Seattle Designer

Confessions of a Graphic Designer

i'm a graphic designer who loves words. - terri nakamura


"Graphic Design"

"Social Media"

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A Call Can Save Your Life

"Communications"

"Verizon Lifestyle Blogger"
Watch for the warning signs of a heart attack

© Stephanie Carter HNF028H

Around 6 PM Sunday evening I started to feel a heavy, painful pressure in my chest. Having experienced something similar before, I wasn't too concerned, but as it grew stronger and more difficult to ignore, and as the pain radiated to my jaw, I started to worry.

Google is my friend. Typing in keywords "heart attack symptoms in women," I scanned the list and recognized some of the signs. I walked into the kitchen and popped an aspirin. My husband and son were there and I let them know what was happening. My husband suggested I call the consulting nurse, so I did.

The consulting nurse quickly came to the conclusion I needed to call 9-1-1. So I hung up and dialed, then waited.

Within a few minutes I could hear a distant siren that grew louder and louder until it stopped in front of our house. Moments later I found a dozen people of all colors, ages and genders in my living room, including firemen, medics, paramedics-in-training and a doctor. It was like a party had arrived, but as a team, they sprang into action, hooking me up to monitors, taking vital signs, taking down information and keeping me informed along the way of what they were doing and why.

As a social media junkie, it occurred to me I should somehow capture the pandemonium, so I took the iPhone clutched in my hand, and gave it to one of my rescuers, asking, could he please take some shots of what was going on?

While all of this was happening, the pain had subsided, but they insisted on taking me to my hospital of choice, Virginia Mason Medical Center here in Seattle.

I'd never ridden in an ambulance before. It was like watching a movie. The I.V. tube swayed as the vehicle took corners and it seemed I felt every bump in the road. The medic asked me to describe my pain on a scale of 1-10. He then placed a small tablet of nitroglycerin beneath my tongue.

After arriving at Virginia Mason's state-of-the-art emergency department, more monitoring continued. The compassionate and competent staff filled me with the belief I was receiving the best care on earth.

Several times during the course of this odyssey, I felt as though I was putting a lot of people to an awful lot of trouble, and I felt embarrassed to have so much attention directed toward me.

Twenty-one hours later, I was waiting in my room to discuss the results of the stress test I underwent this morning. I was really lucky. I'm fine. But too often I think women, especially, don't want to put anyone out, or even admit they could be experiencing a heart attack.

As it turned out, I hadn't. But if I had, calling 9-1-1 quickly would have been one of the most important calls of my life.

I hope this can serve as a reminder to women AND men—when they experience symptoms such as those listed below, to suck it up and get past any fear or potential embarrassment, and simply make the call. It could be the difference between living and dying.

To the dedicated emergency services workers and professionals at Medic One and Virginia Mason — my heartfelt thanks.



From Virginia Mason

Heart Attack Warning Signs

Some heart attacks are sudden and intense — the "movie heart attack," where no one doubts what's happening. However, most heart attacks start slowly, with mild pain or discomfort. Often people affected aren't sure what's wrong and wait too long before getting help. Here are signs that can mean a heart attack is happening:

  • Chest discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.
  • Discomfort in other areas of the upper body. Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
  • Shortness of breath. May occur with or without chest discomfort. 
  • Other signs: These may include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness

If you or someone you're with has chest discomfort, especially with one or more of the other signs, don't wait longer than a few minutes (no more than 5) before calling for help. Call 9-1-1 or get to a hospital right away.

Calling 9-1-1 is almost always the fastest way to get lifesaving treatment. Emergency medical services staff can begin treatment when they arrive — up to an hour sooner than if someone gets to the hospital by car. If you're the one having symptoms, don't drive yourself, unless you have absolutely no other option.



From the American Heart Association
Heart Attack Signs in Women
  • Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest. It lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back.
  • Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
  • Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.
  • Other signs such as breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.
  • As with men, women’s most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and back or jaw pain.

If you have any of these signs, don’t wait more than five minutes before calling for help. Call 9-1-1 and get to a hospital right away.

(c)2012 terri nakamura




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114 Comments:

Blogger Whetstone Multi-Media said...

Terri Nakamura has an eye for beauty and a tongue for truth.

9:08 PM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Dear Bill,

You're really kind. Thanks for checking this out and for taking the time to leave a comment. It means a lot.

((HUGS)) Terri

11:01 PM  
Blogger Detlef Cordes said...

I'm happy you are ok and that you were in such competent hands.
It takes courage to make that decision to make the 911 call. And it takes double courage when you are not feeling well and your instinct says: "I just want a little rest and then everything will be all right."
I admire you for making that decision, Terri - and I hope you are a role model for many. Better call one time too often. Life is precious!

