Just in time for Thanksgiving I have a brand new reason to be thankful: those chest pains and shortness of breath I felt on Sunday were not symptoms of a cardiac event. I'm not sure I really wanted this particular scare in order to feel thankful, in fact I know I didn't. But I'm going to take it as a gift: a chance to be alive and be healthier.
I insisted that my husband take me to the ER
because I knew that I was a bundle of risk factors: middle aged,
overweight, high blood pressure, high cholesterol. I knew that a
woman's heart attack doesn't always present with the same symptoms as a
man's. So, even though I wanted to stay home and not trouble anyone, I
I am thankful to my whole family for supporting me and taking
care of each other. I am thankful, goodness knows, for free wifi at
Howard County General Hospital. I am thankful to my friends on Facebook
and Twitter who kept me company with online messages of good cheer. I am
especially thankful that it was probably GERD symptoms that put the
fear of God into me, and not heart disease.
But I am happiest to use this space today to thank everyone who helped me at the hospital: ER staff,
Triage and Admitting staff, Nurses, Techs, Transport employees, Lab technicians, Food Service workers,
Housekeeping, Janitorial Services, Technicians in Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, Dr. Levy in the ER,
Dr. Silverman who monitored my Stress Test...
That's a long list, isn't it? All of those folks, and probably more,
were working to make sure I got the best care possible. They were kind
and respectful to me and my family. They answered my questions. They
smiled at my teddy bear.
Today, encouraged by my family, I am taking a tour at a local
fitness facility. I'm going to find the best ways to increase my
activity levels, and I am making changes in my diet.
Last night my
family gathered for a happier occasion, the birthday of my youngest
daughter. I realized, for the first time, what an active
commitment I will have to make if I want to be around to see many, many more
of those celebrations.
This isn't just
Thanksgiving for me, it's a whole New Year.