Aa
Aa
A
A
A
Close
Avatar universal

Would you know if you had a heart attack?

I have been having pain in my left arm since August 1st and at times it feels tired and heavy. I have also been having pain on the left side of my neck and both sides of my face.

On this past Thursday evening I got a few chest pains, not terrible but it scared me because of the othe other pains I have been having so I went to the ER. They told me protocol was to admit someone for 24 hours when they present with pains similar to mine for hourly blood work and observation. All my blood work esp the one that looks for heart damage were normal. The only one they said was abnormal was my d dimer and it was only 7 points above normal. They wanted to do a contrast ct scan of my chest but because I have reactions to the contrast they performed a VQ scan instead and it was clear no PE. They also performed a non contrast ct scan of my chest, a 2D echo and an EKG which they said were all normal and so I was released the Friday eve.

All was okay the rest of Friday, Saturday and Sunday with the exception of the left arm pain. This morning (Monday) however was a different story. My 4 year woke me up around 5 this morning wanting me to make her a cup and lay with her in her bed. When I got to the fridge I got an uncomfortable feeling/pain in the upper left side of my back and a tad into my upper arm, I never experienced a pain like this before and by the time I got to the bed room I started getting a pain in my chest, it wasnt a surface pain though it was in there and I cant really describe it. It wasn't a sharp pain and I have never had a pain like this either. I laid down hoping it would go away but it continued. It wasnt a constant pain. It would strike for a couple seconds stop, strike a couple seconds later and on and on. I started to wonder if I should call 911. I was really scared. I am not sure how long the pain went on but it was more then just a few mins but it must have eased up some as I fell back asleep while wondering if I should call 911.

I am a 36 year old female, I am overweight and I am in the process of quitting smoking. I dont have high cholesterol but I have low good cholesterol and have had high triglycerides since I was a kid. My blood pressure is mostly normal, it was actually 93/53 when they checked it in the hospital while I was laying down though its not that low when I am standing. Sometimes it's a tad high but most of the times it's normal. I do have heart arrhythmias pvcs and svt and I have been having some really strange symptoms for over a year now, a lot of vascular skin issues and I have been suffering from lightheaded spells and in the process of trying to figure out why. I have a family history of sudden death on my fathers side. Both him and his father died suddenly at 50 and 51. I am unsure about the rest of his family as I never met any of them including my father.

I called my cardiologist trying to get a sooner appt as I have a 6 month follow up for arrhythmia August 20th but they had nothing sooner. I then tried to get an appt with my primary care dr or his PA but they had nothing available till first week of September.

I am really scared to go through what I went through this morning. It was a scary experience. I keep wondering if I had a heart attack this morning or if not if I'm on the verge of one. I had a stress test a year ago and it was normal.

Any thoughts?
3 Responses
Sort by: Helpful Oldest Newest
Avatar universal
Is your ecg normal. Did your father and grandfather have cad and went into cardiac arrest from that or is it a genetic disease that caused the  Scd? If you haven’t already you might want to wear a 30 day monitor to see if it is a arrhythmia causing the lightheaded spells and to see if there is any st changes when having chest pain. If your blood pressure is dropping that low it could be causing the lightheaded episodes. With the other test they ran at the hospital I would doubt you had a heart attack but when you see you cardiologist you might suggest having a echo stress test done if you haven’t already had one. Usually if you are having angina it would be during excertion and let up when resting. At your age and being female it is unlikely heart disease but it is always a good idea to get it checked out. Good luck and I hope you get to feeling better.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Is your ecg normal. Did your father and grandfather have cad and went into cardiac arrest from that or is it a genetic disease that caused the  Scd? If you haven’t already you might want to wear a 30 day monitor to see if it is a arrhythmia causing the lightheaded spells and to see if there is any st changes when having chest pain. If your blood pressure is dropping that low it could be causing the lightheaded episodes. With the other test they ran at the hospital I would doubt you had a heart attack but when you see you cardiologist you might suggest having a echo stress test done if you haven’t already had one. Usually if you are having angina it would be during excertion and let up when resting. At your age and being female it is unlikely heart disease but it is always a good idea to get it checked out. Good luck and I hope you get to feeling better.
Helpful - 0
4 Comments
Hello and thank you very much for your response to my post.

To be honest I am unsure what the exact cause of death was for my father and his father. I just know that they both died suddenly. I have never met my father or anyone in his family for that matter with the exception being when I was a baby. My half sister (his daughter) told me she never got an autopsy but that his death certificate says "cause of death unknown, suspected heart attack" or perhaps it says "heart disease" I dont recall the exact wording and I am not sure if she was being honest with me or telling me something to get me to stop asking. As for his father he died when I was 2 months old and the story I got from my mother was that he sneezed and died. This story was confirmed by both of my half sisters.
I have wrote the medical examiner office for the state of New Jersey trying to get my fathers autopsy with no luck. It would be wonderful for me to know cause if death for myself and my 3 children.

