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Old 03-16-2016, 09:04 AM
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Question Heart attack--Who has had one??

Not trying to start a morbid post...............but, since there are a bunch old farts on this site (I'll be 60 in November and do not know when I qualify as one), I consider myself to be in the very good health category.

Just wanted to know if you had a heart attack, what signs/symptoms did you experience just before it happened? Maybe this information will help someone here.

Thanks for sharing your experiences.
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Old 03-16-2016, 09:26 AM
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I have not had a heart attack but was diagnosed with a possibly fatal heart condition just a month ago: Heart Failure. I'm 66 (next month), diabetic, overweight, etc.

About a month ago, I had not taken my water pill (Diuretic) for several days (I was in training and didn't want to be getting up constantly to exit the room). On my day off, I got up and was drastically out of breath==I mean going to the restroom meant a stop to catch my breath, two stops to go to the kitchen. Came in and told my wife she needed to take me to Urgent Care. They got me stabilized and sent me to the ER, who diagnosed heart failure. Being a Biologist, First Responder, and Safety Officer for my Agency, I knew it was my lungs and wasn't pneumonia (which was going around and my wife was getting over at the time). Turned out my heart wasn't strong enough to pump the fluids out of my lungs.

This came up REAL sudden, so everyone should be aware that heart attacks aren't the only danger!

PS: Evidently, diabetics are susceptible to "silent" heart attacks=no pain evident.

IF IN DOUBT, GET TO THE ER!!!!!

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Old 03-16-2016, 11:12 AM
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In 1994 at the old age of 56 I got hit by what felt like 220 volts across my chest....well, that HURT!!

I sent myself in for a complete physical and everything was great - except I needed a TRIPLE BY-PASS because of almost totally blocked arteries to and from my heart!

Nothing wrong with my heart - just plugged up plumbing!!

Been great ever since........

Now, back to the original question: I understand that when having a "heart attack" the left side of the body and especially the left arm will go all numb and tingle........

Anything out of the "ordinary" after FIFTY calls for having the problem looked at by a professional......

Live long and enjoy!!!
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Old 03-16-2016, 11:39 AM
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Default Heart attack--Who has had one??

I'll take a different approach here, based upon my own actual personal experience. My BIL missed the symptoms and died in the ambulance on the way to the hospital - massive heart attack at age 60.

As soon as possible (it could happen today), contact your primary care physician and ask for a referral to a cardiologist. Contact the cardiologist, schedule an appointment for their tests, and communicate your own personal situation. Complete all of the tests - treadmill, etc. Ask about a "cardiac catheterization" https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q...atheterization

This test (and possibly others that the doctor recommends) will medically confirm how well (or not) your heart and arteries actually are. There are usually three outcomes - 1) go home the same day (my case), 2) stents (70% or more blockages), or 3) coronary bypass - go directly to the nearest cardiac treatment center, do not pass "Go", do not collect $100.

IIRC we had a situation in Atlanta a few years ago in which one of our favorite newscasters (Captain Herb Emory) went to assist another person in moving a car. The strain was too much for his heart and he later died (Captain Herb Emory passes away | WSB-TV).
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Old 03-16-2016, 11:42 AM
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Sometimes you get no warning. In 1998 at the age of 53 I was on a treadmill in the hospital when two doctors grabbed me by the arms and put me on a gurney. I could hear them talking and saying stuff like, "Wow do you see that, it's actually happening now." Shortly thereafter following a angioplasty failure I underwent a quintuple bypass. 17 1/2 years later I am still here (knock on wood) and haven't plugged up again. If I don't get back to walking daily I may be able to give you a better idea of heart attack symptoms. In 1998 I had none, just a general feeling of fatigue that drove me to asking for a stress test.
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Old 03-16-2016, 11:51 AM
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I'm officially an "old fart" at 70 years old. I consider myself to be in good health with some common old age complaints. I try to do 2 miles a day on the treadmill and usually take Sundays off. I also do exercises for a bad back and some additional exercises for my shoulders. Morning exercises take about 1-1/2 hours.

No significant health problems, no heart attacks etc and I do go for an annual physical where all the blood tests are done. Getting old does suck though as you find out you just can't do the things you did when you were younger.
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Old 03-16-2016, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Targets Guy View Post
Sometimes you get no warning.
This is absolutely correct. I am not a cardiologist, but I know of several fatal cases in which the deceased had no warning or symptoms.

"The Widow Maker" has no mercy (Widowmaker Heart Attack Explained by Cardiologist) If you're out in "The Hinterlands" more than 20 minutes from a cardiac care center, it's over.

I believe that the Rule of Thumb is one hour - max. The medical personal still have to arrive at the scene and transport you to the hospital.
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Old 03-16-2016, 12:20 PM
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I am 81. Back when I was 60 I had a pulmonary embolism (blood clot)
go to my lungs. I had 4 myocardial infarctions (which they tell me are
heart attacks). They put a Greenfield filter in my vena cava, but then
found a clot had already got above it, so they put in another filter by
going down through my jugular. All of the attacks happened during the
initial clot to lung. One at home, one in the ER and 2 in Intensive Care
unit. After massive clot busters and the filters no more attacks. I have
been on cumadin (blood thinner) ever since. Now I have atrial fibralation
and congestive heart failure, probably as a result of the initial clot to the
lung. There were absolutely no symptoms before the attacks. Just all
of a sudden LIGHTS OUT! People ask if I saw the light at the end of the
tunnel. I tell them all I saw was a bonfire and a guy in red pajamas
holding a pitchfork. Actually all through the ordeal it was very peaceful.
Besides the above, I also have prostate cancer. Diagnosed 8 years ago.
Had radiation implants. Presently in remission. Other than these little
bumps in the road I'm in great shape.

