My mom had a heart attack- need info.

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Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 33
   Posted 10/23/2008 12:58 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi. I usually dont post here but my mom just told me she had a heart attack 2 weeks ago. It was apparently mild for she didnt go to hospital right away. She went a few days later and they said she had had a small heart attack. My mom 53 years old is about 5'5 and is over weight but also deals with alot of stress. It has been confirmed she had a heart attack and is going to go for more testing. I believe she had a stress echo and some other test. She's my mom. I also have triplet sisters and a brother. They are 13 years old. Im really scared that my mom is going to have another heart attack. I want to read as much info on this as I can. I want to know whats the probability that she will have another and if it will be worse the next time? What are some things that we can look for? Im really uspet that she didnt go when she thought she was having a heart attack. I dont live at home as I am an adult. But my sisters and brother are only 13. I dont want them to see my mom on the floor one day. Im really scared about this. So if anyone here can share some of the info or other web sites that are helpful. The best way for me to deal with this is to learn what I can. Thanks.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1745
   Posted 10/24/2008 11:43 AM (GMT -6)   
Well I made a post here not long ago and it didn't get any replies, so I thought I'd reply to yours in case you don't get any.

It's possible she didn't know for sure she was having a heart attack when it happened. I could be wrong, but I believe I've read that women experience heart attacks much differently. Either way, all the questions you have would best be answered by a doctor, of course. Do you live near your mom? If so you may ask to accompany her to her next cardiologist's visit.

As for sites, webmd has actually been pretty informative throughout my dad's ordeal, and even the wikipedia has surprisingly good medical articles. Those would be a good place to start as there are references listed and you can also visit those. The American Heart Association would probably have some information concerning warning signs and prevention, too.

Good luck.

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 33
   Posted 10/24/2008 12:42 PM (GMT -6)   
Thankss Debaser. I really apprieciate the feedback and will check out the sites you mentioned. I do live pretty close to my mom. I will be goin to the dr with her too. We are really close. I just wanted additional info so that I may be educated and ask the appropriate questions. She didnt tell me right away because I have alot of health problems myself and she didnt want to upset me as I was in the hospital the week she had her heart attack. Moms dont like to worry us kids when it comes to them. :) But I understand. I just want to be informed when it comes to something like this. Thanks for your reply Debaser

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 33
   Posted 10/25/2008 7:15 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Selmer. Im not sure how motivated my mm will be after this. Im hoping things will change for her. I have to admit I have alot of health problems also and I post mostly in the Chrones Disease forum. Im supposed to make pretty drastic lifestyle changes that I dont. I hate takin medicine. My biggest problem number one. Two Im supposed to follow a diet that Ii dont. Problem number two. So in all I have no one to blame but myself. I end up in the hospital time and again and complain why do I keep getting worse. Ive been making some pretty big changes lately in hopes of making myself better. My mom is such a big supporter in me when Im sick so maybe if I learn about her sickness I can be a big supporter for her too. Make changes together. Even if I dont live in the home. I will look up the above mentioned references. Thanks so much.

Johnny Knee Bone
Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 64
   Posted 10/27/2008 12:49 AM (GMT -6)   
I used to be terrified of whether I was going to have another attack and I'm a little younger than your mom I'm 47 had my attack in May 2007 and began doing very well after about 10 months I admitt its difficult to know if I'll continue to get better but I am fully aware of how and why . People can kick themselves off of the heart drugs after several years and do just fine as long as they follow certain rules at least reasonably closely . Survival rate is surprisingly good as long as you always attend your regular doctors vists , checkups , and 6 month to one year exams . I've spoken with numerous people who are doing just fine 20 years later . They all give the same advice and that is eat well and take your condition seriously even though I can visbly see most of them do but only half heartedly . Of course there are times when peoples hearts just don't work well at all and when it shuts down quickly there isn't much that can be done but interestingly enough a person can live and function on less than a quarter of their heart .

Symptoms really suck because it leads you to feel unsure but chewing aspirin , talking nitro , slamming yourself a good one in the chest , or taking a good walk can alleviate those feelings real or not . there is never a promise of survival but there are many warnings its wise to always heed to them and go to the doctor regardless of how much a nuisance you may feel oh and of course never listen to a doctor listen to your heart none of them are any good at diagnosing heart conditions they need to be told not asked .

