My Heart Attack---Index of Personal Stories
from Heart Attack Survivors
My Heart Attack --"I Had Just Had The Best Day"

My Heart Attack--"I Thought I Had Asthma"

"They Gave My Husband Indigestion Medicine
But He Was Having a Heart Attack"

"I Thought It Was Just Nausea But
I Was Having Heart Attack"

Rosie O'Donnell Suffers a Major Heart Attack

"My Job Drove Me to Have A Heart Attack at Age 37"

Alarm Clock Triggers Fatal Heart Attack
My Heart Attack--"I Had a Silent Heart Attack"
(read this story below)
"My Heart Attack at Age 30--I Thought I Was Too Young"



"I Had a Silent Heart Attack"
By Elizabeth Garrett


You know how in life, there is a saying that the squeaky wheel gets all the oil.  That
was what I thought. That the loud people in the room, the loud sounds are the
ones that matter. The loud voices are the ones to listen to.  Now, after what
happened to me, I no longer just hear the loud voices. Now I hear also listen to
those who whisper.

'I was a nurse at a hospital in Kansas City, Missouri. I had always been overweight.
All my life, people would say of me, "Liz is so pretty " but their eyes would share a
rebuke "too bad she is so fat".

Still, I usually had a big smile and a laugh for everyone I met. When the floor nurse
needed someone to work with a difficult patient, she always sent me.  I never said
no. I liked being the one who could be relied upon.  

So, one day, when the floor nurse needed someone to talk to a man named Mr.
Carter, she called for me. He was in recovery for prostate surgery, and he wouldn't
eat.  She called for me.  It was nothing unusual. Nothing I had not done a
thousand times before.  

But as I hurried  down the white linoleum hallways, I remember thinking, "I feel
tired today".

When I got to Mr. Carter, I talked to him. People are always telling me my voice is
musical. I guess I do know how to talk to people. After about 10 minutes of talking
about his life and how he was feeling, Mr.Carter decided he would try his dinner.  I
felt good about doing my job.  

I turned away from Mr. Carter to go back to tell the floor nurse when I felt a little
weak. That's all. I told myself, "Girl, you need to lose some weight."  I  sat back
down on the edge of Mr. Carter's bed.  I sat there for what seemed like only a
minute or two. But when I looked at my watch, 15 minutes had passed.  

Mr. Carter asked me if something was wrong.  I told him no, but I was just a little
tired.  Then, after about 3 minutes more, I got up and left.






















I went on doing my job for the rest of the shift. I get off at 11 PM.  I went to the
garage level 3 where I always park. When I got in my car, I felt suddenly tired
again.  Like I hadn't slept in a while. But that was the thing, I always sleep pretty
well. I had not lost any sleep lately.

The next two days I felt myself again. On Saturday, when I was due to work a late
shift for a co-worker who had called off, I dressed around 10PM to get there by
11.  Then
BAM! A horrible shooting pain in my back in the middle. It was not in my
chest.  But there was something different about the pain that made me reach for
the phone. Not to call 911. But to call my daughter who lives in Texas.  I told her
my back hurt and she asked me what I had lifted. I couldn't remember lifting
anything. My daughter is detail-oriented. She has a habit of scribbling down as she
listens and I could tell she was taking notes.  I told her about feeling tired 3 days
before, about sitting down at the foot of Mr._Carter's be. And that was the last
thing I remember.

My daughter says that I suddenly passed out. She called 911. They routed her to
911 Kansas City. She gave them my address. The ER broke down the front door,
and because of my weight, they tell me that 3 men had to lift me onto the gurney
and into the ambulance.

When I awoke with IV's in my arm, the Doctor told me I had had a heart attack.  
In fact, he told me I had had
2 heart attacks. The first one, the one I should have
acted upon immediately had happened 3 days before the one that finally knocked
me out.

The first one was a Silent Heart Attack.  That is what they call it. A Silent Heart
Attack.

I am writing this because I was a nurse and I didn't know that people could have
heart attacks and not even know it. I know that if I didn't know, a lot of people out
there may not know either.  Heart attacks do not always knock you out. But they
are just as damaging to your heart. Heart attacks always kill some tissue in your
heart. The heart does not get enough oxygen due to some blockage and part of it
dies.

I just wish that I had taken better care of myself. That all those years I was
running around for other people, that I had just taken some time to run around for
me.

Please go see a doctor if you feel something is wrong. Don't self-diagnose. I should
have known that I was just not feeling tired. I was 54 at the time. I had been tired
of course at other times in my life. But here was the CLUE.
I had never, ever, ever
been so tired that I had to SIT DOWN AT THE FOOT OF A PATIENT'S BED.

Looking back on it, I feel stupid. I should have been more self-aware.  So, please,
you be more self-aware. You may only get one clue. One small clue. One chance. If
a pain is making you do something you have never done before in your life--even
something minor like sitting down on a patient's bed--listen to your intuition. Go
get yourself checked out. We always think we know what something will feel like
before it happens. We think that if our body is having a heart attack, that it will
SCREAM it to us. But that's not true. The word my not come to us in a SCREAM.  It
may come in a whisper.   Listen to that clue. Listen to that whisper.  It could be the
last whisper you ignore.

Learn more tips to lower your risk for heart disease and you health in general:
Swollen Ankles -Causes and Cures / Sugar -The Disease Connection / Foods That
Reduce High Blood Pressure
Are you a heart attack survivor? Help others and possibly save a life by sharing your story:
Send it to pages@collectivewizdom.com

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Are You a Heart Attack Survivor?
E-mail your story to us

pages@collectivewizdom.com

What Are the "Classic Symptoms" of a Heart
Attack for Men and Women?

Almost everyone has seen the Hollywood version of
a classic heart attack. We expect to see Fred
Sanford (remember "Sanford & Son?) grabbing his
chest, staggering with a wrenched look on his face,
yelling "It's the Big One!"

But, it turns out, what a heart attack looks like to
others, and feels like to you, may be very different.

Here are the symptons the American Heart
Association says you should look out for:

Heart Attack Warning Signs
Some heart attacks are sudden and intense — the
"movie heart attack," where no one doubts what's
happening. But most heart attacks start slowly, with
mild pain or discomfort. Often people affected aren't
sure what's wrong and wait too long before getting
help. Here are signs that can mean a heart attack is
happening:
  • Chest discomfort. Most heart attacks involve
    discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts
    more than a few minutes, or that goes away
    and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable
    pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.   
  • Discomfort in other areas of the upper body.
    Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in
    one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or
    stomach.    
  • Shortness of breath with or without chest
    discomfort.  Other signs may include breaking
    out in a cold sweat, nausea or
    lightheadedness   

As with men, women's most common heart attack
symptom is chest pain or discomfort.
But women
are somewhat more likely than men to
experience some of the other common symptoms,
particularly shortness of breath,
nausea/vomiting, and back or jaw pain.
Learn the signs, but remember this: Even if you're
not sure it's a heart attack, have it checked out.
Minutes matter! Fast action can save lives — maybe
your own. Don’t wait more than five minutes to call 9-
1-1.
Calling 9-1-1 is almost always the fastest way to get
lifesaving treatment. Emergency medical services
staff can begin treatment when they arrive — up to
an hour sooner than if someone gets to the hospital
by car. The staff are also trained to revive someone
whose heart has stopped. Patients with chest pain
who arrive by ambulance usually receive faster
treatment at the hospital, too.
If you can't access the emergency medical services
(EMS), have someone drive you to the hospital right
away. If you're the one having symptoms, don't drive
yourself, unless you have absolutely no other option.
Source: American Heart Association
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