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southernwriter
08-23-2007, 05:29 PM
I am lying on a padded table, soaked with sweat, shivering so violently it must appear that I’m having a seizure. I don’t look at myself. My gaze wanders across the ceiling, the lights, the faces darting in and out of my peripheral vision. I am focusing only on the sensations of my body. Someone draws blood from my arm. Normally terrified of needles, there is too much happening around me to give it more thought.

“Miss Valentine, you’re having a heart attack,” a male voice says. I barely glance in his direction. “On a scale of one to ten, with one being the least and ten being the worst, how is your pain?”

It is not at all what I expect. There is no elephant sitting on my chest. There is no golf ball lodged in my throat. There is only an angry, clenched fist squeezing my heart. It makes me feel incompetent and unworthy of complaining. I try to rate it fairly. “Six, maybe,” I say. Wondering if I am going to die, I watch for the tunnel that will lead me to the light, and the faces of loved ones who have gone before me, but there is nothing. I surrender my body to whatever comes. “Where is my husband?” I ask. “I want him.” I may have something to say to him before I go.

A woman tells me she is going to cut off my nightgown. Not waiting for my protest, she snips the straps, then gathers the silky fabric from the bottom until it is bunched in her hand above my chest. She begins working her scissors. I am naked underneath, and someone covers me with a sheet from the waist down.

Other hands place suction cups on my chest: one on each side below my collarbones, one just above my solar plexus, one below my left breast, another on the right, below where my gall bladder resides. A cuff is fastened around my upper arm. A clamp goes over my finger. It has a glowing red light, and I think ET, phone home.

“Do you have a history of coronary disease?” the man asks.
“My mother.”
“Diabetes?”
“Mother.”
“High blood pressure?”
“I don’t know.”
“Cancer?”
“Not that I know of.”
“Do you smoke?”
“I just quit.”
“When?”
“About thirty minutes ago.”
He has probably heard this joke a thousand times. He doesn’t laugh. He doesn’t even pause. “How much?”
“A pack a day.”
“Do you drink?”
“Occasionally.”
“Have you had any alcohol today?”
“No.”
“When did your symptoms begin?”
“About thirty minutes ago.”
“What were the symptoms?”
“I felt weak. Nauseous.”
“Did you vomit?”
“Yes.”
“How many times?”

I look over at him. He is watching my heart beat on a monitor as he waits for my answer. There were those first few times in the front bathroom. I thought I would feel better. I always feel better after I throw up. I tried to recall what I had eaten and wondered if my husband felt sick, too. It was three or three-thirty in the morning and he had to get up in two hours. He was sleeping soundly, but I felt horrible, and secretly hoped he would come to my aid. I crawled by the room where he’d slept since we decided to divorce, and called his name through the closed door. “Do you feel sick?” I asked.

“No,” he answered. He didn’t ask why I wanted to know.

“I’m sick,” I said. I crawled into our bedroom and onto the bed, but didn’t feel better, and I rolled off, lunging toward the master bathroom to keep from tossing my cookies on the floor. I didn’t feel like cleaning up a mess. On my knees, I raised the lid of the toilet and vomited a few more times. Sweat beaded on my skin, drenching me as if I had been standing in a shower. A shower was not a bad idea, I thought. Maybe it would make me feel better. Struggling to reach the faucet handles, I managed to turn one. The blast of cold water did nothing to help. I lay with my face pressed to the cool tile of the shower floor and called my husband again. He must have detected enough panic in my voice that he came. “I’m so sick,” I said. “I need you to call the hospital and tell them my symptoms. See what they say.”

He left and returned with a phone book, sat on the bed, and tried to find a number for the hospital. I felt the squeeze on my heart. “Forget that. Call 911.”

He looked at me like I was crazy.

“I’m telling you, I’m sick! Call 911.”

He stood. “I can get you there faster.”

“Fine.” I didn’t want to waste time arguing about it. “Grab my purse from under my desk. It has my insurance card in it.” He headed for my office, and I began to crawl through the bedroom. From the hall, I watched him search for my purse. I saw it under my desk, where it lives. “It’s right there!” I shouted.

“Where?”

“Bend over and look. It’s right there under my desk. I’m looking right at it.” He looked, and still didn’t see it. I began to get frustrated. “It’s pink and yellow! It has bamboo handles and looks Chinese. It’s right there!” He finally found it, set it on the desk, and began to rummage through it, looking for my insurance card. “Just bring it,” I whined. “I know where it is. I need to go. Now.”

Mad at me for yelling at him, he let me crawl the rest of the way down the hall and through the living room. He opened the front door, and I crawled across the porch, and down the sidewalk until I reached the driveway where his truck was parked. Managing to stand, I opened the tailgate, and climbed into the bed.

“What are you doing?” he asked.

“Just get me to the fucking hospital,” I snapped. I braced myself for the bumps in the road and watched treetops and streetlights whiz by. I knew instinctively which stop signs he ran, and exactly where we were by the turns he made. At the hospital, he ran in and reappeared with a wheelchair. I’m sure my jaw dropped.

“They said if I can’t get you out of the truck, they don’t know how I expect them to,” he offered by way of explanation. A car pulled up behind us, and I wondered if it was police, but I couldn’t see past the glare of its headlights. I crawled out of the truck and fell into the chair. Once inside, I didn’t have to wait. Someone took control and wheeled me into an inner room, stopping in front of a scale, and told me to hop on.

“I can’t.”

“You have to. We have to know your weight.”

I tumbled from the chair and lay on the scale in a fetal ball. One hundred and thirty-five pounds. I need to diet if I live.

“How many times did you vomit?” the man asks again, bringing me back to the present.

I realize he is the doctor. “Six or seven,” I answer, wishing I could brush my teeth now.

“Do you have a living will or any medical directives?”

Damn. “No.” I’ve always meant to do that, but have never gotten around to it.

“Lift your tongue,” a woman says, and I expect a thermometer. “This is nitro glycerin. Let it dissolve.” I have heard of this before. Never in a million years would I expect to have any of it under my own tongue. Suddenly there’s a person on either side of me, inserting IV feeds into each of my arms. A man easily slides a tube the size of a swizzle stick into my right arm, but the woman on my left is having a hard time of it. I scream. Jesus Christ! She tries again. Fuck! I look over to see what her problem is. She says she must have hit a nerve, and wiggles the tube around again to prove it. I think I’m going to get off the table and kill her. A woman standing beside her takes over.

“How is the pain now?” the nitro woman asks.

“Still six.” It hasn’t let up, and now I have a pain in my arm, too. She puts another tiny pill under my tongue.

A man comes to stand at my left. “I have to shave you,” he informs me, but with a reassuring voice, as if he’s waiting for my consent. “They’re going to make an incision in your groin for a catheter.” I know just what he’s talking about. My mother had it done. They snaked a tube up the artery in her leg until they reached her heart. She’d almost died. From the next room, I’d heard the doctor yelling at her, “Stay with me. Stay with me.” The shave takes less than ten seconds. I am already neatly trimmed. I close my eyes and the dark canvas behind them spins. The tunnel, I think, but no; it’s a snowflake. I want to be cognizant if I leave my body. I’m focused on that. I wait.

“How’s the pain?” nitro nurse asks again.

It’s less, I think. A five. A four, maybe. She puts more nitro under my tongue.

“Let’s get ready to lift,” the doctor directs, and they all surround me. Someone says, “go,” and they lift the sheet under me, just like on TV. I float through the air for a brief moment and land on a gurney. They are off and running. The lights on the ceiling above me speed by like the dotted line on a highway. An elevator door opens and I am wheeled in. A moment later, I am wheeled out. I float again. I see a monitor on my left, nothing more. A cool liquid antiseptic is applied to my groin. I think about how I don’t like the word groin. It sounds nasty. I hear the surgeon’s voice say, “I’ve got two and a half minutes. Let’s go.” I can tell by his accent that he’s from India. I fade to black.

I awaken in a glass room. The nurse’s desk is just outside. The door is open, and I hear activity out there, voices and footsteps. Someone drops a metal object that rings out. In the other direction, I see it’s still dark outside. I’m glad I don’t smell hospital smells. The bed I’m lying in hums as it shifts slightly, like a wave in a waterbed. I’m still tethered to the IV and suction cups. When I move, the top line of the monitor squiggles. I raise my hand a few times when I discover the correlation. An oxygen tube rests beneath my nose. I’m still ET. The blood pressure cuff huffs and puffs and tightens around my arm, then gives a deep sigh. Still adrift in the land of nod, I hear my husband saying that I need my rest and he’ll come back later. I am vaguely aware of the doctor’s presence. He congratulates me for making it to the hospital in time, and explains what he’s done to me, but only a few words stick: massive heart attack, widowmaker, stent. There’s a second blockage in the back of my heart that is unreachable. It is only pumping at 40%. Then he is gone, and I am left alone to contemplate my mortality, and the year from hell that has led me here. Stress is a killer.

“How are you feeling?”
Two nurses, one male, one female are at my bedside, watching the monitor, checking the EKG wires.
“Fine,” I yawn. Sleeping great until they ran in here. I wonder why they always wake up people who are sick.
“Are you having any pain now?”
I check. I think I feel relatively well for someone in intensive care.
“Your heart stopped,” the man says.
“You set off alarms at the desk,” the woman adds.
“Really? Huh. I was sleeping. I didn’t feel a thing.”
They fuss over me until they’re satisfied I’m still alive. I’m not at all uneasy. It seems it would have been a quick and painless death. Nothing to it. I close my eyes and go back to sleep.

On the third day, the cardiologist brings a medical student with him when he comes to release me from the hospital. He sits on the bed to write prescriptions, and asks me to recount the symptoms of my heart attack for the student. I realize that until now, I have left out the first symptom, an odd one indeed. The very first thing I recall happening was suddenly being filled with an overwhelming sense of dread. I had known without a doubt that something terrible was about to happen. It was as if a dementer were kissing me. All light fled from my life, and a real fear descended. The cardiologist is not surprised. It’s not the first time he’s heard this, but his eyes are filled with a sudden interest they’ve not had until now. Since I have no near death experience to recall, it will have to do.




Update September 1, 2007

In light of everyone's encouragement to aim for publication of this: I know I don't have to remind you writers, but for any non-writers who may be directed here by friends, please remember this is copyrighted material. Please do not copy it and send it around in e-mails or post to your blog. I will get very mad.

