Would you pay attention to the warning signs or suffer silently too embarrassed to go to emergency? If you would avoid seeking treatment for fear of a false alarm, you wouldn’t be alone. Many other women would do the same as you.
As women, we perceive pain differently, and even take pride in our ability to carry on despite our discomfort. We ignore illness and push our own needs aside, caring for those around us. So it makes sense that many women would balk at seeking medical attention for something as trivial as the flu.
It’s those flu-like symptoms that Sue Palmer almost ignored, thinking that the sudden onset of vomiting was due to a virus. It was only at the insistence of her husband that she sought the medical attention that ultimately saved her life. Her flu-like symptoms were the symptoms of what medical professionals call “the widow maker heart attack”.
Unlike men, women can have virtually symptomless heart attacks. No chest pain, no feeling of tightness, no pain in the arm or jaw. Instead they can experience nausea, vomiting, fatigue, dizziness, lightheadedness, shortness of breath or cold sweat. Sometimes these symptoms are accompanied by pain or discomfort in the back, jaw, lower chest or upper belly.
What should you do if you think it may be happening to you? The message from the medical community is clear: call 9-1-1 and get to the hospital immediately. Even if you think you are wrong. Delaying seeking medical attention can cause more damage, even death. Time is what counts when it comes to intervention.
Read more about the symptoms of heart attack in women here or watch the Just a Little Heart Attack video below: