Was it a heart attack?

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I'm a 33 year old female, non smoker, with a very strong family history of death from heart attacks. My mum died at 45 of a heart attack, her mum died at 52 and several of my mums brothers and sisters have either had heart attacks or have high cholesterol. Just before midnight on Saturday night I developed excruciating back pain between my shoulder blades, slightly to the right. The pain then spread around the right hand side of my back, under my right arm pit and across the front of my chest. I was getting ready for bed at the time so I wasn't particularly exerting myself. I got in bed and tried lying on my back but I felt like I was being crushed front and back. I tried all sleep positions but just couldn't get comfortable. I got out of bed, went downstairs and took two soluble aspirin but it didn't ease. The pain was that bad that I had to wake my dad. I phoned 111 and they sent an ambulance. They did an ECG which they said was normal and the paramedic said she thought it might be a pulmonary embolism. In hospital, I had another ECG (normal) and a blood test to rule out the pulmonary embolism. The doctor wasn't going to do the blood test to check if I'd had a heart attack, but did when I insisted. However the blood test was done only 5 hrs after the onset of symptoms and I believe it needs to be repeated several hours after to see if my enzyme levels had risen. However, the test was not repeated and I was sent home to follow up with my GP! I feel that I was fobbed off because they were busy and they just assumed it wasn't a heart attack as I'm only 33. I now feel like I will never know if it was a heart attack or not and my heart may already be damaged. I know nstemi heart attacks don't always show on ECGs. Is there anyway I can find out if it was a heart attack or not?

 

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  • Posted

    Hi Lijah first I want to say sorry for your loss in regards to your Mother and Grandmother  and second sorry you had that experience where you believe you had a heart attack I am 46 and in December 2014 I suffered 3 heart attacks which only on the first one I can share with you my experience. It was a normal day I cooked cleaned I had relatives come over after relatives left I had one uncle stay I then grabbed my IPad and was checking my notifications when suddenly I felt light headed then I told my uncle I wasn't feeling well then suddenly felt a strong pressure in my chest like if an elephant standed on top of me then I was out I came to probably a week after apparently I had two more heart attacks and was resuscitated twice and here I am still I have been very blessed and now on the heart transplant list my point is heart attacks are quick and sudden my advise to you is get Primary Physician to refer you to a Cardiologist where they can do all necessary test to check your heart and another is do lots of exercse and try to eat healthy and I really hope your heart is fine and if not there is a lot of medicines and technology now that will help you I wish you the best

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    • Posted

      Thank you for your reply Gabriela. I'm so sorry to hear about your heart attacks. Life can be very cruel sometimes. I wish you all the best with your  operation. I have been referred to a cardiologist who I am due to see in November. I'm hoping the cardiologist is thorough in his testing and discovers that it wasn't a heart attack. My gut instinct tells me it was though so I guess I have to be prepared for that. I'm now being very careful about what I eat. I was recently told that my cholesterol is 6.7 despite being a fairly healthy eater. I think I'm just genetically predisposed to high cholesterol and heart attacks sad 

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  • Posted

    Hi Llijah,

    Follow up with your doctor, explain your family history first then what you experienced with your symptoms. Anyone at anytime can have a heart issue or heart attack. Request a Stress Test To include a Borderline Test with Echo cardiogram prior to Stress Test which can be done back to back on same visit. You need to ease your mind and make sure your health is not in jeopardy.

    I've been in your position.....they could find anything by EKG . To find out later of a spasmodic Nerve in the left ventricle (shock test) along with only having two branch bundles instead of the three needed Borderline - Echocardiogram Test).

    Let your doctor help your follow-up and specialty test.

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  • Posted

    You should go back to the doc, they can still do an ecg at any time and it might show ST elevation on the tracing.  After my first heart attack ST &T wave elevation showed up even three years after the incident.  I would hate to think they would send you home because they think you're too "young" to have a heart attack.  My neice's boyfriend had a heart attack at 28 and died.  They found that one of his majoy arteries was almost completely blocked.  It hit him so suddenly, he'd didn't know what hit him.

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  • Posted

    Thank you all for your replies. I have now been for my cardiology appointment. I was given another ECG and was told that I will be sent for a CT angiogram to check my arteries for blockages. Does anyone know if a CT angiogram shows heart damage from a previous heart attack? The cardiologist said that if the CT angiogram shows anything concerning, they will send me for a traditional angiogram. I may also be put on statins if lifestyle changes don't alter my cholesterol levels

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