Me? A Heart Attack? At 55?
Conversations with Cardiologists during Five Days in the ICU

Heart Attack Warning Signs for Women

Articles I have been reading tell me that the warning signs for women can be different than for men.  For instance, it is more likely for a woman to have some of the peripheral symptoms such as jaw pain, back pain, shortness of breath, a feeling like you have the flu , nausea, and heartburn.  From my experience, I had chest pains that ranged from mild to very sharp that just lasted a few minutes.  This happened for about a month before my event.  So if this is happening to you, don't ignore it!

The jaw pain would often linger for longer than the chest pains, which were sometimes only a pressure or tightness.  I understand that this is also something that happens more often in women than in men.  During the actual event, my jaw pain extended down into my back and radiated down my side.  At that point, it was quite severe. 

Also, for weeks before the event, I had intermittent shortness of breath that would come on suddenly and leave just as suddenly.  I would get dizzy during these attacks just for a moment.  It was disconcerting.  

One of the biggest signs that people dismiss (as we are taught not to listen to our intuition) is a feeling of impending doom.  Our bodies do try to tell us that something is wrong and it is best to listen.  I had nightmares - one in which a beautiful ancient building was being blown up by terrorists and I was powerless to stop it.  Another nightmare had me sitting way above the world on a rock formation looking down at an amazing view.  Here I was enthralled until I tried to get down.  Then, I found I was stuck on the rock. I was in the midst of working my way down when I woke up - which was an indication that I was being given a path to healing. 

Also before the "event", when I would eat a big meal, I would get heartburn much more readily than even before.  Often, chest pains would be accompanied by nausea and/or heartburn.  The morning of the event, I had nausea so badly I felt like I had the flu.  

Here are some great links to review for information about how women's symptoms vary, and what to watch for.  Sadly, every year many women die as they just don't think it can be happening to them or they dismiss the symptoms.  Although I had dramatic heart pain, some women don't.  It is critical to listen to your body AND your intuition in order to make sure you don't become one of these sad statistics.

American Heart Association - Women's Symptoms

WebMD - Women's Symptom's

Secondscount.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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