Doctor’s Don’t Listen To Women. I Almost Died From A Heart Attack.
Women and Heart Disease.
First I will tell you the story of my heart attacks also called myocardial infarction. Believe me at my age I didn't know what myocardial infarction even meant. I also had a doctor that would not listen to what I had to say.
I wasn't feeling well for a while just tired and not too sure what was going on. I was only 38. I had a husband, three kids and a houseful of pets to take care of. I was never a very sick person always in pretty good health.
I was so tired and some nights I would sit up in bed trying to breathe. I would fall asleep leaning over my pillow. My heart would also feel like it was jumping or fluttering when I would lie down at night. It's called heart arrhythmia. I didn't know that at the time. I was also always cold.
In June, our oldest son was graduating. I was busy getting the house ready for relatives coming and a graduating party. One morning I got out of bed and came up the stairs and my heart started beating in my neck very hard. I called the clinic and went in to see whatever doctor was there on a Saturday morning. He did an Electrocardiogram and told me it looked a little funny, but was nothing. He gave me a prescription for Valium. I didn't take them because I didn't want to take them! Which was foolish they would have helped, but they also would have covered up a big problem?
That fall I decided to see my regular doctor and complained to him about everything I had been having trouble with. He sent me for an Echocardiogram. I waited, weeks went by and he never called me so I called him to find out what my test showed. He told me I had a few palpitations learn to live with them and not to come back and see him with this problem. He made me mad and I decided I was done with doctors. I also thought this must all be in my head because of the way this man treated me.
As the year went on I felt no better, in fact, worse. I would take naps when the kids were at school and I slept so hard it was like I had been someplace else when I woke up. I made it through winter and the next summer, but when winter came again. I was really feeling bad; by 4:00 in the afternoon I didn't have enough energy to make dinner. My husband and kids would do it. My husband and I talked about what was going on with me and we even talked cancer. He tried to convince me to go to the doctor again, but I couldn’t, not again.
Here are some of my symptoms, when I would get up in the morning I would feel out of breath and I would break out in a cold sweat. My ankles and feet would swell, my arm, fingers, and shoulder would hurt on my left side. The center of my back hurt all the time. The back of my neck hurt and my left jaw hurt felt like a toothache. I had difficulty swallowing and I got where I couldn't eat beef. I have no idea why that happened. I was so cold all the time I would go to bed with a flannel gown, leggings, and my robe and still could not get warm. I would also set up in bed at night trying to breath, it was so bad. I was also very depressed. I had a feeling of impending doom. I also gained weight it was nothing for me to gain 8 lbs overnight I couldn’t figure out what was going on. I was dieting always watching what I ate never ate fast food. I didn't know the fluid was building up from my heart not working well.
I even went through my things and told my husband what I wanted each child to have.
The first of December came. Friends were going Christmas shopping and wanted me to go. I went and I felt fine when I left the house. It was cold that day about 20 degrees. When I got out of the car my jaw would start to throb. I could barely make it into another store, but once I was out of the cold and inside the pain went away. Even though I tried to hide it my friends realized I wasn't feeling good and headed for home early.
That night I had to sleep in a chair. When my husband woke me up I was feeling pretty good, but he knew why I had slept in the chair. He had a fit about it and told me I had to call a doctor.
That morning I looked in the phone book and found a cardiology doctor. Deep inside I knew it was my heart and not cancer. I got in right away even though the doctor wasn't there his physician assistant was there and I knew her. She told me to come in and she would check me.
It was a Friday and I had our paycheck and needed to deposit it in the bank. I had my head set on doing that. Well, my husband had forgotten to sign the check so I signed it. I know that's a no, but I did it anyway. The girl at the bank gave me a big lecture and wouldn't stop reading me the riot act. By the time I got out of there, I was mad. I hate banks.
When I got to the doctor's office and realized I was going to have to walk up a hill. I just about started to cry because I knew how hard that hill was going to be. When I walked into the doctor's office I was holding my chest and knew I was in trouble. All I remember was some lady jumped up and said "take her first."
They called my husband and he got me to the hospital. The minute we stepped through the door they started to question me about our insurance. My husband started to yell making them take me in. The doctor was there. The first thing he said to me was "This is not a heart attack, you're too young at 38, your cheeks are bright you look very healthy. He put me in intensive care just to be safe; a few hours later they realized I had a heart attack. I almost died from the medication they gave me because I was allergic to it. They had to get me out of this small hospital to a larger hospital, but the flight for life couldn't come in, snowing too hard. They had to put me in an ambulance to take me to the larger hospital on icy scary roads.
