Listen to your heart
Ginny did—and it saved her life
Just a few days after Christmas, Ginny attributed her sore left shoulder
and arm to overuse from snow shoveling. She’d had a previous surgery on
her biceps tendon, so it was a natural conclusion. She took some ibuprofen, and the symptoms abated that afternoon.
The next day, however, when the shoulder and arm pain came back and
ibuprofen didn’t help, she started to think something might be wrong. When she began perspiring heavily, her inner voice had her skipping her shower and instead calling her son to bring her to Samaritan’s Emergency Department (ED).
Shortly after noon and minutes after walking into the ED, she was
taken back for evaluation. Fast-acting staff recognized her symptoms and
started the protocol to break up an artery-clogging clot.
After being stabilized, Ginny was airlifted to Wenatchee, where she was
wheeled into the cath lab to have two stents placed. Ginny was shocked to
wake up in her hospital room feeling so much better; she couldn’t believe
it when she saw that it was only 3:15 p.m. “It all happened so fast, you lose a sense of time in a situation like that, but I was surprised, and so was my family. They arrived at the hospital after I was all done,” she says.
Ginny attributes much of her positive outcome to the fast actions of
Samaritan’s ED staff and her own intuition. “I just felt like something was
wrong. So many times we push off those feelings, but they have served me
well in life, and I knew not to try and walk it off this time.” As far as the staff in the ED, she has this to say: “The way they cared for me was incredible, from the doctors to the nurses, x-ray and lab staff—you can tell that it’s more than just a job to them. Everyone was so compassionate,
helping and supporting to me; I’m so appreciative of their care.”
Today, Ginny enjoys her improved health, whether it’s on one of her
“walkabouts” (where she enjoys some indoor walking at a local store) or
appreciating the extra energy she has when she’s with her grandchildren.
Ginny says: “You really do look at life differently after a cardiac event. I’ve
always been thankful for my days, but I’m so very grateful for each morning and evening now.”
After following up with her cardiologist, Ginny has added weekly gym
workouts to her fitness routine. She also sleeps more soundly. She had
not realized that the fatigue and poor rest she had experienced could have
been warning signs of the impending heart attack.
After this life-changing event, Ginny hopes that others can learn from
her experience. Ginny herself experienced no shortness of breath or nausea but knows that each person can have varying symptoms and that women and men often have different symptoms. She urges people to listen to their bodies and not ignore possible warning signs.
In This Section
801 E. Wheeler Road
Moses Lake, WA 98837
1550 S. Pioneer Way
Moses Lake, WA 98837
Sign up for our free e-newsletter!