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ETpro's avatar

Those who have had a heart attack, what did it feel like?

Asked by ETpro (34472points) February 22nd, 2010

Certainly we all would recognize sudden cardiac arrest or the searing chest pains of a totally blocked artery near the heart. But not all cardiac episodes are like that. In many cases, initial symptoms are subtle and might be dismissed as stress, heartburn or other normal discomfort. Women in particular often feel no chest pains at the onset of a cardiac episode.

When you are really having a heart attack, getting medical attention quickly can greatly lessen the damage or even save your life. So it would seem a worthwhile endeavor to catalog the personal experiences of those who have actually been through a heart attack.

If you have had one, or know the experience of someone else who has, please share what it felt like and when and how you knew something serious was wrong and you needed to get to the emergency room. Your experience just might save someone else’s life.

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6 Answers

trailsillustrated's avatar

it felt like there was a strong, lively fish in there flopping around, then I saw sparklies and my ears were ringing

Rufus_T_Firefly's avatar

My daughter and I were taking a walk up a slight grade heading towards our house. I started feeling very tired and hot even though there was snow on the ground. When we got back to the house I was sweating bullets and felt a little nauseous and dizzy. I told my wife that I needed to get to the emergency room asap and off we went. Luckily, it was only a mild attack and did no real damage to heart muscle. Because of high cholesterol and the eventual possibility of further blockage, the doctor advised putting in a stent and off I went to surgery. Neither the attack or the surgery were something I would care to go through again.

BoBo1946's avatar

@Rufus_T_Firefly you were a very luck guy…no damage, plus a stent, rather than surgery.

E, cannot answer your question, never had a heart attack and hopefully never will..

Cruiser's avatar

I am reading a book called Blink and in it the author describes how at Cook County Hospital they get a huge amount of patients with chest pains and more often than not up to 80+ percent were not having actual heart attacks. Dr.s there pioneered a quick review process that pioneered the CART protocol for fast assessment of suspect heart attack patients. Long story short, these Dr.s did lament the high percentage of patients that came in yet didn’t have heart attacks and did also say they would rather people came in to play it safe.
If you are curious… http://salford-systems.com/company/news/cart-and-blink.html

neverawake's avatar

Awesome if you were looking forward to dying :)

ETpro's avatar

@trailsillustrated Wow! I know full well that would send me to the emergency room pronto. @Rufus_T_Firefly I’m glad you came through it so well. Thanks for the descriptive story of the experience. @Cruiser Great link. Much appreciated.

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