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Old 03-16-2016, 12:22 PM
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I have not had a heart attack, but recognizing the "signs", I avoided one. In 2000 I woke up in the middle of the night with my left arm feeling "pressure". When I would sit up it seemed to go away. Happened twice that night. The next day I got to thinking and phoned my Dr. and described my feelings, and he demanded I get straight to his office, which I did and he took my pressure, listened to my heart, and didn't find anything but wanted me checked into the hospital for monitoring overnight. Still revealed nothing, but he ordered a treadmill with nuclear scan and that revealed my right coronary artery was 98% blocked. I went in for a cardiac cath and they implanted two stents and I went home in less than 24 hours. I watch what I eat, and get exercise and so far I have had no recurrences. I was 59 at the time, and I'm still going O.K. at 75.
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Old 03-16-2016, 12:38 PM
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One of my brothers arteries was 98% clogged. He too was being tested at some hospital in Austin, and did the same thing mentioned above. Was on a treadmill, grabbed off by drs and sent to the E.R. of course the idiot didn't tell anyone about it tillmonths llater. Anyway, he had an angioplasty, placed on a diet, lost about 50 pounds and isx doing good now.

Other than that, I've heard shortness of breath, excessive sweating, are two signs. That would never help in my case because, I have Asthema-alwaysvhuffung, and sweat buckets because of high humidity.
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Old 03-16-2016, 12:49 PM
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In June of '04, I was on #12 at Avon when my brother (my league partner) said, "what the hell is wrong with you?" "Your game sucks."

Me: "My arm pits, jaw, teeth and ears ache."

Dave: "drink another beer, you'll be fine."

10 beers later, after completing the round and welding myself to a barstool, I felt fine. (alcohol thins the blood)

2 am, the symptoms came back with a vengeance. I mixed 2 Alka seltzers with baking soda thinking is was gas.

Nothing. I handed Ruthie my wallet and said "call 911 and tell them I'm having a heart attack and don't run the siren as I'll be out front having my last smoke." They sprayed me three times in the mouth with nitro...nothing.

I had a double bypass. I have since had an ablation, I am pacemaker dependant, have CHF and having 55 tumors removed from my head, neck, and shoulder has weakened my heart further

It hasn't dampened my joy or the love for all this world has to offer.

The moral is, get checked, don't fluff it off as gas, turn it over to Him and drink heavily.

Beer saved my life and I thank it everyday.
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Old 03-16-2016, 12:54 PM
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No heartache was about to have one. I was 62 in very good shape and no medical conditions. I went to my GP and complained of indigestion when I worked hard (running chain saw or digging post hole) not after a meal or while at rest. A sign I find out later.

He sends me to a Cardiologist who after and exam schedules a cad view next day. Well I woke up from the cad viewing with my Cardiologist hand on my shoulder when he said "You have 100% in one, 92% in another and 86% in a third" Next day (Friday) triple by-pass. I am hard head heads and determined to get out the hospital. Three days later (Monday) I walked out the hospital.

Secret get it done BEFORE an attack and a damaged heart. Life is different now but not nearly as bad as it could have been.
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Old 03-16-2016, 12:57 PM
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Well let's see,,,,3 Heart Attacks and 1 bout of Lung Cancer? I'm a survivor!
First HA was in the middle of the night woke me up and sat me straight up in bed! It felt like I had an elephant sitting on my chest plus numbness and pain down my left arm! It was a so called widow maker and I made it to the ER on time. The main artery was 99.9999% blocked and they got it opened in time. Dr said I was lucky and they didn't put a stent in at the time because the technology was to new.
The second one was minor same artery went closed again and I had minor chest pain and minor arm pain.This time it was several years later and this time they put the stent in!
The third one was about three years ago and was due to the stent collapsing! yes it did! I had very very minor chest pain and this time I really had to think,,,,am I having another heart attack? Soon a slight pain came in the arm and I called 911. The stent was relined with a new stent! So now that problem is resolved for now!

As for the lung cancer,,,,if you ever get a sore throat that doesn't seem to go away get it checked ASAP because that was my one and only warning until I started to lose weight, I wasn't dieting!
I had a tumor in my left lung the size of a goose egg, grew there in 3 months, and prior to that I had had a chest X-ray that showed nothing!
Needless to say I lost the lung and right now I'm glad to say I'm cancer free!

So if you have an inkling of a health issue get it checked! I have always tried to stay on top of things and I still got caught with the short end!

I forgot to mention, I'm 61 does that qualify me as being an old fart?

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Old 03-16-2016, 12:59 PM
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At the ripe old age of 48 I had a major heart attack. My poor wife found me basically dead in the back yard, laying on my back, eyes open and bugged out, not breathing, cold and blue. It was a very bad day. Although I remember virtually nothing from about 15 prior to hitting the ground until three weeks after it happened, I could write a book on the experience.

I had smoked since about 15 years old. My last cig was the one I was smoking when I keeled over. I quit smoking while in a comma, so that part was easy. Everything else was difficult and very expensive. Very very expensive. And painful. I'm quite lucky to be alive.

Don't smoke. If you do, quit today.
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Old 03-16-2016, 01:33 PM
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I had one 3 months after retiring from the PD in Sept. 1997. Didn't know it, just felt bad and went to ER. Did EKG and exam and said my Potassium was low, so they gave me an IV, and sent me home. My heart Dr. did a heart cath a year or so later, and told me that I had had a heart attack. I told him when and that I had gone to the ER, but nothing showed up during exam.

