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Old 08-26-2019, 08:40 PM
 
1,798 posts, read 844,770 times
Reputation: 3070

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My Dad had three stents and 3 additional angioplasties. After the first angioplasty, the cardiologist told him he would never notice the heart attack that would kill him. The doctor was right. He went to the orthopedic doctor, who said "it looks like you are having a heart attack" He died 2 weeks later. He was 86, so it wasn't totally unexpected.

The point is that some people don't have warning signs. However, lots of people do ignore warnings. Like someone told me years ago, you can't tough out a heart attack or cancer.
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Old 08-26-2019, 08:48 PM
ERH
 
Location: Raleigh-Durham, NC
1,210 posts, read 1,678,975 times
Reputation: 2233
I'm female, age 50. On meds for diabetes and high cholesterol. Overweight. Sedentary. A1C in the 7s. Significant risk factors, right?

Back in June, I'd walked downstairs to the laundry room and felt a very strange sensation in my chest. It wasn't on the left side or right side, just kind of there. I went back upstairs, sat down for a few minutes, checked my BP (normal), and then read everything I could on women's symptoms for heart attack. I know someone who was 39, ignored her symptoms, and almost died from SCAD. I have read others' stories and anecdotes. I chose not to go to the ER. The next day, I was fine.

Fast-forward a couple of weeks. I'm sitting on the couch putzing around on the computer one evening when the same symptoms occur. It got my attention, but I did not go to the ER. I continued my evening as usual, went to bed, stressed all night over it, pain got worse, and by the morning I was ready to go get checked out.

Hubby drives me to the ER. It's not terribly busy (small hospital), so I go back and start getting checked out. I'm sucking on nitroglycerine pills while they're getting my vitals, taking blood, capturing the chest x-rays, and getting the EKG. After about an hour or so, the ER doc comes in, says there's nothing indicating a heart attack, but they take chest pains very seriously, so anyone with that complaint is an automatic admission that includes a series of more in-depth tests. Of course, I'm still a little worked up, still in pain until the 5th nitro pill, so I agree to the admission.

More tests follow -- 2 echocardiograms at bedside (12 hours apart) and a stress test with some kind of nuclear imaging thing.

Total billed cost was $32,504 to rule out a heart attack. "Must have been anxiety."

AND THEY WONDER WHY WOMEN IGNORE THEIR SYMPTOMS?

Better broke than dead, I suppose.

P.S. I'm insured, so my OOP costs are about $4000. Still, it's $4000 I don't have, so I'll be paying on that for a while. Glad for the insurance, but VERY WARY about going through that again.

P.S. It was a good wake-up call to get my health issues resolved!! I guess that's worth the cost.
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Old 08-26-2019, 10:34 PM
 
Location: South Park, San Diego
5,013 posts, read 7,696,320 times
Reputation: 9410
^^^
Glad you are ok but that is just insane. My dad died young at 57 of a heart attack, I think he had at least four, starting at around 35 so it’s a worry for me at 58 but I’ve never had any issues or symptoms and am reluctant to even enter a hospital for a checkup based upon stories like these. I fainted one time after getting out of bed too quickly and $15,000 later it was determined that it was nothing!
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Old 08-26-2019, 10:39 PM
 
Location: Ft. Myers
18,148 posts, read 11,467,636 times
Reputation: 38448
Quote:
Originally Posted by V8 Vega View Post
I got a stent 2 years ago and I had warnings but didn't know how dangerous it was. I read in the retires sitting on money and other people I have known who died suddenly did they just have a fatal heart attack out of the blue.
My warnings were I take a walk everyday with my dogs for exercise and began to have chest pains. Then a couple of times this led to severe dizziness, thats when thankfully I went to the doctor.

I had my heart attack when I was 42. My then wife and I were at a night club where my two sons were playing, and I was in the audience. I started to feel like I had indigestion, and was looking for a waitress so I could get a ginger ale so I could burp. My then wife is an RN and asked me what was going on, and I told her, and she asked if my left arm was hurting. It was, so she (against my wishes) made me leave, drove to the emergency ward, and it ended up being a heart attack. They did angioplasty and I have been fine since that time.

She probably saved my life that night.

Last August I was not feeling right and drove myself to the emergency room, and they kept me. They ran tests and said they needed to do a couple of stents the next day. They put me out, and woke me back up later and said I was too bad to have stents, I needed a quadruple bypass instead ! They did that the next day, and I feel great once more.

