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Ladies (not Men), Would You Recognize This as a Heart Attack?

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Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!): Ladies (not Men), Would You Recognize This as a Heart Attack?

Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!)

My goal here is to make your life easier, especially those who are in the unique situation of being a military spouse. Yes...I've been around...but in a good way...and hopefully can share those tips, tricks and shortcuts with you too. I've been on this military bus for over 40 years now. My goals in life are to have a well-run home, few money worries, well adjusted children, money socked away and whatever happiness I can scoop out of life.

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After life as an Army brat, being in the Army myself and marrying a soldier, I can honestly say I have a bucket full of life lessons I can share to help you make your everyday life easier and enlightening. Don't waste your time making unnecessary mistakes and benefit from others who have come before you on your journey through life.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Ladies (not Men), Would You Recognize This as a Heart Attack?

We've all seen a movie or two with some guy clutching his chest and keeling over from a heart attack. Most of us think a heart attack will hit us just like that, with a gripping pain in the chest, a quick chance for a grunt and a grimace and almost no time to react. Well, let me tell you about Alice. I always liked talking to Alice. Alice is a cashier at my local grocery store. Alice always has such a nice smile, friendly manner and voice, and even when I'm in a down mood, she always manages to leave me with a spring in my step when I leave her checkout counter. About a month ago, I noticed Alice was no longer in her familiar spot. Where was Alice?

Sheltered in my own little world, I never had the gumption to ask where she was? I mean, I didn't want to ask if she was fired or something...or moved somewhere else...what if something bad had happened? I just didn't want to know that and assumed Alice was on vacation.

Just as I was getting up my nerve to ask, I did find out what happened to Alice. Alice had had a heart attack. She was back a few Mondays later, looking a bit tired and worn and worse for the wear. I was genuinely happy to see her. She proceeded to tell me what had happened. She said it was her mission that day to tell every woman she met, what her symptoms were. Come to find out, she was told women traditionally have these symptoms and not the clutching heart symptoms that men typically get. If you or anyone you know has any of these symptoms, please go see your doctor post haste. One symptom or another may not mean you are gearing towards a heart attack, but a combination of these symptoms might mean you are! Better to be safe than sorry. Doctors can actually catch a heart attack before it happens. Hah, you say, I'm not old. You don't have to be. Alice is 32 years old and does not have a family history of heart disease. So, let's go over these symptoms:

  • Consistently being short of breath and very, very tired. If you have to sit and rest while making your bed in the morning, you are suspect.
  • Tingly fingers on one side of the body. This was Alice's first symptom that she noticed, about a month before she went to the doctor. Of course tingly fingers can mean other things too. Just don't ignore it.
  • Sciatica pain down one leg. Many of us remember this from our pregnancy days and know what this feels like. Hers just continued to get worse.
  • Lower back pain. Alice thought she might be having some kind of kidney problem. This is why she went to the doctor, and this is why they caught her heart problems early, after only a small heart attack.
  • Unexplained nausea and cold sweats. She typically had these at night and thought that she was going into some kind of early menopause.
The doctors told Alice, that she had had a silent heart attack. A few more of those, and she would've keeled over permanently. She had these symptoms for about a month before she went in. She never had ANY chest pain. An NIH study I recently read, showed that less than 37% of women experiencing a heart attack actually have chest pain. Get to know these symptoms, share them with every woman you know, and if you are feeling them yourself, get checked out immediately. Alice would want me to pass this on!



Blogger Linda said...

thanks for posting this...women so often ignore these little things because we have all been ingrained to the "regular symptoms".

I hope this helps at least one other person out there....saves a life. I know that Alice probably did save a life or two by giving this legs!

March 26, 2008 at 3:33 PM  

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