Women and Heart Attacks

I would like to hear from women in their mid 30's to 50 that have had a heart attack and recieved stents. I am 43 and had a heart attack on Nov.3rd 2012. I recieved 2 stents and as a result of how long my artery was clogged, there is a part of my heart muscle that has died. Docs. aren't sure if it will "wake up" I have to go to the hosp. in the city to have PET tests done. this should determine what the chances of waking up are. I want to talk to women who were around my age when they had their heart attack because the Drs. told me I was too young to have a heart attack and I would like to connect with women who share my experience. I feel lost with this and think that talking to others would help me to deal with and accept this, which I am having such a hard time doing. I would also like to talk to women who manage all of or some of their heart disease naturally/homepathically. I can't help feeling as though ALL of these drugs aren't nessesary. In the long run they may do more harm than good. Waiting and looking forward to hearing from members/friends. :)

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I had a heartattack at 49 my heart was damaged also heart diesese runs in my familily
I feel the meds will help you it will keep your arteries open
And keep your blood presure down and chloresteral lower.

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I had a heart attack at age 51. I had been working out and was in great shape (on the outside) My right coronary artery was 100% blocked. It was opened and a stent was placed. I was put on a lot of meds which I was afraid to take and afraid not to take. I went to rehab where I realized I could exercise without fear and eventually got over that scary feeling. I did have heart tissue death and that part of my heart did not come back. After about 5 years the artery closed again as was shown on an angiogram but I had no pain. I had been exercising for those years and obviously had gained some collaterals. No further surgery was needed or performed. Stress tests still reflect only the initial damage. My advice - take the meds and exercise. Years ago these meds were not available and death rates were much higher. I am 65 now and have had no side affects from the meds so far. Good Luck and God Bless

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Carrieanne, good to meet you and welcome. I am sorry you have had this experience. I had my heart attack December 2010, about a month after I turned 44 (my birthday is November 3rd). I was fortunate to have very prompt treatment so while I have scar, it isn't too bad. My LAD was 100% occluded. That is the vessel that supplies the front of the heart including a good bit of the left ventricle, the part which does most of the work pumping blood to the body. I got two stents that night and went back to the cath lab the next morning and got another. If you want the detailed story, you can read about it on my blog: http://chronicconcerns.com/2012/02/16/what-does-it-feel-like-to-have-a-hear t-attack/

I have developed chronic angina due to coronary artery spasms which has been difficult to manage. I feel much better in the last few months since we got a good medication regimen worked out. Many people do not have this problem and go on to have little disability. Cardiac rehab is very helpful to develop confidence with exercise. You should request you doctor order it if they haven't already. The very most important thing is to follow the diet and exercise recommendations you are given. If you have problems with side effects of medications, keep talking to your doctor. There are often alternatives that can be tried or the dose can be adjusted. If you have questions about the reasons for various meds, ask your doctor to explain. I can also answer a lot of those type questions, though not as specifically about your case.

I felt lost too after my heart attack. No one could answer why I had one at such a young age. In retrospect, I think stress was the biggest factor. Since then I have had to take aggressive measures to reduce the amount of stress in my life. It is difficult to do and I had to really change how I dealt with some problems. I had to let go of a lot of worries about things I couldn't change. That was one of the most difficult things for me to do.

This is a great community. You can get a lot of support here.

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Must agree totally with Yarnkitty. I also had a ton of stress - very crazy job with deadlines impossible to keep; Mom was very ill; best friend had terminal cancer. Sometimes ate supper standing at the counter in my kitchen I was so busy. After I had the heart attack I was afraid to walk down the block. As I stated before, cardiac rehab is a wonderful thing and so are the meds when you find the right ones. Stress is not a good thing and eliminate as much as you can. You will get your confidence back - trust me.

