Above all else, guard thy heart for it is the wellspring of life.
Proverbs 4:23

Today is “Wear Red for Women” day.  I discovered this while watching TV this morning and was dismayed to discover that I had nothing red with me.  A vague memory surfaced —my daughter gave me a beautiful red dress pin last year and as I was packing for this trip and I had caught a glimpse of it in the corner of my suitcase and wondered why it was there and not in my jewelry box. I didn’t have time to take it out- so this morning I rummaged around and there it was, bright and shiny.  I proudly pinned it on, proud that I could pay tribute to my own sweet survivor.

 Several years ago on a cold winter night many miles from home, we got a call that our daughter was in the hospital.  We quickly gathered our stuff and started the trip home on a long lonesome road with little traffic and practically no cell service.  I was alone in my car and about an hour out, I got a patchy call and thought I heard “heart attack” before I lost signal.  I told myself that wasn’t possible and went through all of the possible scenarios…appendix, gall bladder, anything but a heart attack.  This was my strong, vibrant daughter, still in her forties.  A heart attack wasn’t possible…or was it?  Her father had survived a heart attack the year before…

 It was indeed a major heart attack and the symptoms had nothing to do with chest or arm pains.  The worst of the pain was over before the ambulance arrived and the EMT crew (as they nonchalantly ambled along) diagnosed it as “indigestion”.   In contrast to the nearly unmistakable “classic” chest-splitting, gasping-for-breath symptoms, many heart attacks (especially in women) present symptoms that are often mistaken for indigestion or muscle aches.  Women can have very atypical symptoms such as dizziness, light headedness or fatigue.  Women also have a habit of getting help for others but not themselves.   

 Heart disease is the number one killer for both men and women, and patients are getting younger.   If your family has a history of heart problems, you should always be aware and go for heart scans.  Our family has luckily been able to put all our broken hearts back together.  Father, husband, daughter, brother and son…