Archives for the month of: September, 2012

I realize there is a lot of huzzah and hurrah out there about the e-Patient — especially among those who have the skill or leisure to be well-connected to social media. At times, I believe I’m one of the empowered, engaged fold. But what about the f-Patient? The well-meaning, diligent user of social media who finds herself inexplicably … well, the most accurate way to put it is … “f’d” by the health care system?

In a one-night stay at my beloved local hospital, I found myself – seasoned cardiac patient that I am – misconstrued as a narcotics monger, migraine patient, and generalized neurotic, gaseous female.

I had my smart phone. But, no charger. As the hours progressed into double digits and I realized my predicament, the best use of my phone was to call my internist and cardio, because no one at the hospital had bothered to do so. I suppose I could have accessed the Internet at some point and drained battery, but to what end? Would it have furthered my progress? Doubtful. And besides, I was preoccupied with my roommate’s ongoing constipation/diarrhea issues on the other side of the curtain.

So, I battled my way through that hospital stay by enlisting the nurse, technician, charge nurse, and eventually, the cardiologists, to get some attention and eventual data. Upon returning home, bruised, battered, and covered in residual EKG/telemetry stick’em, I realized my truth: f-Patient. Or at least until I was charged up and had time on my hands to google, facebook and tweet.

Advertisements

And really, what doesn’t? Whether it’s too much or too little of one thing. A lack of awareness or addiction to something else. Or, just flat getting smacked down by the universe…run over by a truck or struck by lightening, for example. One day, it’s our time.

But until then, what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.

First apple picking @ 18 months

This post is in honor of my SCAD baby. You may not know what that means, because SCAD survivors are as yet a small, concerted group. SCAD stands for “spontaneous coronary artery dissection” and this under-diagnosed form of heart attack almost took my life after the birth of my second son. He, no doubt, is the strongest person I know.

Today he began 4th grade. When he was 7 weeks old, I nearly forgot he existed.

On that day, I was having a heart attack. An inexplicable heart attack at age 38 from SCAD. At that moment, I knew I was a mom, but the details were fuzzy. I was saying good-bye.

My mother was there (thank God), my husband was leading me down those cussed 13 steps of our house for the second time in three days to run red lights to the ER, and … I said good-bye. That sounds so pedestrian, but to be fully prepared to cash out at 38 with a 2-year-old and nearly 2 month old — both beautiful and off the charts — is nothing you can imagine or appreciate. I died that moment.

But my children resurrected me. Those red curls and green eyes of my first born. The white cotton top and deep sky blue eyes of my second. They drew me back.

Over time, we became the team that we are today. I am fortunate for the family support that kept us afloat. Yet to say it was hard, brings me to tears. The lowest low was to hear my SCAD baby at age three lock me with that steely gaze and say of his brother: “Why does he have a mommy and I don’t?” I assured him I was his mommy, but he shook his head resolute. “You’re not my mommy.”

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

Please learn about SCAD. Save a life, save a family.

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Spontaneous-Coronary-Artery-Dissection-SCAD/229928783729665

###