Sunday, September 02, 2007

Mom's heart attack

Before I begin, my mom is fine. She apparently suffered a mild heart attack very early Friday morning. Unfortunately, like most elderly people, she ignored a number of warning signs. This time she was lucky.

Here's what happened:

She woke up around 1:00 am with what she thought was a very bad case of heartburn. She sipped some soda, took some antacids, but nothing helped. She wondered if she might be having a heart attack but didn't do anything about it. My brother (Bruce, from the now infamous entry A Bad Case of Dumbass-itis) lives two doors down from her. Her one brother is around the corner and her other brother is one neighborhood over. So it's not as if she didn't have a number of people very close by she could have called, in addition to the ever-present 911.

She said she sat up in her rocking chair and at 4:30 she thought, Well, Joe Mike will be up in an hour, so I'll just try to hold out until then. I politely yet firmly pointed out to her the ridiculousness of trying to hold out on a possible heart attack, since cardiac arrest events don't usually wait around until it's convenient for everyone else.

She said, Yes, well, she didn't want to call 911 because she'd be embarrassed by an ambulance roaring through the neighborhood. [thumps forehead in amazement] The next day at the hospital, I reminded her that it's better to be embarrassed than dead. One you will recover from; the other you will not.

She promised to be better if/when it happens again.

The good thing is she's fine, and there doesn't seem to be damage to her heart, though she will be undergoing a stress test next week.

The moral of the story? If you think you're having a heart attack, CALL FREAKIN' 911!

Over and out.

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