The Lady Speaks

Keep Us in Your Thoughts

UPDATE: 3pm :

Good news! Mom’s home. The doctors found no blockages, and are now thinking this is some kind of upper-GI thing – which would not explain the results of the enzyme tests, etc. (She had a heart attack, but…?)

This doesn’t make much sense, so I definitely need more information on what’s going on, but that’ll wait until Mom’s feeling up to explaining it to me.

Still the procedure went well, and Mom is back home. Yippee!

– – –

Now accepting: good wishes, positive thoughts, prayers, lit candles, blessings for health and speedy recovery, crossed fingers, and/or bunny feet.

My mom had a “silent” heart attack about two weeks ago – give or take. Her only symptoms were some shortness of breath and swelling of her lower legs. (Women don’t always have the classic “crushing chest pain radiating to the arm” signs of heart attack that men do.)

Since the EKG and stress test and enzyme test and cardiac catheterization show “myocardial infarction” – medicalese for heart attack with muscle damage – Mom’s going in tomorrow morning [Monday] for an angioplasty and stent insertion. I’m worried, but not as much as I could be. Mom has always lived a healthy lifestyle – no smoking, no heavy drinking, not overweight, excellent cholesterol, etc. The doc says she’s the healthiest cardiac patient he’s ever seen.

Of course, this is our mom, so she says she’s “just fine” but considering “Oh my!” is her standard phrase for anything worse than a severe laceration needing stitches but not quite reaching the level of amputation, “just fine” could be a tad misleading. 🙂

Also rating high on the “reasons I’m not a panicky mess” list: our local hospital might be in the middle of nowhere, but it’s one of the Solucient 100 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals. [pdf alert]

Currently we’re joking about her going in for a “Roto-Rootering” and urging other women to pay attention to those “nagging” signs of heart attack.

Here’s my PSA, from the National Heart, Lung, & Blood Institute:

Women account for nearly half of all heart attack deaths. Heart disease is the number one killer of both women and men.

There are differences in how women and men respond to a heart attack. Women are less likely than men to believe they’re having a heart attack and more likely to delay in seeking emergency treatment.

If you have: overwhelming fatigue, sudden shortness of breath, and swelling of your lower legs/ankles, nausea/vomiting with or without chest pain – please call 911 or contact your doctor immediately! [ For more information.]

I’ll be out for most of the day tomorrow, but thanks in advance!


July 29, 2007 - Posted by | Family, Health, Women


  1. Seems my current MI was brought on by an inflammatory response. The doc is not sure what caused that, but indeed it ended up as a silent MI. (I had fatigue, swelling of lower extremities, shortness of breath, and chest pressure. No pain. In fact, it sort of resolved itself over the next week, or so.
    The results of the cath are no blockages.
    I have “thick” blood, per my cardiologist, and now must take a 325 mg aspirin daily. (the grown up aspirin)
    I feel pretty good, and perhaps, there was some GI involvment, but golly, I had no heartburn, no nausea, etc. So have a hard time with that theory.
    You know I think many Dr’s have a hard time accepting heart disease in women, and since it is no longer fashionable to blame “bad nerves” and order valium, we get the GI routine. One pepcid daily and all is right with the world.
    I will follow his advise on the aspirin. Ignore the GI thing, and keep my nitro handy.
    Back to the gym next week.
    I am fine. Honest.

    Comment by mom | July 30, 2007 | Reply

  2. It probably resolved itself because you’ve always had such a healthy lifestyle. I imagine that had you been a long-term smoker, heavy drinker, or obese, you’d have not only known you were having a heart attack, but you probably wouldn’t have survived it.

    Of course, I worry when people doing the “healthy living” thing start having heart attacks. Isn’t that supposed to protect you from them?! (Eat right, exercise….die anyway.)

    The more things change, the more they stay the same. *sigh* They can’t tell us it’s all in our heads anymore, so now it’s all in our tummies…

    Love ya Momma! (((Hugs)))

    Comment by PA_Lady | July 30, 2007 | Reply

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