Azraelsbane
08-23-2007, 05:45 PM
Edit: I apologize. I didn't realize this was actually from something you experienced. I was under the impression it was one of those stories like I get in my email inbox.

Marlys
08-23-2007, 06:06 PM
Scary! Hope you're recuperating okay.

jodiodi
08-23-2007, 06:11 PM
Glad to know you made it through. As a long-time Internal Medicine nurse, and having had personal experience with MI's, I recognize everything you talk about. You're lucky your husband got you to the hospital quickly.

Most women don't have the 'classic' symptoms of an MI. A lot of times, it's just total exhaustion that shows up. I didn't have an MI, but I did have the classic symptoms and then suffered sudden cardiac death while doing a treadmill test.

And I'm glad you don't remember the cardiac cath. It's not pleasant. I recently had stents put in and had 2 caths in 2 days (one in each groin) and I was wide awake for both of them. They said they gave me drugs, but I remember every poke, prod, stitch and injection.

I hope you've really quit smoking and will take care of yourself. Did they get you into cardiac rehab? Good luck with your recovery. I'll be sending prayers your way.

RumpleTumbler
08-23-2007, 06:26 PM
Is this a personal experience?

dolores haze
08-23-2007, 06:48 PM
If this is a true story then I hope you're doing better, and on the road to recovery. And thank you for sharing your experience.

As far as a piece of writing goes, it is excellent. The title alone made me click. I don't know if everyone will get the "dementer" reference at the end. I'm sure you could sell this to any number of women's magazines. Is your intent to just share your story with AW members? If you'd like a close crit to get it ready for sale I'd be happy to help out.

RumpleTumbler
08-23-2007, 07:16 PM
Her blog says she is "happily married" and the husband in the story is an asshole so I think it's fiction.

Kate Thornton
08-23-2007, 07:55 PM
Her blog says she is "happily married" and the husband in the story is an asshole so I think it's fiction.
I think the husband reacted normally - people are not at their best when a medical emergency happens. They don't want to believe it is serious...

RumpleTumbler
08-23-2007, 08:00 PM
Mad at me for yelling at him, he let me crawl the rest of the way down the hall and through the living room. He opened the front door, and I crawled across the porch, and down the sidewalk until I reached the driveway where his truck was parked. Managing to stand, I opened the tailgate, and climbed into the bed.

This is normal behavior to you?

Monkey
08-23-2007, 09:30 PM
Beautiful, evocative writing.

Unique
08-23-2007, 09:37 PM
Her blog says she is "happily married" and the husband in the story is an asshole so I think it's fiction.

Huh. That's why I thought it was non-fiction. I would have had to drive myself.

We're no longer together.

It's a great piece, southern. Send it. LHJ. BHG. RD. Any. All. Every.

Uncarved
08-23-2007, 10:17 PM
My dad had a widowmaker, so I feel for you. You've got quite a recovery but know this... they said that rare few actually survive a widowmaker, so count yourself fortunate no matter what.

I wish you well on your recovery

southernwriter
08-24-2007, 04:48 PM
Edit: I apologize. I didn't realize this was actually from something you experienced. I was under the impression it was one of those stories like I get in my email inbox.
Hmm. I missed that. No blood, no foul, I guess. It's funny you should mention it, because I got one of those in my mail box, too. It came from a friend, so I read it, and even discussed it with more friends at work just a few days before mine happened. My symptoms were nothing like those described in the e-mail, and that's why I wanted to write about it for other women. I didn't know I was having a heart attack until the doctor told me. I had no idea nausea and a cold sweat were classic symptoms. It doesn't happen that way on TV. In fact, women on TV don't have heart attacks, do they? I can't recall ever seeing a show where that happened (but then, I almost never watch TV).




Scary! Hope you're recuperating okay.
Thank you, Marlys.




I did have the classic symptoms and then suffered sudden cardiac death while doing a treadmill test.
That's gotta be scary. Did someone perform CPR?


I'm glad you don't remember the cardiac cath. It's not pleasant. I recently had stents put in and had 2 caths in 2 days (one in each groin) and I was wide awake for both of them.
:eek: Why were you awake???



I hope you've really quit smoking and will take care of yourself. Did they get you into cardiac rehab? Good luck with your recovery. I'll be sending prayers your way.
I really did quit. I can't believe how easy it was because I've tried several times before and failed. I've had a couple moments when I craved one, but for most part, not. I was standing talking to a friend this evening who was puffing away, and she asked me, "Doesn't it bother you to be around people who are smoking?" and I realized I hadn't even noticed. Maybe it's thinking your next one could literally be your last one that makes it easier. I am not afraid of dying, but I sure don't want to have another heart attack! And it feels great to be free of them. I miss food more than I miss smoking. How about you? Do you eat differently now?

They did want me in cardiac rehab, but there are reasons I couldn't make it, so I'm taking care of myself. I walk every morning, and a friend sent me Dr. Ornish's books, so I'm reading those and watching what I eat. Of course, I'm on lots of meds, and taking fish oil, too. I think I'm doing about everything I can do.

I've been reading on the internet that heart attacks are generally more severe in women than in men, and from 38% to 44% of women who have heart attacks die within a year! Actually, right after mine, I read it was a whopping 68%, but I can't find that now. In the first year after a heart attack, women are 50% more likely to die than men are. In the first 6 years after a heart attack, women are almost twice as likely to have a second heart attack. I'm thinking it's because they don't make the necessary changes to their lifestyle, ie.; quitting smoking, getting enough exercise, eating right, taking their meds, etc. btw, thanks for the prayers. Right back at you!




Is this a personal experience? Her blog says she is "happily married" and the husband in the story is an asshole so I think it's fiction.Uh oh. Someone failed reading comprehension (looks arounds at no one in particular). Sorry; gotta tease you a bit because you walked right into that one. The protag in my novel is happily married. I'm not going to make excuses for my husband. I will say that since he learned it was a heart attack, he's been a lot nicer to me.



If this is a true story then I hope you're doing better, and on the road to recovery. And thank you for sharing your experience.

As far as a piece of writing goes, it is excellent. The title alone made me click. I don't know if everyone will get the "dementer" reference at the end. I'm sure you could sell this to any number of women's magazines. Is your intent to just share your story with AW members? If you'd like a close crit to get it ready for sale I'd be happy to help out.Thanks, Dolores. You think there are really people in the world who haven't read the Harry Potter books? Where is the little smileycon whose head hits the desk when I need him? I hadn't really thought about trying to publish it. Maybe I should. I accept your offer, and thanks.




I think the husband reacted normally - people are not at their best when a medical emergency happens. They don't want to believe it is serious...Thanks, Kate. I'm sure he'd appreciate you giving him the benefit of the doubt. I can't say I was exactly on my best behaviour, either.



Beautiful, evocative writing.Wow. Thanks, Monkey. I certainly wasn't expecting that.




Huh. That's why I thought it was non-fiction. I would have had to drive myself.

We're no longer together.

It's a great piece, southern. Send it. LHJ. BHG. RD. Any. All. Every.
I'm sorry, Unique. I think that's terrible. We've been together 16 years tomorrow. Sometimes I think it would be nice to have a man who worships me; other times, I think it'd be great to have no man at all. What about you? Seems there was something else I was going to say about this, but it's slipped my mind now. If I think of it, I'll pm you.

Thanks for your confidence that I could submit this. Since Dolores (and Monkey, sort of) mentioned it, I guess I'm in the market for critiques. Lemme see ... LHJ - Ladies Home Journal, right? What are the other two? I thought for a minute RD was Redbook, then I realized it couldn't be. Wait. Reader's Digest? What's the other one? Hold on; it just came to me. Better Homes and Gardens. I like that mag. When I used to buy magazines, I had a subscription to that one. I don't recall any articles like this in it, though.




My dad had a widowmaker, so I feel for you. You've got quite a recovery but know this... they said that rare few actually survive a widowmaker, so count yourself fortunate no matter what.

I wish you well on your recoveryThanks, Tina. I hope the same for your dad. I know it's probably not supposed to be funny, but I still chuckle at the way people bandy that word about. Widowmaker. It's sounds so ominous. I think people just like saying it. As words go, it's an excellent one. It's certainly descriptive in an unmistakable way, don't you think?

For those of you who have offered your assistance, I should probably let you know I work at night and sleep in the mornings, so I won't be around until late afternoon.

jodiodi
08-24-2007, 05:13 PM
That's gotta be scary. Did someone perform CPR? Yes. I had it while having a thallium stress test in the cardiac lab at a medical center. I was actually pretty calm through the whole thing, surprisingly so, in retrospect.


:eek: Why were you awake??? They said they gave me drugs, but not enough to knock me out. They said I needed to be awake so I could tell thme what was happening or if I had pain.

How about you? Do you eat differently now? Just a little different. I didn't have an MI, but just the sudden death. An MI involves tissue death and my heart had no damage. I've never been a big fried foods, fast food, meat eater. My hyperlipidemia is hereditary.

They did want me in cardiac rehab, but there are reasons I couldn't make it, so I'm taking care of myself. I walk every morning, and a friend sent me Dr. Ornish's books, so I'm reading those and watching what I eat. Of course, I'm on lots of meds, and taking fish oil, too. I think I'm doing about everything I can do. Good luck with that. I'm sure your cardiologist can recommend an exercise program for you. It's important to strengthen the heart.

I've been reading on the internet that heart attacks are generally more severe in women than in men, and from 38% to 44% of women who have heart attacks die within a year! Actually, right after mine, I read it was a whopping 68%, but I can't find that now. In the first year after a heart attack, women are 50% more likely to die than men are. In the first 6 years after a heart attack, women are almost twice as likely to have a second heart attack. I'm thinking it's because they don't make the necessary changes to their lifestyle, ie.; quitting smoking, getting enough exercise, eating right, taking their meds, etc. Because women don't usually have classic symptoms, they may have an MI and not know it. The most common risk is sudden death within a certain time period after an MI. btw, thanks for the prayers. Right back at you! You're welcome and thanks.


Good luck.

RumpleTumbler
08-24-2007, 05:16 PM
Sorry I thought it was just a story.

I hope you get better.

southernwriter
08-24-2007, 05:21 PM
I remember something I was going to tell y'all. My hospital bill was $38,154.88. (Enough to give me another heart attack!) Then I got another bill from the doctor in the ER for $900, and I'm still getting bills from people I didn't know were there, for things I didn't know they did. :eek:

Sonya Vaughn has a blog up in support of national health care, and I urge everyone who's uninsured (or loves someone who's uninsured) to go visit it at http://projectcare.blogspot.com/

southernwriter
08-24-2007, 05:25 PM
Good luck.

