It’s not just a guy thing: More women die of heart disease than men

When I went in with heart problems, my symptoms were simple. My wrists hurt like heck. I thought of carpal tunnel syndrome. I had bouts of diarrea followed by bouts of puking. It was July and I was freezing cold. I was 45. After being tested for everything, the docs thought it was an anxiety attack..then did an EKG…only to find blockage. That’s why my wrists hurt…no blood getting through….rushed me into surgery and placed stent in heart….Just an FYI….I never hear about my symptoms, but they were real…

It’s because of scare tactics like this that I spend most of my waking hours worrying about whether or not I am having a heart attack. It’s gotten to the point where if I experience even a minor twinge from a pulled muscle, the first thing that comes into my mind is not ” I have a pulled muscle”, but ” Am I having a heart attack??!!” I fear and dread heart disease in a way that I know is not healthy, but I can’t seem to stop- and I am someone who walks at least a MILE EVERY DAY with my dog, who swims actively for 30 minutes at least 3 or 4 times a week, and who rides my horse as often as the weather and footing will permit. Usually, most of my training rides are 30+ minutes long, some are more than that. I don’t just wander around at the walk, either. My horse and I WORK during them. By the time I’m done, both she and I have usually broken a good sweat. In the summer, I work in my garden regularly- I grow a lot of my own produce- and there is always yard work and landscaping related work to do around the farm. I make every effort I can to eat a low fat, HIGH FIBER diet ( there’s a history of gallbladder disease in my family and I am trying to avoid having gallbladder surgery) and I SWORE OFF junk food TOTALLY almost two years ago. I don’t smoke and never have, and I never learned to like alcohol. But even with all this, there are plenty of people in the medical establishment who will say that I am obese because I have a high BMI. That’s because the BMI is FUNDAMENTALLY FLAWED. The guy who developed the formula which medical authorities use has come forward and admitted that he never intended it to be used to measure people who are athletic and have a lot of lean muscle mass, which incidentally weighs almost TWICE as much as fat. I have lots of muscles in my shoulders and upper back from all the swimming and riding I do, but this wouldn’t be taken into account when my BMI is measured. The only thing they’d think about or consider would be my weight and waist size- and there would be those who’d undoubtedly use this as an excuse to yell at me about my looks. That’s NOT FAIR. I work very diligently to avoid heart disease and obesity, but it’s tough when people act as though I need to be afraid of everything.

If I dialed 911 every time I had even a minor pain, people would start ignoring me in a hurry, which is another thing that the idiots who write these articles don’t take into account. Symptoms like nausea and vomiting are JUST AS LIKELY to be from a case of food poisoning as they are to be from a heart attack- and most of us aren’t educated enough to be able to tell the difference. Ditto for panic attacks. MANY women suffer from anxiety attacks, and feeling a sense of dread or doom is common during them. The average woman isn’t able to tell the difference between them and a heart attack, however. That’s why I feel that articles like this one serve NO REAL PURPOSE except to SCARE readers and make them paranoid about even minor symptoms. Advocating that people call 911 every time they have a little twinge of pain is a MISTAKE- the professionals who run the EMS system don’t appreciate false alarms any more than the rest of us do, and they have even less tolerance for people who “cry wolf”.

adam