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: 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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Comment from: mrogerson, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: September 11

I was a 32 year old female who worked in the hospital. I had worked all day and had 1 more hour left of my shift. I went out to smoke as I always did. When I came back in, I was walking down the hall and I suddenly felt like I was getting the flu. All the joints in my upper body ached on both sides. I sat down for a bit. Someone was talking to me and I felt like I was fading away. I had to get up and move. I felt very agitated and couldn't sit still. Then the sweating came. In seconds, I was drenched. I told my coworkers that I didn't feel right and I was going to the ER. I thought it might be my blood sugar. The ER doc immediately pushed the chair I was in to the bed because he said something didn't look right. They did EKG and it was normal. About 10 mins. later I had a pain in the center of my chest. Did another EKG and said I was having a heart attack. They gave me Retavase and had me airlifted to the bigger hospital. I had a heart cath and 2 stents placed. 2 days later, I had another heart attack, another cath, and 2 more stents. Needless to say, I had major life changes. Quit smoking and try to live a healthy life. At 32 who would have thought. But it has been a year and I'm still here.

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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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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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