I got home from the office early tonight. My last appointment was with a wonderful couple I’ve seen for a few years. The woman didn’t look like her usual smiling self and said she didn’t feel good. On the drive to my office she suddenly had a strange feeling that spread all over her chest, felt nauseated, had pain across her shoulders. They thought it was anxiety.
I sent them to the nearest emergency room. Why? I NEVER assume physical symptoms are simply stress or anxiety unless a person has ALREADY had it checked by a doctor and disorders/disease have been ruled out. It is better to be relieved that it’s just stress rather than to be dead or disabled because you dismissed the symptoms.
I hope that they both are upset with me
for sending them to the emergency room because all she was experiencing was a stress reaction.
Heart Attack Warnings Can Be Subtle
“Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading killer of women in America, accounting for over one-third of all deaths. That’s more than the combined death rates from breast, ovarian, and cervical cancers.
“Studies on cardiac events in women reveal that many women may experience prodromal — or early — symptoms of cardiac distress in the days, weeks, or even months leading up to a heart attack. Unfortunately, many of these signs may be dismissed as nothing out of the ordinary — by both women and their doctors. The most common early warning signs include:
71% Unusual fatigue — “Fatigue is a common complaint and one that may indicate that you’re simply missing out on sleep, fighting a virus, overextending yourself, or experiencing a side effect to medication. But unusual or extreme fatigue may also be an early heart attack symptom or a warning sign of heart disease. In one study, more than 70% of the women surveyed experienced marked fatigue in the days or weeks prior to their heart attacks.”
48% Sleep disturbances –– “It’s not unusual to feel tired due to a lack of sleep or a particularly demanding week or month, you should still take special notice of any unusual or prolonged disturbance in your sleep patterns. A recent study revealed that almost half of the women who had recently suffered a heart attack also experienced sleep disturbances in the days or weeks leading up to their attacks.”
42% Shortness of breath during normal daily activities,
30% Chest Pain
“So how do you know if your symptoms are serious? Getting into the habit of noting your typical aches and pains and your normal reactions to foods and activities may help you recognize when something is truly amiss. Also, remember that if you have risk factors for heart disease, you should be especially vigilant about monitoring how you feel — particularly if any of your usual symptoms are often early heart attack signs. If you experience worrisome or unusual changes in your energy level, comfort, or sleep habits, you should discuss your concerns with your healthcare provider, especially if you have heart disease risk factors, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, diabetes, a smoking habit, or a sedentary lifestyle. (Here are 12 things you can do right now to help prevent a heart attack.)”