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Author Topic: Are you absolutely certain when having a heart attac?  (Read 153 times)

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Offline playmaker093

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Are you absolutely certain when having a heart attac?
« on: May 06, 2014, 06:09:29 PM »
During tennis practice a nagging pressure/pain occured above my left nipple. Center part of breastbone. I'm worrie it's a heart attack. I made it through practice but was very anxious. It's centralized and not radiating but is persistent. It seems worse when I touch it. Would I be absolutely sure? Or is a heart attack a possibility. 18 yo male with pretty bad hypochondria.
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Offline fhestia

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Re: Are you absolutely certain when having a heart attac?
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2014, 07:03:23 PM »
You would be absolutely sure.  My sister-in-law just had a heart attack and she is on the other end of the spectrum from me, anxiety-wise.  If she broke her leg, I think she'd just take an aspirin and try to walk it off.  She woke up one morning with textbook symptoms, woke her husband and said, "Call an ambulance. NOW."  I really believe, or at least try to tell myself, that if it were a major health crisis you would know without a doubt.
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Offline AncientMelody

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Re: Are you absolutely certain when having a heart attac?
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2014, 12:58:30 AM »
I would love to be able to say "yes, you would be sure"

But that's just not true. Some people have very small "silent heart attacks". The key thing fhestia mentioned is recognizing "textbook symptoms"". Well, those textbook cases are not all that you see in the real world.  I won't go into detail to  give you more to worry about but there  are multiple potential presentations of heart attack. Generally females, elderly, chronically ill, various races, may respond with different than textbook symptoms.

The good news? You are 18. You are athletic. It would be VERY rare for you to have a heart attack. Especially if you are not diabetic, and don't have a family history of heart disease  at a very young age. If you don't smoke or use cocaine, great. If you do....stop.

What you describe is likely inflammation of some of the cartilage on your chest wall or a  muscle strain. The fact that it's tender to touch suggests musculoskeletal cause. However, "persistent" is always something you want to get checked in on, in particular if you're having pain with breathing or the pain gets worst when you lay down. I'd recommend getting checked out by your doctor  tomorrow  morning if you're not feeling better, or go to the ER
IF the pain becomes more intense tonight.
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Offline mollyfin

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Re: Are you absolutely certain when having a heart attac?
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2014, 01:49:42 AM »
Not if you're my dad, but - if you or ANYONE ELSE IN THE WORLD had had the symptoms my dad had, you would've called 911 immediately.  He had a smaller heart attack, then a massive one - and attempted to ignore both.  I was the one he woke up and told to call an ambulance, and it was really scary (I ended up throwing out the clothes I wore that day because I couldn't look at them without reliving that day).  There was no doubt whatsoever that something was seriously, seriously wrong.   This was not an issue of "could it be something serious?"  This was "holy *****, this is BAD." 
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Offline patmob

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Re: Are you absolutely certain when having a heart attac?
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2014, 05:59:56 AM »
Keep in mind that there is a huge difference between knowing something is seriously wrong and failing to act by going into denial over and not knowing that something is seriously wrong.
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Offline mollyfin

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Re: Are you absolutely certain when having a heart attac?
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2014, 07:25:10 AM »
In my dad's case, it was a combination - he had a medical condition that mimicked heart attack pain at times and could be very severe, so at first he thought it was just that, but worse than usual.  (Also, it seems that once you have a type of pain regularly it stops registering as much.  When my one ovarian cyst burst, I thought "boy howdy, that is some painful cramping.  I'd call that a 7.5!"  Meanwhile people who don't have chronic pain compare it to labor pain.  I never even noticed the second one that ruptured.  I wouldn't have known at all except the aftermath showed on a CT scan for an unrelated illness.)  But I'm sure denial played a part as well. 
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