What Does It Really Feel Like to Have a Heart Attack?

Everyone has seen a depiction of a character on television or in a movie having a heart attack. It usually involves a dramatic clutching of the chest and falling to the ground. This is often followed by someone discovering the heart attack sufferer isn’t breathing and has no pulse. While that might make for good television, it doesn’t give an accurate picture of what having a heart attack is really like.

Elderly Care in Roseville CA: Heart Attack Feelings



In truth, the experience of a heart attack can be very different depending on several factors, including the severity of the attack and the gender of the individual.
While knowing the symptoms of a heart attack can help family caregivers and older adults to spot a heart attack, reading the accounts of real people who have had heart attacks may help them to identify a heart attack when the symptoms are more unusual. Below are some descriptions of heart attacks occurring in real people gathered from around the Web.


Stabbing Back Pain

In an article posted on AARP’s website, 60-year-old Bill Schaffer of Mantua, New Jersey describes symptoms leading up to his heart attack as feeling like a sharp, stabbing pain in the middle of his back. He also said he had indigestion and described a feeling of having two fingers squeezing his heart. These symptoms occurred over a period of time. Schaffer mistook them for a problem with his back and planned to see his chiropractor. On the day of his heart attack, Schaffer recalls feeling sweaty, but he wasn’t sweating. He also describes the pain in his back getting steadily worse while he sat on the couch chatting with his cousin. Then, his heart felt like it was being crushed and pain traveled down his arm and into his jaw.


Something Stuck in the Throat

Women often have heart attack symptoms that are different from the classic symptoms that men tend to experience. In an article on the Women’s Health website, Tara Robinson, age 45, describes feeling like she had a huge pill stuck in her throat that she just couldn’t swallow. Her neck felt stiff and she was having hot flashes and fatigue. In total, she describes the feeling like “a lot of circuits misfiring at one time.”


Severe Indigestion

70-year-old Robert Neyhard said his heart attack presented as terrible indigestion that occurred over many days. When it occurred, he would swallow some antacid pills and drink some white soda. Afterward, he would burp and feel better. He never thought he was experiencing the warning signs of an impending heart attack because he didn’t feel any of the classic pain in his arms. Neyhard had had a heart attack years before these symptoms started that had the classic symptoms of crushing pain in the chest, so he was surprised when his doctor sent him to the emergency room for a heart attack.


When an older adult suffers a heart attack, they’ll need a great deal of help during their recovery. Elder care can offer the care your aging relative needs to get better following a heart attack. An elder care provider can allow them to rest when they need to by assisting with household tasks, including cooking and cleaning. Elder care providers can also remind them when they need to take medications and attend medical appointments. In fact, an elder care provider can even drive the senior to follow-up appointments and cardiac rehabilitation.


If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Elderly Care in Roseville, CA, talk to the caring staff at Partners in Care today. Serving El Dorado, Nevada, Yuba, Sutter, Sacramento, Placer, Butte, Glenn, Yolo, & Colusa Counties!  Call us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! (530) 268-7423






Shaun Clinkinbeard