I have two stents now and have had angioplasty once, and get a heart cath every year or so. Have a pacemaker now, but on April 7th I am having a defibrillator/pacemaker implanted as my ejection fraction is down to 30%. The A-Fib doesn't help either.

It sucks getting old.
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Old 03-16-2016, 01:51 PM
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Cardiomyopathy(heart failure) for me too.
Right ankle swelled up. Left ankle swelled up. Jeans did not fit anymore. Finally, I could not walk from the bathroom, to the couch
Got real scared, dialed 911. No pain involved, just knew I was in trouble. Doctors told me my heart was operating at about 4%.
Weighed 184 when admitted. Weighed 142 when discharged.
Don't be stupid. Go to the doctor.
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Old 03-16-2016, 02:36 PM
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Only because it may help someone reading this, my ONLY symptom was a feeling I would get when doing exercise, like mowing the lawn. It is hard to describe, but you know how your throat feels when you are breathing hard on a very cold day? Like the cold is "burning ", for the lack of a better term, your throat? The feeling I would get in my chest was similar to the cold air on my throat, only further down. I always thought it was my wind pipes where they split off to both lungs, hurting from all the smoking. It was not my wind pipes hurting but my arteries around my heart were all clogged up. Somehow I equated it to breathing hard, but it was the blood flowing, or trying to. If you feel something like that, get checked right away.
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Old 03-16-2016, 02:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Retired LTC, USAR View Post
Not trying to start a morbid post...............but, since there are a bunch old farts on this site (I'll be 60 in November and do not know when I qualify as one), I consider myself to be in the very good health category.

Just wanted to know if you had a heart attack, what signs/symptoms did you experience just before it happened? Maybe this information will help someone here.

Thanks for sharing your experiences.

I keep a paper copy of this taped to my desk just under the phone.

911 Warnings Signs of a Heart Attack
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Old 03-16-2016, 03:01 PM
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At 48 I'd been having episodes of mild chest pains for a month or so, so I went to my primary care doc and scheduled a stress test. The the test was scheduled I was having a heart attack. Had a cardiac cath done and the doc found blockages in three arteries. I had a cardiac by-pass graft (CABG) surgery on those 3. That was 20 years ago.
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Old 03-16-2016, 03:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Retired LTC, USAR View Post
Not trying to start a morbid post...............but, since there are a bunch old farts on this site (I'll be 60 in November and do not know when I qualify as one), I consider myself to be in the very good health category.

Just wanted to know if you had a heart attack, what signs/symptoms did you experience just before it happened? Maybe this information will help someone here.

Thanks for sharing your experiences.
Not yet but the symptoms are:

1) Pressure or crushing pain in the chest.

2) pain in left arm

3) Shortness of breath

4) Nausea

May have some or all symptoms or no symptoms (silent heart attack).
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Old 03-16-2016, 03:47 PM
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I'm curious how many of you who are relating your heart attack experiences also had risk factors prior to your first attack:

Diabetes
over weight
smoker
high cholesterol - atherosclerosis or other arterial disease.
high blood pressure
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Old 03-16-2016, 04:13 PM
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Quote:
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I'm curious how many of you who are relating your heart attack experiences also had risk factors prior to your first attack?
Smoking and orange herbicides.
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Old 03-16-2016, 04:47 PM
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The looking back on it symptoms for me was, shortness of breath, no endurance and constant fatigue, I thought fat and out of shape. One morning I was sitting in my "Bark-o-lounger" with the cat watching the morning news and felt a tightness in the center of my chest with intense pain radiating up my neck into my jaws. Called my Doc and seen him that day, he went humpf, um and said, you are going to the ER now! Spent the night in the IC unit and had a stent put in the 98% plugged artery the next day. My doc who stopped by to visit said, congratulations you survived the widow maker and welcome to health care!
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Old 03-16-2016, 05:13 PM
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Genetics plays a big part. My granddad died young from a heart attack. That and my lifestyle caught up with me early in life. Smoking, workaholic, bad diet, lots of coffee, and general lack of exercise. I still drink coffee and get pizza once in a while. Now I walk daily weather permitting.
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Old 03-16-2016, 05:21 PM
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I'm 67 so I guess I qualify in the 'old fart' category. One day in 2012, I woke up with pain running down my left arm. I ignored it thinking I always have some sort of ache or pain. It persisted all day and I told my wife about it when she came home from work. She asked me if I wanted to go to the E.R. right then or wait a while (she has a very sarcastic sense of humor). I continued to deny it until bed time. When I laid down, the pain got worse, I started with indigestion and became real restless. Off we went to the hospital. What followed the next day is another story for another thread. The upshot of it was I wound up with three stents in my heart, a three day stay in the hospital and six pills to take every morning for the rest of my life. I quit smoking, try to eat a little better and get a little more exercise.
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Old 03-16-2016, 05:23 PM
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The older brother of my old hunting buddy had one at 48 and didn't survive.Eleven years later Paul had an aneurism and didn't make it either.
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Old 03-16-2016, 05:45 PM
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I never had a heart attack but when I retired I asked my doctor to send me for a stress test as I felt that I was not as spunky as I should be (I have worked out at the gyms since I was 29) and have a family history of heart problems.
I took it and they found that my heart rate would not come down as quickly as it should after the test. More tests and they found a blockage of 70% in my main artery and put in a stent. Exact same blockage my mother died of. I felt 10 years younger after the procedure.
Right after that, one of my fellow Boy Scout Leaders dropped dead of a heart attack while going for a short hike with his boy. I wish to God I would have said something about my tests to him at the time, who knows, it may have made him see his doctor before the heart attack.
Now I tell everyone who will listen, if you don't feel like you know you should and have a family history of heart problems, please go see your doctor and ask for a stress test.
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Old 03-16-2016, 05:47 PM
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I have been messianic to men since I suffered an “almost heart attack.”

