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Old 01-19-2005, 07:59 AM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: wisconsin
Posts: 333
solardust HB User
sleep apnea and the heart

Hi Everyone First off I will apologize on the onset for such a lengthy thread,I normally post on the spine board because of some recent surgeries,then I went over to the sleep disorders because of a sleep study I underwent on Dec 27th of this past yr,now I will post her in case I can be of some help to others here,I am a 44 yr old female,that suffered a massive heart attack at age 36 yrs,which resulted in a dissection of my left decending artery that then sent me into surgery for a double bypass,I was normal wieght but a smoker with a high family history of heart disease,although my family practioner said females need not worry since we have hormones that protect us,(sure) anyway on to why I write,all my life I have had sleep issues, socks stuffed in my mouth from sisters when I was young because I snore like a something awfull,even waking myself at times,well due to the neck issues this past few months,I was sleeping in our recliner,well my older son went on and on how I sound as if I am dieing while I sleep and my husband commented that I always have been like that, no wonder the poor man ended up on the couch so often,apparently this sleep thing was so bad that my older son would not drop it,he even said I looked dead at points, gray and not breathing,well I went in for the sleep study and not 2 hours into my sleep they wheeled in the cpap machine and hooked me up,I felt I should post here because this disorder is very hard on the heart and no one ever picked up on it, not even the icu nurses that had me in the unit for 17 days,so if any of you even think you possibly have this problem, get help, I cannot help but wonder if it did not have something to do with the earlier onset of heart disease that I suffer from. Diana

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Old 01-19-2005, 07:45 PM   #2
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 460
NineLives HB User
Re: sleep apnea and the heart

Diana there is a good chance that the sleep apnea contributed to the heart problems. It raises the blood pressure and over works the heart. Don't you just love how they tell us ladies that we don't need to worry about heart disease that our hormones protect us? My hormones must have overslept!

Old 01-20-2005, 06:48 AM   #3
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: wisconsin
Posts: 333
solardust HB User
Re: sleep apnea and the heart

Hi Ninelives, I love your handle!Yep you could not be more right in regards to Doc's, women, and hearts.I went in one week after my 31 yr old brother had his heart attack,my cholesteral tests came back,with bad results,hdls at 29 and everything else high,that should of been enough for me,but 6 months later I had what I thought was a heart attack , I called got in,my Doc ran a ekg,said there was a slight variation in the reading,set me up for a stress test in a week,but happily told me,"Not to worry"blah, blah ,blah.Well.... 3 days later I had the massive attack Thankfully the ER doctor was good,and TBA worked,but as I was being transferred to a larger hospital,all I could think was,how stupid I was, for listening to that idiot,I had 5 kids at home ,the yougest age 7,and a husband that became the main caregiver over night, what a mess!All our kids were tested, and not a one had HDL's over 22,Our oldest is now 27 yrs old,and I had to go in to the Doctors with him, to make sure he was given Cholesteral meds,Gee's one would think it was a no brainer!Thankfully I am alive to _ _ T C H !Well have a good one , tell me your story,ok?Diana

Old 01-20-2005, 08:14 PM   #4
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 460
NineLives HB User
Re: sleep apnea and the heart

My story is kinda long but here goes. I had two incidents where it felt like a quick sharp pain on the left side of my chest in about a 9 month period. I joked about it saying gee I hope that's not my heart. I was a beauty salon owner and one Monday morning I was cleaning my shop and suddenly had pain between the shoulder blades that made me feel nauseous. Then it moved to the center of my chest causing pressure making it hard for me to breathe and it radiated down my left arm to my pinky finger. I was almost afraid to move but I walked slowly to the phone and then sat and called my husband and said I feel like I'm having a heart attack. He said I'll be right over and in the meantime the pain wasn't getting any better so I dialed 911 for myself. By the time the EMT arrived the pain was gone but I had that feeling of doom and so they felt I should go to the ER. ER doc felt it was my stomach or anxiety but kept me anyway and had stress test next morning with nuclear scan. Everything looked fine and was sent home with heartburn medication. For the next 6 weeks I was back and forth to the ER with chest pain and shortness of breath with rest and occasionally with exertion. They kept doing EKG's and chest xrays and I kept saying I think this is my heart. I was told that if it was my heart the pain would not stop. Finally they kept me again after going to the ER with same complaints and they did cath. I had 75% blockage at the top of the LAD which the cardiologist told me if it had not been found and completely blocked I probably would not have survived. I was fortunate that I didn't have a heart attack. They couldn't do a stent at the hospital that I had my cath in so I went by ambulance to Louisville, KY where the stent was put in. About 6 weeks later I began having the same sort of symptoms but not exactly like before. I went back and they did a cath and I had some restenosis around the stent but was told I shouldn't be feeling pain from that. Went back again with similiar symptoms a few weeks later and the artery had narrowed more but was told I shouldn't be having symptoms from that. In the meantime they kept treating me for stomach problems. Finally at about 3 months after my stent I was sitting in church and had that crushing pain in the center of my chest and shortness of breath again and my husband took me to the ER. They kept me in ICU overnight and the next morning my doctor suggested a cath so back to Louisville I went by ambulance again which I had done probably 4 times in that 3 month period. The cardiologists still didn't think anything was wrong but did a cath because of my symptoms. The staff asked me if I felt able to walk to the cath lab. Well at the time I did. I wasn't having any pain because all I was doing was laying in a hospital bed. They did the cath and the artery had shut back down to 97% due to scarring around the stent. I had to have immediate emergency heart bypass. Basically for the previous 2 years before I had some occasional shortness of breath and the night before I called 911 for myself I had some shoulder pain, but aside from just feeling kind of tired I feel like it snuck up on me. I was 41 at the time. Didn't smoke, had cholesterol below 200, but had a low HDL, no diabetes, and no high blood pressure. My father had a heart attack at age 59 and some uncles had heart attacks also. One female cousin had a heart attack at 39 but she was a smoker so I assumed that was why she had a heart attack and just didn't consider myself at risk.
Because of my heart problems two of my three brothers have gotten blood work done and all of us have low HDL. The one brother won't go get his checked. My lipids are really good now, but I worry that it's giving me a false sense of security.
My name came from the fact that I feel like I've already used up two lives so I'm hoping I've got at least 7 more!
You said you couldn't believe how stupid you were. It's not being stupid! You put your trust in the people who are suppose to know the answers. I know there were times that I began to think I must be crazy. Is this all in my head? I was almost embarrassed to go back to the ER again because I thought they're going to think I'm nuts, but my gut instinct told me something was really wrong. Thank God someone finally took me serious.
I hope you are doing well now and didn't suffer alot of damage from your heart attack. I don't know how I managed to be so lucky as to not have had a heart attack. Angels I guess!

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