Would you mind defining "sudden death?" It may not damage the heart, but it sure doesn't sound any better than an MI.

southernwriter
08-24-2007, 05:26 PM
Sorry I thought it was just a story.

I hope you get better.


No worries. Thanks.

jodiodi
08-24-2007, 05:40 PM
Would you mind defining "sudden death?" It may not damage the heart, but it sure doesn't sound any better than an MI.

It's not that sudden death doesn't damage the heart. I just happened to have what's known as sudden cardiac death without ever having had an MI. A Myocardial Infarction (MI, Heart Attack) damages the heart tissue to the point of tissue death. In other words, there will be a part of the heart muscle that has 'died', as it were. Angina, or chest pain, doesn't result in permanent tissue damage.

The 'sudden death' after an MI is just what it says: the patient suddenly dies. Sometimes that's the first symptom someone has. There are lots of what are commonlly called 'silent MIs' in which the symptoms are so mild they aren't noticeable or there are no symptoms at all.

Don't let yourself worry unnecessarily about such things. Just take your meds, eat right, don't smoke and get moderate exercise and you should do fine.

MelodyO
08-24-2007, 05:55 PM
What a harrowing story! I wish you all the best, including paying that enormous bill.

As an aside, I thought this story was riveting. I didn't skip one word of the entire thing - do think about sending it off, as it certainly deserves to be read by a wider audience. You've got a winner here, for sure. I just wish it didn't come at such a high price for you.

Southern_girl29
08-24-2007, 05:59 PM
That is so scary. I'm so glad to hear you are doing better.

My editor had one back in February, here at the newspaper. One of our reporters did CPR on him until the paramedics got here, but he still wasn't breathing. When they got him to the hospital, one of the doctors said he was brain dead, but luckily, he wasn't. He's retired now, but doing pretty well on the whole.

Little Red Barn
08-24-2007, 06:00 PM
Southern glad you are doing better.

Your words are powerful and should be shouting out to all women. I do think they need to be in all mags--Try Oprah's "O" mag. I can not for the life of me imagine any magazine turning this down--perfect as is, and kept me reading up to the last word--in fact disregarded the phone ringing.
hugs

Lyra Jean
08-24-2007, 06:10 PM
oh wow, this really hit me. Even though I'm young (27) high blood pressure runs in my family. This is definitely a wake up call for me. Definitely get this published.

zahra
08-24-2007, 06:51 PM
Very scary.

And funny enough 1), my (US Citizen) mother and I were just this morning discussing the fact that when she was nursing here (UK), she witnessed loads of Americans 'abusing' (her words) the UK National Health system by coming here to have their babies, rather than pay 30 grand in their own country. And my view is, 'Well, can you blame them!' I still can't believe that you can be charged nearly $40,000 for hospital care. This should be available for all and every person free of charge. I know that there are hospitals that cater for people with no insurance and no money, but my understanding is that these are too few and too ill-equipped. Scary, scary, scary.

2) Visiting my ma at her UK house, we were nosing out the window at our neighbour's house, because an ambulance had come for the invalid wife. I thought she looked really pale. Just found out the poor woman was dead, they just hadn't covered her face.

Thanks for the post. I think you should submit like mad. It's fantastically-written and captivating from start to finish, as well as being relevant and important.
Good luck, and good health.

Jean Marie
08-24-2007, 07:39 PM
SW, I'm glad you're gonna be okay. You certainly are fortunate :Hug2:
Lots of luck to you on your recovery, too. Listen to your doc, follow the instructions to the letter; diet, meds and exercise. Hugely crucial.

I agree w/ Unique, you really should try and get this piece published. Too many women experience silent MI's and don't make it. It's one of the top killers among women because they aren't aware of the symptoms. And, because they do vary so differently from those of men. Women are wired so differently to deal w/ pain...we're used to it. The impending doom, btw, is sooooo classic.

As an EMT, I've seen women not get to the ED in time, or not call us (911), in time. Men don't, either, because they misunderstand the symptoms as well. One guy thought he was experiencing indigestion from his lunch. We lost him, en-route.

You've got numerous points, in your story that are strong message points: Family members need to be aware of signs & symptoms, too.

How dangerous it can be to drive, either yourself or a sick family member to the hospital, in lieu of calling 911, are 2 that immediately come to mind.

An advanced life support ambulance (ALS paramedics and EMT's), which would have been dispatched, in your case, would have been able to administer drugs to you. Such as nitro and they would have started an IV line, too. W/ lights and sirens, they would have gotten you to the nearest hospital that had a cardio/cath lab, also.

Here's a frightening scenario: The area in which I live has 3 hospitals, and only 1 of them has a cardio cath lab. What if your husband had driven you to the wrong one? Granted, all 3 are within 20 minutes of each other, but you'd be dead by the time you figured out which one was the correct one. Besides, a rig can get you there in 1/2 the time and w/ the drugs needed, on-board, your survival rate is that much higher. Also, the frantic/nervousness of said driver.

Seriously, please consider submitting to this the women's magazines that Unique mentioned. Like I said, and it bears repeating, you have an important message that needs to be heard, SW. It very well could save another woman's life.

Pay it forward.

jodiodi
08-24-2007, 08:10 PM
What Jean Marie said. ^^^^

Unless you live next door to the hospital, it's always better to call 911 so you can get professional help, faster.

September skies
08-24-2007, 08:13 PM
First, I am glad you made it through - second, I thought you wrote this beautifully. You had my attention the entire time and I could see every scene unfolding before my eyes. Sadly, it was something a little close to home. I worry sometimes that my heart will fail soon. I have a lot of stress in my life and have awoken suddenly with a sense of doom and occasional chest pain. It has never been anything serious but your story hit home - and I will work on it.
I would love to read a story like this in a woman's magazine - I too think you should submit it. Good luck to you.

C.bronco
08-24-2007, 08:15 PM
Scary. Glad you're here to write about it, and I've been whining about the stitches in my foot!

jennifer75
08-24-2007, 08:51 PM
I think the husband reacted normally - people are not at their best when a medical emergency happens. They don't want to believe it is serious...


They were divorcing....remember?

Sassee
08-24-2007, 08:59 PM
Oh my God... I'm so glad you're okay! Thank you for sharing, and yes, you should definitely get it published.

jennifer75
08-24-2007, 09:32 PM
They were divorcing....remember?

I've got the cap, lead me to the corner.

jennifer75
08-24-2007, 09:34 PM
I have read two incredible stories today, both true and both inspired different habbits and feelings on things I haven't until now really put much time into understanding.

Thank you Southernwriter.

WriterGirl2007
08-24-2007, 09:48 PM
WOW. I'm so glad you are OK. You are so blessed! One of my friends recently died of a heart attack. No prior symptoms. Total shock. Sooo scary. You should definitely get this published.

tjwriter
08-24-2007, 10:07 PM
I'm glad to hear you are recovering well.

And something about this clicked this little nerve, so I'm going to rant for a minute. Not to intentionally pick on one person, but when I see statements like this one, they bother me.



Because women don't usually have classic symptoms, they may have an MI and not know it.


Men and women most often have completely different symptoms. It's not that women don't display classic symptoms, it's that they display symptoms that are different. However, for the longest time, people have only been educated on the male symptoms, and therefore it's been the conclusion that women don't display classic symptoms.

Get thyself to WebMD, where you can search on Heart Attack Symptoms and pull up separate pages on men and women. Learn the difference, and learn them both. The knowledge could help save you, a family member or a friend.

ap123
08-24-2007, 10:13 PM
Southern Writer,

I'm so sorry for your experience. I hope you have a complete recovery, made sweeter by the publication of this piece.

Take care of yourself,

southernwriter
08-25-2007, 04:07 PM
It's not that sudden death doesn't damage the heart. I just happened to have what's known as sudden cardiac death without ever having had an MI. A Myocardial Infarction (MI, Heart Attack) damages the heart tissue to the point of tissue death. In other words, there will be a part of the heart muscle that has 'died', as it were. Angina, or chest pain, doesn't result in permanent tissue damage.

The 'sudden death' after an MI is just what it says: the patient suddenly dies. Sometimes that's the first symptom someone has. There are lots of what are commonlly called 'silent MIs' in which the symptoms are so mild they aren't noticeable or there are no symptoms at all.

Don't let yourself worry unnecessarily about such things. Just take your meds, eat right, don't smoke and get moderate exercise and you should do fine.

Geez, Jodi, you died, and you make it sound like it was no big deal (any near death experiences to report?). I didn't, but for a couple days after I got home from the hospital, I felt kind of in shock as I went about my normal routine. I found myself thinking I had a heart attack. I almost died. Me! Lots of things in life look very different from that vantage point, don't you think? Did it change anything for you?



MelodyO: What a harrowing story! I wish you all the best, including paying that enormous bill.

As an aside, I thought this story was riveting. I didn't skip one word of the entire thing - do think about sending it off, as it certainly deserves to be read by a wider audience. You've got a winner here, for sure. I just wish it didn't come at such a high price for you.Aaaawwww, thanks. That's a really nice thing to say. I'm happy to report that I had just become covered by very good insurance. Way too many people in the U.S. aren't covered, though. It's shameful that we are one of the wealthiest countries in the world, but there are 42 other countries whose people are healthier than ours because they have national health care. People don't want to think about it - until something happens to them, then suddenly they get on the bandwagon, but it's often too late. I will say that had I not been covered, I would not have gone to the hospital. I would have gone back to bed and tried to suffer through, and of course, that would have been the end of me. I hope none of you will ever let it be the end of you! There are things you can do to change this for all women - your mom, your sister, your daughter, your best friend, and even for the men and boys in your life. Visit our fellow writer, Sonya Vaughn's, site: http://projectcare.blogspot.com/


Southern_girl29: My editor had one back in February, here at the newspaper. One of our reporters did CPR on him until the paramedics got here, but he still wasn't breathing. When they got him to the hospital, one of the doctors said he was brain dead, but luckily, he wasn't. He's retired now, but doing pretty well on the whole.I'm glad to hear he survived, Southern Girl. He's a very lucky man. Thanks for your kind words.



Kimmi: Southern glad you are doing better.

Your words are powerful and should be shouting out to all women. I do think they need to be in all mags--Try Oprah's "O" mag. I can not for the life of me imagine any magazine turning this down--perfect as is, and kept me reading up to the last word--in fact disregarded the phone ringing.
hugsGeez, thanks, Kimmi. That's quite a compliment. I wish someone would tell all the agents and editors out there because I have a novel I'm trying to get someone to represent. ;)




Rosemerry: oh wow, this really hit me. Even though I'm young (27) high blood pressure runs in my family. This is definitely a wake up call for me. Definitely get this published.Please have your cholesterol checked, Rosemerry. Stay on top of it. One of the most surprising things to me was that my blood pressure was very, very low (because my heart wasn't pumping the way it should). Genetics are such a huge factor in heart disease (and our health in general). Like mother, like daughter!




Zahra: And funny enough 1), my (US Citizen) mother and I were just this morning discussing the fact that when she was nursing here (UK), she witnessed loads of Americans 'abusing' (her words) the UK National Health system by coming here to have their babies, rather than pay 30 grand in their own country. And my view is, 'Well, can you blame them!' I still can't believe that you can be charged nearly $40,000 for hospital care. This should be available for all and every person free of charge. I know that there are hospitals that cater for people with no insurance and no money, but my understanding is that these are too few and too ill-equipped. Scary, scary, scary.That's funny, Zahra, because we feel the same way about the immigrants who come into our country and use our health care system without having to pay for it. If we had universal health care, it would take care of that problem, and we could all begin to be nicer to each other because we'd feel less as though we were paying the taxes to cover someone else's bills.



2) Visiting my ma at her UK house, we were nosing out the window at our neighbour's house, because an ambulance had come for the invalid wife. I thought she looked really pale. Just found out the poor woman was dead, they just hadn't covered her face. :e2thud:What the hell were they thinking?




Thanks for the post. I think you should submit like mad. It's fantastically-written and captivating from start to finish, as well as being relevant and important. Good luck, and good health.Thanks, Zahra. Did I mention I'm querying agents? :D



Jean Marie: I agree w/ Unique, you really should try and get this piece published. Too many women experience silent MI's and don't make it. It's one of the top killers among women because they aren't aware of the symptoms. And, because they do vary so differently from those of men. Women are wired so differently to deal w/ pain...we're used to it. The impending doom, btw, is sooooo classic.That's why I wanted to write about it, Jean Marie. I really don't think women recognize the symptoms. While mine may have been "classic," I think for a lot of women, they aren't! You make a good point when you say "we're used to it." That can be a big problem for us. We're moms (okay, I'm not, but most of you are), and moms are notorious for sacrificing for their kids, sacrificing for their families, for just dealing with things, for not making a fuss, for not speaking up, for not wanting to "be a problem," or cause a problem ... you get the idea. The truth is ladies, if you don't make it to the hospital and get treatment within an hour of having a heart attack, chances are, you're going to die. It's that simple.



You've got numerous points, in your story that are strong message points: Family members need to be aware of signs & symptoms, too.

How dangerous it can be to drive, either yourself or a sick family member to the hospital, in lieu of calling 911, are 2 that immediately come to mind.
I'm so glad you brought this up. One of the nurses mentioned to me that my husband should have called 911 (I was a little ticked at him that he didn't, but that's a different issue), and I said, "yeah, probably, but we only live five minutes away." "May be," she replied, "but if you'd died in the back of that truck, he wouldn't have been able to revive you, would he?" And that had never occured to me. Never even crossed my mind. You're right that an EMT (yay for you! :hooray:) could not only revive the patient, but can get those meds going immediately, and have someone waiting at the ER so the patient doesn't have to drag herself inside (idiots!) I didn't know I was having a heart attack, but that's beside the point. The EMT would have known.



you have an important message that needs to be heard, SW. It very well could save another woman's life.

Pay it forward.That's the plan. I just hope they're listening! Brava to you for saving lives every day. You go, girl! :Hail:



Jodiodi: What Jean Marie said. ^^^^

Unless you live next door to the hospital, it's always better to call 911 so you can get professional help, faster.Listen to Jean Marie and Jodiodi, ladies. Don't make the same mistake I made.




September Skies: First, I am glad you made it through - second, I thought you wrote this beautifully. You had my attention the entire time and I could see every scene unfolding before my eyes. Sadly, it was something a little close to home. I worry sometimes that my heart will fail soon. I have a lot of stress in my life and have awoken suddenly with a sense of doom and occasional chest pain. It has never been anything serious but your story hit home - and I will work on it.
I would love to read a story like this in a woman's magazine - I too think you should submit it. Good luck to you.Thanks, September Skies. Now I will worry about you. This does not sound good to me. How do you know it's never been anything serious? Have you been to the doctor and had it checked out? Are you one of those women who think it's "not serious" because things like that happen to other people, not to you? PLEASE get back to me about this. I want to know you have a doctor who is aware of it.




C. bronco: Scary. Glad you're here to write about it, and I've been whining about the stitches in my foot!C. bronco, would that be Colorado Bronco, by any chance? Go Broncos! Oops, sorry. What happened to your foot? It's all relative, yanno. Here I am whining about a little heart attack, when I see there's a baby in NY who has just undergone a 5 organ transplant. Poor baby. Prayers for the baby, everybody. Just send up a quick one right now.



Jennifer75: I have read two incredible stories today, both true and both inspired different habbits and feelings on things I haven't until now really put much time into understanding.

Thank you Southernwriter.How nice, Jennifer75. What was the other incredible story? Should we all hear it? (You figured out the answer to your private question now, right?)




Sassee: Oh my God... I'm so glad you're okay! Thank you for sharing, and yes, you should definitely get it published.Thanks, Sassee.




WriterGirl: WOW. I'm so glad you are OK. You are so blessed! One of my friends recently died of a heart attack. No prior symptoms. Total shock. Sooo scary. You should definitely get this published.I'm sorry for your loss, WriterGirl. That's terrible. And it's why I want all of us to know when we need to get ourselves to the hospital. Would you mind telling us a bit about your friend?



tjwriter: Get thyself to WebMD, where you can search on Heart Attack Symptoms and pull up separate pages on men and women. Learn the difference, and learn them both. The knowledge could help save you, a family member or a friend.Thanks, tjwriter. I hope everyone who reads this will listen to you and follow your advice! Please don't be peeved about the "classic symptoms." We're all trying to help teach each other here.




apmom: I'm so sorry for your experience. I hope you have a complete recovery, made sweeter by the publication of this piece.

Take care of yourself,Thank you, apmom. I haven't received any of those critiques some people offered, so I guess I'll have to wing it on my own (looks around at no one in particular and whistles). Remove the part about the dementors, and diffuse the F-bomb, obviously. Spiff up the ending, probably. (Is this working? Anyone feeling motivated yet?) :D

Unique
08-25-2007, 04:45 PM
So, where are you sending it?

Inquiring minds want to know.


LHJ - Ladies Home Journal, right? What are the other two? I thought for a minute RD was Redbook, then I realized it couldn't be. Wait. Reader's Digest? What's the other one? Hold on; it just came to me. Better Homes and Gardens.

Yep, yep, and yep. Any one of them would be foolish not to take this piece, IMO. It's a life saver for sure. And done differently than I've seen in any of those. GO FOR IT.

Shwebb
08-25-2007, 10:19 PM
Absolutely get this thing pubbed! Very, very compelling writing. You have us right there with you, every step, every thought, it seems.

And as far husbands being helpful when we women (and I know it can and is reversed, gender-wise)--my husband is a paramedic. On the few occasions I have had serious emergencies (one for a torn retina and the other for really bad case of pneumonia) he was quite blase' about my being ill, and downplayed my symptoms. He's a great paramedic--one of the best in our area, actually. He doesn't miss anything, usually, with his patients. Unless it's me. :)

I think he can't stand the thought that something could be seriously wrong with me, so he, on some level, denies that anything could be serious. He's still a dear, though.

Best wishes on your recovery, and good luck choosing which mag to submit to. I'm sure one of them will take it.

Oberon
08-26-2007, 12:32 AM
Dear Southern Writer; I must second all the above comments and praise for your writing. You know best how to edit, and it needs hardly any. Somebody will publish it and you can add it to your bio when you submit to agents. Writing aside (and yours is really compelling!) If you fear a recurrence, if you are alone at home much of the time, you might consider a LifeLine phone. You can have a button you wear around your neck or have handy where you can reach it quickly. Press the button and they will call. if there is no answer they automatically send an ambulance. My mother-in-law has one. When she fell in her bathroom I got a call at midnight from the LifeLine person: "Mrs. Meyers has pushed her button and we can't reach her." I rushed over to her condo, my wife called 911. If we hadn't been listed as first responders they would have called 911. She broke her hip. It could have been a heart attack.

Best of luck to you. If I ever meet your husband (ex?) I will have a few words for him. Some men do care, I hope you don't think all men are jerks.

jodiodi
08-26-2007, 09:16 AM
Geez, Jodi, you died, and you make it sound like it was no big deal (any near death experiences to report?). I didn't, but for a couple days after I got home from the hospital, I felt kind of in shock as I went about my normal routine. I found myself thinking I had a heart attack. I almost died. Me! Lots of things in life look very different from that vantage point, don't you think? Did it change anything for you?

I was quite calm about the whole thing when it happened. I was just embarassed. I watched the monitor and saw the V-tach and I wasn't really scared. Mainly, while they were trying to get me to the table, I was telling everyone to calm down, that I was fine and all that went through my mind was, "You're making such a scene; this is so embarassing; don't fall in the floor whatever you do." When I woke up, I was the same, telling them who to call, giving out numbers and names and telling them where to start the IV and what kind of tape to use on me. I even argued with the doctor about staying in the hospital.

ME: I have to be in Valdosta at 4:30 for peer review. I don't have time to spend in the hospital.

DOCTOR: You just died.

ME: Well, I'm better now.

There was no bright light or tunnel. However, I was somewhere else for a while. It was nice and calm and quiet. I was in a big house, a Victorian, to judge by the tall windows. I could see a wide green lawn, woods in the distance and mountains beyond that and the sky was cerulean blue. Little dogs and cats kept running through the yard or through the house. I was sitting in a room with lots of books, like a library. I was on a comfy couch and there was a nice cool breeze blowing through, and one of my dogs--who wasn't dead at the time, but is now--was laying on the couch next to me with his head in my lap and I was petting him. It was quite pleasant and I was pissed off when they brought me back. I could hear them calling me and I kept thinking, 'Leave me alone!'

