Nicole’s Story

In Feb 2014 I gave birth to our beautiful daughter Holly.  Throughout my life I have maintained a healthy and fit lifestyle with a keen interest in health and fitness.  I did ballet for many years followed by running, training for a marathon, aerobics, weights, Plilates, yoga.  Walking and pilates continued throughout and post my pregnancy and then I started running again which I love.

My life changed the night of Wednesday 4th June 2016.  I had just cooked dinner for my gorgeous little girl whilst also baking healthy oat, date and apple muffins.  I ate one as a test, as one does to make sure it was cooked through ok.  My husband then arrived home during which time I started to get pain in the middle of my chest.

I thought the pain was from eating the muffin too quickly so put it down to heartburn of which I have maybe only experienced once before in my life.  I took a Milanta and asked my husband to bath our daughter as the pain was getting worse.  I lay down, stood up, walked around, sat down but couldn’t reduce it in any way.  I then went upstairs as started feeling nauseaus and vomited several times.  The pain in the middle of my chest felt like what I describe as `the pain felt when you swallow a pill and it gets stuck’ but times 1000.  Whilst hugging the toilet and praying for the pain to go I made myself sick a couple of times hoping to relieve the pain in my chest but nothing worked.  I then put the bathmat on the bathroom floor to lay down on then got up and intermittently went backwards and forwards into the spare room which was freezing cold (I didn’t feel the cold) and lay on the bed.  This went on for some time.  I then felt a tingling, numb feeling down my left arm which felt like the pain I used to get in my hands from carpel tunnel.

I eventually came downstairs and sat on the couch with a cup of herbal tea for about 10 mins.  The pain was still there though not as severe.  I then went up to bed and started googling my symptoms which all came up with `Heart Attack’.  This just did not seem possible, but every symptom mentioned I had.  I still had some pain in my chest which was there for another few hours.

The next morning we walked the `Bay Run’ which is approx. 11km from our house.  We started running and I felt breathlessness which I hadn’t experienced before whilst running at the pace I was, so started walking again.  Feeling concerned but not aware of risks of not treating a heart attack, I contacted the doctor to make an appointment for that day.  There were no appointments available with any doctors as they were short staffed so I made an appointment for the Sat as that was when my doctor was next in.

The next day I went for a run and the pain came back and got really intense so I changed my course to go back home, I would have phoned my husband to pick me up or the Doctor but didn’t have my phone on me so thought I’d struggle up Victoria Road and go into the medical centre at the top.  However, when I reached the top of the hill the pain had reduced so I kept walking.  Eventually the pain subsided so I decided to start running again and continued for another 30mins.

The next morning I went to my doctors appointment at 10am.  She told me to go and have an ECG and also gave me a script for heartburn tablets in the meantime.

I had the ECG and whilst laying on the bed the person conducting the test looked up at a poster on the wall and dialled a number.  At that point I knew something was wrong.  They then told me I had most likely suffered a heart attack and that they were calling the ambulance to take me to emergency at RPA Hospital.

I had an angiogram. I have to re-learn how to live. Now I’m running again and doing pilates.