I was really tired yesterday, having a hard time staying awake, so I decided to lay down and rest for my lunch break (oh the joys of working from home). When I woke up I felt nauseous. I hadn't felt that way at all earlier in the day. As I was sitting at my desk, my left arm started getting numb and tingly. Wierd I thought, but I have had some of that before, you know - normal body wierdness that happens every once and a while. Well this one was different. My arm started feeling heavy and numb and tingly.
So there I sat, thinking to myself "am I making this worse, am I focusing on nothing and making it into something, am I causing panic in myself and making symptoms worse"? I decided I was and just sat for a minute longer. Then I decided that even if I was, this wasn't the time to be all brave about fear and not do the responsible thing.
So, I got up and drove myself to the doctors office. They checked my blood pressure and what is normally a good 130/80 was now 170/100. The cute little nurse had another nurse come in and verify her reading and said "I'm sorry dear, but it was too high". So they got the doctor in to give me a look see.
What I had fear of being a heart attack he took as symptoms of stroke. Heart attacks usually involve pain whereas numbness and tingling is symptomatic of stroke. He turned the lights off and looked into my eyes with a pen light, tested me to see if I was wobbly or off balance.
After being there for about 45 minutes they took my blood pressure again and it was back down to normal. They did an ekg on me to make sure it wasn't anything going on with my heart and everything looked good.
This whole time I was praying in my head saying "Heavenly Father, if there is something wrong, please help them find it and if there isn't anything wrong, please help them know that too. Please help me be calm through this".
The doctor told me to have my blood pressure checked again several times this week just to be sure and sent me on my way.
Needless to say I was just a tad rattled. I called my hubby while I was a the doctors to tell him where I was and almost started to cry. It was like if I told him, it would make it real.
After having that experience, I decided to read up again on the signs of heart attack and stroke and thought I would share them with you.
Heart Attack Warning Signs
Some heart attacks are sudden and intense — the "movie heart attack," where no one doubts what's happening. But most heart attacks start slowly, with mild pain or discomfort. Often people affected aren't sure what's wrong and wait too long before getting help. Here are signs that can mean a heart attack is happening:
- Chest discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.
- Discomfort in other areas of the upper body. Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
- Shortness of breath. May occur with or without chest discomfort.
- Other signs: These may include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness
Stroke Warning Signs
The American Stroke Association says these are the warning signs of stroke:
- Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
- Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
- Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
- Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
- Sudden, severe headache with no known cause