I have been a cardiac nurse for 30 years, assessing people for signs and symptoms of heart attack (Myocardial Infarction/MI). That is why in April 2018 I knew that 'I' was having a heart attack. If I was not a cardiac nurse I may not have realised! Why?........... Because women having a heart attack do not always get typical symptoms. I had NO chest pain at all, I had bilateral shoulder tip & throat discomfort, both arms and hands felt tight and I had the feeling that something was dreadfully wrong.
I knew to go straight to my hospital and even through the denial I said to myself 'this is what women feel like having a heart attack'! I was lucky, I got immediate treatment by all my amazing cardiology colleagues, and within a short time my symptoms were relieved. I was having a 'spontaneous coronary artery dissection' or SCAD. SCAD is the cause of c.25% of all heart attacks in women of 50 years of age and younger!!!
I believe my knowledge and experience helped me to recognise the symptoms of heart attack, whilst many of my non-nursing friends say they would not have thought of their heart had it been them.
Heart Disease is one of the biggest killers of all women, and women don't know that. Why? Because women don't share their stories. So whilst this is a difficult decision for me to go 'public'; in the spirit of sharing I am getting back to my running and sharing my story to raise awareness of the symptoms of heart attack in women and SCAD.
Please support my return to running in Spring/summer 2019 for my 5 run series and beyond. All monies raised will be used for women's heart health and SCAD awareness..
IHF: We are the nation’s heart and stroke charity.Our mission is to affect positive change in the lifestyles of Irish people, to achieve better outcomes for those affected by heart disease and stroke and to challenge when the health of our nation is put at risk.We empower people to live longer, healthier lives.