Cue Barry Manilow dramatic key change… “Looks like we made it!”
Made it? Made what? Well, my mom had her first heart attack when she was 51. It was a bitter cold winter day in Chicago and she and Dad were just finishing teaching their two week course in management for the Federal Aviation Administration. Dad was already back at the hotel. Mom was just about to dismiss class when she was gripped with a blinding sub-sternal chest pain. “Class dismissed,” she managed to say. Then she managed to drag herself up a flight of stairs, out to her rented car. When she told me this story, she said in the car she suddenly felt super-nauseous, so she opened the door, hoping the cold would help, but it didn’t. Finally she managed to drive to the hotel and lie down. Dad comforted her, but neither of them wanted her to be having a heart attack, so despite very clear signs and symptoms, and her background in medical care, she didn’t seek medical care for six months. When she finally did, her cardiologist told her, “Yes, you had a heart attack.”
My point? Today I turn 52, so I am out of the woods. No heart attack for me!
I know, I know. But consider this: I am more physically active than my parents by a factor of about a drillion, I eat healthier than my parents by a factor of about a grillion, and I have been under a doctor’s care with regard to my heart health for many years. I personally witnessed my wife have a heart attack, a pain which she described on a scale from 0 to 10 as “23,” so I am highly motivated to stay healthy.