My history:
I was in excellent physical condition (former USAF TAC pilot with Vietnam tour, USAFA instructor and Advanced Jet T-38 instructor) and I have backpacked the Colorado Rockies and Idaho Backcountry since October 1971, my return from Vietnam.

Into my 60s I had NO symptoms that I had ever been told presaged a heart attack, but it turns out I was a bit ignorant.

In late summer of 2011 I went to the Colorado Rockies as usual. I was 65 years old. I packed 8 days on the Wyoming Trail, going north from Buffalo Pass near Steamboat Springs. This has been one of favorite walks since forever. As with most years, I was solo.

Then I went into Hancock Pass, WSW of Buena Vista CO. Elevation in the pass is from about 10,700 to 11,300. I camped there for three days, day-hiking out the old Alpine Tunnel railroad line to some of my favorite high country at over 12,000 feet. I was a LITTLE short of breath, but still did it, sans pack.

Then I hiked south to the high end, around Upper Hancock Lake. There is a saddle at about 3,750 meters / 12,300 feet. I have crossed it many times, the most recent before this trip was three years before.

This time, however, I got about half-way up and found it to be “a bridge too far.” Felt fine, but couldn’t breathe rapidly or deeply enough to climb. I blamed it on the very busy year I’d had, during which I worked out a lot less than normal due to a demanding work schedule. I had a free-weight regimen, and fast-hiked almost daily with a pack, until that year.

Fast-forward to Dec. 17. I was getting ready to give flight checks the next day in the DeHavilland Turbo Caribou. Around 2230 I felt heartburn. I’ve had reflux for 30+ years and took meds for it, but this was worse than I had ever experienced. Sooo, I took some Pepto Bismol and went to bed. I woke around midnight, still with severe heartburn. Annoying, but I took some more PB and went back to bed. It did not OCCUR to me that this might be “chest pain.”

At about 0130 and still feeling miserable, I got up, took some more PB and noticed a strange sensation, as if someone was dragging a steel-tined rake across the back of my shoulders. Shoulders, NOT “back” to my mind, and while I didn’t like the sensation it wasn’t debilitating.

Thought about going back to bed when another symptom manifested: I started to sweat. Now, when I work out I work out hard and I sweat profusely. THIS was like a thunderstorm. What with the heartburn and raking feeling I decided to drop to hands and knees. I did NOT feel faint or in any way as though I was going to pass out, I just thought that IF I did, being on hands and knees would be a better height to drop from. Still not a big deal, I thought, just strange.

Then I noted that the rug around me was sopping wet. OK, NOW I believed something wasn’t right. NOT a heart deal, of course, the symptoms were NOT like anything I had ever read or heard.

So, like any red-blooded male, I drove myself to the hospital, seven miles away. My Dearly Beloved was out of town.

Feeling somewhat better as I reached the hospital, and thinking they were going to give me an aspirin and tell me to call my doc in the morning, I entered the ER at 0230. There were three people in line at the nurses’ station. But, as I approached, the nurse leaned out to look at me, her brow furrowing. “Chest pain?” she asked worriedly.

Well, I thought, I’ve had everything EXCEPT chest pain, so, sure, I said, “Chest pain.”

She pushed the other three out of the way, thrust me down into a wheel chair and rolled me back to the observation rooms calling “CHEST PAIN!” at the top of her lungs. I was sure this was going to be very embarrassing as the staff had a good laugh at my expense.

I could go into all the gory details of the next two days, suffice it to say that on the THIRD day (and after a cath exam) I had quadruple bypass surgery. Kinda spoiled my flying plans.

Pain explanation from the cardio doc: There are no “here I am” nerves in the body interior, including the heart. Sooo, when the heart is distressed the pain manifests as other than heart pain. I guess that whatever is nearby, a shoulder, esophagus, left arm, etc., takes the heat for the heart distress.

He said I survived only because I was in such excellent physical condition, and only 11 minutes from the hospital. I was scolded mightily by him and family about calling 911. But, HEY! Who knew?

The key thing is that the range of symptoms we can suffer is broad and not necessarily what you read or hear. Since then, a friend who was a paramedic said that what I experienced would have keyed him instantly to a heart attack.

I actually did not have a “heart attack.” Just almost. I wish I had known more about the range of possible pain, because none of what I experienced told me I was in real trouble. It was mostly just annoying.

Another key thing: Know your family history, including aunts and uncles. My dad lived to 84, Mom to 89, neither with any heart problems. Mom’s side of the family (stout Norwegians) normally live to about 100, but she had some serious problems that ganged up on her.

As I lay in the ICU I emailed some family and friends, and I said this was such a mystery because we had no family history.

A cousin came right back at me: “OH YES WE DO!”
Seems that of the five siblings in my paternal grandfather’s generation, FOUR died in their 50s from congestive heart failure or worse. The fifth hadn’t made it much further. I had asked my dad about them and his only answer was “They died of things treated as out-patient today.”

I SHOULD have enquired further.

