February is Heart Month

art_heart_month1Do you know the signs of a heart attack?  Do you know what to do if you see someone having a heart attack?  I am so incredibly grateful for my mom’s friend, Virginia, who literally saved my mother’s life by her actions.  My mother lives in the small village of Miami, MB.  She woke up with chest pain at 2:00 a.m. on Jan. 17.  She tried to “walk it off” and then called Virginia to ask her to drive her to the hospital that was 1/2 hr away.  Virginia did not like the sounds of things and said instead she would phone 911 immediately.  Virginia is an earth angel who saved my mom’s life.  I am sharing this with you in the hopes that it can help you to be an earth angel for someone in your life.

 

 

My mother is what you would consider the lowest risk candidate for having a heart attack.  She:

  1. is not overweight
  2. has never smoked
  3. drinks in moderation
  4. does not have a family history of heart disease
  5. does not have high cholesterol
  6. exercises daily with walks and once/week did aquasize
  7. has normal blood pressure

 

The only risk factor my mother had is that she is over the age of 50.  The reason I share this with you is that no one would have ever expected my mother to have a heart attack, and yet it happened.

 

The signs of a heart attack can include any or all of these symptoms as per Alberta Health Services:

– Chest pain described as crushing, squeezing, pressure or chest heaviness

– Pain that moves beyond the chest such as shoulder, arm, neck or jaw pain

– Shortness of breath, sweating or nausea and vomiting

My mother had a crushing heavy pain on her chest.  I know another lady that had only shortness of breath and was amazed to find out she was having a heart attack.

 

Call 911 and do not ask a friend to drive you to the hospital if you suspect you are having a heart attack.  The ambulance drivers have important medications in the early minutes of a heart attack to lessen heart damage as well as the pain.  They also can do a full assessment on you in the ambulance on the way to the hospital so that a definitive treatment can begin immediately upon arrival.

 

Upon arrival, the hospital administered a super clot buster which my mother reacted well too. They knew from their assessment that angiograms would need to be done to put stents into the arteries where there was one blockage that was 90% and another that was 70-80%.  They had to send her by ambulance to another hospital in the city (an hour and a half away) that specializes in this.

 

My mom is recovering very well and it is thanks to the quick treatment that she received and to her friend Virginia who made that call to 911.  I hope that this article will help to save or at least reduce the amount of heart damage for you or a loved one.  Please talk with your family about this, especially, if like me, you live out of the province of where they reside.  It will help to give you piece of mind.  Be well.

Sending sunshine,

Susanne