A Heart Attack at Age 35

| Jan 18, 2012

Like I did, you may take it for granted that you don't have to worry about having a heart attack. You may assume that heart attacks only happen to senior citizens. But I am living proof that there is no age limit to heart attack. At age 35, just three days after Christmas, it happened to me.

I've had diabetes for ten years, so you'd think I would have realized that people with diabetes have a much higher risk of heart attack and stroke. You'd think I would have known the warning signs and recognized the symptoms. But I didn't believe it was happening to me until I heard the doctor say, "You've had a myocardial Infarction, or heart attack."

On the 28th of December, I was walking up stairs when I felt shortness of breath and a dull stabbing pain in my chest. Thinking that I was having an asthma attack, I instantly reached for my inhaler. After two quick puffs, the feeling subsided and I went on with my day.

That evening, as I walked home from the store with my son, the feeling returned. I had forgotten my inhaler, but we were not far from the house, and my son brought it to me. Once again the attack subsided, but I wasn't feeling quite like myself this time, and it seemed a bit strange to have two asthma attacks in one day. I decided to see a doctor in the morning.

Later that night, I got up to go to the bathroom. Halfway down the stairs, the pain returned, growing worse with each step. When I reached the bottom, I couldn't speak or catch my breath, and the chest pain was excruciating. My children became worried and ran to get my husband, who called 911.

The pain seemed to last an eternity, and it felt like the ambulance took forever to arrive. In the ambulance, the paramedics checked my vitals, started an IV, and ran an electrocardiogram. I was so scared, and in terrible pain. The paramedic gave me two aspirin to chew and radioed the hospital. He wasn't very friendly, but he probably helped save my life.

I spent the next three hours being tested. The staff gave me pain medication for my chest and administered oxygen because, although my airway was clear, I was fighting for air. They told me that even though the first tests seemed OK, my blood work showed enzymes that appear only during or after a heart attack.

Around 6:00 AM, the staff informed me that I needed a cardiac catheterization, which involved running a tube with a tiny camera up my leg to take pictures of the inside of my heart. I was awake for the procedure, although somewhat sedated, and I felt frightened and alone. When the tube was inside, I heard them talking. I couldn't make out all the words, but I knew that something was wrong. My heart began to flutter, and I struggled to breathe. Tears rolled down my cheeks, but soon it was over.

In the recovery room, the staff told me that I had a badly clogged artery. They had opened it up and inserted a stent, which is a piece of metal that holds the artery open. They ran a nitro drip in my IV to help with the chest pain and gave me pain medication. I stayed in the hospital until New Year's Eve.

These days, I am just thankful to see my children's faces each morning. I truly understand the concept of lifestyle change now. I don't take my health for granted, and I have turned over a new leaf: I eat a vegan diet that is completely plant-based. It's my hope that my story can help others make such healthy changes before, rather than after, a heart attack at age 35.



Click Here To View Or Post Comments

Categories: Cardiac Catheterization, Chest Pain, Clogged Artery, Diabetes, Diabetes, Electrocardiogram, Heart Attack, Heart Attack at Age 35, Nitro Drip, People With Diabetes, Shortness of Breath, Stroke, Vegan Diet, Warning Signs

Take the Diabetes Health Pump Survey
See What's Inside
Read this FREE issue now
For healthcare professionals only
  • 12th Annual Product Reference Guide
  • Insulin Syringe Chart
  • Insulin Pen Needles Chart
  • Fast-Acting Glucose
  • Sharps Disposal
  • Blood Glucose Meters Chart
  • Insulin Pumps Chart
See the entire table of contents here!

You can view the current or previous issues of Diabetes Health online, in their entirety, anytime you want.
Click Here To View

See if you qualify for our free healthcare professional magazines. Click here to start your application for Pre-Diabetes Health, Diabetes Health Pharmacist and Diabetes Health Professional.

Learn More About the Professional Subscription

Free Diabetes Health e-Newsletter

Top Rated

Latest Clogged Artery Articles

Print | Email | Share | Comments (3)

You May Also Be Interested In...


Posted by Anonymous on 19 January 2012

what a scary thing to happen! Glad you made it out okay and that you're brave enough to tell your story.

Posted by Anonymous on 19 January 2012

This doesn't surprise me. Type 1 diabetics are at risk for a whole mess of health related problems associated with this disease. It literally damages every single part of one's body. If it's not cured, there will be an incredible rise in heart attacks and heart disease among the 30 - 40 age groups. Parents of diabetic children need to turn up the heat on the FDA and organizations like the JDRF to move into clinical trials. They can cry poor but its not about the money like they want you to believe, its about testing their theories against the ultimate test, PEOPLE. If we don't change the paradigm, health care costs associated with this illness will be unsustainable.

Posted by Wanakure on 20 January 2012

If the vegan diet is high carbohydrate, your risk for complications will not diminish. Please write again in 6 months with diet details, other changes you've chosen, and lab results. I'm dubious about vegan diets and would love to be proved wrong. Evidence from peer-reviewed journals is preferred, but I'll certainly read your anecdotal evidence. Thanks!

Add your comments about this article below. You can add comments as a registered user or anonymously. If you choose to post anonymously your comments will be sent to our moderator for approval before they appear on this page. If you choose to post as a registered user your comments will appear instantly.

When voicing your views via the comment feature, please respect the Diabetes Health community by refraining from comments that could be considered offensive to other people. Diabetes Health reserves the right to remove comments when necessary to maintain the cordial voice of the diabetes community.

For your privacy and protection, we ask that you do not include personal details such as address or telephone number in any comments posted.

Don't have your Diabetes Health Username? Register now and add your comments to all our content.

Have Your Say...

Username: Password:
©1991-2015 Diabetes Health | Home | Privacy | Press | Advertising | Help | Contact Us | Donate | Sitemap

Diabetes Health Medical Disclaimer

The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images, and information, contained on or available through this website is for general information purposes only. Opinions expressed here are the opinions of writers, contributors, and commentators, and are not necessarily those of Diabetes Health. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website.