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: mezzoola, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: March 27

I am a 48 year old female. In December of 2012 I experienced squeezing in my chest and left arm on two occasions the same day. These symptoms happened after a stressful event, not physical exertion. The first attack happened while I was relaxing with a friend eating lunch. I went to the emergency room (ER), they tested blood enzymes and they were slightly elevated. They told me those numbers could be my “normal” and dismissed my symptoms as gastric and sent me home. A week later I had a similar episode of what I now know to be angina, while going for a walk. I let it pass and didn"t do anything more until April, yes April! I was growing more and more uneasy and believe I was having such mild angina, 3 to 4 times a day but it was so mild as to be almost imperceptible. On April 7th, yes, 4 months later, I went for a purposeful walk to see if I could induce an angina attack, still not knowing what that was! I was able to do so although the symptoms were still milder than what I had experienced after a very stressful time in December. I went to the ER again. All tests were normal except the slightly elevated heart enzymes again. They still didn"t believe anything was wrong with me being female and low risk although my dad had double bypass at 59. I am ex-smoker, blood pressure normal-high but my cholesterol profile was better than normal. I"m thin, fit, eat well and they just didn"t believe it. They did an angiogram only because they had exhausted everything, every other test, because I was still having mild symptoms. They did not expect to find anything. I was not surprised in the least when they found a 95% blockage of my LAD (left anterior descending artery); yes, I was a walking time bomb. I did not have a heart attack, nor damage to my heart so I am very lucky; I have one stent. All of the medical experts looked at me in disbelief. So, a year out I am doing very well but am extremely paranoid and anxious about mild symptoms. I find exercise to be the best tonic. It"s hard to find the balance between listening to your body and paranoia but I"m working on it every day. Don"t ignore mild symptoms.

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Comment from: StillShocked, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 19

I had a heart attack last week. I am a 55 year young woman. I was awakened early in the morning with an extremely (so I thought) bad, painful case of indigestion. After no relief from antacids, I did consider calling 911, but delayed, afraid that it was, in fact, only gas, and I would be laughed out of the emergency room. I did finally call, when I started sweating profusely, and had to vomit. My point is, call for help, even if you"re not certain, please! I ended up having angioplasty with a 95% blockage.

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Published: July 15

I am a 58-year-old female who had a heart attack three weeks ago. The symptoms had been there for about a month: brief periods of a burning pain in my chest, and pain in my jaw, face, shoulder, back and arm, all on the right side. I awoke in the night with the pain and this time it wouldn't ease up. I took aspirins and started vomiting. I went to the emergency room and it was determined that I was having a heart attack. Three stents were placed in my heart. I've been home for almost three weeks and doing a total lifestyle change. I am not overweight and I have low blood pressure, and the pain was on my right side instead of the left. It's best to get all pain diagnosed instead of waiting like I did. A heart attack can hit women in many different ways.

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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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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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