11:21 PM  
Anonymous Eleanor Jodway said...

I was terrified...as You know! All I could think was....Please, let My Friend be okay! I can only imagine the fear You felt, as mine made Me afraid to sleep; Until I was sure You were not in any danger! It is with a huge *SIGH* of relief that I say...I wish I could have been there with You T! The whole incident drives home that, Life is Precious....Friends are Precious...and We all need to live in the moment. I want, more now than ever, to get to Seattle to complete the Circle; the Journey of Our Friendship!

(((HUGGLES)))

11:40 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

WOW teri! I'm glad you're okay my prayers and love to you!

11:52 PM  
OpenID omdirect said...

That must have been scary! The first time I went into anaphalatic shock (from allergies) I felt like I was having a heart attack, but didn't really believe it. Only went to hospital because friend with me insisted. By the time I got there, it was a full-fledged crisis. So I'd definitely second your advice to call and go if you even suspect it's happening.

12:03 AM  
Anonymous Ash Mashhadi (@inspirationguy) said...

Terri, I'm so pleased that you're okay. What a story that was! What a relief that there was a happy ending. It's a lesson to us all. Heart attacks often aren't a dramatic movie-style event. Thanks for all the tips on spotting one as well.

12:13 AM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Dear Detlef,

Thank you SO MUCH for reading and commenting. The information is important and you're right— it's so much simpler to ignore everything and hope it will go away. That one time you don't could be fatal. I loved learning about your background with emergency services. Hat's off to you, D! and ((HUGS)), too!

Warm regards,
Terri

12:36 AM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Dear Ellie,

Your love and support means so much to me. Thank you for being there for me. It was definitely not something I would EVER want to do again, but the whole process was educational and I feel like I will be prepared if anything like this should happen to me or anyone I know.

The fleetingness of our lives renders many things to be meaningless —or if not meaningless, less meaningful! A wake up call like this really shakes things up!

I'm confident we will meet one day, Ellie, and when we do, it'll be (((HUGGLES)) for real!

Until then, thank you again. We are lucky to live in this time and space where connections like ours are even possible.

Love, Terri

12:43 AM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Thank you for reading and commenting. It's nice to be alive and well! Wishing you a wonderful Tuesday!

Cheers/Terri

12:44 AM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Hello Om!

Anaphylactic shock is no joke and is one of the scariest and most swift allergic reactions I know of. If one considers how airways can quickly be restricted, it's not surprising to perceive the chest tightening as a heart attack! In some ways it seems WAY more scary than a heart attack because of the swelling that can accompany it.

I have an idea. Let's both of us be careful, OK?

In the meantime, many thanks for taking the time to read and comment. I'm grateful to you for having taken the time to do so. And do take care!

Cheers/Terri

12:50 AM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Dear Ash,

That makes two of us :-)

Seriously, it was frightful and it's my hope you never have to experience any of the symptoms first hand. But being aware of the symptoms and acting swiftly will definitely save lives.

Thanks so much for your wonderful support, and especially for taking the time to offer a thoughtful comment. Wishing you happy and well!

Cheers/Terri

12:52 AM  
Blogger Jean Blalock said...

Terri,
Many Thanks for sharing your experience. Hopefully it will put more people on notice of signs and symptoms of a heart attack.
If one life can be saved by your information, that is good.
Wishing you the best in all things....

2:05 AM  
Anonymous Tareq G. said...

Glad you're feeling better now Terri. Maybe you should take some time off. That always helps. I hope a lot of people get to read this post and place it as a reminder. I'll share it as well if you don't mind. Take care Terri.

6:24 AM  
Blogger Kelly Lieberman said...

Terri,

I am so happy that you are OK!!!:)

Thank you for sharing your experience so others may be saved.

Love and light to you,

Kelly

6:49 AM  
Blogger Outside the Box Manager said...

Great post Terri!

I had a heart attack 5 years ago ... a fairly serious one! My symptoms were the same as yours, however, toward the middle point of my attack I had pain shooting down the underside of my arms. That is when I asked to have someone call an ambulance. Fortunately ... someone already had 10 minutes before! The next day as I spoke with the doctor he told me that at the onset of my symptoms I had a "15 minute window to get some help ... and you very nearly fell out of that window." As it was 30% of my heart was damaged.

When the paramedics asked me about my pain on a scale of 1-10 my answer was "seven" ... it didn't really hurt as much as a bee sting!

If someone even suspects they're having a heart attack ... call for help immediately! Every minute wasted has the potential to rob them of years of quality living!

