Monday, January 25, 2010

Hearts for Mom

Who is this coy little lady, you ask?  It's my mom, at about age 5.  She has no memory of this dress, of this moment, or why in the world she was dressed this way.  But it's charming, yes?

I've spent the past week with my mom and dad, a visit precipitated by a sudden trip to the hospital for my mom.  She'd been feeling odd all day, headachey and clammy and sort of weak, with mild indigestion.  Good thing my dad called the paramedics, because it turned out she was on her way to a heart attack (which she had in the ambulance on the way to the hospital.)  Luckily for all of us, the paramedics dealt with things immediately and her heart sustained no damage.  She's had her arteries rotor-rootered, they're unclogged and happy, and she's doing great.  Phew.  Make that a very, very big PHEW.

As we approach Valentine's day (hearts everywhere, haven't you noticed?) it seems a good time to remember that women don't necessarily have the same heart attack warning symptoms as men do.  Many women feel no chest pain at all, even during a heart attack.  According to the National Institute of Health,

Women's major symptoms prior to their heart attack include:

  • Unusual fatigue - 70%

  • Sleep disturbance - 48%

  • Shortness of breath - 42%

  • Indigestion - 39%

  • Anxiety - 35% Major symptoms during the heart attack include:

  • Shortness of breath - 58%

  • Weakness - 55%

  • Unusual fatigue - 43%

  • Cold sweat - 39%

  • Dizziness - 39%

  • So, be careful out there!  And don't hesitate to call 911 if you feel these things.  It could save your life.

    If you have your parents around, remember to give them a hug!  And if you're a parent yourself, take good care of your heart.  YOU are the gift you give your kids.


    1. Phew! I'm so happy to hear that your mom is doing well, and kudos to your dad for being so on top of her symptoms! My dad (who lives alone) had a scare just before Xmas. It turned out to be not much, but it made me feel helpless and far away. I bet it feels good to be able to check in on your parents in person. :-) Best wishes for your mom's speedy recovery.

    2. So glad to hear your Mom is doing well and how lucky to have the paramedics right there when "it" actually happened. The symptoms are a little disturbing. I'm not sure I would view most as very serious or out of the ordinary. Yikes.

    3. Ditto, Diane. I remember going to your parent's home and meeting your Mom.So glad that your dad was on his toes.