Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Fragility of Life

My father had a heart attack last night. It was literally the last thing I was expecting. Over the last few years, my dad has lost about 30 pounds, and when I saw him last year, he looked spectacular for a man of 80. He was taking long walks and working on household projects with no signs of fatigue. The only sign of his aging was his increasing hearing loss.

Apparently, my father was driving my step-mother home from the airport when he began to feel very ill. Hiede immediately got my dad to the hospital where an angiogram was performed. The doctors found one artery was completely blocked, and my father was fitted with a coronary stent. As of late last night, he was recovering and tentatively scheduled to be released today.

It amazes me how, if it’s caught on time, a heart attack can be quickly and effectively treated. Just a few short decades ago, even a relatively mild cardiac event like my dad suffered would have meant a hospital stay of a week or more, followed by extensive drug treatments and a cumbersome recovery – and that was assuming that he survived at all.

But recent medical advances didn’t prevent me from being profoundly worried and I didn’t sleep much last night. There are events in life that force one to see things exactly as they are – not how we’d like them to be. I’ve spent much of the past twelve hours contemplating how fragile life is.

It's a matter of great importance that everyone know the symptoms of a heart attack:

*Chest pains (typically radiating to the left arm or left side of the neck);

* Shortness of breath;

*Nausea and/or vomiting;




If you feel these symptoms, act promptly. It may save your life.

No comments: