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: Tracer, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 12

I am a cancer patient. During a chemotherapy treatment last December, I had an anaphylactic reaction to the chemo. Six days later, as I sat on the living room couch doing the Sunday crossword, I felt a severe pain under my breastbone and suddenly felt extremely ill. I knew immediately what was happening and asked my daughter to call 911. I was quickly transported to the hospital, where I actually went into cardiac arrest in the ER. Luckily for me, I was stabilized and sent on to another hospital with a cardiac catheterization unit where I had a stent placed. Even luckier, because of the immediate treatment, I had no damage done to my heart. The cardiologists believe that the anaphylaxis was the trigger (if not the underlying cause) of the attack.

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Published: August 01

I had a heart attack on in September. I remember getting very bad back pain between the shoulder blades and no matter what I did the pain would not go away. I tried lying down, Advil etc. I was writhing in pain. It was a kind of pain I never felt before. Now I have always had a bad back and back pain but never like this. I go to the ER and it turned out that I had a heart attack and I needed bypass surgery (6 blockages). I've been going to my cardiologist on a regular basis and everything is fine so far, but every time I get pains in my back I begin to worry and drive my wife crazy.

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Published: July 22

I have been a 50 year lifelong diabetic with a few complications. So in April when I started having indigestion pain between my shoulder blades and a clammy sweating feeling with no relief from anything that I tried, I started to be concerned. I also had a feeling of dread and doom and didn't know why. This occurred late one night and I made an appointment with my PC doctor early the next day, who dismissed it as GERD and sent me home to take Protonix. Luckily I was right next to the hospital and asked my Mom to take me over there because something wasn't right in the way I felt. I still had a normal EKG, but blood enzymes showed that I was experiencing a heart attack. I had a triple by-pass in 1998 but no heart attack, only blockages. After the weird symptoms and a diagnosis by the ER physician, I spent 12 days in CCU and another week on a heart monitored floor and finally a heart cath which couldn't be done immediately because of my taking ASA and Plavix and also being anemic. This was done a week after admission for the heart attack. Now I'm scared at every little symptom and don't know what to believe. My point is, don't IGNORE any symptom that is unusual for you.

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Comment from: acer, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: February 11

I sometimes dream like I am falling down a cliff or having difficulty in breathing. I was recently diagnosed with mitral valve prolapse. I am not sure if this is a sign of heart attack.

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Comment from: footdr, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 09

I began feeling what could be considered indigestion, I took 2 tums but it persisted, I then began feeling generally "achy" in my upper back and upper arms. I thought to myself that I might be having a heart attack. I was prepared as I always kept a lipstick sized bottle of Bayer Aspirin in my purse just in case someone was having a heart attack, including me, I took an aspirin and woke my husband who is a Podiatric Surgeon and said, " I think I might be having a heart attack" as it felt more than just indigestion. He planned to drive me to the ER but as we started to walk down stairs I felt faint, sat down and said, "better call 911." Upon arrival at ER the most telling test done was a blood test that would indicate whether certain "enzymes" were elevated that indicate a heart attack. In the a.m. I had a CT scan where fluid was injected into my body, then my Cardiologist immediately ordered an angioplasty and discovered a closed artery, then another cardiologist was called in to place a stent in the artery to open it up. I was hospitalized for a total of 5 days. I was prescribed Effient, a blood thinner and two other medications. I have hereditary high cholesterol, fatty liver and high lipids. So I am on 5 medications to try to bring my levels within normal range.

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Comment from: Maria, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 09

I started out my morning as usual taking my dogs for a walk half a block into my walk I stared feeling a pain in my chest, it felt like brain freeze, I thought it was pollen in the air, then walking around in my house I felt the same pain. So I called around trying to find a doctor that would see me without medical insurance. I found one at Cleveland Clinic. My appointment was in two weeks. By now after researching my symptoms I knew it was my heart so I was taking 345 mg of aspirin after each meal. Now I was waking up with pain. I would pray every night before I went to bed... I have a 12 year old son and a 14 year son and I wanted to be around for them. Finally I made it to my appointment. They did an EKG which was abnormal they sent me to the catheter my main artery and my left ascending were 90% blocked AKA widow maker. So they could not open with stent. The next day I had a double bypass. I thank God for answering my prayers.

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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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