I had an EP study in 2006 but the dr wasnt able to provoke arrhythmia long enough for mapping and so no ablation. In 2010 I had a cardiac cath at the age of 28 for persistent chest pain. Considering my family history my cardio didnt want to take any chances. I was told everything looked good and that I had no plaque what so ever. That was 8 years ago. A couple months after the cath it was found that I had gallstones and gallbladder attacks was what was causing the pain and it was removed. Not sure why the drs didnt think of that.. it's funny because I still get similar pain just not as severe but still hurts badly all these years later.
The very first dizzy/lightheaded spell I ever had in my life came 1 week after that cardiac cath in 2010. It was a pretty rare occurrence however. I would get a spell lasting 2 or 3 seconds and I wouldn't get another for till several months later. This has changed though starting last year 2017. I am not getting them much more frequently, they are more intense and are lasting a few seconds longer. Last year I had a 2D echo, regular stress test and 30 day event monitor. All the testing was normal and the monitor just showed PVCS, PACS and some brief runs of SVT. I have never gotten lightheaded with any of those and so I don't think those arrhythmias are causing the spells but I am unsure if its possibly another that just hasnt been caught yet. I do not feel any palpations or chest pains when the spells hit and there is no pattern with how they come. I have gotten then standing, sitting and lying down. It's very scary and has caused me a great deal of stress and worry.

I had an EKG on Thursday at the hospital and was told it was normal. They also had me hooked up to the monitor the entire time I was there (about 24 hours). While I was there they gave me a ct without contrast of my chest, VQ scan and a 2D echo and I was told all of those were normal as well. The attending dr I saw did order a nuclear stress test but didnt put the order in till directly after I had the VQ and since the injection for that scan was radioactive, I couldn't have another radioactive injection for at least 48 hours and so the test was cancelled as they were discharging me later in the day.

I will be seeing my normal cardio and I will inquire about the stress echo and another event monitor.

I was checked for orthostatic by my dr to see if my blood pressure dropped in different postions but was told there wasn't much change or big enough of difference to cause symptoms...

I will be seeing a genetic dr 1st week of September and I plan on asking about testing for genetic heart issues. In the mean time I am just worried and very much afraid. I have 3 children 19, 16 and 4 years old. I need to be well for them.
I also suffer from pvcs and pacs and had a great grandfather die of scd at age 50. My grandfather had a silent heart attack he didn’t know he had in his 40’s and quadruple bypass in his 50’s so I know how scary this stuff can be. He died at 76 from a stroke. I suffer from chest pains that come and go but my gp and ep doctors don’t seem to be concerned because most of my test are pretty normal. I have had pvcs since my mid 20’s and got worse around 39 and now I  am 41. With all your test especially the cardiac cath cad would be highly unlikely. There are some rare genetic diseases but with a normal ecg it is highly unlikely but you could ask your ep or genetic doctor about a drug challenge test to see if it unmask any thing on your ecg. My advice is to talk to your doctors and please don’t go looking things up on the internet. I have made that mistake and it has made my anxiety level out of control. The more anxiety you have the more etopic beats you will have and chest pain and everything else. It is highly unlikely you have any heart disease or genetic disease. Trust in your doctors, and if you believe in God leave it in his hands.
I meant to say I am getting the spells much more frequently.. I don't know why it changed my word from much to not
Yeah I don't stress over the PVCS and such anymore. I have had them for years and ignore them for the most part now. Its the dizzy/lightheaded spells that I am afraid of and well the chest pains recently too...

Do you notice your PVCS/PACS get worse around your cycle? Out of curiosity...
Avatar universal
What's a drug challenge test? Is it an EP study? I had an EP study in 2006 for my SVT but he couldn't provoke arrhythmia long enough for mapping so no ablation :(
Helpful - 0
1 Comments
Yeah with all your testing I think you are fine and have nothing to worry about. The chest pain could be coming from your ribs from gas and several other things not related to your heart but I know it creates anxiety and that makes it even worse. I think quitting smoking is the best thing you can do. Also try to eat a healthy diet of lean proteins and vegetables and  a little fruit and cut out most of your carbs. Try to exercise a little more this will make you feel better and relieve stress. I know that it can be hard to find time with kids I have a 6 and a 11 year old myself. These are the things in life that we can control. If you are doing them you are doing everything you can and everything else is out of our control. Just talk to your doctors and try to Believe what they tell you. I know with what you feel it hard to believe that you are ok but you have had the Cadillac of test done and with all the good results you are less likely to have a heart attack then most of the general population. I hope this helps and I hope you get to feeling better.
Have an Answer?

You are reading content posted in the Heart Disease Community

Top Heart Disease Answerers
159619 tn?1538180937
Salt Lake City, UT
11548417 tn?1506080564
Netherlands
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Is a low-fat diet really that heart healthy after all? James D. Nicolantonio, PharmD, urges us to reconsider decades-long dietary guidelines.
Can depression and anxiety cause heart disease? Get the facts in this Missouri Medicine report.
Fish oil, folic acid, vitamin C. Find out if these supplements are heart-healthy or overhyped.
Learn what happens before, during and after a heart attack occurs.
What are the pros and cons of taking fish oil for heart health? Find out in this article from Missouri Medicine.
How to lower your heart attack risk.