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A recent tweet has been going viral, and for a good reason. Women with chronic pain are not often warned enough about how different heart attacks can be for them specifically. The Tweet was sent out by a nurse who had suffered a heart attack herself and merely thought for weeks that her symptoms were just being caused by some kind of muscle strain.

Her tweet reads as follows:

“I want to warn women, our heart attacks feel different. Last Sunday, I had a heart attack. I had a 95% block in my left anterior descending artery. I’m alive because I called 911. I never had chest pain. It wasn’t what you read in pamphlets. I had it off & on for weeks.”

On her thread, she noted that her pain actually ran across her upper back, shoulder blades, and down both arms. She had spent the week helping a neighbor clean out her barn, and so just assumed she had overdone herself. While she did take some Motrin and tried a warm compress,  the pain in her back was not going away. Luckily, when things got worse, she called 911 in the nick of time.

After 4 stents and a little time in the hospital to recover, she was able to make it home and back to normal for the most part, but her story is one we need to share. You don’t always have chest pain when you’re having a heart attack/suffering from a heart issue. Some of the more common signs are not the most obvious. Had she not woke up drenched in sweat and vomiting, she would have lost her life that night.

One of the sad things is that women with chronic pain who end up with these kinds of symptoms are not going to think much of them. They are going to, as Patricia Thom who replied to this Twitter thread noted she would herself most likely have just chalked that kind of back/shoulder pain up as fibromyalgia (which is something she suffers from) and suffered through it. Who knows how many women end up doing just that.

And many people who suffer with chronic pain mistake the common signs of a heart attack with day-to-day pain. Some of the replies to this thread were quite concerning, to say the least. People from all over were touching on their similar experiences and to be completely honest it is quite terrifying.

Some of the symptoms most people are not aware of in regards to heart attacks are as follows:

(Please keep in mind you may get some and not others, or you may end up with them all. It is important to see a doctor when you suspect something may be wrong within your body.)

Pressure/squeezing in the center of your chest.

Pain in one or both arms and the back, neck, or stomach.

Shortness of breath (with or without chest issues)

Breaking out in a cold sweat.

Being lightheaded or overly nauseous/vomiting.

A lot of women who end up having heart attacks just think they have the flu or some kind of sickness. For some reason, we tend to really underplay the things we’re feeling, and that is a big issue. Heart attacks are quite common in the world today and take far more lives than they should, don’t let yours be one of them.

While those symptoms might not seem like much, how you respond to them could mean life or death. If you suffer from chronic pain, it is even more important that you do not ignore the signs before you as they could truly end up being much worse than you think.