This is my heart the black is the artery I lost in the attacks
The doctor at the larger hospital said he would get me on my feet before doing an angiogram. They moved me from Intensive care unit into an intermediate room.
My husband was there to push me around in the hall. I couldn't stand the cold in the hall it gave me pain in my neck. My thumb also started to hurt.
That night they moved me to a regular room. Towards morning, I started having a heart attack. The nurse came in gave me nitro but was not calling for help. I had to tell her to get help and hand me the phone. I called my husband he had an hours drive on bad roads. When the doctors and nurses came running into the room the nurse on duty wouldn’t let them put an IV nitro drip into my arm. She said she would lose her job. They had to wheel me to intermediate before they could get the drip on. This happened three days after I was in this hospital.
They had no choice they had to do an angiogram and I was allergic to the dye they used. I broke out in hives. I had one giant hive over my eye. It was an awful experience. My husband said when they wheeled me out of the angiogram room I looked like I was dead. They called my family said they didn't think I was going to make it. I was allergic to lots of the medications they put me on. I was always pretty healthy only took an aspirin once in a while and the doctor said that's why I was having so many reactions to the medications.
As you can tell I made it. I was in the hospital one month. I missed Christmas and New Years.
The first few years were terrible just getting used to taking the medication. The doctor said the amount of medication I was on would normally be what he would give a large man.
I went to Mayo Clinic and they said they only saw one woman in 10 years my age with a heart attack. That was the old days when women didn't have heart attacks young. Now women do have attacks young. They never figured out why I had the heart attacks. Other than my grandfather I was the first person in my family to have heart trouble.
I lost my left main artery from the attack. I do well now. Have a little trouble with, hills, cold weather, and humid weather. I have seen all my children grow up and have enjoyed grandchildren. I guess I'm a lucky woman. I'm still on huge amounts of medication.
Hope this helps anyone out there that is not feeling good. Don't be like me, go to the doctor and if one won't listen go to another one until you find one that will listen. If I had received the care I needed right away I may have never had the heart attacks. If only they would have listened. I blame the doctor he thought I was some stupid housewife looking for attention. The way the first doctor treated me makes me mad to this day. There are more women that die from heart attacks than men, but the men get the attention and women get sent home with anti-depressants.
Please, call 911 if you’re feeling bad don’t be ashamed, call. Remember heart attacks can come at any time even during sleep. You don't have to be stressed, in the cold, overeating or exercising when an attack can come on. My doctor figured my thumb and neck hurting when I was in the hospital were signs that I was heading for another attack. He said he had a man once that only had pain in his elbow but it was the man's heart.
Coronary Artery Disease is the single largest cause of death for females in the United States.
Even Hubpages overlooks heart disease in women. It's not even listed in the listing of Women's Health. It should have a category of its own.
My List Of Women's Pain and Heart Disease Symptoms
WOMEN OFTEN DO NOT HAVE CHEST PAIN LIKE MEN:
ankles, feet and hands swell
Feeling of impending doom
Back pain or back pain that goes into the neck and back of the head
Feeling like you have a toothache
Left arm pain
Pain just in your fingers on left side
Shortness of breath
Sudden cold sweats
Pain in the ear like an earache
Shoulder pain feels like you're carrying a ton of weight on your shoulders
Burning or squeezing in the chest
Pain when lifting
Pain in jaw or mouth when going into cold
Lots of burping
Doctors don't listen to women even now they don't. I see it every day with my husband, they put him through everything check him over from head to toe. I'm lucky to get them to listen at all. I hate going to the doctor so I only go when I have to and when I do something is always wrong.
All I want is for them to please listen to me. Women almost have to make their symptoms sound more extreme to get a doctor to pay attention.
If any of this happens to you please call 911, chew an aspirin. Do not go to bed if you're not feeling well like Rosie O'Donnell did before her heart attack. You could die in your sleep. Don't feel embarrassed about calling 911.
Please Get Help.
Heart disease kills more women than all the types of cancer combined.
If a doctor is still telling you that you do not have heart disease and you feel he/she is wrong then go to a hospital or clinic that has, (IVUS) Intravascular Ultrasound Imaging. This is a better test for women. Women's heart disease doesn't always show up as easily as in men. There are times when it takes a better test.
A stress test is also a good idea. If your heart is bad you will very likely have trouble making it through the stress test. Then they will know you are not kidding or that you're not a hypochondriac.