The point is, do not ignore the signs, no matter how insignificant they are. Anytime I get indigestion these days I go "Oh, **** !"
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Old 08-27-2019, 08:18 AM
 
6,513 posts, read 5,213,830 times
Reputation: 13432
Quote:
Originally Posted by ERH View Post
I'm female, age 50. On meds for diabetes and high cholesterol. Overweight. Sedentary. A1C in the 7s. Significant risk factors, right?

Back in June, I'd walked downstairs to the laundry room and felt a very strange sensation in my chest. It wasn't on the left side or right side, just kind of there. I went back upstairs, sat down for a few minutes, checked my BP (normal), and then read everything I could on women's symptoms for heart attack. I know someone who was 39, ignored her symptoms, and almost died from SCAD. I have read others' stories and anecdotes. I chose not to go to the ER. The next day, I was fine.

Fast-forward a couple of weeks. I'm sitting on the couch putzing around on the computer one evening when the same symptoms occur. It got my attention, but I did not go to the ER. I continued my evening as usual, went to bed, stressed all night over it, pain got worse, and by the morning I was ready to go get checked out.

Hubby drives me to the ER. It's not terribly busy (small hospital), so I go back and start getting checked out. I'm sucking on nitroglycerine pills while they're getting my vitals, taking blood, capturing the chest x-rays, and getting the EKG. After about an hour or so, the ER doc comes in, says there's nothing indicating a heart attack, but they take chest pains very seriously, so anyone with that complaint is an automatic admission that includes a series of more in-depth tests. Of course, I'm still a little worked up, still in pain until the 5th nitro pill, so I agree to the admission.

More tests follow -- 2 echocardiograms at bedside (12 hours apart) and a stress test with some kind of nuclear imaging thing.

Total billed cost was $32,504 to rule out a heart attack. "Must have been anxiety."

AND THEY WONDER WHY WOMEN IGNORE THEIR SYMPTOMS?

Better broke than dead, I suppose.

P.S. I'm insured, so my OOP costs are about $4000. Still, it's $4000 I don't have, so I'll be paying on that for a while. Glad for the insurance, but VERY WARY about going through that again.

P.S. It was a good wake-up call to get my health issues resolved!! I guess that's worth the cost.
Maybe GERD? I went to the doctor because i was having terrible pains in my chest and left arm. Very scary. Turned out to be severe acid reflux.
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Old 08-27-2019, 08:33 AM
 
9,625 posts, read 4,386,038 times
Reputation: 11153
Quote:
Originally Posted by V8 Vega View Post
I got a stent 2 years ago and I had warnings but didn't know how dangerous it was. I read in the retires sitting on money and other people I have known who died suddenly did they just have a fatal heart attack out of the blue.
My warnings were I take a walk everyday with my dogs for exercise and began to have chest pains. Then a couple of times this led to severe dizziness, thats when thankfully I went to the doctor.
I am not a retiree, but have a decent amount of knowledge when it comes to people around me having had heart problems/attacks.
Some people are ignorant, in denial and/or just fatalistic.
I will give two quick examples.

One guy I briefly knew was in shape and played competitive amateur tennis. For those unfamiliar, it is not taking a couple of steps here and there and hacking at the ball. It is continues footwork and busts of energy during the points.
In any event he lost consciousness on the court, went into respiratory arrest and was rushed to the ER. When I visited him he told me that heart disease ran in his family. His dad had died young of a heart attack, and his twin brother died just the year before of one as well.
When I asked him who is cardiologist was, he said he didn't have one.
He said he was resigned to the fact he would die of one also.

I tried to help suggest he follow up with one as did the ER personnel. The next thing I know the guy quits his job, breaks up with his girlfriend, and leaves town, never to be heard from again. It was almost as if he went off to die.
That is fatalism to the extreme.

A neighbor of mine said he was having weird symptoms but didn't associate it to heart problems. While he was getting winded for things he hadn't in the past, he chalked it up to being older and out of shape. But he said the unusual things were when he would bend over, he would start to drool. He was also getting numbness in his toes/feet.
He finally went to see his MD and when he started to do a stress test, the procedure was stopped and he was rushed to the hospital. He had either triple or quadruple bypass surgery and is still alive today.

