PSA to all the ladies

Its been a busy past few days as we settle into our new routine with girl child not attending daycare, and today it got even busier which brings me to the point of my post today. Since late last week, I had been having some discomfort in my left shoulder, chest and side. Initially I figured it was one of my infamous panic attacks, as someone who has suffered from panic attacks since the age of 19, I am pretty good at knowing when I am in the panic zone. Over the years I have started using meditation, deep breathing and Bach Flower Remedies to stave off an attack.

Well over the weekend, I was doing everything in my arsenal including breathing into a paper bag and the discomfort I was feeling, was just not going away. Last night, things got worse when my left arm started tingling as well. I shrugged it off and went to bed but when I woke up not feeling much better, it dawned on me that maybe this was not a panic attack. A call to my health care provider ended with a command to get thee to the emergency room.

So I took girl child to her first ballet class (made a promise and didn’t want to let her down) and then had the Spousal Unit take me to the local emergency room. It seems when you walk in and state you are having chest discomfort, you spend little time waiting. So, I was hooked up to the monitors, given an EKG, a chest x-ray and after the physician on-call examined me, he determined that I was having neither a heart attack or a panic attack but some musculoskeletal distress, and felt that I most likely had a pulled muscle. Of course picking up the girl child and carrying her which I do on that side that was causing me pain was most likely the culprit. I most likely will follow up with either a osteopath who does manipulation or a chiropractor, as well as no longer picking up girl child unless it’s an emergency.

So all is well. I admit I was embarrassed but both the doctor and nurse told me I did the right thing. See, heart attack and heart disease in women does not present with the same symptoms we assume to be a heart attack. In fact women generally get mild(often intermittent) pain compared to men, anxiety or even indigestion. Other symptoms include sweating, lightheartedness, fatigue, even an impending sense of doom. For most women it’s not the dramatic crushing pain and breathlessness we associate with having a heart attack. In fact if you look at the symptoms I listed or do your own research you will see its easy to see how women could easily mistake a heart attack for just being tired, having a panic attack or any of the other things that so many of us deal with occasionally.

So just a PSA to say if you do ever find yourselves thinking you might be having an issue with your heart its better to be safe than sorry, get thee to the ER. Hopefully this week, I will get back with another post but I admit this is the worse week to be starting our new schedule since I have a conference to attend and a speaking engagement so I suspect I may be away from the computer for a bit.

Have a good week!