You might do that, too.
SDH
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Old 03-16-2016, 06:49 PM
J. R. WEEMS J. R. WEEMS is offline
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Thumbs up Heart Attack--

Yes, I have-- I was 52, 19 years ago the end of this June. Sort of a cool day, was riding up I 81 to drive my sons old car back as he was having a hitch put on his new one. Got sort of a gaging catch in my throat then had to throw-up. Got out and did so, then started sweating-- so bad you could wring out the bandana I always carried since I was a kid. We got there, I grabbed a quart bottle of water and hit the road in the old car-- missed my turn on to the interstate and had to turn around. Got on the interstate and headed home. Right away my left arm went numb-- I then realized what was going on, got in the right lane and slowed down and hoped for the best. When I got home 43 miles later I was having trouble breathing and standing. As I pulled into the driveway my son was right behind me. Helped me upstairs into a cold shower, clothes and all-- started to sweat again, he called 911-- the end here, triple by-pass time. Two 100% blockages and one 98%--- was in the hospital two weeks-- at which time I quite my Camels of 35 years and never touched another one-- taking a lot of pills now, but am still moving along, be it a bit slower. Not able to do much these days but I am still here. It IS a fight at times, but you NEVER quit-- My doctor still brings an intern around once in awhile and says, yep, this is the guy who drove 43 miles home having a heart attack-- been a good run for me, got to see my Grandsons grow up and now all in college-- Have two Granddaughters I would of never known, and last year reconnected with two kids from my first marriage that I never knew--- funny how the road of life can take you when you don't quit-- last year we went out a 15,000 mile camping trip around the USA. Enjoyed every minute of it.

There was never any sign of a problem-- Some other problems were discover in the onsuing years, and the boys have been warmed to be on the look out--

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Old 03-16-2016, 07:09 PM
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I was 54 years old when I felt like someone grabbed my throat and clamped it off for about 10 seconds. After the episode I could tell something wasn't right and finally went to the ER and was diagnosed with a heart attack. Transported to another hospital had one stent put in and now have congestive heart failure. That was 4 1/2 years ago.
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Old 03-16-2016, 07:23 PM
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I was in early 40's when at work one Saturday I thought I had heartburn so I told my co-workers I was going to head home early. One of the guys there had a dad who was an EMT and knew the signs. So wouldn't let me go home but did 911. Good thing he did! I ended up having a 6 artery bypass. That was 16 years ago. I do have high blood pressure and clogged arteries, runs in the family. I now have 4 stents, both carotid arteries cleaned out, and a stent in one of them! At 5' 9" and 180 lbs, I'm a little overweight, but not much. I do walk my greyhound 4 times a day so I do get some exercise.
Yeah, getting old is not much fun, but it beats the alternative!
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Old 03-16-2016, 07:34 PM
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Sept. 7, 2003. I was 47, about 40 lbs overweight. No high blood pressure or cholesterol, never smoked and I was a very light drinker once I got out of my 20s lol-I was genetically doomed. I woke at roughly 2:30a with a weird sensation in my left arm. I sat up and felt like an elephant was sitting on my chest, called 911 and waited for the ambulance. Luckily I live close to the hospital.

Both my grandfathers passed in their 50s before I was born. My dad passed a month shy of his 72 birthday. He was a long time cardiac patient, multiple heart attacks and bypass surgery survivor. I knew exactly what was going on with mine.

In my teens and twenties I was in excellent physical condition. Constantly riding a bicycle in addition to weight training and studying Ken Po karate.

I improved my diet afterwards, increased my walking and in addition I became a type 2 diabetic.

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Old 03-16-2016, 07:52 PM
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Originally Posted by chaparrito View Post
I'm curious how many of you who are relating your heart attack experiences also had risk factors prior to your first attack:

Diabetes
over weight
smoker
high cholesterol - atherosclerosis or other arterial disease.
high blood pressure
I was 57, 5'9 165 lbs, with a "bad" cholesterol of 130, not bad at all. Smoke 1-3 cigars a week, no high blood pressure, no diabetes, in fact, ridiculously heathly.

I had no symptoms, thought i was getting the flu and passed out at work. Heart attack, The Widow Maker referenced above,complete blockage in an artery and cardiac arrest in the Cath Lab. ( an excellent place to have your heart stop) I had two stents installed.
Now, almost 3 years later, my bad cholesterol count is now in the 60s and I no longer eat things like cheese, ice cream, burgers etc. Same weight though.

I urge everyone over 40 to get a baseline stress test with a cardiologist. My almost fatal HA was my first symptom...
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Old 03-16-2016, 07:59 PM
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IIRC we had a situation in Atlanta a few years ago in which one of our favorite newscasters (Captain Herb Emory) went to assist another person in moving a car. The strain was too much for his heart and he later died (Captain Herb Emory passes away | WSB-TV).
For many Atlantans, Royal Marshall (Boo got shot) dieing a heart attack in 2011 at the age of 43 was an event that awakened many to this silent killer.

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Old 03-16-2016, 08:02 PM
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In Sept of 2014 at age I 63 started having soak the bed night sweats and insomnia. Roamed the house at night just could not get comfortable. Put up with it for about a week and then called my family doc. Come in at 2 pm today he says. I did my usual 75 sit ups that am and edged and string trimmed about a 1000 feet of driveway before I got to his office.

DR did an ekg in his office, faxed the results to the cathlab and they said get here fast so I did. They were connected by a pedway and a nurse pushed me in a wheel chair. Once we got to the hospital lobby I got up and went to stand in line to sign in. The cath lab doc was on the look out for me and told me not to worry about signing in, just follow him.