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Yes, all of those drugs are necessary. But they may not be for life. I see you are in Canada, it means you probably have aspirin, plavix, metoprolol and maybe ramipril,that is the cardiac protocol here. The plavix is for a year and you have to take it for a year, really. Oh, depending on where you are it could be effient, some regions are using that now. Aspirin is for life. Ramipril or other ace inhibitor, that is helping your heart not produce too much scar tissue, in the long run very, very important. Beta blocker is usually for life but I have met people who could go off after a couple of years. I had my heart attack at 52 so I don't fit in your group........your meds will change probably over time, decreasing in strength or coming off. There are no safe alternative/homeopathic ways to treat heart disease. Yes, there are people who say they have done it, I personally find that difficult to accept. I would suggest you take your cardiologists advice foremost, they really have your best interest at heart:). Cardiac rehab is fabulous, if they don't have a program available in your area check the heart and stroke foundation. My teeny little hospital doesn't run a program but I got into one through heart and stroke and found it a huge help in getting back on track. It is such a confidence booster. Feeling lost is really normal, pretty much all of us were there and that is how we ended up here. Yarn kitty is a great resource, I don't know how many of her posts helped ease my mind, but many of them did. And there are a lot of really fabulous people here to share their experiences and support you while you recover. All the best to you. There is life after heart attack and it is pretty awesome.

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I was 52 when I had my heart attack on 12/30/10. Ended up with one stent in the LAD. The meds are necessary and some of them will be forever and others not. Cardiac rehab is huge. Do it no matter what. It will help you both mentally and physically. This place is great and has been and is a life saver for me. Welcome.

julie

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I had my heart attack when I was 57. I was misdiagnosed for 2 weeks. I went to ER 2 times and a cardiologist once and they all said I was having "GI issues". After my heart attack, I had 2 stents put in my right coronary artery. A few months later I started with chest pain again and they put in 6 more stents, for a total of 8. I was depressed and angry. I couldn't believe that I had a heart attack and no one was listening to me. At times I still shake my head in amazement, that in this day and age a woman could still be misdiagnosed, by 3 doctors. I took my cardiac rehab very seriously. Two years later I still workout 4 times a week. I feel the only thing I have control of is my excerise. I am finally off the plavix. Thank goodness it was giving me joint pain. I am in better shape now than 2 years ago, mentally and physically. I would stay on your medication and exercise. I also take coq10 and fish oil. I hope my story is helpful.

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I am also outside your age range but will just note that I see a doctor at the Integrative Medicine team at my hospital. As he's an expert on alternative treatments, his advice is very important to me - and his advice has been to work closely with my cardiologist to adjust dosages etc but to definitely take all heart meds as they are lifesaving. He has me supplement them with vitamins that help to support my body as well (an antiinflammatory protein shake, CoQ10, fish oil, etc) but he is quite clear there is no way to go without the meds.

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Wow! Loved reading all the replies! I wish I could be more help but I'm in much the same state as you. I'm 46 & had my heart attack & 2 stents placed last March. Was positive initially though couldn't do rehab as we live in the outback ...but emotionally quite shocked I think. Then in July we had a massive car accident broken ribs, cracked sternum. Soft tissue damage, muscles torn ...& the bruising with the blood thinners unimaginable! Since then went downhill again, just diagnosed with PTSD & although I have tried all the alternatives especially for cholesterol reduction ended up having to go back on it. I have had great success though with taking half dose every alternate day as apparently they prescribe much higher doses then needed or I could manage on. Do speak with your doc about that & have your chol monitored to ensure its doing it's job (I'm on 10mg alternate days-which alleviates much if the side effects). Hang in there I believe we can get there. Such positive stories & encouragement from u all is amazing. One love jul. x

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Hi Siun. Thank-you for replying to the post. I actually have heard alot of good about the CoQ10, and have thought about taking it. However, my cardiologist said no to omega 3 fish oil as it can alter your warfarin. Apparently fish oil has a blood thinning effect and interferes with warfarin results. I really want to try natural supplements to "aid" in the healing and strengthening of my heart, not replace it. I just don't want to rely solely on pharmaceutical meds. I do realize their importance and significance and have no plan on stopping or altering them in any way. Although I do know that there are other things that will help. If you could let me know what your cardiologist has to say about fish oil and warfarin (coumadin), I would really appreciate it. Again, thank-you and looking forward to hearing from you again. :)

