Naomi’s story: Physical activity

Takotsubo trigger
The week that Naomi had her attack, she was happy and excited, as it was the last week of work before Christmas and she had a three-week holiday. She had a trip planned and she and her partner were looking forward to Christmas with the kids. The night that she had her attack, she went shopping with her new partner and then to a movie, and she was feeling very content. That evening Naomi and her partner had a romantic evening and were engaged in sexual activity when Naomi had chest pain that felt like heart burn but it spread down her left arm and she felt ‘weird’. She started to get sweaty and clammy and then vomited. She is a nurse, so she recognised that she was experiencing the symptoms of a heart attack, but it seemed too unlikely for it to be happening to her at 39 years of age, and she was reluctant to call an ambulance. She and her partner called the Healthline, who in turn called an ambulance.

Medical Management
Once Naomi got to hospital, she was given morphine, and felt much better. Her initial troponin was within the normal range and so she was told it was probably anxiety, but they  repeat the troponin six hours later.  Her second troponin was abnormally elevated and so she had a coronary angiogram and echocardiogram which showed TTS.  Naomi was discharged on a beta blocker and she took this for three months. The beta blocker made her feel very tired and so after her repeat echocardiogram showed that her heart appeared to have returned to normal, she was told that she could stop the beta blocker.

Life after Takotsubo syndrome
Naomi has not had any other problems or symptoms since the initial diagnosis of TTS. She gets tired, but a busy working mother she feels that it is to be expected. Naomi does not really don’t feel like there has been ‘anything wrong’ with her but she has noted that so many other people in the Takotsubo Support Group do have ongoing pains and symptoms. She hopes to never have another episode, and as time passes she is less worried.