November 19, 2015
How Is Your Heart?
Heart attack symptoms can include pressure or tightness in the chest, heartburn, nausea, sweating, dizziness, weakness, and a feeling of dread. Heart attacks are not always sudden and dramatic, and they don't always produce tremendous pain. Sometimes the symptoms are mild, building up gradually over several hours, days, or even weeks. People having a heart attack sometimes think it is just indigestion.
Around dinner time, Grandpa said he was going to wash his hands. When my grandmother realized that he had been gone for a long time, she went to check on him. He was was lying, dead, on the bed where he had collapsed.
Grandpa was 75 when he died. I sometimes think that, if he had recognized his symptoms and gone to a hospital, he might have been saved that day. He might have had the opportunity to enjoy another 10 years or more. He might have lived to be 90, like his father. It is also possible that nothing could have saved him that day. We will never know, because he didn't see a doctor.
The Heart, Lung & Blood Institute urges us to pay attention to symptoms and call 911 if a heart attack is suspected. Medical experts recommend chewing an aspirin (after calling for help). The American Heart Association says that if you are with someone who collapses from an apparent heart attack, you should call for help and then perform CPR.
Awareness and fast action can save a life.