I was on the operating table shortly thereafter and one stent was put in. Said I had 100% blockage of the widowmaker artery and that I was a lucky guy. I was conscious throughout and everything went well. Ejection fraction was low 20s day of stent but was in the mid 50s a couple months later after some rehab, pretty much normal for a healthy heart. I had to wear a portable defibrillator for a couple months and take that damned rat poison blood thinner for 6 months but now I take blood pressure med, 20 mg simvistaton, plavix plus a baby aspirin and am good to go. And a big swig of Bragg's apple cider vinegar every morning keeps things running smooth.

I do what I want but do exercise regularly and eat moderately well. Very little fast food and hold back on sugar is pretty much it. I never had the elephant on my chest type pain but I did ignore some early nausea symptoms by calling them indigestion.

I asked if what I had was a heart attack and apparently it fits the definition. I never had much pain and the recovery was a piece o cake. They gave me pain meds about 8 hours after surgery, just before the stent sheath was removed, and that was the last pain meds I took, not even an ibuprofen. Wasn't being tough, just didn't need any.

The Doc says my blockage didn't happen overnight and that my heart had adapted to reduced blood flow by using auxiliary arteries but it was subject to fatal failure at anytime and that I was very fortunate that they caught it when they did. Eighteen months later and it's like nothing ever happened except I'm in considerably better physical condition. Thank You Jesus.
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Old 03-16-2016, 11:59 PM
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I'm ok so far. Thanks to all who shared their story. They are eye openers.

When young right after Corpsman school I was working in the Ft. Leonard Wood, Mo Er. An army SGT came in, that was in the late 60's, I'll never forget he was 36. DI, tough guy in shape.

He went while being examined, I was there, the ER Doc said we need Dr' So and So, I knew them, he also said the Col's weekly staff meeting is going on and he won't be interrupted. Without being asked I sprinted up the hall to the conference room next to the Col's office and went in, the 2 heart surgeons, everyone there knew me, I was the triage guy for the evening shift ER and all did their ER on call . I had just started a 3 PM shift.

When I opened the Door Col Peyton looked at me, he was not to be interrupted. I authoritatively said, Dr. Bonvalet and Dr X, forgot his name, follow me. I turned and started running down the hall, they caught me and asked for the update. They went straight to the bed and one jumped in yelling orders, He took the long needle and went straight to the heart. Then started external cardiac massage, vigorously and kept it up. there had been approx 2 minutes expire. They kept at it, the young sgt did not make it. All of the younger folks were stunned. Wow, 36 and gone.

I was assisting and looked up to see Col Peyton standing watching. The Dr's were busy, he made eye contact with me and nodded his approval.

The 2 ER Doc's both Captains were discussing not interrupting the Col for fear of reprisal. I did not wait, in emergencies one must take charge and perform the needed action.

They said the younger one is at a serious heart attack the more apt the heart muscles are to completely lock up. I do not remember hearing the autopsy results, if there was one, it may have been what is referred to as the widow maker.

