Tag Archives: heart attack symptoms

Share, Share Again, and Share Some More

Living in Community Part 1


Point to Ponder:
Do you open up regularly and share your life experiences, advice or wisdom?

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

Really, I love our iGnite community for so many reasons. The list is infinite, but to name a few: I work with amazing women, I meet and am around wonderful women all of the time, I get everything I need and am looking for out of our fitness classes, and I learn from everyone. With 150-ish members (all women), iGnite is not only a network of brilliant resources, but more than anything, it’s a brain trust of wisdom — which I am a total sucker for! There’s not one situation or dilemma (that I can think of at least) that I couldn’t get several spot-on advice nuggets for. As similar as we may seem, we are oozing with diverse upbringings and life experiences. How do I know? Because I’ve been a wisdom sponge for the past 8+ years and what I’ve learned from just being around so many women and asking questions and listening is greater than any set of self-help books I could purchase at Barnes & Noble.

I’m not sure if you had the chance to read it yet, but last week we shared our February Real Women, Real Stories article featuring two young and healthy Austin women who unbelievably both had heart attacks: Darby Denison and Jennie’s Covert Stewart. Darby and Jennie knew one another for many years, and after Jennie’s heart attack, Darby memorized the symptoms which allowed her to identify her own heart attack symptoms- just a few months after Jennie had hers.

After visiting with both Darby and Jennie, I am both thankful and inspired. I am thankful they are both alive and able share their heart attack stories with us. Their stories will save lives — maybe my own?! Then, I am inspired by the way they are choosing to live their lives, post-heart attack. Jennie shared this: “Before my heart attack, I was crazy busy — which was brought on by myself. I volunteered for a lot more than I do now, but now it’s just more about quality and focus now. Not that what I did or who I spent my time with before was not important, it’s just that it took up too much time and took me away from what mattered most.”  “It forced me to re-purpose my life. It empowers me to say ‘no’ when I need to and focus on just having an audience of One. I have an attitude of gratitude and a true awareness of how blessed I am.”

When asked the best advice they’d ever been given, Jennie shared advice that her father shared with her, “Honor one another’s differences. I always fall back on this when I lose my patience. It also helps me have an open heart and an open mind.”

I LOVE this advice and am so thankful Jennie shared it because not only does it inspire me, but remembering it will help me be more tolerant and kind, when I would otherwise be judgmental and get frustrated.

I’m convinced that living in community and sharing life together is no-doubt the design by which we are created to exist. Therefore, throughout this week and moving forward, I invite you to live in community and share your life, your experiences, and your wisdom for the benefit of yourself and others. And if comfortable, please share the best advice or wisdom you’ve ever received by sending me an email at neissa@igniteyourlifenow.com. I will share your wisdom and advice in the upcoming March Journals for others to benefit from.

Action Item:
Live in community and share your life, your experience, and your wisdom for the benefit of yourself and others.

Heart Disease Symptoms All Women Should be Aware of

sky heart

by Catherine Sanderson

by Catherine Sanderson

Neissa and I recently sat down with the amazing women of the Austin-area Go Red for Women campaign and had a fascinating conversation about heart disease among women.  We were both completely taken aback when we heard the story of a healthy Austin woman, in her mid-40’s, who was complaining to a friend of hers that she was feeling sluggish and flu-like, with cold sweats and lightheadedness when her friend encouraged her to go to the hospital, suspecting something unusual.  There, she quickly learned that those were actually the signs of a heart attack!

We, like most, were already aware of the most well-known heart attack symptoms (chest pain & radiating discomfort in the left arm), but had no idea that there was a whole other host of symptoms to be aware of — including flu-like symptoms.  On top of that, the fact that the woman was a healthy and active 40-something was a definite wake-up call!   We walked away from that eye-opening lunch realizing that heart disease is not something to write off just because you might exercise regularly and eat healthy, nor does it always show itself through the ‘obvious’ signs.  This was something to help spread the word about.

So, given that it’s Heart Month, we want to share the lesser known symptoms of heart disease — because information is power.  The more we know, the more confident we can be in helping catch something early in ourselves and in those around us.  So pay close attention, this info can help save precious lives!

There are ways other than the commonly known heart attack symptoms that your body may tell you when something isn’t quite right, potentially with your heart.  Here are four silent heart attack symptoms that women should most definitely be aware of:

1. Shortness of breath
Women often struggle to breathe a few weeks before experiencing a heart attack.  “If you are used to doing a certain amount of activity and then, all of a sudden, you can’t get enough air, that is when I get concerned,” says Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, director of The Heart and Vascular Institute at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

2. Back pain:
Irregular pain in the lower or upper back can indicate stress to the heart muscle.

3. Jaw pain:
“I had one patient who would feel her jaw start to hurt every time she got on a treadmill,” Steinbaum says. “But once she stopped, her jaw pain would go away. She went to a dentist, but there wasn’t anything wrong with her teeth.”  This discomfort continued until the woman experienced a heart attack. When she came into Steinbaum’s office after the event, it was evident that the jaw pain was directly linked to what was happening in her heart.  “Sometimes the heart isn’t able to give a good signal and, instead, the pain can radiate to the neck, jaw and back,” she says.

4. Nausea:
Flu-like symptoms are often reported weeks and days before a heart attack. In fact, as Steinbaum explains, TV personality Rosie O’Donnell reportedly regurgitated a few times before she experienced a heart attack in early 2012.

Dr. Steinbaum’s Advice:
Trust Your Gut: If you aren’t feeling normal or are experiencing any of the symptoms above, head to you local emergency room. It is better to take care of yourself and prevent damage to your heart, in the event you are having a heart attack.

“Hard-to-Recognize Heart Attack Symptoms,” “Symptoms of a Heart Attack,” http://www.goredforwomen.org; 

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