It was late February 2004, a day that would forever change my life. Early that morning, my husband woke me to inform me that he was sick and didn’t know what was wrong. He stated that he was hurting in his back and thought that he may have pulled a muscle. He was in alot of pain and was unable to lie down. When I finally got him to settle down enough, I asked was he having a heart attack and he said no, that he was hurting in his back all the way up to his shoulder blades. My husband had three previous heart attacks and none of them ever began in this manner. They were always the normal symptoms you hear about. The stinging in the arms and tightness in the chest. We have a blood pressure monitor in our home and my husband asked me to take his blood pressure. As I put the cuff on his arm and took the reading, it seemed as if something was wrong with the monitor because it read “XXXX” all the way across.
It had never done that before, so thinking that I didn’t have the cuff on right, my husband decided he would do it himself. But before he could get it on, he stated that he felt really sick, like he had to vomit and so he made his way to the bathroom as I was calling 911. After vomiting, he made his way back to the bed and as he laid down he told me he couldn’t feel his legs, that they were numb and cold. He asked me to massage them to try to get some feeling back into them and it was at this point that I realized my husband was dying. Because as I lifted one of his legs, it was ice cold, just like a dead body. I ran to my daughter’s room and told her she needed to wake up and watch for the ambulance because daddy was very sick. My oldest daughter was 13 at that time. When I returned to the bedroom, and I probably wasn’t gone two minutes, my husband had already passed. I couldn’t save him and I knew when the paramedics arrived that they couldn’t save him either. At the hospital, the doctors and the coroner determined he died of a massive heart attack.
It wasn’t until after the death of my husband that I learned one of the last stages of death during a massive heart attack is vomiting. And if possible, you should try to refrain from allowing that to happen. Maybe had I been more educated or if I had known CPR, I may have been able to save him. But by passing this information along, I can only hope that it helps someone else.
One of the hardest lessons I learned from this tragic experience is that I never really knew just how much my husband loved me until after he died. I took alot of things for granted. He done so much more than alot of men would do. If I could have just one day back to tell him how much I love and appreciated him, there are so many things I would trade for that opportunity. “Live, Love, Laugh” every day. Tomorrow may be too late.
To learn more about the symptoms of a heart attack, please visit The American Heart Association website at www.americanheartassociation.com. Or check out the great information offered byWebMd at www.webmd.com.