Therefore days #7 and #8 were spent trying to learn to function with the pain.
But since I (and the nurses) thought I was having a heart attack because I was displaying all of the symptoms, let's enlighten ourselves to the symptoms of a heart attack in women.
Heart Attack Warnings Can Be Subtle
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:
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.
Sleep disturbances -- Although it's not unusual to feel tired due to a lack of sleep or a particularly demanding week or month, you should 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.
Shortness of breath during normal daily activities, indigestion, and anxiety may also be early heart attack signs or symptoms of cardiac distress in women.
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.