I do know that guys on this forum are the toughest bunch of knot heads to ever walk the planet. Keep it up.
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Old 03-17-2016, 12:20 AM
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60 does not yet qualify as an old fart. Sorry, It will be years before you can join that club.
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Old 03-17-2016, 12:30 AM
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60 does not yet qualify as an old fart. Sorry, It will be years before you can join that club.
Old fartitude is a state of mind..
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Old 03-17-2016, 12:41 AM
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My wife harped on me for months about getting a cardio check. I had pressure in my lower chest but it was reflux and cured by Zantac or other antacids. I retired from the military (27 years) and defense contracting (7 years) and am 11 years out of the military today. I was concerned but figure we all die of something so... put it all off but worried about it. Finally got a full cardio screening with stress test and EKG. Scored perfect. I was very pleased and relieved. I do not smoke but I do love tobacco on occasion (snuff), I love a good whiskey, and chasing women down hill is ok these days. I was told if you do not smoke, drink, or chase women you could live to be 100... but it would seem like 200.
Bottom line: Get a check up and face the music if you have to. Do it for yourself and those that love you. Too many S&W revolvers left to collect and shoot.
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Old 03-17-2016, 02:36 AM
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I was out mowing the lawn on a riding lawn mower and came inside after done mowing. All of a sudden I had trouble catching my breath. My elbows hurt and my chest felt like someone was blowing a balloon up inside while a vise was cranking in on the outside. My wife was an LVN nurse and she called the EMS. They rushed me to the hospital and because of no insurance they life flighted me to another hospital under a training deal with the doctors.
I get to the hospital and they didn't even have me on any monitoring. Then the intern wanted me to do a stress tread mill test. I thought are nuts?? They life flighted me here because I was so critical and you want me to see how long I can run before dying. I said no way and the other option was a heart cath which if a person fails a stress test they will do anyway. So I opted for the heart cath.
Well I come to on the table where they did the heart cath and I saw two doctors looking at a screen which I guess was a picture of my heart. I asked are they done and they asked why. I said because I think I am having another attack. They immediately took out the heart cath and one doctor went to get ER surgery ready while the other doctor held my leg where the cath had been so I didn't bleed to death.
I was told when they did the cath that they punctured through my artery. My friend heard the doctor telling the interns out side my room that this guy almost bleed to death on the table. They did a double by pass on me. I was in the hospital just shy of a month I think. The intern told me usually when they puncture through an artery it will go back in. Sorry but I think that is total balony.
I was 37 at that time and was told I had to lose weight and quit smoking and have to be on cholesterol meds from then on. I only weighed 190 lbs so it wasn't like I was a blimp.
I was about 54 when I was having sex and I felt a sudden pain. I stopped and rolled off of her. I notice a few days later any rapid arm movement would bring on chest pain. I went to the doctor and he sent me directly to ER in critical condition. They also wanted me to do a stress test and I said absolutely not. They did a heart cath and installed one stent. I was out good as new in 24 hours.
Now I had been told before that my first time with the by pass I really didn't need one. Now on my doctor visit he tells me the by pass they did almost 17 years ago was totally blocked off. I said then how am I still walking and not dead. He didn't answer me. My conclusion don't ever go in as a guinea pig for teaching interns.
Okay now I am turning 65 soon and basically feel good. I can't do things for prolonged times like I used to but I am 65 for cripe sakes.
I felt bad years ago when I was using the meds they had me on and I checked into cholesterol meds. Did my research and found those meds are the biggest rip off but they make billions on them so there ya go.
I quit eating all processed foods and make all my meals from scratch. I haven't had to take B/P meds in over 5 years. I have my weight back down and still wanting to get lower.
The biggest factors for heart attack IMO is quit eating garbage for food. Cut out sugars and high fructose corn syrup. That basically mean no processed or package foods. Get rid of stress....that right there is number 1 cause of heart attacks IMO. If you smoke and you want to live a longer life then quit right now. All those years from the first heart deal to even up to 5 years ago I still smoked. Yeah I was the George Burns believer that smoking don't kill you. It was when I would start coughing so bad that I would hyperventilate and pass out for a couple seconds that I quit inhaling cigarettes. When the taxes doubled prices I quit right then. Since I hadn't been inhaling for over a year my nicotine levels were very low and I really had no withdraws. I do know I will never touch another cigarette. I can breath and laugh without coughing. I just feel so much better.
I also just found out that smokers have a much greater chance of having aortic embolisms. It is said men especially 65 and older should be checked for embolisms anyway. My brother died about a year ago from one while he was in the hospital to have it repaired. He smoked most of his life till after the bypass, had like a triple bypass, pace maker, and was on blood thinner. He died at the age of 76 I think.
My dad had an embolism on the back wall of his heart which they couldn't at the time do anything for. He spent a year in his bedroom before he started working part time. He died 23 years later of a heart attack while golfing at age 65. He didn't smoke, watched his weight and did exactly as doctors ordered. Both my brother and dad were on blood thinners and had the dosage upped just weeks before dying.
Best thing is chill out from stress, lose weight, moderate exercise at least and eat better. Have blood tests done and see which nutrients your body needs more of. I suggest you check out DR Mercola.com and read up on how to live healthy and longer.

Last edited by gman51; 03-17-2016 at 02:40 AM.
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Old 03-17-2016, 03:12 AM
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My next door neighbor, golf buddy, and friend was always happy, smiling,
and whistling. One day out doing yard work. Came in and told wife He
didn't feel well & maybe she should call 911. A few minutes later the
medics arrived. He was dead.
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Old 03-17-2016, 03:27 AM
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Well like they say men are ticking time bombs because we don't go to doctors until we are about dying. Sometimes it is to late.
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Old 03-17-2016, 03:35 AM
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Retired LTC this is not morbid at all. It is very educational reality. Thanks
for starting the thread.
Wife and I were on a cruise years ago. Someone died on board and they
took his body off at one of the Mexican ports I presume to fly back home.
Next morning I was up drinking coffee very early which is my habit.
One other guy there. It turns out the deceased was his brother so we
had a conversation.
He told me his brother was the healthy one. Always watching his
healthful diet. Never drinking or smoking. Exercising (running) every
day, and all that lifestyle. He, on the other hand, drank, smoked, seldom
did anything physical, overweight, etc. but still alive. Go figure.
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Old 03-17-2016, 08:20 AM
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Originally Posted by chaparrito View Post
I'm curious how many of you who are relating your heart attack experiences also had risk factors prior to your first attack:

Diabetes
over weight
smoker
high cholesterol - atherosclerosis or other arterial disease.
high blood pressure
I take meds for cholesterol, have heart disease, take a water pill every day (sometimes two per Dr.), am over weight, but trying to work on that, and smoked until about 40 years ago.

I was smoking 2 to 3 packs a day when I quit. I would wake up at night with pains in my chest, and would get up and go sit on the couch or in a chair, and after awhile the pain would go away. Decided to stop smoking to see if that was causing it, and sure enough, after I stopped smoking, no more pains. Started smoking again a few months later and pains came back. Stopped smoking again, no more pain, and I haven't smoked since.
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Old 03-17-2016, 08:25 AM
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I was 57 when i had my first one. My buddy, age 72 and i were cutting and trimming trails thru the woods on his farm where we hunted. I had the chainsaw. We went in about 3/4 of a mile and stopped for a bit, i had a smoke and we started back out. half way back to the truck i was worn out. Huh? I'd had a treadmill stress test 3 days prior and passed with flying colors. Felt like I had to burp real bad, finally got to the truck drove to his house and called the hospital.
Cut to the chase, at the ER the doc on duty says you're having a heart attack...overnight int the local hospital ICU then a nice ride to Syracuse to the heart center. 5 stents later and 3 days and I'm on my way home.
9 1/2 years later I was sitting at the loading bench when I had that same feeling, SWMBO was at work, and i wasn't sure I was stable enough to drive the 5 miles to the hospital so I called 911. 7 minutes later the EMT guys were walking me to the ambulance and as soon as I was stabilized they shipped me back to Syracuse for 4 more stents.
Both events were followed by 90 days at cardiac rehab, a change of diet, mile walks most days and other minor lifestyle changes and I feel great now.
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Old 03-17-2016, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by bountyhunter View Post
Not yet but the symptoms are:

1) Pressure or crushing pain in the chest.

