by Carolyn Thomas ♥ @HeartSisters ♥ May 27, 2018
Before I was misdiagnosed with acid reflux and sent home from the Emergency Department, the heart attack symptoms I was experiencing had seemed pretty dramatic during that eventful early morning walk. They were, in fact, what all physicians (and Dr. Google) would consider to be typical heart attack signs.
My most debilitating symptom at the time was the chest pain that doctors know as angina pectoris (a Latin name that translates gruesomely as “strangulation of the chest”). In my case, it felt like a cross between a Mack truck parked on my chest and a burning searing pain going up into my throat. I also felt like I was going to vomit, I was sweating profusely, and I had pain radiating down my left arm. (None of those textbook symptoms, by the way, helped to convince the Emergency physician that I was, in fact, having a heart attack. Read more about misdiagnosis of women’s heart disease in this Heart and Stroke Foundation report here).
Continue reading “Typical vs. “atypical” heart attack signs in women”
by Carolyn Thomas ♥ @HeartSisters
It’s fair to say that you would not be reading these words had my heart attack not been misdiagnosed with a cheerful “You are in the right demographic for acid reflux!” Had I been correctly diagnosed, admitted and appropriately treated during that first trip to the Emergency Department, I would likely never have started this blog in 2009. Nor would I be still writing years later about female heart patients being misdiagnosed in mid-heart attack.
We know that women continue to be under-diagnosed – and then under-treated even when appropriately diagnosed – compared to men presenting with cardiac symptoms. In fact, as reported in the New England Journal of Medicine, female heart patients in their 50s and younger are seven times more likely to be misdiagnosed than our male counterparts.(1)
You know your body. You KNOW when something is just not right. Even if, like the following women, you too are sent home, do not hesitate to return to Emergency or to your physician if symptoms worsen.
Here’s my latest round of true tales from women whose cardiovascular disease is still being missed. Continue reading ““It’s not your heart. It’s just _____” (insert misdiagnosis)”