A momentary digression from food related items to bring you what is (for me) a very timely health related article from the New York Times.
Spreading this word is extremely important to me. You see, this coming Thursday will be the 10th anniversary of my mother’s death. She died of a heart attack that no one knew she was having. For about a week, she complained of “really bad heartburn” and fatigue and even though she was taking antacids and Pepcid, she just couldn’t kick this “heartburn” she was having. We spoke on the phone on that Thursday night and she told me that she was going to go to the doctor on Friday and see if she could get a prescription strength antacid.
That Friday morning the doctor rushed her to the hospital and scheduled an emergency cardiac catheterization. She died during the procedure; her heart was so damaged from a week of ongoing attacks that it couldn’t stand the strain. The doctor said had we caught it earlier, it could have been treated.
We were all stunned. It was so totally unexpected. She had just rebounded from pneumonia a few months earlier and was feeling better than she had in years (so she said). She ate healthily, worked out daily, was at a reasonable weight … there was no reason for us to expect that she was at risk for an attack.
And because the symptoms were so atypical, it never occurred to her (or us) that her ongoing heartburn and indigestion could be more. My mom was 62 when she died – way too young.
So please spread the word. Read up on the various symptoms of heart attacks in women. Share the information with your mom, your grandmom, your aunts, your sisters, and your girlfriends.
It’s really really really important.