2) pain in left arm

3) Shortness of breath

4) Nausea

May have some or all symptoms or no symptoms (silent heart attack).
The only problems with the above, is if you have the same type of asthma as I do? you will have the exact same symptoms. I've had those while having a bad attack, but after a few minutes to ''calm'' down, I'd be good to go. I've got perfectly clean arteries, no heart attacks etc. Thank God.
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Old 03-17-2016, 12:25 PM
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Old fartitude is a state of mind..
Not unless your 38(like I was when I as first so ''anointed'' an old fart) by a young girl riding on her bike. I was sitting in my car doing a crossword puzzle. I'm guessing because sdhe sa me doing a puzzle? that thast qualified me ASD old. Anyway, she was ringing har bikes bell and smiling when sdhe said that, but didn't expect my reaction which in said: ''Thank you.'' She rode away expressionless-
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Old 03-17-2016, 04:48 PM
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Default Indigestion

Had a heart attack in 2000. No pain, standard shortness of breath as I was a 3 pack a day for 25 years. Had quit 15 years earlier. Had massive indigestion for 2 days. Could not eat enough Rolaids or drink enough ginger ale. Called a friend who was a retired E-9 Corpsman. He said "Go to the hospital you have had a heart attack." He was right. Keep a close check and get checked out for any symptom. Thought I was having lung problems. My pulmonologist told me to go see my Cardiac MD. Had a 95% blocked artery. I now have three stints and tomorrow I'm having tests because there is a chance I need another. DON"T LET ANY SYMPTON GO BY. GET IT CHECKED OUT.
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Old 03-17-2016, 08:09 PM
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I was 47 years old in 1987 and had pain when we were working cattle if I had to run to try to head them off to get them in the pen after a few running steps I would have to lay on the ground to get my breath and then I would seem to be OK. I had a physcial a month or so later and the Dr. said I needed to have a test to see if I was blocked, I was and went into the hospital after the check and the next day they did a double by-pass, luckily my blockages were close to the mammary veins so they tied to those and did not use leg veins. I found out later that they would last longer than leg veins. Had this done in Dec of 87 and still use the cardioligst that found it in 87, about 25 years later he asked me "you know you had a heart attack" this was the first time I had heard of it then he said yes you have heart damage. The sensation I remember from 87 was when I over did and exerted I got the feeling that you got when you were a kid and it was really cold and you ran and got that terrible hurt in your chest from running and breathing in that cold air into your chest and yes I am a true O F. Another piece of advice to all that have posted in this you are at a high risk for a aortic aneurysm, I had one in 07 and had to be fixed, they can be found with an ultrasound, and white people are prone to them, this was told to me by the surgeon. Jeff

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Old 03-18-2016, 04:52 PM
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Couple things I really wanted to mention about symptoms.

I was told and read that:
1. It would be the worst pain of my life.
2. I would be short of breath.
3. It would feel as though an elephant was sitting on my chest.

I HAD NONE OF THOSE SYMPTOMS.


1. I have been shot twice, and beaten nearly to death, and the pain of this attack wasn't even close to those.
2. I was not short of breath. I could breath fine.
3. No elephant, not even a flea.
I felt no distress that *I* associated with my heart. It seemed to be beating fine - to me.
I had no pain in either arm, and no pain in my shoulder joint areas.

Really horrible indigestion, the feeling of a rake being drawn across the backs of my shoulders, and extreme sweating were my symptoms.

I was still able to drive myself to the hospital and walk in the door - all seriously bad decisions.

Four years later I was in my doctor's office to see her about what I thought was an unrelated issue. The nurse was taking my vitals and when she took my pulse she said she wanted to get an EKG.
NOT what you want to hear your nurse say.
She looked at it and said she was going to call the doc.
NOT what you want to hear your nurse say.
He (mine was busy) took one look at the EKG and said "Call the paramedics."
NOT what you want to hear your doc say.
The paramedics arrived and put their own heart monitor on me. After a brief look at the printout one said "We're transporting NOW."
NOT what you want to hear the paramedic say.
Then I checked out for a few minutes. I woke in the ambulance, on the gurney. The paramedic was hooking up ANOTHER heart monitor and putting sewer pipe-sized IV's in my arms. He said it would take about 20 minutes to prepare (read: stabilize) me for the 12 mile trip to the hospital.
I was thrilled that I'd get a lights-and-sireen ride to the hospital. Didn't work out quite that way.
The paramedic told one who was still outside the ambulance to call for a third one to meet us at the junction with the Interstate, about five miles away.
NOT what you want to hear the paramedic say.
He then signals to the second paramedic who was already in the ambulance to "Take a look at this."
NOT what you want to hear from the paramedic.
The second one takes a quick look and says "We're transporting NOW."
NOT what you want to hear from the paramedic.
They closed the doors and I felt the bump over the seam between the parking lot and the street, and checked out again, not waking until I was being dragged into the ER. Stayed in the heart ICU for six days while they poured a pharmacy of stuff through me.

My only symptom: I felt tired.

Last edited by Harkrader; 03-18-2016 at 05:05 PM.
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