Has it changed anything? Well, lots of things that I used to think were so vitally important now don't mean much, if anything, to me. I've always been pragmatic about death--never really feared it. Now, I worry a little bit about my husband--we weren't married at the time--because I don't want to leave him behind.



And as far husbands being helpful when we women (and I know it can and is reversed, gender-wise)--my husband is a paramedic. On the few occasions I have had serious emergencies (one for a torn retina and the other for really bad case of pneumonia) he was quite blase' about my being ill, and downplayed my symptoms. He's a great paramedic--one of the best in our area, actually. He doesn't miss anything, usually, with his patients. Unless it's me. :)

I think he can't stand the thought that something could be seriously wrong with me, so he, on some level, denies that anything could be serious. He's still a dear, though.

My husband worries about me much more than I do. As for being blase', my husband and my family before him, always ask, "Where's the compassion?" I've been a nurse too long. I've always taken care of the family when they're sick (which is how I went into nursing), but I tend to not so much downplay the symptoms, but I try to keep them from getting more frightened and upset. One needs to act with confidence so one's patients will hopefully take some comfort and help ease their anxiety. Of course, my husband is quite the drama king when it comes to his own illnesses and injuries. He had a tooth pulled and called me at work to come home and pamper him. He was lying on the chaise with his fuzzy blanket when I got there.

WriterGirl2007
08-27-2007, 12:21 PM
I'm sorry for your loss, WriterGirl. That's terrible. And it's why I want all of us to know when we need to get ourselves to the hospital. Would you mind telling us a bit about your friend?


Oh! That is so sweet of you to ask. In this case, my friend was a man, but he didn't have symptoms that anyone thought were serious. Then one day, he was working in his backyard and passed away, "just like that." It was a complete shock. I had just seen him two days earlier and he was fine. It reminds me of why we should always go to yearly physicals, whether we feel like we need them or not.

He was quite an amazing man! A counselor, he dedicated his life to teaching and helping others. He had a couple Bible studies that I used to attend frequently, and people were in and out of his house every day of the week. He definitely made a *huge* difference in my life and many others! His wife and I are very close friends. She has an amazingly positive attitude that is quite an inspiration to me.

Thanks for asking. :)

southernwriter
08-27-2007, 01:34 PM
So, where are you sending it?

Inquiring minds want to know.



Yep, yep, and yep. Any one of them would be foolish not to take this piece, IMO. It's a life saver for sure. And done differently than I've seen in any of those. GO FOR IT.


Blush. Thanks, Unique. From your fingertips to an editor's ears, heh?

southernwriter
08-27-2007, 01:44 PM
Dear Southern Writer; I must second all the above comments and praise for your writing. You know best how to edit, and it needs hardly any. Somebody will publish it and you can add it to your bio when you submit to agents. Writing aside (and yours is really compelling!) If you fear a recurrence, if you are alone at home much of the time, you might consider a LifeLine phone. You can have a button you wear around your neck or have handy where you can reach it quickly. Press the button and they will call. if there is no answer they automatically send an ambulance. My mother-in-law has one. When she fell in her bathroom I got a call at midnight from the LifeLine person: "Mrs. Meyers has pushed her button and we can't reach her." I rushed over to her condo, my wife called 911. If we hadn't been listed as first responders they would have called 911. She broke her hip. It could have been a heart attack.

Best of luck to you. If I ever meet your husband (ex?) I will have a few words for him. Some men do care, I hope you don't think all men are jerks.


Thank you for the compliments, Oberon. I'll pm you about that phone. I'm very glad it worked out for your MIL. How is she doing now?

My husband isn't really a complete jerk. He has some good qualities; caring about me just isn't one of them. For instance, he works two jobs. He's tired. I only work one. Does that change the picture a little?

southernwriter
08-27-2007, 02:15 PM
I was quite calm about the whole thing when it happened. I was just embarassed. I watched the monitor and saw the V-tach and I wasn't really scared. Mainly, while they were trying to get me to the table, I was telling everyone to calm down, that I was fine and all that went through my mind was, "You're making such a scene; this is so embarassing; don't fall in the floor whatever you do." When I woke up, I was the same, telling them who to call, giving out numbers and names and telling them where to start the IV and what kind of tape to use on me. I even argued with the doctor about staying in the hospital.

ME: I have to be in Valdosta at 4:30 for peer review. I don't have time to spend in the hospital.

DOCTOR: You just died.

ME: Well, I'm better now.


Holy cow. "I'm better now." I'm better now? Are you out of your freaking mind? You did go to the hospital, right? When was this? Did you write about it? I have to admit, before I got to the hospital, I was panicky because I felt like absolute crap, but once I learned it was a heart attack, I calmed down. I didn't write it into my post (can't put everything in there), but the first thing I really said was "At least I got to find out what became of Harry Potter." It was the Deathly Hallows weekend, and I'd finished the book that afternoon. A few days before, I'd read a great little book by Allan Botkin called Induced After Death Communication, something I've always believed in because I've experienced it. I've counseled others about it. It's what my novel is about.




There was no bright light or tunnel. However, I was somewhere else for a while. It was nice and calm and quiet. I was in a big house, a Victorian, to judge by the tall windows. I could see a wide green lawn, woods in the distance and mountains beyond that and the sky was cerulean blue. Little dogs and cats kept running through the yard or through the house. I was sitting in a room with lots of books, like a library. I was on a comfy couch and there was a nice cool breeze blowing through, and one of my dogs--who wasn't dead at the time, but is now--was laying on the couch next to me with his head in my lap and I was petting him. It was quite pleasant and I was pissed off when they brought me back. I could hear them calling me and I kept thinking, 'Leave me alone!'I love it. LOVE it. Check this out: http://www.lesiavalentine.com/prologue.htm Sound at all familiar? I'm really bummed that I didn't get there and get back with the memory, but all the people I've talked to about their NDE's reported that feeling of "leave me alone." I'm so jealous. You're not afraid of dying, right? I say I'm not (and how on bad days, I'm actually looking forward to it), and it scares people. They think I have a death wish or something. But you understand, don't you? What are you writing? Never mind. I'll find your site and check it out.

Has it changed anything? Well, lots of things that I used to think were so vitally important now don't mean much, if anything, to me. I've always been pragmatic about death--never really feared it. Now, I worry a little bit about my husband--we weren't married at the time--because I don't want to leave him behind.
I understand. If more people could accept what comes after, we wouldn't grieve so much, and it would be easier on the dying, too. The living worry about the dying, and the dying worry about the living. Have you talked to him about it and does he understand? And what are you doing about your heart these days?



My husband worries about me much more than I do. As for being blase', my husband and my family before him, always ask, "Where's the compassion?" I've been a nurse too long. I've always taken care of the family when they're sick (which is how I went into nursing), but I tend to not so much downplay the symptoms, but I try to keep them from getting more frightened and upset. One needs to act with confidence so one's patients will hopefully take some comfort and help ease their anxiety. Of course, my husband is quite the drama king when it comes to his own illnesses and injuries. He had a tooth pulled and called me at work to come home and pamper him. He was lying on the chaise with his fuzzy blanket when I got there.Aaaawww. Men are so cute when they're sick, aren't they? Hope he's feeling better.

southernwriter
08-27-2007, 02:27 PM
Oh! That is so sweet of you to ask. In this case, my friend was a man, but he didn't have symptoms that anyone thought were serious. Then one day, he was working in his backyard and passed away, "just like that." It was a complete shock. I had just seen him two days earlier and he was fine. It reminds me of why we should always go to yearly physicals, whether we feel like we need them or not.

He was quite an amazing man! A counselor, he dedicated his life to teaching and helping others. He had a couple Bible studies that I used to attend frequently, and people were in and out of his house every day of the week. He definitely made a *huge* difference in my life and many others! His wife and I are very close friends. She has an amazingly positive attitude that is quite an inspiration to me.

Thanks for asking. :)


It's not sweet of me; everyone is special in someone's life. Everyone deserves to be remembered, and their life celebrated. Your friend sounds like he was a person very worth knowing. I'll bet he's missed by a lot of people. And I'll bet he's looking over those of you who miss him most. I have this romantic theory that every time we think of them, they know it, and they think of us, too.

I was googling tonight about that sense of dread that I've heard is common, but that I'd never heard of before, and I came across what Jodiodi must have experienced, too: a "silent" heart attack. No symptoms, no warning. That must be what happened to your friend. My husband's grandfather, too, but he was old. I hope it was painless for him. I think it must have been, or at least very, very brief. Maybe Jodi can say? Anyway, I am sorry for your loss. I know understanding that they're in a beautiful place often doesn't make us miss them any less.

The_Grand_Duchess
08-27-2007, 06:03 PM
I kind of ignored this at first becuase I thought it WAS one one of those emails from the title. Now I'm glad I read it. I really hope that you're doing better. It was beautifully written.

Oddly enough my brother's girlfriend just died from heartproblems today. Their baby is only a couple of months old I think. I simmply do not know what to say.

southernwriter
08-28-2007, 02:20 AM
Absolutely get this thing pubbed! Very, very compelling writing. You have us right there with you, every step, every thought, it seems.

And as far husbands being helpful when we women (and I know it can and is reversed, gender-wise)--my husband is a paramedic. On the few occasions I have had serious emergencies (one for a torn retina and the other for really bad case of pneumonia) he was quite blase' about my being ill, and downplayed my symptoms. He's a great paramedic--one of the best in our area, actually. He doesn't miss anything, usually, with his patients. Unless it's me. :)

I think he can't stand the thought that something could be seriously wrong with me, so he, on some level, denies that anything could be serious. He's still a dear, though.

Best wishes on your recovery, and good luck choosing which mag to submit to. I'm sure one of them will take it.

Sorry I missed you, Schwebb. It's good that you understand your husband like that. Y'all have been married a lot of years, haven't you? I think that kind of knowing only comes with time.

southernwriter
08-28-2007, 02:25 AM
I kind of ignored this at first becuase I thought it WAS one one of those emails from the title. Now I'm glad I read it. I really hope that you're doing better. It was beautifully written.

Oddly enough my brother's girlfriend just died from heartproblems today. Their baby is only a couple of months old I think. I simmply do not know what to say.


:( I'm so sorry, Duchess! I'm shocked. She couldn't have been very old. She didn't have a clue? Will your brother keep the baby? My prayers are with you all!

writerterri
08-28-2007, 02:55 AM
Oh, my! I hope you're feeling better and still live a long life.


I just had a heart work up. Thanks for the reminder.

