It may surprise you, but, I had not one, not two, but three heart-attacks in the recent years. Which, however, even I hadn't realized; until, I went through various articles to understand what I was going through or suffered from. Yes, I'm still yet to go to a doctor for a proper diagnosis. Only thing being, I'm shit-scared of doctors and hospitals. Till date, I've never visited any doctor and self-treated myself, reading many cures on net. So, when I had these attacks, my natural instinct was to search in the net first. Although, I must suggest, if you suffer the same like I did, donot hesitate to go to a doctor asap.
So, what exactly happened to me? I'm somewhere in my thirties now ( yeah..I am that old! ); so, I think, its not really impossible for a heart-attack to occur specially due to the extreme stress and depression I went through, over the last few years. ( Can't disclose them, as they are too personal. But, that also explains my rather unnaturally growing curiosity/interest in death/spook/after-life etc, which wasn't so strong earlier; although, it did always exist ). So, getting back to what exactly happened ~
I got my first attack in the year 2010. It was morning time, and I was very upset over some recent developments in my personal life. It was around 11 am or so, and I was just beginning to do my house-hold work, before going out for the day. The night before, I had cried a lot; and, was slowly trying to forget my pain ( emotional ). And I did too for a while, or so I thought, when a very different pain - a physical pain, suddenly clutched me right at my chest. It was as though something had grabbed my heart and twisted it. The pain was so debilitating, that I had to stop all my work. I couldn't move an inch, and just sat still at the edge of my bed. I felt as though, my life was being squeezed out. It was nothing I had ever experienced before in my entire life ( though, I faced couple of life-death situations earlier too, but of a different sort ), and lasted several minutes, until, things slowly became normal again. The most strangest thing that occurred that day was, my neighbour who was suffering from cancer for long, died during the exact same time, I was going through all these ( which I found out later ). I wondered, if whoever came to take him had tried taking me instead, by mistake. Its still a mystery to me - why I felt such severe pain in my chest that day. Of course, then, I didn't realize I just had a heart-attack.
Nothing happened over the next few years, and my life was going fine or was it? Yes, I still had personal sadness, but I learnt to live with it. However, I failed to take note of the gradual shortness of breaths, I experienced, which wasn't the case before. Shortness of breath, even when you are relaxed, can be a sign of heart-issues. I used to have difficulty breathing properly, but, never took it as a serious problem. I also started getting pain around my left shoulders and down my body ( left side ), from time to time ~ which is another sign. Once, the left side pained so severely, I wondered, if I dislocated my shoulder or something. But still, I ignored them as nothing serious. And then....
The pain of the past, came back with a force - the emotional one, that is. I discovered something recently, that sent me livid with rage. I could barely control my anger, my anxiety; and it was directly affecting my health once again. My mind was really troubled at what I had seen. My head had started paining constantly, and within two days I had two heart-attacks back-to-back. The pain was glaringly similar to the one I had 5 years ago, only it was much much stronger this time. Not just my heart, I felt my whole chest being twisted from inside, and the pain was spread across my whole upper-body. The first attack occurred when I was typing an article. It was so excruciating, that I had to stop all work and lie down in my bed. By morning I was okay; but, in the evening as I was shopping in the market, the pain suddenly came back. ( Yes, my mind was still clouded in worrisome thoughts, all the while I was in the market ). I became almost paralyzed with the pain, but, somehow managed to drag myself home. It lasted for more than one hour, even after I reached home. I knew something was wrong and started going on net immediately, to check what on earth was wrong with me. Soon after, I went on a trip to MP, and travelling somewhat made me forget lots of things that I was going through; although, at night, in the train I did feel a little discomfort throughout.
Now, there are many other symptoms of heart-attacks too ( common ones being - Chest pain or discomfort - in the center or left side of the chest/pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain, heartburn or indigestion, Upper body discomfort - in one or both arms, the back, shoulders, neck, jaw, or upper part of the stomach ( above the belly button ), Shortness of breath - with or without chest discomfort ), Breaking out in a cold sweat, Feeling unusually tired for no reason, sometimes for days ( especially if you are a woman ), Nausea ( feeling sick to the stomach ) and vomiting, Light-headedness or sudden dizziness, Any sudden, new symptoms or a change in the pattern of symptoms already mentioned )
....And here, I, not just had some of the symptoms already, but had this pain over and over too, three times till now. I'm still hesitant to go to doctor, but trying to follow all the possible advises given :
- Take long walks, atleast 30 minutes each day, in open space ( which I was neglecting ).
- Keep food intake and type of food, in check.
- Importantly, I guess, stress and emotional pain is the biggest trigger, so, am trying to follow 'Ignorance is bliss' formula, for however long I live, and will advise the same to all :-)
Heart attacks can be either caused by building up of plaques, cholesterol etc in the arteries, that blocks the blood-flow into the heart or can also be caused by sudden spasm/contraction of the arteries, that cause blood-flow/oxygen to be blocked. The second, can be triggered by extreme stress or emotional grief too ( saw movies? where, after the actor gets a shocking news or feels extreme sadness, they get a heart-attack; mine was something similar, only, it happened 1-2 days after I was aggrieved ), besides other reasons. ( Blood Pressure, Obesity, Diabetes, Physical Inactivity, Smoking etc are other causes, that are largely related to the two primary reasons given, of heart-attacks ). While for the former, caused by build-up of plaques, one may need treatments like angioplasty, no ideal treatment is known for the 2nd type ( which I assumed I had; although, I have not checked yet in a clinic, to determine which exactly I suffer from ).
I've now learnt that, during attack, the other part i.e the blocked part of the heart-muscle dies rapidly, and doesn't grow back or recover/regenerate ( only a scar is left ); so, the heart literally shrinks with each attack. Hence, take the warning signs seriously.