My update on my heart 2010
Winter of 2009 I started sleeping all the time. When I would sit at the computer my shoulders and back of my neck would hurt so badly. I told my doctor about it, he set up appointments for me to have some heart test. My heart doctor I have had since 1983 so he knew me and knew I didn't complain unless something was really going on.
The test showed that I needed to have two stents put in. I was scared of the heart cath, or also called angioplasty because of a bad experience with it on my last one. I was allergic to the dye they used and broke out in giant hives on the table and having it done after two heart attacks I was weak and in bad shape. It was an awful experience as I explained above. I was worried it would be the same way this time.
The new doctor didn't know after so many years if the stents would go into the left artery I had lost. The stents went in easily; the heart cath wasn't bad they gave me something for my allergic reaction to the cath dye. I have felt so much better and I now just take a few pills. I don't have to take nearly as many as I use to take.
My primary doctor said to me, " You don't realize how bad your heart was, oh, I knew. I knew all through the years he had not been telling me the truth about how bad it was, which I hate. I want the truth about my health no matter how bad it is when I go to a doctor. I handle things much better if I know exactly what is wrong.
Red Dress Women's Heart
American Heart Association
American Heart Association Visit the American Heart Ass. and find out what you can do to be heart healthy.
February 1st. Is National Wear Red Day
Heart disease claims one woman every minute. Killing more women than men.
How to keep track of your drugs-medication
What You Should Do After A Heart Attack.
After the heart attacks. I was taking 30 pills a day and I had to find a way of keeping track. I also had many doctor appointments and I was always being asked for medication and health history. Who can remember all of that?
Here's a sample of how I keep track of my medication. I make my list using Microsoft works, saved in a folder on my computer. I also print one out and have it laminated and keep it in my purse at all times. When I have a doctor's appointment I print an extra one and take it to the doctor's office. The nurse is always happy to see it and will always take the extra copy to put in my record.
Another way I keep track of my medication and my husband’s medication, I put it in my Nook. I always carry my Nook with me when going to a doctor’s appointment. I always take my Nook with me when I have to sit in a waiting room. The medication is there just in case I forget my slip.
Keep on Computer
If this list is kept on the computer it can always be changed. Medication added or removed.
Medical History Sample
You should always have a medical history written out and copies made either by hand or kept on your computer in a folder that you can print when needed. A sample one like this one will do. Always take one with you when you go to the doctor. The nurse will love you. I do this every time. I also keep copies of my insurance cards.
When you go for a doctor's visit it's very hard remembering dates, surgeries and test. Any medical change, test or surgeries add it to your list. Have a complete list of all your doctors and anything about your health that you think would be important to your doctor. Believe me, it makes life easier.
When they hand me medical papers to fill out my mind goes blank. If I have this paper with me I can just look at it.
Do You Believe You Get Good Medical Care?
My Sister's Heart and Family History.
This is the story of my sister. We had gone for a visit and while we were there she complained about her upper back hurting and itching. I told her she needed to have her heart checked, but she insisted the pain was caused from her work. We did finally talk her into going to the doctor. He gave her anti-depression pills. That is usually what a doctor will do to women. My doctor did the same thing to me.
Later my husband and I were in Florida when she called one day and said our mother had locked the keys in the car and she had to walk to her home to get another set. She said all the way home her arm, back and cheek hurt. I told her to go to the doctor get a stress test done, don't let him talk you out of it. She went she had 90% blockage in one artery and some in another. They put stents in and she is doing better. She was lucky because she never had a heart attack it was stopped before it happened. If it was left up to her doctor she would have never got the help she needed.
I also have a brother that has had a heart attack and is doing well now after stents being put in.
My Dad died from a heart-related disease. My grandfather died from a heart attack. My uncles have died from heart attacks. Aunts have passed away with heart attacks. I have cousins that also have bad hearts. My mother has heart problems, but she is in her ninety’s. My family member’s most anyway live long lives, but they struggle with heart disease. My grandmother was 100 when she passed away. My grandparents on my Dad’s side were in their 90’s.
It does run in the family. My grandfather was the first to have heart problems. I was the second and it seem after that heart disease started showing up in many family members. I think when I had my heart attack it made the family more aware and they went to the doctor to get checked.
You Can Survive.
UYou can survive a heart attack with the right kind of care. Dec 9th was 29 years for me.
I received good advice from two people in my life about health care. The first advice was from the emergency room nurse. She told me to stand up for myself and not to let doctors ignore me because she said they will try to do that. We found that out while I was in the hospital that month. I had my husband with me most of the time and he did stand up for me many times.
