MS: Hug, Heart Attack, or NEITHER!

You heard me. Neither! I went blazing into the emergency room and it was neither.

WTH is Takotsubo. Commonly called Broken heart syndrome?

I’ll tell you, it’s something that feels, looks, and sounds like your neighborhood HEART ATTACK.  Which is by definition: blockage in the hearts arteries. Well, like I said on the table…I’m not having a HEART ATTACK! I’m a Vegan! OK, I’m sure there might be a Vegan somewhere in the world that has had a heart attack, but I’m not the one. Let me remind you…I have MS and that is WHY I’m a Vegan. Not that I think my dietary choices will cure MS. I make those choices to put myself in the best possible position of good health, if anything else arises. There will be no clogged arteries, obesity, heart disease, diabetes, etc. So when Mr. Nurse kept barking heart attack…I KNEW HE WAS WRONG!

There was however, the little problem of my lower left ventricle not pumping properly, like there was something blocking it, but there was nothing there. Hell at this rate, I coulda had the cheesecake after all!

MS Hug is a symptom of MS. It presents as much like a heart attack, as the real thing, chest pain and all. The pain can extend around one side or the other, or completely “hugging” the torso. I’ve had this to happen a few times over a three week period, off and on (click here to read that post). The very first time, I sat in my car in a sweaty, breathless, panic. I told myself to relax and that this was NOT a heart attack, it was that “Hug” thing I had heard about. In hindsight…that was a dumb move. What if it had been a heart attack? I told myself that the next time it happened I would go to the emergency room just to be safe. Glad I did.

Now let’s talk Takotsubo. This condition has only been recognized for the past five years. It is stress induced and 90% of all cases are postmenopausal women. Menopause reduces a womans estrogen and estrogen is known toplay a part in protecting the heart. These women now become particularly vulnerable.

There you have it. I experienced Tako…you-know syndrome.

I started asking around. Three women that I know have experienced this and they had no name for it. My general practitioner admitted that she had to look it up. She had never heard of it either.

That’s me…a real Trail-Blazer!


Links  to information you may find helpful…I did!

Mayo Clinic-Heart disease in women: Understand disease and symptoms

Mayo Clinic-Hormone replacement therapy and your heart

Comments: Do you know of any women who may have experienced Takotsubo?

Have you experienced an MS Hug? Tell me about it.




Filed under MS Symptoms, Stress Management

4 responses to “MS: Hug, Heart Attack, or NEITHER!

  1. Olivia

    Glad to know it wasn’t a heart attack… Glad to know you know your body and trust your instincts rather than follow the ‘experts’. I’m assuming an MS hug, while frightening, is not nearly as severe as a full on heart attack. Thanks for the update. (((((((My best non-MS hug)))))))


  2. pbirm

    I am so so happy it was not serious. I know it must’ve been very scary. Because when I read your post about the heart attack it scared the daylights out of me.


  3. Thanks Patrick. Looking back, I think it wasn’t as scary because I really did believe they were wrong the whole time about it being a Heart Attack. HOWEVER I’ve learned a lot in doing research for this post about women and heart disease. A very serious matter that I think should have more of a platform for awareness.
    Take care 🙂


  4. Olivia, ((((((My best non-MS hug)))))))…is the cutest! Thank you. I truly owe that “know your body ” stuff to my MS! Living with this disease has held many blessings, and a heightened sense of attention to my body has definitely been a big one. This episode has taught me a lot about women and heart disease. Things I think we should all know. I’m sure I’ll make a way to include it more in my posts.
    Thanks so much for coming back to check on me :)))


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