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Old 07-01-2011, 07:36 AM   #1
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Heart attack: early warning signs

About six weeks ago my mum mentioned that she had bad indigestion. I didn't immediately think 'heart attack' because people tend to get indigestion, but I remembered reading something about early warning signs of heart attacks in women, and that one of them is indigestion.

I didn't really think much of it, especially since her indigestion gets better with gaviscon, and since she has changed her diet recently (like not eating bread very often, so when she eats in now she gets indigestion) it makes sense.

Since then she has been OK, just indigestion now and again. However, in the last week, she has been tired in the day and has been saying she isn't sleeping well at night. She has never been a great sleeper, but she says she keeps waking up in the night, and then going back to sleep, and then waking up again, and going back to sleep etc. Remembering the early warning signs of a heart attack again got me worried, since they list fatigue (which she has), disturbed sleep (which she has), indigestion (which she has), unexplained anxiety (which she has had for years so it is explained) and pain in the chest (which she doesn't have). She has also had pains in her legs in the last few days.

The thing is, when should you stop thinking that these things are just normal, unconnected things, and when do you start thinking they might be a precursor to a heart attack? It's the thing regarding cause and effect, how is one to know that fatigue is caused by bad sleeping and medication, and indigestion caused by changed diet, as opposed to the possibility of having a heart attack? Are these websites that describe early warning signs talking about really sudden onset symptoms, like feeling fine one day and then all of a sudden feeling tired as hell? Because they make it sound like if you are fatigued, not sleeping well and getting indigestion then you are heading for a heart attack.

Sorry for going on, i'm just having a mental battle with myself, with one side of my brain saying 'this sounds like a heart attack is going to happen' and the other side saying 'they are standard, unconnected issues that can be explained by other factors'. It is also hard to talk to her about it, because i don't really want to worry her silly by going up to her and saying 'I think you have the early warning symptoms of a heart attack'. I have said she looks tired and she insists she feels fine and that there is nothing wrong with her.

 
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Old 07-03-2011, 08:06 PM   #2
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Re: Heart attack: early warning signs

My cardiologist told me these words of excellent advice "If you THINK there is something wrong with you or someone you are close to, DO SOMETHING." Even if it's just to reassure yourself (and probably her as well) Take her into the doctor and get a FULL cardiac workup. Better safe than sorry.

NEVER say "if only", ALWAYS say "I know" Good luck sweety!

 
Old 07-04-2011, 04:03 PM   #3
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Re: Heart attack: early warning signs

Very good advice from Flower Mama. This past Nov. my hubby said he had nasty heartburn and felt tired for about 2 weeks. At the time we both were fighting colds so he blamed it on that. As the second week went on I noticed he was more tired and a bit short of breath. I asked him if he thought we should get it checked and he said..Of course not..I'm fine. I on the other hand didn't think it was nothing but didn't argue with him.

After the second week I told him to stay in bed and rest as I felt his "cold" wasn't getting better. He stayed in bed all of sat. but when I got up sunday morning found him sitting on the edge of the bed. When I asked why, he said his indigestion was worse when he laid down. At that point I told him to get dressed as I was taking him to the VA ER. We got there about 10 a.m. and they did all sorts of tests which came back normal but wanted to keep him overnight so they could do a stress test next morning. I got a call next morning at 7 a.m. telling me they were skipping the stress test as his Troponin levels went up during the night so they were doing an Angioplasty. By the time I got there he was coming out of surgery.

They told me he had a blocked artery and needed 2 stents. Dr. told me he was very glad I took him when I did as another 2 weeks tops, and he would have possibly had a full blown heart attack. Cardio Drs. told me they would rather see someone who even thinks they have a problem come in and go home fine rather then wait and have some serious problems. If you feel your mom is indeed having a problem, get it checked out.

Wishing you the best...JJ...
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Last edited by JJ; 07-04-2011 at 04:06 PM.

 
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