Here is a breif discription of my heart attack ...I awoke at 4:37 am feeling really strange and thought well I've felt similar before so I'll just lay back down and it will go away sort of a routine thing for most people who are not sure but as soon as my head hit the pillow a voice in my head said very loudly OH NO YOU'RE NOT GET UP ! so I did and made my way downstairs aimlessly with no idea where I was going or what I thought I was going to do about my feeling... well my wife followed me down the stairs and suddenly I realized I was teatering inside the door frame and knew I was having a heat attack , quickly I sat down in a buckled position and began spitting directly on the floor no not because I had to spit but because I needed a deterant something to ease the pressure . Symptoms are as follows ;my stomach felt like it was bloating more and more infact so much so I thought it was going to explode and peices of my stomach were going to smash through the roof and bounce off of the clouds , soon my throat started to burn and my teeth were in pain all of them as bad as a tooth ache could be except it was all of them, slowly pain began radiating from my chest and before long both my arms were in pain and that pain grew to be tremdous , by that time it feltlike my eyes were going to pop out of my head and my head was killing me from being given so much nitro glycerin ...after 11 hours they realized they were doing nothing but keeping me alive and they couldn't give me much more of anything without killing me from overdose . So off I went by ground ambulance (18 year female ambulance driver)to a major centre at no less than 100 mph a 3 hour trip took 1 hour 50 minutes and 20 minutes before I arrived I realized I am on my way out , I wasn't doing so good and passing out seemed inevitable . within minutes of arriving they had me prepped and the surgeon came in and I got to watch the angioplasty on a very large TV smack infront of my face , when the doctor found the blocked artery and blew it open with a tiny little balloon I could feel the pain in my arms , chest , teeth , throat , and stomach disappear instantly , the relief was so shockingly quick I was wondering what the heck I was doing there . It brought tears to my eyes because 13 hours of pain disappeared in moments that would be a shock to any person . Its as efficient and no different than a crimped garden hose that won't spray until you straighten that spot of the hose. Of course everyone has different experiences but are unlikely to give you a play by play like I just did but I hope this all helps , as wordy as it may be its the real thing and sometimes a punch in the chest can loosen a blockage or chewing aspirin can thin the blood enough to open a blood vessel and nitro glycerin will open them up too . If that all fails keeping a supply of mouth to mouth oxygen and chest compressions can keep them alive until a doctor or paramedic EMS can restart the heart . Your mom needs to take care because I'm going to let you in on a scarey little secret which will stay with me for the rest of my life . Although a good plan can keep your mother alive and there are much better advances and tricks to restarting a failed heart when I arrived in the ER an old man was brought in 10 minutes later and put in the room next to me, the doctor asked him a question . "If your heart stops do you want me to restart it " ? he said ...'no'.Take care and best wishes I have young children too age 2 , 6 and 8

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 131
   Posted 10/27/2008 7:18 AM (GMT -6)   
savkelchr, I hope your mother gets better and for her to get proper treatment and care.
Johnny Knee Bone, thank you for your post because many of us can learn how it is when you're having a heart attack.
My dad passed away in January due to ischemic heart disease(which wasnt diagnosed until a day before he died), and I believe he had more than a few heart attacks before he died. He did mention the crushing chest pain, the jaw pain, etc. and I always tried to imagine what he must've had gone through.
My dad's death shattered me, and I know how savkelchr must be feeling about his/her mom.
And I too always am alert to any symptoms that might signal heart trouble, because symptoms in women can be different than those in men.
All the best.


Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 131
   Posted 10/28/2008 11:57 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Johnny Knee Bone,

I truly appreciate your response.

I have actually posted on the Anxiety thread the tests which doctors have made me go through (because finally they couldn't find out what's wrong with me and just tell me it's an anxiety disorder).

It's very frustrating, not because I do not believe them, but because it's so hard to believe when I have these scary shooting pains so often.
The only thing I haven't done is an angiogram, but I will make time for that in future because it seems to be my only option in finding out.

Yes, I just want to be here for my kids (I only have one right now, a 2yr old boy) for as long as I can.
I'm only 26 years old which is why doctors don't seem to take me seriously when I question them about heart issues.

