Everyone handles having heart attack differently. Mine didn’t look like the movies, a sudden grasping of my chest and falling over. Depending on your view of life and death…I was lucky or not that it dragged on.
Driving down US 40 just after the heaviest traffic time of the evening commute, towards Interstate 65. Before I reached I-65 my body shocked me again. Diarrhea. Sort of. It was really more like my body was shutting down and anything stored in my bowels was being pushed out of my body. It’s not a pretty thing to talk about, experience or imagine. But a symptom that no one has written about. (I actually lost 7 lbs from that)
At that point I was wondering if I was going to die while driving. Pull over and call 911? Not on your life. An over achiever from way back, I planned on getting a quick shower and calling Cheryl.
Parked the car, went in the back gate and stripped on the porch, into the back door, made it to the shower, got cleaned off in 15 seconds, dressed sans bra and panties, and made it to the bed. Called Cheryl. She didn’t seem to believe me when I asked which arm it was that hurt during a heart attack. “Call 911”.
I couldn’t do it. Looking back I realized I was afraid of being alone in this. I called Andra to come take me to the hospital. Something to be aware of is that both Andra and myself wouldn’t be able to find a hospital in an emergency if…um…our lives depended on it. She just moved back from Kenya. I moved here from VA and hate living here. I only know where to get knee surgery.
Sitting out on the front porch steps I called my neighbor, friend, small business owner (Live True Vintage and Vinyl) Tammy. Then I texted “I think I’m having a heart attack”. She called immediately. Fortunately she had gone through this with a family member (even the bowel thing) recently and yelled “I’m calling 911” and hung up on me.
Andra showed up, went to a neighbors house for aspirin. And sat with me while waiting for the professionals. First the Fire Department showed up. They didn’t do much really. One of the guys had a great ink sleeve. But it seemed like they were the sent for support.
Neighbors were standing in their doorways looking at the scene. As the ambulance pulled up and two more guys hopped out, I felt a little overwhelmed. Torn between pain and 5 strange men staring at me, with 2 looking rather gray with concern but using voices that didn’t match their eyes.
Just as they were determining that I had to go immediately to the ER, my neighbor KJ came running up the street. She didn’t answer my phone call because she thought it was a social check in. I guess I’m not chicken little enough.