May 23
ricker , Posted on SUPPORT NETWORK Blog

Heart Attack

Hi my name is Cynthia Booth, on March 26 2016 I had a heart attack at age 58...
The pain in my upper back (between my shoulder blades) work me up from a sound sleep, I thought I had done something woring that day to make my back hurt, it continued and did not ease up, then I became very clammy/nausea/vomiting...We had been to dinner with friends that night and I thought I might have food poisioning.
Then in the early morning hours the arm and jaw started to hurt...My husband took me to the emergency room, by then I was so sick....they did an ekg and rushed me to the cardiac cath room...long story short....100% blockage of one of my artery/stent placed...I consider myself a very lucky women, many changes come with this diet....and excecise....lots of pills...
It is so true women have such different symptoms....and to make matters worse I have an extremely high pain tolerance..

My concerns now are that I have a type of insomnia/fear that everytime my back bothers me...its happening I wake up in the early morning hours and cannot go back to before I sleep all night long very soundly...I believe this will pass as time goes on and I know others probably have this fear also?

Cynthia Booth/Monrovia, CA
  • BevPohlit
    Hi Cynthia. I'm so happy that you're on the mend. It will be 1 yr on June 5th from my heart attack, with a 95% blockage. My symptoms were different than yours. Mine was severe heartburn. I was also paranoid for a long time but, the heighten amount will somewhat calm but, we need to be aware of what's going on with our bodies. Now you know what a heart attack feels like so when you get scared, think about everything you felt at that time, and it will help you to know if it's a heart attack or just being afraid. If you're on FaceBook, there is a community of women. It's called #GoRedGetFit. It's a great support group with so many survivors like us. Check it out, and know we are sisters of the ❤️ Bev
  • ricker
    Thank-you Bev....I'm a very positive person, I know it will pass, but it is so scary....I will check out the GoRedGetFit.. Cynthia
  • connectcare
    Hi Cynthia, I believe every one of us who chooses not to live in denial experiences these very real fears. My sleep post-five heart surgeries is broken, too. I've learned not to read or get out of bed. Usually, with time, I DO fall back to a sound sleep. I hope this helps you. Roz
  • cathy1
    Hi Cynthia, I had a heart attack May 8th, 90% blockage, one stent. I also hurt between my shoulder blades. So happy to be alive, but I get scared too. I live alone and hope my fear will pass with time. Glad you are feeling better.
  • fluffy
    Cynthia, I have the same sleep issues. My symptoms were SO slight, that I did not even know I had an infarct, until I had my routine EKG several months later. The only time I can tie this to, was right after holidays when I awakened, thinking I had strained my left arm slightly, and also though I had MILD indigestion from a family gathering/big meal. I just took an Antiacid (over the counter), then went back to bed and to sleep, but sleeping on other side so as not to aggravate sore arm. Now I don't even trust myself to recognize symptoms! EchoCardio "looked good" according to Dr. but I scored 33 on the Calcium MRI, so I have atherosclerosis; blockage somewhere, but don't know where. I now have sleep problems, because of fear of the unknown and because I do not trust myself to recognize when I am in trouble.....If I have been awake in middle of night, I take a 1/2 dose of a prescribed anti-anxiety pill, as I function so poorly without sleep. I do find that turning on the radio during sleeplessness to a 'classical music station' can sometimes calm me and lull me back to sleep.....The Anxiety is caused by my symptoms being so, so slight that I am concerned that I will not recognize them again....Any pain in neck or back (I am 68 yrs. old with some osteoarthritis) makes me worried and nervous. I hope this stage of hypervigilance will pass with time....March is when I found out about Infarct on EKG..........Wish I knew 'where' my narrowing is, but my Calcium score does not warrant an Heart Cath. test. I am normally upbeat and active, but feel: 'stalled out', rather immobilized.....
  • lbbrickley
    Hi, Cynthia...I can totally relate to what you are saying. My symptoms were shoulder pain, then down the arm and into the jaw. I went for a week like this before I got myself to the hospital. 1 artery 95% blocked, 1 75% blocked and 3 stents later, here I am. (I was 51 when it happened, 52 now.) The anxiety, depression, and sleeplessness have caused me a great deal of difficulty. So much so that my primary prescribed a small dose of Wellbutrin for me, which has taken a little bit of the edge off. I'm finding it difficult to stick with my eating and exercise program because of the depression/anxiety and I hope to get some help with that. I haven't slept more than 3 or 4 consecutive hours since this happened and, like you, every little pain sends me into the "what ifs..." I wish I had some words of wisdom for you, but I can only commiserate and let you know that you're not alone. Leslie
  • Gray
    Hi there: I had my first heart attack about nine years ago. I went through the fear stage myself. Any weird twinge, pain or symptom had me fearful. I joined cardiac rehab and that helped immensely. I also joined their support group and folks there were wonderful. I had some memory loss and was afraid to tell anyone. I learned it is a normal side effect from the CABG surgery. I learned meditation and did and still do journaling to help. Hang in there.
  • ricker
    Thank you all for you stories and it seems lots of us have this sleep I said I'm a very positive person and a strong will to live...grandbabies to see grow up....three grown children and a great husband to live life with.. Cynthia Booth
  • snowymanda
    Hi Cynthia I agree so many women have different symptoms. I had 2 heart attacks. Two open heart surgeries. My life has changed dramatically. At the time of my heart attacks I was exercising daily 1 hour on the treadmill. My first symptom was fatigue. Then it was severe acid reflex and then shortness of breath. Then one evening I had this tremendous pressure in my chest. The pressure was so severe I remember doubling over. Then the pressure was over. I can recall I said to my self "what was that". I live alone and no one was with me when this event happened. My primary doctor referred me to see a cardiologist. At the appointment the cardiologist told me "we will you up at the hospital in a week" I had to be my own advocate with the doctor and I told him "No I need it done today My father died at age 33 after his 3rd heart attack". The doctor sent me to the hospital and did the work up on me. I asked the nurse when was I able to go home and the nurse replied "it looks like something is going on with your heart" I was in shock! the next thing the cardiologist came in and told me i was going to have procedure done later that evening to check for blockages. I was scared. I was alone. After the procedure was done I learned I had a 98% blockage. I was scheduled for open heart surgery next morning. I was 2 weeks in ICU and two weeks in a regular hospital room. I was able to go home but I need home care for 2 weeks. It was a long recovery and yes I am scared it could happen again. When I get pressure in my chest I do my self evaluation and sometimes I need to call EMS to transport me to hospital. They hospitalize me for observation and check my heart to see if its in distress. I am on 20 medications to help me maintain the disease, I walk daily and workout daily at the gym. I do not eat red meat. I am unable to work not because of my heart but because of the medications I am on. I have extreme fatigue because of the medications. I go thru phases of I am tired of the medications and I want to stop taking. I was told if I stop I would feel good for a few weeks and have massive heart attack. I never thought this would happen to me but it DID! Be aware of your symptoms and never think its nothing. You need to get checked. Yes I am lucky to be alive. Jeanette
  • Maryf46
    When I had my heart surgery back in April 2002, I had couldn't sleep at night for I was afraid I wouldn't wake up, even thou my husband was sleeping right beside me, he is a very heavy sleepier! But eventually I finally got over my fear but I still have insomnia, which has nothing to do with my heart disease or fear (which I no longer have), plus since I was little have been a light sleepier and so I worry more about my husband than I do me because of his sleep apnea!
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