The_Grand_Duchess
08-28-2007, 03:32 AM
:( I'm so sorry, Duchess! I'm shocked. She couldn't have been very old. She didn't have a clue? Will your brother keep the baby? My prayers are with you all!

Yes, she had been suffering from the heart problems for a long time (I believe she had a hole in her heart). She really shouldn't have had the baby for health reasons but she wanted to and did it anyway. She never really recovered from the birth.

As for what my brother will do, I have no idea. I forgot to ask my grandma. I think her parents will keep him. The baby I mean. I'm sure I will get an update tomorrow.

I doubt my brother will keep the baby. He doesn't really have a place to live. Or a job. It's a very messed up situation.

southernwriter
08-28-2007, 06:02 AM
Oh, my! I hope you're feeling better and still live a long life.


I just had a heart work up. Thanks for the reminder.


Thanks, writerterri. I hope your news is good news.

southernwriter
08-28-2007, 06:06 AM
Yes, she had been suffering from the heart problems for a long time (I believe she had a hole in her heart). She really shouldn't have had the baby for health reasons but she wanted to and did it anyway. She never really recovered from the birth.

As for what my brother will do, I have no idea. I forgot to ask my grandma. I think her parents will keep him. The baby I mean. I'm sure I will get an update tomorrow.

I doubt my brother will keep the baby. He doesn't really have a place to live. Or a job. It's a very messed up situation.

Oh, dear. I'm sorry to hear all of that. She must have been a really nice person to have wanted to give her own life for her baby. I'm sure she'll watch over him from wherever she is now. I hope things begin to work out for your brother, too, and that he'll realize the gift he's been given.

Williebee
08-28-2007, 06:17 AM
Thanks for sharing. Really well written. I was told once that women "don't" have heart attacks until menopause. Anybody have any knowledge on that?

jodiodi
08-28-2007, 06:44 AM
Thanks for sharing. Really well written. I was told once that women "don't" have heart attacks until menopause. Anybody have any knowledge on that?

At the risk of being called to task again, I can tell you that little rumor is unequivocally false. When I had my incident, This other girl was in the waiting room at my surgeon's and we were the youngest two there. She was 27 and had an MI while on the delivery table in the middle of childbirth. And although I didn't have a heart attack, I was far from menopause. I still am.

jodiodi
08-28-2007, 06:58 AM
Holy cow. "I'm better now." I'm better now? Are you out of your freaking mind? You did go to the hospital, right? When was this? Did you write about it?

This happened in 1998 and I was in the cardiac lab at the hospital when it happened. I never wrote about it because none of my characters have experienced it. That's not to say they won't, but none have so far.

I love it. LOVE it. Check this out: http://www.lesiavalentine.com/prologue.htm Sound at all familiar? I'm really bummed that I didn't get there and get back with the memory, but all the people I've talked to about their NDE's reported that feeling of "leave me alone." I'm so jealous. You're not afraid of dying, right? I say I'm not (and how on bad days, I'm actually looking forward to it), and it scares people. They think I have a death wish or something. But you understand, don't you? What are you writing? Never mind. I'll find your site and check it out.

I understand and have heard the same thing from others. I don't particularly want to die, but if it happens, it happens. I just don't want to leave my husband and our dogs. We've only been married seven years and unlike then, I have something to lose now.

I understand. If more people could accept what comes after, we wouldn't grieve so much, and it would be easier on the dying, too. The living worry about the dying, and the dying worry about the living. Have you talked to him about it and does he understand? And what are you doing about your heart these days?

He doesn't understand and won't talk about it. He's one who thinks if you don't talk about something, it won't happen. I'm always the one who has to deal with the harsh realities of life, like his mom getting older and weaker; his brother and sister being totally unable to fend for themselves because they always had mama to do it for them; me being the one most likely to die at any time. So, I've made all my arrangements, have a will, have Advanced Directives, named someone besides him as my durable PoA for healthcare. I've even been able to talk to his kids (16, 12 and 9) about it more than I can him. I see an internist for my PCP and have a cardiologist. I had stents put in in 2004--not in my grafts; those are fine. But I had some vessels that were clogged back when I had the CABG but weren't bad enough to do at the time. They just progressed.


:Shrug:

WriterGirl2007
08-28-2007, 08:11 AM
Oddly enough my brother's girlfriend just died from heartproblems today. Their baby is only a couple of months old I think. I simmply do not know what to say.

Oh my gosh!!! That is soooo sad. :( I cannot even begin to imagine the pain your brother is going through right now. My prayers are with him and with your whole family. That is so sad. :(

WriterGirl2007
08-28-2007, 08:14 AM
It's not sweet of me; everyone is special in someone's life. Everyone deserves to be remembered, and their life celebrated. Your friend sounds like he was a person very worth knowing. I'll bet he's missed by a lot of people.

Absolutely. He was definitely a wonderful man!



I was googling tonight about that sense of dread that I've heard is common, but that I'd never heard of before, and I came across what Jodiodi must have experienced, too: a "silent" heart attack. No symptoms, no warning.

I was googling the same thing last night! I think my friend did have that. He wrote several people letters that, in retrospect, sounded like he had some idea that something bad was going to happen. I never realized that could be a SYMPTOM. Wow.

Of course, since I'm a worrier sometimes, I'll now be worried every time I worry that it is that "sense of doom" thing happening!

southernwriter
08-28-2007, 03:20 PM
After waiting 8 long months "How Cow Found Her Moo" was rejected. Exclusive submissions suck!.


Sorry to hear it, but why on earth did you give someone an exclusive? I thought you read Miss Snark.

southernwriter
08-28-2007, 03:23 PM
Thanks for sharing. Really well written. I was told once that women "don't" have heart attacks until menopause. Anybody have any knowledge on that?


Women definitely have heart attacks before menopause. It's just that they're more likely to post menopause, because the estrogen that has protected the heart until then is no longer available.

southernwriter
08-28-2007, 03:26 PM
:Shrug:

Wow. Thanks for sharing. I hope you continue to be well for a long, long time to come!

southernwriter
08-28-2007, 03:36 PM
Of course, since I'm a worrier sometimes, I'll now be worried every time I worry that it is that "sense of doom" thing happening!


I know what you mean. It's crossed my mind a couple times, too, believe me. I think there's a big difference, though. The sense of doom that preceded my heart attack wasn't my ordinary "deja vu-like, uh oh" sense that something is going to happen. It was truly an overwhelming feeling. So overwhelming that I got on my knees and said a prayer, and I'm not a particularly religious person (spiritual, yes; religious, no). It wasn't a feeling that I'd ever mistake for one that was "ordinary."

WriterGirl2007
08-28-2007, 10:28 PM
I know what you mean. It's crossed my mind a couple times, too, believe me. I think there's a big difference, though. The sense of doom that preceded my heart attack wasn't my ordinary "deja vu-like, uh oh" sense that something is going to happen. It was truly an overwhelming feeling. So overwhelming that I got on my knees and said a prayer, and I'm not a particularly religious person (spiritual, yes; religious, no). It wasn't a feeling that I'd ever mistake for one that was "ordinary."

Hmm... Very interesting distinction. And it sounds like an incredibly frightening feeling too!

MidnightMuse
08-28-2007, 11:22 PM
Women definitely have heart attacks before menopause. It's just that they're more likely to post menopause, because the estrogen that has protected the heart until then is no longer available.

I still remember when you first told Charles (and he told me) that you'd had a heart attack. You were so calm about it in the email ! I had to do a double-take, and I still can't believe what you went through. So glad to hear you up and about and talking about it so beautifully, though.

I remember when I was young, I'd sometimes be in bed and get that fluttering feeling, when the muscles around your heart spasm, and tell myself "Oh calm down, you're not having a heart attack, you're too young." Being born with a heart murmur always kept that in the back of my mind.

Now that I'm (not as young) anymore, and working on blood pressure issues before we resort to medications, I still get that feeling now and again - only NOW I have to admit to myself I'm not too young to be having a heart attack !

southernwriter
08-30-2007, 02:36 PM
I still remember when you first told Charles (and he told me) that you'd had a heart attack. You were so calm about it in the email ! I had to do a double-take, and I still can't believe what you went through. So glad to hear you up and about and talking about it so beautifully, though.

I remember when I was young, I'd sometimes be in bed and get that fluttering feeling, when the muscles around your heart spasm, and tell myself "Oh calm down, you're not having a heart attack, you're too young." Being born with a heart murmur always kept that in the back of my mind.

Now that I'm (not as young) anymore, and working on blood pressure issues before we resort to medications, I still get that feeling now and again - only NOW I have to admit to myself I'm not too young to be having a heart attack !

Hey MM. Is that what the fluttering feeling is? A murmur? Feels like hummingbirds flying around in your chest, huh? You get that? I got it for a while after the attack, but it seems to have stopped now. So you have a heart murmur? I don't think we're ever too young to have a heart attack if something is wrong with our hearts, and down here in the south, we tend to have high cholesterol from frying all our food. Not me, but yanno, in general. I hope it never happens to you. You don't smoke, do you?

P.S. When I first told you and A.C., I was still in shock. Couldn't quite believe it happened to me. And thanks for the compliment.

Sassee
08-30-2007, 07:31 PM
I don't think we're ever too young to have a heart attack if something is wrong with our hearts, and down here in the south, we tend to have high cholesterol from frying all our food.

I'm not sure if it's true and I can't find it on Snopes, but I heard about a teenager that died from an accident (I don't remember what the accident was), and when they examined him they discovered his heart was already 70% or more blocked. A teenager.

So... no, I don't imagine *anyone* is too young for a heart attack. As a matter of fact I'm taking someone's advise and starting at 25 I'm getting myself a thorough checkup every 5 years. (I've lived a pretty sedentary life and my diet was always horrible.)

Sister has diabetes and my Grandpa has had several bypasses, so I feel it necessary to consider myself at risk :p

rugcat
08-30-2007, 08:10 PM
Hey MM. Is that what the fluttering feeling is? A murmur? Feels like hummingbirds flying around in your chest, huh? You get that?That sounds a lot like Atrial flutter, or Atrial Fibrillation. (A Fib) I'm not a doctor, so I won't comment on its risks, other than to say its not usually considered a life threatening condition in and of itself. And it certainly could be something else -- you should mention it to your physician or cardiologist.

MidnightMuse
08-30-2007, 08:14 PM
Yeah, it's just the flutter thingie. My doctor said it has nothing to do with the murmur (which you can't feel). She said it was nothing to worry about, it's just an unsettling feeling sometimes. Something to do with the muscles around your chest/heart area that "feels" like your heart is fluttering.

