My Heart

I was diagnosed with RA in 1952. I am 72 years old. In June 2020 I had a near-fatal heart attack. A widow maker they call it. I immediately went into heart failure.

The heart attack came out of nowhere

I have no family history whatsoever of heart problems. I am not overweight (103 lbs). No smoking or drinking. I walked at least a mile a day, if not longer. Ate very well. I never felt that my RA was completely controlled despite trying everything.

I still suffered joint pain and tremendous fatigue.

Was RA responsible for my heart attack?

My doctors concluded that my massive heart attack was a result of my RA, not the RA meds which I immediately assumed it was. My rheumatologist never ever talked to me about this possibility.

Although you can read this online, I guess because I had no risk factors, I really didn’t pay much notice.

My friends and family were shocked. They thought I was the last person who would have an attack.

I then struggled about whether to go back on the awful meds or not. Wasn’t sure it was worse being on meds than having untreated RA. I went back on Actemra, which is supposed to be one of the gentlest on the heart.

Talk to your doctor about RA & heart health

I am posting now, not to frighten anyone, but to suggest that perhaps you want to have a discussion with your doc about this, especially if you have a family history or risk factors.

I was given a 25% chance of living a year. It is now a year and a half, thanks to a great team of doctors.

It is definitely difficult dealing with CHF and RA at the same time. Especially the fatigue from both.

Sorry, this is so long, but I have never this topic talked about on RA forums and I thought my story needed to be heard. Thanks for listening.

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