Jack, as you’ve seen, took care of my column a few times while my heart has been healing from an attack on Sept. 25.
My staff and family (some of whom also are staff), ensured that I take doctors orders and rest.
My heart attack was small — a takotsubo, named for a Japanese clay pot used to fish for octopi.
As the cardio doc said after diagnosis, it will heal. No surgery is needed.
The major question people ask me after “How are you?” is, “How did you know you were having a heart attack?”
So, I want to tell all of you, especially women, that I did not have common symptoms.
I woke up that Friday morning after Jack and I had a nice dinner with friends, eager to watch little Finn. I noticed my chest felt tight from my arm pits to the center. The tightness went up my throat and over to my neck’s right side up to my jaw.
I assumed I had a crick in my neck and esophageal spasms, something I get occasionally.
Four hours later, no change and I started to wonder. While surfing on the Internet, I saw the word “heart attack” in a side ad. I had taken my blood pressure meds that morning but checked my BP anyway.
Over the next few minutes, I checked three times: 172/114, 170/115 and 179/109. That’s when I called for help.
No pain, no shortness of breath, no pressure like a brick or elephant on my chest, no sweating, just tightness in my chest.
I want women to know that we don’t always carry the same symptoms as men.
In the meantime, I’m still not back full-time but am getting stronger each week. In fact, I’m headed home now that I’ve written this column. Take care.
Becky Clark, Editor