But my dad, who passed away at 57, was told a day before he died that he must have been having heart disease for very long because his arteries were more than 90% blocked. Which made me think that if he had been diagnosed at 26, or 36, his life could have been saved, or stretched longer. He lived his life thinking he was healthy. When he did have mild symptoms, he was told it was just his gastritis acting up(he DID have gastritis too).
Symptoms are just symptoms, until doctors can actually SEE what's ACTUALLY causing them.

IF there is ANYthing wrong with me, I want to know and have it treated before it's too late. But it seems I'm still not getting real answers somehow...I'll keep searching for them.

Thanks for your post again.


Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 131
   Posted 10/29/2008 9:56 AM (GMT -6)   
Johnny Knee Bone,

Well, ironically my dad had an ecg done at a clinic a few days before he died and the doctor told him his heart was fine.
I still remember him happily telling my mom and I that the doctor said it wasn't his heart that was causing his pains.
And then a few days later he was gone, just like that.

So yes, I will make that list of real vs unreal symptoms. I have to keep myself sane.
And these things that happened in my life have taught me that my health is extremely important.

I'll be updating you, and if I have further questions I will ask.

You don't know how glad I am to have found somebody on this forum who actually understands.

Thanks again.


Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 33
   Posted 10/29/2008 10:56 PM (GMT -6)   
I wanted to step in here and say thanks you so very much to the both of you for posting what you have. Thank you. It has helped me tremendously.

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 131
   Posted 10/29/2008 11:05 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi savkelchr,
Sorry I can't provide you more info because I too am searching for answers. But for your mom's age and condition, I think she needs to go for constant and thorough checkups to ensure that nothing is missed out(for e.g. which artery is blocked, how much of the heart muscle is damaged, chances of another MI happening, etc).
I wish the best for you and your mom. Let us know if you have any updates.

Thanks again for your reply.
Btw, I have some nitro which I try not to take unless truly neccessary(so far I haven't taken any, but I bring them with me wherever I go).
And I don't really understand this whole 'oxygen starvation' thingie. Several times I've been told my blood oxygen level is at a low percentage but I really don't know what that means or what causes it.


Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 33
   Posted 10/30/2008 3:10 PM (GMT -6)   
I have forward this forum and the replies to my mom. She isnt a member here but has asked me to post something for her. Its her own words. I will set up an account here for her that she may post on her own. But in the meantime, I will post foe her and share with her the replies.

First of all, given what several have said, I would like to know what
they think about the results I've gotten and whether I should be
satisfied or not with what I've been told. My experience is this.......

At the beginning of October, while reading before going to bed, I
started having moderate chest pain that began in the center of my chest,
and soon included the middle of my back, radiated to the undersides of
both arms, and into my lower jaws. This pain lasted about 1 1/2 hours.
At first I thought it must be heartburn, although I've never had a
problem with that. Antacids did not help so after 1/2 hour, I took an
aspirin which didn't really seem to help either - that I know of - I
ended up falling asleep as it was early morning. The pain increased
during that 1 1/2 hours, but I didn't have any palpitations, sweating,
flushing, or any trouble breathing. I've had similar chest pains in the
past, but not as severe.

I've had an EKG done which was normal. I had an Echo Doppler done which
was normal. Then I had an Adenosine Stress test - the nuc med part of
the test showed that I probably had had a myocardial infarction. The
doctors prescribed nitro to be taken if needed, and an aspirin daily,
then prescribed metroprolol, one daily. I just underwent a cardiac cath
the beginning of this week. The cardiologist told me my heart is in
great shape, and that my arteries look really good, my cholesterol
counts are good also. So I no longer have to take the metroprolol, but
was told to continue taking one aspirin daily.

I am wondering a couple things - should I let it go at that? Because I
still have no idea what caused the chest pain. I still feel like there
is something not quite right, and am extremely tired all the time. And
I'm concerned every time I start feeling even a small amount of pain in
my chest. I wonder if I should take a nitro tablet, or if I'll know
when to take one....although I shouldn't need them --- right? On the
other hand, though, I've read where several have had similar chest
pains, and have gone thru test after test and still not found what
caused it. I don't have the time, money or energy to do that to only be
told "we can't find anything wrong". I would like others' opinions as
to what they think. Thank you.
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