In this article I would like to help and save someone’s life. This is the story of one person my wife. My wife would survive this attack but she was lucky she missed the signs as did I. She was a healthy 45 years of age and was not overweight, did not smoke and loved to walk. If this helps just one person I will be happy.
It is not my intention to make this a clinical study of a heart attack it is my intention to describe the symptoms as felt by a survivor, my wife, before the attack and during the attack. The next section will be the only clinical explanation of a heart attack as described by doctors For this description I thank Wikipedia but for the main part of the article I thank my wife,these are her words as described to me. The picture above by the way is a healthy heart, keep it that way know the signs.
Clinical definition of a heart attack all in Italics supplied with my thanks from Wikipedia
Myocardial infarction or acute myocardial infarction, commonly known as a heart attack, results from the interruption of blood supply to a part of the heart, causing heart cells to die. This is most commonly due to blockage of a coronary artery following the rupture of a vulnerable atherosclerotic plaque, which is an unstable collection of lipids (cholesterol and fatty acids) and white blood cells (especially macrophages) in the wall of an artery. The resulting ischemia (restriction in blood supply) and ensuing oxygen shortage, if left untreated for a sufficient period of time, can cause damage or death (infarction) of heart muscle tissue (myocardium). As mentioned this is the cause of a heart attack but it sounds terribly complicated and there are words in there that I have never heard of before. Now let get down to layman words.
My dear wife.
My wife was a healthy 48 year old woman who did not smoke, was not overweight, did not drink apart from the odd glass of red wine and loved to walk. Nothing was further from hers or my mind that a heart attack was just around the corner. One night about five days before the attack we both retired at about 11pm all was normal. At about 3am that same night my wife woke me to tell me that she was feeling funny, I asked her what was wrong and she told me that her heart seemed to flutter for a moment and this gave her a feeling much similar to what we call in England as butterflies in her chest and stomach. After speaking with her, she said that this also made her feel nauseated but not to worry as she now felt OK. This whole episode lasted for no longer than a few seconds and after getting her a glass of water she fell back to sleep again. That was the last time that we thought about it and for the next 5 days life went on as normal. Missed the first sign.
Five days later morning of the heart attack.
First thing in the morning while sitting down to breakfast my wife said that she was feeling very queasy just like she did when she was pregnant (morning sickness). But after breakfast she said that she felt fine and that it had passed so we both set off for work. Missed the second sign. At this point I should tell you that my wife was fortunate to work at a place where they had a full time nurse and a sickbay. It was this nurse who would save her life in about 3 hours time.
The heart attack.
All morning my wife worked as normal, laughing, joking with her colleagues and just getting on with things and she felt perfectly alright. Then at 12pm (midday) jus as she was standing up to go for her lunch her left arm started to ache. Missed the third sign. She again felt nothing of it thinking it had just been the way she had her arm, while using the computer and carried on her way to lunch. Just as she got down to the lunch room she felt her jaw starting to ache but it was nothing serious as it did not bother her much. Missed the fourth sign. Once seated then things started to develop fast, suddenly the ache in her arm changed to real pain (on a scale from 1 - 10 where 10 is the worst) she said it was a six. At this point she thought she might as well go and see the nurse, but on the way the ache in her jaw changed to real pain and still using our scale for the pain she said it felt like a six. On arrival at the nurse station she did not have to say anything, her face had become the color of ash and she was in intense pain, hardly being able to breath. The nurse immediately placed her in a bed and fed her oxygen, while her assistant called for an ambulance and she was rushed to hospital. It was at the hospital that I was called she would not let a nurse call me but spoke to me herself. It took me 15 minutes to get to her side.
On arrival at the hospital I was stricken with the first sight I had of my wife. Her face was the color of ash she was obviously in great pain and was surrounded by machines and doctors, I was told that I was of no importance what so ever and to stay well clear, while they worked on her trying to save her life. I felt useless, I felt guilty and I felt angry. Why had we missed the signs in the first place? It was all to much, I felt totally overpowered there was nothing I could do but to watch, hope and pray. It took these good people the rest of the day to get my wife out of danger, a day I and I am sure my wife will never forget. It was also a day to show gratitude to all these wonderful doctors and nurses at the hospital and of course the nurse at my wife’s place of work without who my wife would not have survived.
The cause and recovery.
My wife was to spend 5 weeks in hospital on her road to recovery and during that time we met many wonderful people we also learn’t what had caused the heart attack and what had to be done in order for my wife to make a full recovery. The actual heart attack had been caused by the blockage of one of the main arteries close to the heart thus blocking the flow of blood to the heart. In order to protect my wife’s heart they inserted a devise known as a stent, this device is inserted into that artery and expands it allowing the heart to get a good flow of blood. The actual operation for this is only about 30 minutes long and is done by inserting a tube (with the stent on the end) into a artery in the leg and threading it up to the heart. The signs of success were dramatic and immediate from freezing cold hands and ashen face her hands turned warm again and her complexation went back to its normal beautiful color. My wife was back again one of the lucky ones she will live. That was 14 years ago and my wife has never looked back and she is also the first to let people know what the signs of a heart attack is. At the bottom of this article there are 3 links where you can get further help or more information regarding heart disease. I will leave you with this one last thought. 75% of people miss the upcoming signs of a heart attack of these 35% will die and just because you think you are healthy and doing all the right things you are not protected for having a heart attack.
For help or information regarding heart disease click the links below
Credits< Wikipedia for one paragraph and photos describing the clinical term of a heart attack. But most of all my Wife for being here and taking the time to explain.