May 02 2012
I always knew there was a history of heart disease in my family but as I was 44 years old, had always been of a thin build, hardly ever ate takeaways or junk food, hardly ever salted my food and grilled and not fried my families food I thought I was quite healthy.
I had previously had my cholesterol checked it was 5.2 so not really high. I am a mother of 3 children 12,14 and 16 always on the go and as mothers do never had time to be sick!!
There had been no previous signs I had not been unwell so my husband and I thought I was just getting the flu when I woke up one morning last year and I had an ache in the middle of my chest, a headache, nauseous and sweaty.
I went back to bed for the day, next morning took my children to school and as the pain in my chest had not completely disappeared I thought I would just call into the doctors before going to work. After telling the doctor my symptoms I was sent by ambulance to the hospital just as a precaution, I was taken to the emergency department where blood was taken and as I waited for the result I was thinking I would be on my way to work soon. A lovely lady doctor came into the room, sat on a chair next to the bed and spoke the words "I'm sorry to tell you even though you are very young you have suffered a heart attack" I could not believe it I was absolutely devastated.
I didn't end up going to work that day but up to the coronary care step down ward for the next 7 days. It was found I have narrowing of the arteries after a angiogram and I now take aspirin, cholesterol medication and a tablet to control my rapid heartbeat which I have suffered for years.
I feel lucky to have been given a second chance, to spend more time with my family, and also to have given my five siblings a chance to get their hearts checked out to.
I wanted to share my story in hope it might encourage younger people to get checked if there is heart disease in there family, and if you experience symptoms get them checked ASAP don't just presume like I did it is just the flu.
As I have found out you do not have to be elderly to suffer a heart attack.