Patient Comments: Heart attack - Symptoms

The symptoms of heart attack can vary greatly from patient to patient. What were your symptoms at the onset of your disease?

Comment from: Mark, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: June 02

I"m a 43 year old male who recently suffered a heart attack after some physical exertion. I had been a smoker from my teenage years but, maintained an otherwise healthy lifestyle. I had no early indicators of heart problems. My mother and father are well. Cholesterol was slightly elevated a year prior to the event but not significant. My blood pressure actually runs on the low side of normal 88/58 yet upon the emergency PCI (percutaneous coronary intervention) it was found that my right coronary artery was 100% blocked which caused the heart attack. My LAD (left anterior descending) artery had 4 blockages estimated at 90%, 80%, and two at 40-50%. Subsequently, I ended up with 4 stents. I have been well since stenting but am now dealing with some of the side effects of the medications like muscle pain and lethargy. A follow up stress test and blood work is scheduled and I"m anxious to see the results. Given my otherwise healthy lifestyle I believe all of this is a result of smoking!

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Comment from: Manatou, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: March 13

My pain began suddenly but was a burning sensation across my chest and down my right arm - not an indigestion burning, more like the burn from an extreme workout. I didn't know what was going on until I began to feel really bad, really fast. Don't focus on any specific symptoms, be alert for a sudden and extreme change in how you feel. Get checked out by a doctor - my mother died from a heart attack hours after checking in with her doctor because she wasn't aware that it's okay to insist that something isn't right. The only reason I survived a total blockage of my left main artery is because I listened to my husband and paid attention to the severity of my symptoms. I'm a 43 year old female and I almost convinced myself that there was no way I could have a heart attack at my age - I was wrong and it could have been fatal.

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Comment from: jaygal, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: December 05

I had shortness of breath, chest pains, heartburn, arm pain and upper back pain.

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Comment from: Betty, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 24

I had no pain at all when I had my heart attack, just pressure above my elbow that was very slowly going up my arm almost like a tourniquet wrapped around my right arm. I took 2 aspirins and walked around and it started moving to my shoulder, again there was no pain, just pressure. I called 911. After 3 enzyme tests it was confirmed I was having a heart attack. No stent could be put in as the artery was too small. I am being treated with medicines. It is amazing that there was no pain, but I was told that women have different symptoms than men.

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Comment from: Lucky, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 15

I was 60 when I had heart attack. I got up, my upper back was hurting, went to work. At 9:45 in the morning I felt faint and thought I was going to be sick and the pain got worse. I didn't know I was having a heart attack.

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Comment from: Wifey, 55-64 Male (Caregiver) Published: March 04

My husband is 58 and had chest pain but, like so many, relegated it to heart burn. (He suffers from acid reflux.) He told me on the first evening that he felt as if someone had punched him in the chest. I wanted to take him to the ER, but he would not go. I gave him an aspirin and some antacid. Next afternoon, he took himself to the doctor who told him to get some Mylanta on the way home, but that his blood pressure was high so he wanted to see him next morning at 8:30. He was sent for blood tests (25 miles away -- he drove himself there and back). The doctor called my husband at 11 a.m. and told him to come right to his office. This time, I went with him. I told the doctor I was on my lunch hour and he said, "It's going to be a long lunch hour." My hubby was taken by ambulance to a hospital 45 miles away. He spent three days in the ICU and was sent to another hospital 150 miles away for a dye test. There is slight damage to his heart and minimal damage to his arteries, and one month later, he is recovering well. We have a new lifestyle, but we are so thankful. Don't play around! Go to the ER even if you feel slightly "off."

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Comment from: redbug70, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: November 18

I'm a 56-year-old man who had a heart attack. It was on a hectic Tuesday morning. The first symptom was aching in my left shoulder, which I attributed to sleeping wrong the previous night. Shortly after that came profuse sweating and a clammy, uneasy feeling. Then the pressure in my chest began. I was certain it was indigestion. Eventually, I knew what was happening and, in disbelief, I drove to the local ER. I have received both cheers and jeers for driving myself. I truly believe I saved valuable time by doing so. I never felt I was losing control at that point. The ER staff reacted immediately. In a short time, a stent was placed. I think reacting as quickly as I did, along with the prompt ER treatment, saved me from "the big one." It got my attention, and now I'm trying to make the necessary lifestyle changes.

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Heart Attack - Treatments Question: What was the treatment for your heart attack?
Heart Attack - Diagnosis Question: Please describe the events that led to a diagnosis of a heart attack. What tests and exams did you have?

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