a lot of back pain and was having a lot of trouble breathing to back then but who would know that it was heart trouble …and been to the hosb alot and they were saying it was gall blader trouble then found out three years later it was my heart