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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Heart Attack Symptoms in Women - Listen to Rosie!

Now that the news has hit about Rosie O'Donnell's heart attack, women everywhere have been prompted to be more aware of the signs and symptoms of a heart attack.

Remember Eileen Mitchard of Breast in Show? She shared her story a few months back about having survived a heart attack- the kind most commonly referred to as the "widow maker." Rosie suffered the same heart attack just a week ago. Her Left Anterior Descending (LAD) artery was 99% blocked. As Rosie explains in a poem she wrote - who knew she was a poet, too! - she began experiencing pain after helping a woman from her car. What could have easily been diagnosed as muscle pain, was the beginning of a heart attack. Saved partly by Bayer Aspirin and a visit to her doctor, Rosie survived the "widow maker" and has brought the signs of a heart attack in women to the forefront of the women's health discussion. Here's the poem Rosie wrote (I highly recommend you visit Rosie's blog and read all the comments that follow...it's outstanding how many women are grateful that she shared):

my heart attack

its a semi-sunny monday
the light bouncing off the flat hudson
mish is sitting next to me
i am happy to be alive

last week i had a heart attack

here is what happened
on tuesday morning
while walking in a parking lot in nyack
i heard a loud commanding voice

“can u help me”

more of  a demand than request
a challenge – a plea
i turned and saw an enormous woman
struggling to get out of her car

she was stuck

“can u help me? she asked again
as i walked toward her
“oh u r rosie odonnell”
yes i am

the ghost of christmas future
me – if i did not wake
there r no accidents i thought
as i braced myself and lifted her

it was not easy
but together we did it
she was up and on her way
with gratitude

a few hours later my body hurt
 i had an ache in my chest
both my arms were sore
everything felt bruised

muscular – i thought
strained or pulled tissue
i went about my day
the pain persisted

i became nauseous
my skin was clammy
i was very very hot
i threw up

maybe this is a heart attack
i googled womens heart attack symptoms
i had many of them
but really? – i thought – naaaa

i took some bayer aspirin
thank god
saved by a tv commercial

i did not call 911
50% of women having heart attacks never call 911
200,000 women die of heart attacks
every year in the US

by some miracle i was not one of them
the next day i went to a cardiologist
the dr did an EKG and sent me to the hospital
where a stent was put in

my LAD was 99% blocked
they call this type of heart attack
i am lucky to be here

know the symptoms ladies
listen to the voice inside
the one we all so easily ignore
CALL 911

save urself

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