The next advice I got was from a friend long gone now. She told me never to leave one of my family members in a hospital alone to always be with them as much as you can because they will need you just to make sure they stay safe. We found that out with our son when he was in the hospital. His story is in one of my hubs.
It's been over five years now since I had the stents put in and I'm doing very well. I have no pain. I can do pretty much anything I want or need to do. I still take medication, but nothing has had to be added.
My sister is also doing well since she had stents put in.
Rate My Mock Sour Cream
Easy Heart Healthy Recipe Mock Sour Cream From My Heart Healthy Cookbook
Mock Sour Cream
2 tablespoons skim milk
1 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup low-fat small curd cottage cheese
1/4 teaspoon salt
Place all ingredients in a blender and mix on medium-high speed until smooth and creamy. Use as a sour cream substitute. This sauce may be added to hot dishes at the last moment. Or serve it cold, with the addition of flavoring or herbs, as a dressing for the salad. .
Yield: about 1 1/4 cups. Approx
You can add whatever you want to this sour cream like onions, etc. I add a 1/2 pkg. of Hidden Valley to it for a dip. Hidden Valley has 0 fat grams.
cal/serv.: 1 cup=180 1 tablespoon=10
Diet and My Heart
What happens after a heart attack or any kind of heart procedure, first they send you to heart rehab and you get on the treadmills or the bikes and they keep track of how you do. A nurse is always on hand. I like this because it gets me going. I'm not as worried to try things with doctors and nurses nearby.
It will also be time to see the dietitian again. I can't tell you how many times I have talked with a dietitian not only for my heart but also a diabetic dietitian. I have also stayed in Weight Watchers. I do know how to eat and I try to eat what is good for me.
If I don't diet I can't keep my weight under control. People seem to always tell me how I should eat even when I very likely know more than they do.
Many years ago when I had the heart attacks the doctor told me to start drinking diet drinks and not sugar drinks. I'm from the south I was a Pepsi drinker. I have drink diet sodas for many years, but because of stomachaches I decided I needed to get off of diet drinks. My weight started going up so fast. I love water, but I feel like I get water logged. I'm a non-alcoholic drinker I have to have something in front of me all the time. Once I got off the diet drink I started gaining weight right away so now I’m struggling with that.
My doctor did say at the time of my heart attacks, no red meat, no salt, grilled not fried. We right away went to skim milk. Our kids don’t like whole milk at all and they’re grown-ups now. I still had a family to cook for and I had to cut out everything I could without them knowing.
If you’re struggling with the diet for your heart, you can go on the American Heart Association and they tell you on there how to eat or get a book that’s for heart patients. The clinic and hospitals also have free information in pamphlet form. I'm not a dietitian I can't begin to tell you how to eat all I can do is tell you what I have done.
We all know the basics:
More Vegetables and fruit
Lean meat (fish and Chicken)
Grilled or Baked not fried
Cut back on Sugar
Cut Salt Down
Cold Winter Months and Heart Attacks.
Winter is especially bad for heart attack victims. Cold causes the body to respond by constricting the blood vessels to help the body maintain heat. That is what happened to me when I got in the cold the day before my attacks and the day after. They taught me in cardiac rehab to keep my mouth covered while going in the cold.
Some proteins can thicken from the cold and cause blood clots. Be sure to bundle up.
Find someone to shovel your snow. Snow shoveling is strenuous activity that raises blood pressure puts stress on the heart combined with cold, not good.
Of course, we all know winter weight gain is also bad for our hearts. All you can do is try to keep your calories under control.
I get very stressed in winter because of the short very cold days, all not good for your heart. You can get depressed from this and this can cause stress on your heart. See your doctor if you feel depressed.
Ask your doctor if vitamin D should be added for the winter because of the loss of sunlight.
Winter is the time of year when flu is going around. Flu is hard on a heart patient so do all you can to prevent getting the flu.
Learn how to do CPR. You need it just in case your loved one has a heart attack. I could save their life.
2014 The Stresses In My Life
I have faced many stresses in my life and my heart has held up through it all, the death of a parent, brain injury of a son and many other such stresses. We found out my husband had lung cancer in December thinking he had beat cancer we recently found out he has brain cancer. I have loved my husband and been married to him since I was a teenager to see him this sick is hard. I just pray my heart stays healthy so I can take care of him. He needs all the prayers, care and love he can get right now.
My husband passed away on December 16, 2015
© 2008 moonlake