Man, I had this echocardiogram thingie once - where I had to lay there and endure this technician pressing an ultrasound scope over my chest for an hour - watching my heart on that monitor thing.

I couldn't stand it ! I hated seeing my heart on that screen, watching it beat - freaked me out completely. I think I was afraid if I stared at it, I'd see it stop beating :D

RumpleTumbler
08-30-2007, 08:19 PM
I couldn't stand it ! I hated seeing my heart on that screen, watching it beat - freaked me out completely. I think I was afraid if I stared at it, I'd see it stop beating :D

I had a worse one. I had to listen to mine beat! It was loud too. Freaked me out. I didn't like it at all. I'm having an MRI tomorrow. I won't like that either.

MidnightMuse
08-30-2007, 08:21 PM
Which one is that donut shape thing that you get slowly pulled through - an MRI or a Cat Scan? Those are a breeze.

RumpleTumbler
08-30-2007, 08:27 PM
Which one is that donut shape thing that you get slowly pulled through - an MRI or a Cat Scan? Those are a breeze.

The MRI is the one where you get stuffed up inside the machine like a sausage in a casing. It's so loud you have to wear ear plugs.

MidnightMuse
08-30-2007, 08:30 PM
That doesn't sound like fun.

jodiodi
08-30-2007, 09:40 PM
If you ever have a cardiac cath (and they don't knock you out), you get to see your heart on the screen, see the dye flush into it, see the wire probing around in it. It's pretty cool. Painful, but interesting. I've also had the Echo done, the color-flow Doppler. I enjoyed those because they didn't hurt and I like seeing what's inside of me without having to be cut open. Of course, I'm a nurse so stuff like that doesn't bother me a bit. My husband, however, would probably pass out.

aka eraser
08-30-2007, 09:54 PM
Well, that brought back memories!

Welcome to the club and stay healthy. :)

southernwriter
08-31-2007, 05:13 AM
Wow. Lots of good information here. I'm finding out all kinds of stuff I didn't know. :):):)

Mud Dauber
09-01-2007, 06:11 PM
Wow. What an experience, Southern Writer. First of all, I'm really glad to hear you're okay now.:Hug2:Second of all, your account of what happened was riveting. (Thanks to Sassee Bioche for posting it in her sig line--otherwise, I don't know if I would have discovered the thread.) Anyhow, as everyone else has been encouraging, please submit this. And let us know what happens. I'll make sure all of the women in my life buy a copy of whichever magazine you end up published in. Your writing is superb. I've often heard people use the term "tight" in a crit, and I never really understood what they meant. I get it now. There wasn't a wasted word in your piece. And kudos to you for being compelled to share your story. Hey, even if you don't get published (which I'm sure you will), you can be proud of the fact that you've inspired someone (me:hi:) to write better, tighter and more from the heart.<--No pun intended.;)

southernwriter
09-02-2007, 05:23 AM
Thanks, Mud Dauber (and Sassee). That's very flattering. I wish agents liked my writing as much as some of you do. I got another (novel) rejection just the other day.Aaaarrrrgh.

Querying magazines is proving a bit difficult at the moment. My worthless Lexmark printer bit the dust. If it's not one damned thing, it's another. This has been the year from hell, starting with the poison pet food that killed my cat. I don't know which is the bigger factor in my heart attack -- smoking or stress. Then here I am, typing along, and the server times out, and I had to begin this post all over again. It's a tiny thing, but when a hundred of those tiny things happen each day, day after day, they add up. I feel like I'm climbing a mountain that never ends, and thinking I'm just not meant to be a writer since every freaking thing in the world seems determined to set me back five paces. I'm so tired. :cry:

BrookieCookie777
09-02-2007, 05:49 AM
Hope you are feeling better Southern. Someone upstairs must like you! I'm sure God was watching over you . . . no doubt. Sometimes these things turn out to be blessings in disguise. Maybe it will bring you and your husband closer. I'm sure it will all be blue skies from here!

BrookieCookie777
09-02-2007, 05:50 AM
Oh and yes . . . intruging writing. You should send this in to a ladies mag. Someone would buy it. It would be perfect for Heart month, red dress sorta thing.

Thump
09-08-2007, 12:43 AM
Wow, riveting is the word.

I don't usually read people's accounts of heart attacks because I always found them to be corny and uninteresting. However, my father had a heart attack in January and that's rather changed my perspective :) So much of what you describe I saw happen to him! Thankfully, he wanted us to call 911 (I think it was the feeling of doom that scared him there because dad has a phobia of doctors and needles).

It also made me think hard about this "incident" over a year ago (maybe 2). I was in bed and my chest was tight and so painful! I felt like I wasn't going to make it through the night and I could hardly breathe. I convinced myself that it was just heartburn but now, thinking back on it and knowing that my dad has heart problems, I'm not so sure anymore. Especially considering I'm overweight and have had cholesterol problems in spite of my age (22 now). Your story's convinced me to talk about it with my doctor when I go see him on monday. I think it'd be terrifying if it had been a heart attack and I didn't react! On the other hand, I'm still here!

plnelson
09-08-2007, 02:11 AM
Great story! And I can really relate to it because of something that happened to me in April. When my heart stopped in the ER it was a lot scarier for my wife than me because I was gone - no tunnel of light, no out-of-body experience. I think you have to go to the Mayo Clinic or Mass General for that stuff, and anyway I'm sure my insurance wouldn't cover it

But my wife had to see her husband flatline.

God's honest truth - when I was released from the hospital I kept thinking "what a great blog entry this will make!", and for a week afterwards my wife woke up from her sleep at night, crying.

I was lucky - the cath showed that I had no coronary artery blockage.

Here's my account of it - "The Day the Blogger Died" (http://peterography.setupmyblog.com/archives/6)

southernwriter
09-08-2007, 05:57 AM
Wow, riveting is the word.

I don't usually read people's accounts of heart attacks because I always found them to be corny and uninteresting. However, my father had a heart attack in January and that's rather changed my perspective :) So much of what you describe I saw happen to him! Thankfully, he wanted us to call 911 (I think it was the feeling of doom that scared him there because dad has a phobia of doctors and needles).

It also made me think hard about this "incident" over a year ago (maybe 2). I was in bed and my chest was tight and so painful! I felt like I wasn't going to make it through the night and I could hardly breathe. I convinced myself that it was just heartburn but now, thinking back on it and knowing that my dad has heart problems, I'm not so sure anymore. Especially considering I'm overweight and have had cholesterol problems in spite of my age (22 now). Your story's convinced me to talk about it with my doctor when I go see him on monday. I think it'd be terrifying if it had been a heart attack and I didn't react! On the other hand, I'm still here!


Cheese and rice, Thump! Get yourself to a doctor. It sounds like you very well could have a blockage somewhere, or maybe a clot passed through? That's scary. Do you know why people still die from heart attacks? Because they don't recognize them as MI's, and don't go to the hospital! That was sort of my whole point of writing this. I started searching the stats on survival, and found that women (I have no idea which gender you are, but anyway ... ) die 50% more often than men because they don't want to make a fuss. "Oh, it's just a little pain. I'll get over it." I think childbirth must loosen the sensors in our brains or something. The people who don't get treated end up either dead, or with dead parts in their hearts (sorry about the rhyme). Part of mine is dead now, and I got treatment pretty quickly! So go. Go now. If reading about this saves your life, it will have been totally worth it to me to have had to experience it. And please let me know either way, because now I will worry about you.

southernwriter
09-08-2007, 06:10 AM
Great story! And I can really relate to it because of something that happened to me in April. When my heart stopped in the ER it was a lot scarier for my wife than me because I was gone - no tunnel of light, no out-of-body experience. I think you have to go to the Mayo Clinic or Mass General for that stuff, and anyway I'm sure my insurance wouldn't cover it

But my wife had to see her husband flatline.

God's honest truth - when I was released from the hospital I kept thinking "what a great blog entry this will make!", and for a week afterwards my wife woke up from her sleep at night, crying.

I was lucky - the cath showed that I had no coronary artery blockage.

Here's my account of it - "The Day the Blogger Died" (http://peterography.setupmyblog.com/archives/6)



Wow. Talk about a great story! Yours was fascinating to me (and funny in places)! It was awesome to hear what happens during the catheter process. I was out like a light. Also good to know that nitro glycerine can make your heart stop. Maybe that's what happened to mine in the middle of the night? It started back up on it's own, and I couldn't explain it. I have a small supply that I keep with me now. Soon after I came home from the ECU (:roll:I will never forget that! They may have heard it a million times, but I never had.) and had chest pains again, I wondered Should I take one? I'm now guessing the answer to that is no.

I want to go back and read your accounting again now. I hope everyone who reads this thread will do the same!

Unique
09-08-2007, 04:25 PM
when a hundred of those tiny things happen each day, day after day, they add up.

word!

that sounds like one of my blog entries. the big, fat, major malfunctions can be dealt with - like, what choice do we have, anyway.... but those little annoying gnat-like aggravations.

My, God! Those are what will kill you. I know it. I just. know. it.

(farkin' printers. mine's out of ink. again.) copy it on a disc and take it to Kinko's. this needs to be more widely read.

southernwriter
09-08-2007, 06:07 PM
word!

that sounds like one of my blog entries. the big, fat, major malfunctions can be dealt with - like, what choice do we have, anyway.... but those little annoying gnat-like aggravations.

My, God! Those are what will kill you. I know it. I just. know. it.

(farkin' printers. mine's out of ink. again.) copy it on a disc and take it to Kinko's. this needs to be more widely read.


Oh, well. That's another of those little things that are just determined to do me in. I can't seem to copy anything to a cd. My computer is telling me I have to have permission from the administrator, but I AM the administrator, and the only user of my computer. I haven't been able to figure out the problem. I'm not kidding. It's one thing after another, after another, after another, with no end in sight. The stress has been enormous, and it apparently really will kill you. It's gotten so bad that I've actually considered the possibility that I'm cursed because of a blog post I wrote about Voodoo Village. I know it's crazy, but it's around the time I posted it that my life started going crazy. I closed my blog a while back, but that post still gets a few dozen hits a day from around the world. I know the internet makes the earth even smaller than it is in reality, but sometimes I can't get over people in places like Tibet and Hong Kong googling for "Voodoo Village." Even the guy who used to have pictures of it has removed them from the web. Wish I knew why. That's insane, right? You might not think so if you were living my life right now. You'd be looking around, wondering WTF??????, too. And crying. I seem to do a lot of crying these days.

plnelson
09-08-2007, 09:53 PM
If you ever have a cardiac cath (and they don't knock you out), you get to see your heart on the screen, see the dye flush into it, see the wire probing around in it. It's pretty cool. Painful, but interesting.

