I didn’t write this. It was one of those pesky little 
forwards that you’re not supposed to read at work,  because they 
are generally very funny and waste oodles of staff time.

This one wasn’t funny – I saw as my finger hovered over 
the delete button.  It was deadly serious.  So serious, 
I decided to post it on my blog. I mean who says blogs are 
simply frippery? 

Who says they can’t carry a health alert the may 
save your life? 



This has been  passed on from an ER nurse and is the best 
description of this event that she had ever heard. Please read, 
pay attention, and send it on!                  



I was aware that female heart attacks are different, but this is the best 
description I’ve ever read. 
Women and heart attacks (Myocardial Infarction).  Did you know that 
women rarely have the same dramatic symptoms that men have when 
experiencing heart attack …. you know, the sudden stabbing pain in the 
chest, the cold sweat, grabbing the chest & dropping to the floor that we 
see in the movies. Here is the story of one woman’s experience with a 
heart attack.

I had a heart attack at about 10 :30 PM with NO prior exertion, 
NO prior emotional trauma that one would suspect might’ve brought 
it on.  

I was sitting all snugly & warm on a cold evening, with my 
purring cat in my lap, reading an interesting story my friend had 
sent me, and actually thinking,  ‘A-A-h, this is the life, all cozy 
and warm in my soft, cushy Lazy Boy with my feet propped up.

A moment later, I felt that awful sensation of indigestion, 
when you’ve been in a hurry and grabbed a bite of sandwich and 
washed it down with a dash of water, and that hurried bite 
seems to feel like you’ve swallowed a golf ball going down the 
oesophagus in slow motion and it is most uncomfortable. You 
realize you shouldn’t have gulped it down so fast and needed 
to chew it more thoroughly and this time drink a glass of 
water to hasten its progress down to the stomach. This was 
my initial sensation—the only trouble was that I hadn’t taken 
a bite of anything since about 5:00 p.m.

After it seemed to subside, the next sensation was like little 
squeezing motions that seemed to be racing up my SPINE 
(hind-sight, it was probably my aorta spasming), gaining speed 
as they continued racing up and under my sternum (breast bone, 
where one presses rhythmically when administering CPR).

This fascinating process continued on into my throat and 
branched out into both jaws.  

‘Aha!! Now I stopped puzzling about what was happening.

We all have read and/or heard about pain in the jaws 
being one of the signals of an MI happening, haven’t we?  
I said aloud to myself and the cat, 

‘Dear God, I think I’m having a heart attack!’ 

I lowered the footrest dumping the cat from my lap, started 
to take a step and fell on the floor instead. I thought to 
myself, If this is a heart attack, I shouldn’t be walking into 
the next room where the phone is or anywhere else … 
but, on the other hand, if I don’t, nobody will know that 
I need help, and if I wait any longer I may not be able to 
get up in moment.

I pulled myself up with the arms of the chair, walked 
slowly into the next room and dialed the Paramedics … 

I told her I thought I was having a heart attack due to the 
pressure building under the sternum and radiating into my jaws. 
I didn’t feel hysterical or afraid, just stating the facts.  She said 
she was sending the Paramedics over immediately, asked if the 
front door was near to me, and if so, to unbolt the door and 
then lie down on the floor where they could see me when 

they came in.

I unlocked the door and then lay down on the floor as instructed 
and lost consciousness, as I don’t remember the medics coming in, 
their examination, lifting me onto a gurney or getting me into their 
ambulance, or hearing the call they made to St. Jude ER on the way, 
but I did briefly awaken when we arrived and saw that the 
Cardiologist was already there in his surgical blues and cap, helping 
the medics pull my stretcher out of the ambulance. He was bending 
over me asking questions (probably something like  ‘Have you 
taken any medications?” but I couldn’t make my mind interpret what 
he was saying, or form an answer,  and nodded off again, not 
waking up until the Cardiologist and partner had already threaded the 
teeny angiogram balloon up my femoral artery into the aorta and into 

my heart where they installed 2 side by side stents to hold open my 
right coronary 

I know it sounds like all my thinking and actions at home must 
have taken at least 20-30 minutes before calling the Paramedics, but 
actually it took perhaps4-5 minutes before the call, and both the fire 
station and St. Jude are only minutes away from my home, and 
my Cardiologist was already to go to the OR in his scrubs and get 
going on restarting my heart (which had stopped somewhere between
 my arrival and the procedure) and installing the stents.

Why have I written all of this to you with so much detail?  
Because I want all of  you to know what I learned first hand.

1.  Be aware that something very different is happening in 
your body not the usual men’s symptoms but inexplicable
things happening (until my sternum and jaws got into the act).  
It is said that many more women than men die of their first 
(and last) MI  because they didn’t know they were having one 
and commonly mistake it as indigestion, take some Maalox or 
other anti-heartburn preparation and go to bed, hoping they’ll 
feel better in the morning when they wake up … 

Which doesn’t happen.   

My female friends, your symptoms might not be exactly 
like mine, so I advise you to call the Paramedics if 
ANYTHING is unpleasantly happening that you’ve not 
felt before. 

It is better to have a ‘false alarm’ visitation than to risk 
your life guessing what it might be!

2.  Note that I said ”Call the Paramedics.” And if you can, 
take an aspirin.  Ladies, TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE! 

Do NOT try to drive yourself to the ER you are a hazard 
to others on the road.

Do NOT have your panicked husband who will be speeding
 and looking anxiously at what’s happening with you instead 
of the road.

Do NOT call your doctor — he may know where you live 
and if it’s at night you won’t reach him anyway, and if it’s 
daytime, his assistants (or answering service) will  tell you 
to call the Paramedics. He doesn’t carry the equipment in 
his car that you need to be saved!  The Paramedics do, 
principally OXYGEN that you need ASAP. 

Your doctor will be notified later.

3.   Don’t assume it couldn’t be a heart attack because 
you have a normal cholesterol count. Research has discovered 
that a cholesterol elevated reading is rarely the cause of an MI 
(unless it’s unbelievably high and/or accompanied by high 
blood pressure). MI’s are usually caused by long-term stress 
and inflammation in the body, which dumps all sorts of deadly 
hormones into your system to sludge things up in there. 

Pain in the jaw can wake you from a sound sleep.

Let’s be careful and be aware. 
The more we know,  the better chance we could survive.