On September 22, 2009 I woke my husband and said I wasn't sure if the pain in my arm was heart related or something else. He suggested that I take a nitroglycerin tablet to see if the ache/pain was relieved by the medication. After the third nitro we went to the hospital. I was given an EKG and Blood work and stayed until 5 a.m. when I was released and told to follow up with my cardiologist. I made the appointment for the follow up.
On September 27, 2009 I again awoke with an ache in my left shoulder joint and aching going down both arms. I could not go back to sleep. I took a nitroglycerin after the third tablet I called 911 and chewed two adult aspirin. When the paramedics arrived they were very nice and I explained my symptoms. I was given baby aspirin and another nitroglycerin in the ambulance. That was the last thing I remember until I woke up in the intensive care unit almost two weeks later and was told that I had had two massive heart attacks.
The symptoms I experienced were nothing compared to my heart attack in 1995. That attack felt as if someone had punched me in the middle of the back. I began sweating and vomiting. The pain went down both arms and into my jaw. I was only 40 years old. In fact the paramedics told me I was having a panic attack!
My most recent experience was just an annoying ache. On October 16, 2009 I underwent a triple bypass. I am still recovering.
Since my surgery I have found that I have memory lapses, extreme fatigue, sometimes slur or confuse words. My chest is still very sensitive and my left leg (where they took the vein for the bypass) is numb and very painful at the same time. I also have extreme discomfort in my should joints and cannot raise my arm above my head without difficulty. My hands and feet will get cold and will go numb from time to time. I have told my cardiologist about this and he says it is "normal." He said that I do not realize just how critically ill I was before my surgery. I came very close to dying. I have a follow up appointment tomorrow and hope that I can get answers besides "normal."
Again, if you even think that something is not right get it checked out! Go with your gut instincts. You know your body and you know when things are not "right." I have told my friends fear kills more people than the actual knowledge of what is happening.
Yes, I was frightened that my symptoms on September 27, 2009 was my heart but I wasn't going to sit around and wait. If I had I am told I would have died.