New Years Eve 2015 started off being a little tingly for me; literally. A little tingling sensation radiated from my neck on my left side down to my legs. Even my left arm experienced it. This came and went through New Years Day, then stopped. However, I had been quite fatigued for the past few days and not sleeping well. The holidays always make me a little anxious and this year, I had my first Christmas without our beloved Brittany Spaniel which was making this season even harder. I kept my symptoms to myself not wanting to worry my hubby or kids.
On to Saturday, January 2, 2016. I fully planned on writing my first blog of the year but at 11 a.m., I abruptly felt achy pain in my left arm that would not let me type. This pain continued throughout the day and finally before bed, I took a high dose of Ibuprofen. I slept well until the early morning on Sunday when I had to get up early to pick my daughter up from a friends house. My left arm was heavy so I drove with just my right arm.
Back at home, I went back to bed. When my hubby got me up at 11:20 a.m. I felt off and not myself, my arm throbbed again and my jaw was tight as was the back of my neck. I had some back pain in my lower left lumbar and when I moved my left arm, I felt nauseous. My mind started processing, finally. All of these were signs of a heart attack but again, I kept this to myself and told my hubby to go help out a friend on the north side of town. Irrationally I thought maybe a hot shower would alleviate the pain in my arm. So I took a long hot one and after getting dressed, the pain intensified in my arm and I felt sick to my stomach. Immediately I took a baby aspirin and ate some food since the aspirin never sits well with me on an empty stomach.
I called the ER and talked to a nurse who promptly told me to get my butt up to the ER. My daughters, who were sleeping, promptly took me when I woke them and told them and called their dad meet us there. Immediately I was hooked up to monitors, etc. and then sent for a CAT scan. My blood pressure was high for me at 142 over 90 and my heart rate 88.
Luckily, the CAT scan showed no sign of a clot but my ER doctor did find a pinched nerve in my neck on the left side. When she massaged it some, I felt relief but when she quit, the pain came right back. My heart was fine.
The crazy part was that I was diagnosed with a pinched nerve which was responsible for my pain symptoms; this same nerve is also responsible the pain and the same symptoms when having a heart attack.
I felt stupid for going in when she told me I had a pinched nerve that was causing my pain, but she assured me I did the right thing coming in because it could easily have been a heart attack especially given my previous history with mild heart anomalies in the past. In fact, I was smart because women die every day from heart attacks because they ignore those signs that I had and do not go in and become a statistic. Also, she said that if I experience them again, to make sure I come in even though this time it was a pinched nerve because that may not be the case next time.
This is the list of symptoms you could experience and if you do, PLEASE get to the Emergency Room immediately. DO NOT BECOME HEART ATTACK DEATH statistic. Instead, become the statistic that celebrates getting checked out and stops it. I am so happy I did. Cheers to me!
Warning signs for a heart attack:
- an abrupt change in how you feel
- atypical pain, discomfort, pressure, heaviness, burning, tightness or fullness in the chest, left or right arms, upper back, shoulder, neck, throat, jaw or stomach (chest pain may be central, or felt “armpit to armpit”; in about 40% of women, no chest symptoms at all are present)
- weakness, fainting, light-headedness, or extreme and unusual fatigue
- shortness of breath, difficulty breathing
- restlessness, insomnia or anxiety
- bluish colour or numbness in lips, hands or feet
- nausea, vomiting
- clammy sweats
- persistent dry barking cough
- a sense of impending doom
Not all of these signs occur in every heart attack. Pay attention if these signs come on suddenly or feel unusual for you. Sometimes they go away and then return. They usually come on with exertion, but may also appear when you’re at rest. Women typically wait longer than men to call for help. Find out why.
In fact there are also the silent signs of a heart attack and this link below will fill you in on those.
Now that I started my New Year with a scare, I am taking that as a sign to take better care of myself and work hard at my passion; writing children’s books. 2016 is going to rock! I hope it yours too.
HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU ALL! May you all have a healthy, happy and prosperous 2016!
#hearthealth #newleaseonlife #lifeisgood