In my cardiac cath in April and it wasn't painful at all! It was interesting. (I'm a design engineer for a medical products company so the whole thing was fascinating to me, especially because they were using our competitor's equipment!) Afterwards there was a little bit of discomfort in my thigh where they entered my body, but there no pain during the procedure. During the procedure itself I kept trying to put my head up to watch and everyone kept yelling at me to lay flat!

plnelson
09-08-2007, 10:21 PM
Wow. Talk about a great story! Yours was fascinating to me (and funny in places)!

Thanks!


...Also good to know that nitro glycerine can make your heart stop. Maybe that's what happened to mine in the middle of the night? I'm an engineer for a company that makes medical products and several of my co-workers are doctors, and they, as well as my regular cardiologist, told me that it's not uncommon, but, as you say, it usually starts right back up.

MidnightMuse wrote
Yeah, it's just the flutter thingie."The flutter thingie" is usually some type of arrhythmia in your heartbeat. You can confirm it by taking your pulse when you're having it - it your pulse is irregular or you feel a gap that's an arrhythmia. (very-)Broadly-speaking there are three kinds: AEB's- atrial ectopic beats, which are usually harmless, but if you get a lot of them see your doctor (or drink less caffeine!). PVC's - pre-ventricular contractions. These are not necessarily signs of a problem, or they might just indicate a temporary problem such as an ion-imbalance after sweating or exerting a lot, but they can sometimes be a sign of more serious problems so you should get them checked out. Atrial Fib(rillation) - this causes the upper chambers of the heart to not contract properly. it can make you feel a little tired and can lead to the rest of your heart beating too fast. If you wake up in the middle of the night with your heart racing and you didn't just have a scary dream, that's sometimes a symptom. Atrial fib is a dangerous condition because it can lead to the blood in that chamber pooling and clotting - atrial fib is a major contributing factor for strokes.

The_Grand_Duchess
09-08-2007, 10:47 PM
I mentioned early on in this thread about my brother's girlfriend dying recently of heart problems. I just spoke with my grandmother about what happened with the baby.

My brother is pretty much devastated. After a lot of talking my grandmother convinced him to let the baby stay with the maternal grandparents as that is the only home the baby has never known and they will take care of him.

That's pretty much all there is.

J. R. Tomlin
09-09-2007, 12:03 AM
I think the husband reacted normally - people are not at their best when a medical emergency happens. They don't want to believe it is serious...
I'm afraid I would be on my way to divorce court as soon as I recovered, excuse or no. Not being at your best and making someone who is seriously ill crawl out of the house to the car are two very different animals.

Whoa. Scary experience and well written. Take care of yourself and good luck!

southernwriter
09-09-2007, 12:32 AM
I mentioned early on in this thread about my brother's girlfriend dying recently of heart problems. I just spoke with my grandmother about what happened with the baby.

My brother is pretty much devastated. After a lot of talking my grandmother convinced him to let the baby stay with the maternal grandparents as that is the only home the baby has never known and they will take care of him.

That's pretty much all there is.

Thanks for letting us know, Duchess. Prayers for your brother, the baby, and everyone involved.

Brenda Hill
09-26-2007, 11:39 AM
Good God, southern writer. I had no idea. I'm so glad you're still here.

southernwriter
09-26-2007, 02:07 PM
Good God, southern writer. I had no idea. I'm so glad you're still here.

Thanks, Brenda. I stopped by your site. It's quite nice.

Thump
09-26-2007, 08:38 PM
Heya, went to see the doctor (I'm so proud of not having procrastinated for a change!).

Told him about that time with the chest pain and he said that by the symptoms, it was likely to have been cardiac. He made me do an ECG and blood tests. I had been having some high cholesterol and thyroid problems so it was sort of a follow up on that more than anything. The ECG came up normal and my cholesterol is now in normal range after over a year of Lipitor treatment (and one heck of a diet >_<). So, from those tests, I'm good which is a huge relief.

According to him though, it doesn't exclude the possibility of something else. At least, if it happens again, I won't immediately assume it MUST be heartburn...

southernwriter
09-26-2007, 09:38 PM
Heya, went to see the doctor (I'm so proud of not having procrastinated for a change!).

Told him about that time with the chest pain and he said that by the symptoms, it was likely to have been cardiac. He made me do an ECG and blood tests. I had been having some high cholesterol and thyroid problems so it was sort of a follow up on that more than anything. The ECG came up normal and my cholesterol is now in normal range after over a year of Lipitor treatment (and one heck of a diet >_<). So, from those tests, I'm good which is a huge relief.

According to him though, it doesn't exclude the possibility of something else. At least, if it happens again, I won't immediately assume it MUST be heartburn...



:hooray::hooray::hooray:Yay, Thump!!! It makes me so happy to know that not only did what happened to me motivate someone to take action for herself, but that you're all right! I have such a big smile on my face right now. You've made my day. You've made my whole week. Thank you for letting me know. :Hug2:

Bufty
09-27-2007, 10:24 PM
SouthernWriter, I'm not sure how I landed on this thread

That's one heck of a riveting piece of writing. I do hope you find a magazine or two that pick it up. And I'm so glad you shared your experience this way.

God Bless you, and stay healthy.

southernwriter
10-01-2007, 04:42 PM
Thanks, Bufty.

I just saw this (http://enews.earthlink.net/article/hea?guid=20070930/470070c0_3ca6_1552620071001-1932964586) on my news ticker, and thought I would pass it on. I had no idea that kids have heart attacks, :Wha::( too. So if your child complains of chest pain, don't blow him off!

jodiodi
03-28-2009, 10:39 AM
when I was browsing my profile to see what I've said in the past. The funny thing about this thread and my post in it is ...

the reason I stopped posting for quite a while was suffering another heart attack at work, another sudden cardiac death, just after the last post in this thread.

In October 2007 I had another incidence of SCD in the parking lot where I worked. Someone saw me down by my car, so I don't know how long I was without O2 to my brain. They did CPR and I woke up in the hospital. I have no memory of the incident, only what I was told, and I've had short-term memory issues since then. I'm now considered 'disabled' because I can't do my job anymore. I'm not as bad as I was when it first happened, but I still have trouble remembering lots of things.

The moral: Take care of your heart. Some things are worse than dying, such as not being trustworthy 'cause you'll likely forget whatever it is you were told to do.

I know a little about what it's like to have Alzheimers now, though I know I don't remember stuff. If I were blissfully unaware, I think I'd be a little happier. It's like being crazy: If you don't know you're crazy, then you're happy with it.

southernwriter
03-28-2009, 03:56 PM
Jodiodi, I'm so sorry to hear this news, but of course, very glad you survived. I'm also interested in the memory loss you're experiencing. And all this time, I thought I must be getting Alzheimer's, too. I sometimes laugh it off by saying I'm blond underneath this red. I'm sure it's probably not on top of your Happiness List, but damn, girl, I wish I could get disability and quit work. More time to write! Woot! So what are you working on, because I know you're not letting the great opportunity pass you by (you know there's a reason for everything).

One more thing, because you mentioned it early on in this thread -- it's been one year, eight months, and five days, and I really did quit smoking. I've not had so much as a single drag from one, and I'm fairly certain that I never will again.

jodiodi
03-29-2009, 03:43 AM
Congratulations on quitting smoking. I've had family and friends that have quit (or tried) and I know how hard it can be.

As for time off, I want to write, but I've had serious depression issues since my incident and it's hard to get motivated. Intellectually, I know I'm depressed and my feelings aren't warranted, though they're valid. But I don't want to do anything: I stay either in bed, with all the curtains and blinds closed, or in the basement, with all the lights off, in my comfy chair, with my blankie and my dogs. I turn the TV on for video wallpaper and sleep. I watch plenty of Deadliest Catch, Cash Cab, Dirty Jobs, and all those First 48 or American Justice shows. Oh, and I've seen every episode of A Haunting.

I put the laptop in my lap, then fall asleep. I barely clean house and don't even cook anymore. I don't even read much anymore.

I try to force myself to get some sunshine or go online or clean house, but I'm always tired, give out of breath, or can't bring myself to move much.

The thing that bothers me most is that I know--know--I'm just depressed and that I should force myself to do the things that should help bring me out: sunshine, contact with others, exercise, getting things organized; but it's like moving through thick jello and I'm exhausted just going to the bathroom.

But, I'm going to keep trying to make myself feel better and getting back to writing, reading/posting the boards, tweeting, reading some books, and cooking. Plus, I try to open the blinds upstairs during the day for sunshine, and spend a few minutes at a time out with the dogs, but I scurry back to my 'black hole' as my husband calls it, and cocoon myself again.

Enough of my rambling. I've already forgotten what my point was supposed to be.

southernwriter
03-29-2009, 05:04 PM
Jodi! Honey! You're a nurse! You know depression is the inevitable aftereffect of heart events. Run, don't walk, back to your doctor, and demand to be treated for depression. I saw this article (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29602359/)recently, which may not really be the best example because to blame the cure for the disease is like the tail wagging the dog, but the point is, you don't have to, and absolutely should not, live that way! I recall my cardiologist telling me at the get-go, before the depression ever set in, that the attack was nothing to get depressed about. For a leading cardiologist, how misinformed he is! That's like saying a big whiff of pepper is nothing to sneeze at, as if we have any control over it at all. If your doctor won't prescribe something for you, see a different doctor. I'm soooooooo glad I did. Please, please, please do it, and about a month after you begin taking something for it, as well as two months after, I hope you will come back here and help inform other women what a huge difference it makes.

jodiodi
03-30-2009, 09:33 AM
Thank you for the kind words. I'm on a depression pill, but it makes me sleep more. Plus, I'm on Exelon patches. I know I should do things to pull myself out, but once I start, I get so tired and feel like it's useless. I think it's because I've always had something going on and been the caretaker for everyone and everything else, so it's really hard for me to step aside. Then when I try and can't do what I used to, it's just depressing. But, I'm going to keep trying to write and have stacks of books to read. Plus, now I have time to practice all the recipes in my mountain of cookbooks. That should make my husband and stepkids happy. And the dogs--they help me destroy the evidence if things in the kitchen don't work out as planned.