Last Friday, (1-25) I noticed a pain in the center of my chest. Sometimes before my menstrual cycle I get pain in my breasts so I brushed it off as that.
The pain was there, more an inconvenience until Sunday when I decided enough was enough. The pain was horrible, radiating down my arm, my jaw, neck and upper back. I went to the local ER where I told them I was having chest pain. They immediately put me on an EKG, took blood, and a chest X-Ray. Everything came back fine. They kept me in the ER for about 6 hours to monitor. I was given oxygen and my stats were hovering between 98-99%. My BP was 110/75 which is normal for me.
I have a family history of heart issues. I actually just lost my Grandma last week to congestive heart failure. She has had numerous heart attacks and so has my Grandpa.
I am about 40 pounds overweight and do smoke occasionally so I know I am at risk. I recently had a complete Lipid panel and all my results were within normal limits.
The pain has continued now for a week. Constant discomfort. Tingling in my left arm, sometimes my right. It is non-stop. Does not get any worse or better, standing, sitting, walking, etc. I did go for a follow-up the next day where they told me it was anxiety. Well of course I am anxious wondering if I am about to have a heart attack at any minute! Besides that I have no behavioral/psychological issues. I am a stay at home Mom and home with 2 little kids all day. I am terrified something is going to happen to me. I have taught my 4 year old to dial 911. My GP wrote it off as atypical chest pain/chest wall pain which I think is crap. I am terrified this is a prelude to a heart attack, its like I am a ticking time bomb waiting to explode. I am considering going back to the ER because my GP has no openings til the end of Feb.
Would this be a heart attack if the pain is persistent for days, all day? Would love to just get some feedback as to what I should do....
"They immediately put me on an EKG, took blood, and a chest X-Ray"
These offer limited diagnostics.
Plus, the examination and treatment that one receives at the ER is not intended as a substitute for complete "all-around" medical care by/from the patient's regularly seen doctor(s).
"My GP wrote it off as atypical chest pain/chest wall pain which I think is crap."
It is always ultimately up to the patient to be his/her own best health advocate.
"I am about 40 pounds overweight and do smoke occasionally so......"
Do quit the cigs for good, lose weight sensibly, and keep ALL other known modifiable risk factors for cardiovascular disease closely in-check.
Best of luck down the road of life.
WebMD member (since 8/99)
Good to know, for the primary and secondary prevention of heart attack and brain attack/stroke
Epidemiologic studies (EDS) have revealed risk factors (encompasses some new, novel or emerging) for atherosclerosis, typically affecting the carotid, coronary and peripheral arteries, which includes age, gender, genetics (gene deletion, malfunction or mutation) , diabetes (considered as being the highest risk factor), smoking (includes second and thirdhand), inactivity, obesity (a global epidemic, "globesity"), high blood pressure (hypertension), Low HDL (now questionable, according to recent studies) high LDL, small, dense LDL, RLP (remnant lipoprotein), high Lp(a), high ApoB, high Lp-PLA2, high triglycerides, HDL2b, high homocysteine (now questionable), and high C-reactive protein (CRP/hs-CRP).
Heart info, cardiac tests info, actual diagnostic images
Additional Info for Women (but men should read it to)
The whole disease is poorly understood in women, from the expression of the symptoms all the way down to some of the basic mechanisms. The disease has a very broad spectrum, and more men are at one side and more women are at the other side.
L@@K back - Media
WebMD Health archives
NEWS FOR WOMEN: Heart Attack Symptoms May Be Different Than You Think - 11/9/01
It is reported that many females experience warning signs/symptoms a month or two in advance. In descending order of occurrence, they are unusual tiredness or fatigue, sleep disturbance, dyspnea, indigestion, anxiety, racing heart and weak/heavy arms. During actual heart attacks, symptoms reported in females, in descending order were dyspnea, weakness, unusual fatigue, cold sweat, dizziness, nausea and weak/heavy arms. _ . _
"Heart disease is by far the number one killer of women in America. Every year, it takes the lives of half a million women, many had no prior symptoms and many others had symptoms that were unrecognized or undiagnosed."
- Isadore Rosenfeld, M.D., Professor of Clinical Medicine/Cardiology, Weill Medical College, Cornell University
Women & Coronary Artery Disease
60% of women who die suddenly (sudden cardiac death) from CAD have no previous symptoms. Women are less likely to notice they have a heart problem. Women with heart disease often have symptoms different from men, instead of classic chest pain or pressure (angina pectoris), they may report dyspnea, fatigue, indigestion and anxiety. Making an accurate diagnosis of heart disease in women is often more challenging than it is in men.
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