Heart Attack — Not Me

What in the world would cause me to stop dead in my tracks while doing my daily work out?  A report on the Fox News Channel that said I may be having a heart attack and not even know it.  

I already know that heart attacks are the #1 killer of women (cancer is second).  I already know all about “Wear Red for Women” in February as a reminder and to bring awareness of this #1 killer.  I am a regular contributor to the American Heart Association in honor of my maternal grandmother who died due to heart complications. What was it then that I didn’t know that caught me so off guard?  That after extensive research and findings, there is a very real possibility that I might never know I am having a heart attack.  And what a drag that would be because by the time I figured out something might be wrong, it would be too late.

Apparently, the common signs of a heart attack (chest pressure, aching right arm, shortness of breath) are not so obvious with women.  For some reason, heart attack symptoms in women are more subtle and can often be mistaken for the results of a stressful day, a case of the flu, or even just the normal aging process. Because as women it is in our DNA to “work through it,” our natural tendency is if we aren’t feeling well, just take a deep breath and push forward instead of take stock of what our body is saying and get some help.  

What are some of the womanly signs of a heart attack that you should take note of? Severe back pressure, dizziness, lightheadedness, and fainting.  If these (or any of the traditional symptoms) persist for 2-3 minutes, immediately call 9-1-1 and get to a hospital.

Moral of this story: Don’t be proud. If something just doesn’t feel right and lasts more than a minute, GET HELP RIGHT AWAY. A little possible embarrassment in case you were wrong in your diagnosis is worth your life don’t you think?

P.S.  Did I happen to mention, that with all this emphasis this week on strokes and heart attacks and overall good health habits, I made an appointment with my doctor to discuss these items and a couple of other things that have been on my mind?  When was the last time you had a “heart to heart” with your physician? More to follow.     

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