I'm sorry about your friend. I'm sure a lot of people aren't aware that heart attack signs can be so different for everyone, especially for women. A reminder is always nice. Unfortunately heart disease runs in my Dad's side of the family and high cholesterol & high blood pressure, so I keep a close eye on that stuff. I've been on blood pressure meds since my mid 20's and no diet or exercise changes have ever made it better, so it's all genetic. I have 3 siblings and we all have cholesterol issues too even my niece's was on the higher than normal side when she was tested as a teenager. I think everyone needs to get a physical once a year no matter how healthy they think they are.
Fitness Minutes: (36,342) Posts: 2,545 12/1/12 7:07 P
i'm so sorry about your dad. He was way too young to die. I'm glad you got your BP under control. it's scary to think that you could have a stroke at 25, but it does happen. Especially when you have genetic risk factors that can't be changed. I guess it makes it even more important to control what we can.
January Minutes: 0
Fitness Minutes: (120) Posts: 2,171 12/1/12 2:23 P
My dad died from the result of high blood pressure and (the doctor thinks) a genetic condition that causes his blood vessels to weaken. He woke up very early one morning feeling weird, and after about an hour of watching TV his whole left side was useless, even his face was sagging. Turns out he had a brain hemmorage. He had emergency brain surgery to fix it, and then spend 3 months in a rehab hospital to try and get him to walk and function again. Then at the end, he ended up having multiple strokes all over his body and he passed away, about a month after his 52nd birthday. I was 18 and in my first week of college
He worked manual labor his whole life, but still struggled with weight. His physical the year before had shown borderline high blood pressure. He was due to go in for another physical about 2 weeks after his hemmorage. Otherwise, he had no other health problems. If his blood pressure had been at a more normal level, this probably wouldn't have happened. He just didn't think it was that big of a deal.
I had a scary moment a few years ago when I went in to have a physical and my blood pressure was high. The doctor said if I didn't get it under control through lifestyle (ie lose some weight), I would have to go on medication. Medication for blood pressure at the age of 26. I was burying my head in the sand and didn't go back for another appointment to recheck it a few months later. My next appointment was only this year, after I had lost my first 15lbs or so, and thankfully, my BP was back to normal. But it was definitely scary and I should have paid more attention to it earlier.
The last two weeks have been a very scary time. A very dear friend had to have a 5 vessel bypass on Thanksgiving Day.
I admit that he set himself up for it, he smoked (alot) and was an uncontrolled diabetic. He took his meds but ate whatever he wanted and never checked his blood sugar. hasn't seen a doctor in over a year. Throw in a dad who died in his 40s from heart disease and a grandfather who died in his 30's from heart disease and my friend is lucky he made it to 51.
One of the scariest things about this though is that his only symptom was severe shoulder and scapula pain. No chest pain etc, no classic symptoms. his blood pressure and heart rate were normal. How do you get heart attack from that?
My friend also developed a rare complication, lymph fluid draining into the pleural space, that still has him hospitalized 12 days after surgery with a chest tube still in place. and can be fatal if they can't stop it.
We can't be like him and bury our heads in the sand and pretend everything is fine. I know we are all trying to be proactive and be healthy but make sure you know your numbers and are trying to get them under control.
And if your spouse is on your case about your diet and health, please listen!
Another thought, heart attack symptoms are not always the classic chest pain etc. Especially in women it can be back or neck pain. But if you have a sudden onset of pain anywhere in your chest or back, please get checked. The life you save may be your own.
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