Tag Archives: cardiac enzymes

Dear Carolyn: “Did I have a ‘real’ heart attack?”

8 Jul

by Carolyn Thomas    @HeartSisters     July 8, 2018

As part of my occasional Dear Carolyn series featuring my readers’ unique narratives about how they became heart patients, I offer today a medical mystery from an Oregon reader. After dueling physicians differed in their opinions of her diagnosis, Lynn Bay now wonders if she actually did have a “real” heart attack, as one of them had diagnosed. Her story may seem familiar to you if you’ve ever had your medical experience dismissed or minimized. Here’s Lynn’s story, with her permission: Continue reading

Those curious cardiac enzymes

15 May

by Carolyn Thomas  ♥  @HeartSisters

When I showed up in the Emergency Department with textbook heart attack symptoms – chest pain, nausea, sweating, and pain radiating down my left arm – the hospital staff snapped to work and immediately ordered a flurry of tests. These included an EKG, blood tests, chest x-ray and a treadmill stress test. But all test results came back “normal”. I was then told that I was in the “right demographic” for acid reflux before being sent home – less than five hours after the onset of symptoms.

I left hospital that morning feeling terribly embarrassed for having made such a fuss over just a little case of indigestion.  It was only much later – after finally being correctly diagnosed, taken directly from the E.R. to O.R. and admitted to the cardiac care unit for a myocardial infarction (MI or heart attack) caused by a fully occluded Left Anterior Descending coronary artery – when I learned that my “normal” blood tests may have been “normal” that day because I had been sent home too soon.  Continue reading

‘Time equals muscle’ during women’s heart attacks

6 Jun

RLM071

by Carolyn Thomas  @HeartSisters

Here’s why it’s so important to call for an ambulance immediately if you think you might be having a heart attack. A heart attack (or myocardial infarction) is the death of heart muscle from the sudden blockage of a coronary artery.

This blockage deprives your heart muscle – or myocardium – of blood and oxygen. If blood flow is not restored to your heart muscle within 20-40 minutes, irreversible death of the muscle will begin to occur. Muscle continues to die for 6-8 hours, at which time your heart attack will be described as ‘complete’.  Depending on how much heart muscle is damaged, disability or death can result.

But if you actually do live through this, your dead heart muscle will eventually be replaced by scar tissue. So as you can imagine, every minute counts.

Time equals muscle.   click to continue reading …