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OMG Jul!!!!! I cannot believe what you have gone through and I am so truly sorry to hear about the car accident. May God be with you and your loved ones every day.
I must say that what you said about your cholesterol meds. raised a curious eyebrow. I went to check my dosage after I read your post. I am on 20 mgs. DAILY. you are 10 every other day. May I ask what your chol. blood level is? mine was 7. However I am getting chol. blood work done this coming Thursday. Very curious to see what it will be. You mentioned that the change in your chol. med. really helped with your side effects. Could you also please tell me what kind of side effects you were getting? I DO NOT like the idea of being on too much of a dose of any kind of medication. I am currently on 81 mg. daily aspirin., 75 mg. daily plavix.,20 mg. daily crestor., alternating 5 and 6 mg. daily warfarin.,and 3.125 mg. 2 times a day carvedilol. The carvedilol has taken the place of metoprolol, which my body could not tolerate. Also, may I ask what is PTSD? I'm sorry, but I don't know what it stands for.... I am looking forward to hearing back from you. Carrie Anne x

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7 is high, they look to have you much lower. I am assuming 7 is total. What is the LDL? They want that less than 2 and total 4 or less.

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Oh Carrie Anne, thank you! I too had high cholesterol of high range like yours after one month of being on 20mg my cholesterol was down to 0.8. Which is too low! Cholesterol is required to carry our hormones around our body.. So my side effects included mood swings, insomnia, muscle pain & cramps (couldn't even reach my arms back to undo my bra, or reach up to brush my hair without pain). It really is worth checking out with your doctor based on how yr readings are now. Must be on cq10 whilst taking the chol meds. Best of luck...looking forward to hearing how yr results are, I'm sure they will be really low. Jul one love

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Oh sorry...PTSD -post traumatic stress disorder xxx

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CarrieAnne, it matters which medicine you are talking about if you want to compare dosages. Twenty mg of simvastatin is on the low side, whereas 20 mg of Crestor is on the higher side. If you don't mind sharing which one you are talking about I can give feedback on where you fall in the spectrum. Often people are started on a higher dose after heart attack and then dose is adjusted over the next few months. Part of the action of statins which is important is stabilizing plaque that is in the arteries. It also has anti-inflammatory effect. Many people do experience side effects, so keep going back to the doctor if you are having problems. There are many statins to choose from and wide dosage range.

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That's very true yarn kitty I was initially placed 80mg daily of Lipitor & with monitoring have managed to bring the dose right down. Alleviating side effects, whilst bringing down cholesteral. I've tried Crestor & e ezetrol but had side effects from those also...they are all statins after all. Just work with yr doctor based on your specific results. Let us know how it turns out jul one love xxx

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Ezetrol is not a statin. I had good success with it, but had liver enzyme issues so now I am taking a bile acid sequestrant. I couldn't even handle 10 mg of Lipitor. Isn't it amazing how everybody's body handles drugs differently?

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Ezetrol (or Zetia in the states) inhibits absorption of cholesterol from the gut whereas the statins change how the liver makes cholesterol by inhibiting HMG-CoA reductase (an enzyme).

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I had a heart attack 10 days ago. A-typical symptoms. Went to the ER oom after 3 days of pain to get a pain shot so I could sleep. I had been baking for 4 days and using the Old rolling pin very vigorously. My pains were in both arms, both shoulders and all across the top of my back. I just knew these pains were from all the dough rolling. EKG should differently. I had a large clot in the LAD. 9 years ago I had a stent placed in the LAD for a 70% blockage. This stent also needed to be ballooned. Both stents are Drug eluting stents. I also have what they call "small vessel disease. My micro arteries are very small. I was told wrong information back in 2011 that after 5 years of taking Plavix...you can slack off. This is not the case. I am back on Plavix...(genertic now) as I was told by a large heart center this is why the Thombus was there. (Blood clot) I am also back on 10mg of Crestor and 2 baby aspirins a day. I am to take the Plavix and aspirin in the morning before I do anything else. I am to limit NAISD like the plaque as these take away all the good that Plavix and aspirin do for the heart. I take Crestor at night and a low dose of Metroporol in the AM. This incident scard the jeebers out of me and I am paying more attention and asking more questions. I am in my sixties and hope to live another 20 years.

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I hope my Dr is giving me the correct info about stopping my plavix. I feel so much better off it. My joints and legs are not hurting as much. I am also going to start my crestor again. I take 10 mg once a week for the anti inflammmatory process. My cholestrol was low before my heart attack. Total number was 132. Now I am at about 101. Cholestrol was not my issue, smoking and family history was. I am hoping that eating right and excercise will help me keeping off most of the meds. ( of course not smoking is also the key!)

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