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Old 07-31-2002, 09:59 PM   #1
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Question Heart Attack at 43 years old

I am a 43 year old woman who had a heart attack eight weeks ago (June 4th), that didn't feel like a heart attack. I had had cramping in my shoulders a couple days prior to June 4th that I contributed to a car accident I had on April 24th (that caused right shoulder and elbow pain). On June 4th, I had more of the same cramping but it was lasting longer than the days before. That evening I was lying in bed and the cramping was strong and was lasting a long time. It was in both shoulders and across my back and my chest and up my neck and down both arms. My husband finally got the cramping to go away by massaging my shoulders and putting ice on my shoulders. I went to see a PA (because my doctor was on hospital rounds that week) and she suggested a EKG and had some blood taken. The EKG showed a slight blip and she was concerned. She had an appt. made with my regular doctor and told me to go home and rest and take an asprin everyday and see my doctor on Monday (this was Weds I saw her). I did not have anymore cramping and was feeling fine. The PA called me on Friday afternoon and asked how I was feeling and then told me that she had some results from my blood work. She said that my cardiac enzymes were 435 and that normal cardiac enzymes were 75 to 140. I asked what that meant and she said that I was to stay in bed and take an asprin everyday and see my doctor on Monday, oh and call an ambulance if it happens again. The next day I looked up Cardiac enzymes on the web and saw that it meant that part of my heart muscle was dead or dying. My husband took me to the hospital and they admitted me and ran another EKG and took blood a lot. A cardiac doctor saw me on Sunday and heard what lead up to this and he scheduled me for an angiogram on Monday. Monday afternoon I had the angiogram and it showed I had a 99% blockage on the left front side of my heart and that it was too close to the main branch for an angioplasty and I had to have a single bypass. There were no other blockages or anything close to a blockage. I was driven to the nearest cardiac hospital and had to have open heart surgery the next day (Tuesday June 11th). Needless to say I was in shock because I had no factors to show that this was coming. I do not have diabetes, or high blood pressure, my cholesteral is only 205, there is no heart disease in my family. I do have Hypothyroidism, which was diagnoised a year ago, and I am overweight by 60 lbs. Our family was conscious of what we ate because my husband has major heart disease in his family.
OK, to ask the question.... could the car accident I was in on April 24th had anything to do with what happened? I was in the passenger seat with a seat belt on and was hit on that side of the vehicle and was slammed againt the van door and hit the seat belt, I had bruising on my chest from the seatbelt. The cardiac doctors I talk to say that it is unlikey that it could happen that way but my husband isn't so convinced. I hope someone can help me with this.
Thanks so much :-)

 
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Old 08-01-2002, 10:49 AM   #2
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all things HB User
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I'm sure there are others out there that know more, but I want to say that I just saw something similar on one of the cable channels, maybe a month or so ago. A man had no history of particular heart problems, but tripped down some stairs, and hurt his left chest. He was OK, but a week or 2 later, he had a heart attack. Tests showed a blockage in an artery, and a piece of plaque had literally broken off and headed right to the heart. Something to think about, anyway.

 
Old 08-01-2002, 05:15 PM   #3
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Thank you for your reply, that is something to thing about. I hadn't thought of that before, everything has been so up and down since this has happened. I am getting back to normal and have started losing weight since they raised my synthroid medication. I guess I am just looking for an answer as to why this happened. I may never get an answer. Thanks so much : )

 
Old 08-01-2002, 09:26 PM   #4
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Hi Manderee. To be honest, I don't think anything really caused that blockage to happen. A blockage that large, 99%, takes quite a while to form. The pains you were feeling is called Angina. Angina is the hearts way of saying, "hey, I need some oxygen down here!" Chances are that you may of had some other indication that something was going on before, but it wasn't stong enough to bother you. Some people feel it in there chest, some in the arms, back, shoulders, and some people never feel anything at all. Good luck to you and stay well.

Jim M

 
Old 08-02-2002, 06:44 AM   #5
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hi. i have to disagree with jim. my sis had a heart attack in may(10 yrs. ago),the angio showed 65 blockage,then in august she another attack,the angio showed 95%,then had angioplasty.i think when an artery is damaged it can block quickly.

 
Old 08-02-2002, 09:44 AM   #6
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Hi Jim, Thanks for your reply. But if a blockage like that took so long to form, wouldn't I have had other blockages as well in other arteries, maybe not 99% like that one, but some blockage? I did not have any. The only time I had any pain anywhere was in my right shoulder, but that was only after the car accident in April. I asked the doctor performing the angiogram if it could have been caused by a small tear in the artery and he said it was possible. My husband seems to think that the cardiac doctors are not wanting to say that it is a possiblility it could have been caused by the accident because we are suing the guy that hit us and they don't want to be dragged into litigation.

 
Old 08-05-2002, 09:13 PM   #7
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Jim M HB User
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phja--When your sis had her 1st attack, she had a 65% blockage. 3 months later there was a 30% increase in that blockage to 95%. I argree that the larger the blockage gets, the faster it will increase, But what I was saying to manderee is that I believe that there was already a blockage developing the went undetected until now. As far as a "small tear" in the artery from the accident, I believe that would have caused even bigger problems. That artery is part of the heart. I believe that if somehow somethng was able to damage that artery, there would have been some type of damage done to the heart also, like bruising or something like that. Look, I am not a DR., but I have been dealing with heart problems and all the different tests you can thing of for the past 15 years from my first 3 heart attacks when I was 33 to the heart transplant I had 2 years ago. This does not make me an expert by any means. I'm just passing on my opinion based on what I have learned in my own experiances.
Again, I wish you the best.
Jim

 
Old 08-06-2002, 08:37 AM   #8
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jim,i didnt mean to insult you, im sure you know alot more than meabout this stuff.if you dont mind me asking...what do they think caused your attacks?they still dont know about my sis .also have you got any info on ultrafast ct scan? phja

 
Old 08-06-2002, 10:20 AM   #9
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Thanks for your reply Jim, it makes sense what you have written and I have been doing some research on a web site called Heartcenteronline.com and have learned a lot from there about what could have happened and how I can keep it from happening again. I truly appreciate everyone's replies. Have a wonderful day! Manderee

 
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