Listen to Your Heart

I did not post yesterday because my heart needed attention. I had chest pains and discomfort for most of the night before. I grew up with what the doctors back then called a “heart stutter” (skipped heart beats now and then), but it was never anything serious.

Back in January of this year, I was all prepped to have a lesion removed from the side of one eye. It was discovered that I had occasional AFIB. Nobody was more surprised than me; I never felt a thing. So of course they canceled the surgery.

The chest pains, although not horrible, were worrying, so I called my doctor. She advised me to go to the Emergency Room to be checked. Being me, I grumbled all the way to the desk, and they saw me immediately.

I was advised to stay overnight in the hospital so that they could monitor my heart. I wasn’t crazy about being away from the Crankee Yankee and the cats all night, but it was the right thing to do.

Long story short, I had tests done, went through a stress test (on a treadmill; they want your heart to be pumping at 130), and got my results back. Fortunately, there was no AFIB, no heart damage, no signs of a heart attack, etc. It was just my “heart stutter,” which made more of an impact because of my age.

So, now that I’ve bored the pants off you, the real reason I am writing this is to let you know how important it is to listen to your heart. As you may know, heart problems present differently for women than for men. I learned some of the symptoms women may experience. The following information is from the American Heart Association:

  1. “Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest. It lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back.
  2. Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
  3. Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.
  4. Other signs such as breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.
  5. As with men, women’s most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and back or jaw pain.

If you have any of these signs, call 9-1-1 and get to a hospital right away.”

I personally have some risk factors for heart trouble: hereditary high triglycerides and high cholesterol. Plus, being older, I’m far more at risk for heart trouble. I am sharing this with you all to let you know how important it is to pay attention and listen to your heart. Should anything feel different or uncomfortable, don’t wait; head straight for the ER.

Don’t take chances. You are vitally important to your family and friends and neighbors. You matter, you are valuable, and there is only one person like you in the entire world.

Please, listen to your heart.