So for some, even with common knowledge of the "classic" symptoms, they ignore them either out of denial or fatalism.
Ask any paramedic and they will tell you many a person having a heart attack thought they were just having indigestion.
Still others know something is wrong, but their symptoms do not seem cardiac related. Women tend to be smarter than men when it comes to their health and willingness to see a doctor. The guys tend to want to tough it out. For plenty of things that is the way men should be, just rub some dirt on it and don't whine about pain.
But there is nothing manly about ignoring something than can cause you to drop dead, that otherwise could have been prevented.

`
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Old 08-27-2019, 08:59 AM
 
2,472 posts, read 873,224 times
Reputation: 6284
Quote:
Originally Posted by ERH View Post
Total billed cost was $32,504 to rule out a heart attack. "Must have been anxiety."

AND THEY WONDER WHY WOMEN IGNORE THEIR SYMPTOMS?

Better broke than dead, I suppose.

P.S. I'm insured, so my OOP costs are about $4000. Still, it's $4000 I don't have, so I'll be paying on that for a while. Glad for the insurance, but VERY WARY about going through that again.

P.S. It was a good wake-up call to get my health issues resolved!! I guess that's worth the cost.
This is my nightmare scenario when I do endurance events- it was worse before I got on Medicare. I'm always afraid that if I fall off my bike some well-meaning soul will take one look at my grey hair and call an ambulance. Two years ago I DID fall off my bike 10 miles into a 35-mile ride (note to self: do not attempt to pedal bike and unwrap a granola bar at the same time). I skipped most of the rest stops after that because I was afraid they'd get all excited at my bleeding knee and my slight limp. I came home feeling horrible and crawled into bed with 2 liters of water and Netflix. I realized later that I'd gotten badly dehydrated- all because I hadn't wanted to stop and get something to drink at the rest stops for fear of ending up in an ambulance.

I've since discovered electrolyte powder, which has magical effects when mixed in a bottle of water- but I haven't done a 35-mile ride since.

And yes, do work on your health issues. Cheap prevention is best!
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Old 08-27-2019, 09:08 AM
 
6,513 posts, read 5,213,830 times
Reputation: 13432
Quote:
Originally Posted by athena53 View Post
This is my nightmare scenario when I do endurance events- it was worse before I got on Medicare. I'm always afraid that if I fall off my bike some well-meaning soul will take one look at my grey hair and call an ambulance. Two years ago I DID fall off my bike 10 miles into a 35-mile ride (note to self: do not attempt to pedal bike and unwrap a granola bar at the same time). I skipped most of the rest stops after that because I was afraid they'd get all excited at my bleeding knee and my slight limp. I came home feeling horrible and crawled into bed with 2 liters of water and Netflix. I realized later that I'd gotten badly dehydrated- all because I hadn't wanted to stop and get something to drink at the rest stops for fear of ending up in an ambulance.

I've since discovered electrolyte powder, which has magical effects when mixed in a bottle of water- but I haven't done a 35-mile ride since.

And yes, do work on your health issues. Cheap prevention is best!
oh - i use powdered Pedilayte - love it.
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Old 08-27-2019, 09:33 AM
 
Location: Virginia
4,073 posts, read 2,123,315 times
Reputation: 11285
The only warning I had prior to my heart attack last year was a pain in my chest the afternoon of the night when I had the attack. I briefly thought that it might signify something serious, but then it went away and I chalked it up to gas (I had GERD anyway.) However, when the attack began at 2:15 AM, it was unmistakable. It lasted for over an hour until I got to the ER (it was a long drive) when my heart stopped. I'm glad it waited until then as I was on a mechanical pumper for three minutes. I got 3 stents at that time, one a week later, and an additional one in November. However, according to my cardiologist, if I have no new stents before December I can come off Brilinta and just rely on baby aspirin, which frankly terrifies me.
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Old 08-27-2019, 10:26 AM
 
190 posts, read 71,730 times
Reputation: 246
I am 55 and had an incident last November. I did not have a heart attack but I had severe chest pains and difficulty breathing, especially lying down. Then my temperature spiked over 103 so hubby took me to the ER and I could barely walk in and sign papers to be seen. They gave me morphine and ran tests to discover that my heart was only functioning at 20% due to fluid built up around the heart. Kept me in the ICU for 2 days even after I wanted to go home that first night because I felt so much better on the morphine, haha. Thankfully, they didn't let me go, though. I have always been active and worked out in a gym. They put me on meds for 4.5 months to keep the fluid off. If I skipped the meds for a day, I immediately had symptoms again the next day. Pretty scary! No heart problems were detectable and I've not had any issues since.
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