7:57 AM  
Blogger M. Faizan said...

Terri, i'm more than glad to know you're well.
An amazing, inspiring and informative post indeed. You highlighted some really important points there. At times people do tend to ignore or take symptoms lightly and think that "ah, its nothing". Whereas things can be a lot serious.

You brought out this experience and shared it in such a positive way which i'm sure will not only help others but also inspire them to take better care of themselves.

My prayers, blessings and best wishes for you & all your loved ones :). Rest well my dear friend :).

9:05 AM  
Anonymous Marty McPadden said...

Whoa Terri!! I'm just catching up now. I'm glad you are okay! Thank you for sharing your experience and helping others. The true power of social media. Stay well!! (((hugs)))

9:22 AM  
Blogger aehannan said...

Terri, I am glad to hear you are better and thank you for providing a great service to others by writing about your harrowing experience.

I can tell you that as a former home health nurse I would get calls from my patients seeking my help at all hours of the day. I would tell them to hang up and call 911 right away (I would also call 911) as these initial minutes can be the difference between life and death.

You are a fortunate woman to have not only a creativity in your work but calm acumen under stress.

I wish you continued wellness.
Anneliz

10:38 AM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Dear Jean,

Thank you for reading and commenting. I think we've all seen these lists hundreds of times, but when something happens, one's mind can go blank.

My thinking was to share it once more, anecdotally, in the hopes it might resonate and help someone who needs it.

Again, my thanks here, and for your support elsewhere in social media.

Cheers/Terri

1:43 PM  
Anonymous Pinky said...

A cautionary tale with a happy ending. So glad that everything checked out OK. That's enough excitement for a while!

1:44 PM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Dear Tareq,

Thank you so much for your comment. Unlike a lot of people who unplug to chill out, I find myself feeling antsy when I'm away too long. :-)

I hope some will read this post and not just take away the signs of a heart attack, but to learn it's okay to ask for help. As one of my friends, Detlef Cordes told me, " I did my civil service as an ambulance driver. It's such a damned shame and pity if you come too late. Happens often."

Wishing you well, T and thank you again for reading and commenting!

Cheers/Terri

1:46 PM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Dear Kelly,

You and me BOTH!

Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment. I do hope it ends up helping someone, although my wish would be it is never needed!

Cheers and thank you again!

Terri

1:49 PM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Hi, OTBM,

First—I'm really glad you survived and it sounds as though you were really fortunate that someone recognized the need to act quickly.

Bee sting? Um. Well, I would be inclined to compare it to labor pains! I think perhaps men can be much more stoic about enduring pain?

Thank you for taking the time to read and to emphasize the importance of calling immediately, and my best wishes to you for a long and happy life!

Cheers/Terri

1:55 PM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Dear Faizan,

Thanks so much for your prayers and blessings. You're such a special friend to me!

I'm glad you felt the information was shared in a positive way. It was embarrassing being taken out of my home on a stretcher and riding away in an ambulance. However, the story could have had a drastically different ending, so I felt it was important to write.

Thank you for taking the time to read and offer your thoughts. Sending ((HUGS)) and cheers/Terri

2:01 PM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Dear Marty,

Yeah! Me, too! I hope you and Misty had a super weekend! Or at least, much less exciting than mine!

Every day—every moment—someone somewhere is experiencing symptoms. Not so long ago this event would have occurred and faded away without a trace.

Social media enables a story to be told immediately, and amplified organically, in ways that weren't possible 10 years ago. From that standpoint, you're so right—there is power in social media!

Wishing you well and thank you for reading and commenting! Hugs & cheers/Terri

2:07 PM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Dear Anneliz,

First let me say thank you on behalf of all the people you've helped through your work as a former home health nurse!

I think the fact your patients would call you FIRST speaks to their trust in your abilities and judgement. But it also illustrates a general reluctance of people to call 911—especially if they're unsure about whether or not it's warranted.

My hope is that someone will read this, and if they find themselves in a worrisome situation, but they're in doubt, they will err on the side of caution and make the call.

Many thanks for your comment and for taking the time to read.

Cheers/Terri

2:12 PM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Dear Pinky,

YES. So much excitement that I hope it filled the quota for the year!

Thanks for reading and for leaving a comment!

Love ya!

Me!

2:12 PM  
Blogger Meredith Allison said...

Hi my dear T-Rex, oh how worried I was (as you know)! I saw this blog post earlier but wanted to make sure it got my full attention as I read it, it's got that now. On a quick, light note, I smiled when I read how you gave the paramedics your iPhone. Why am I not surprised? No matter the situation you're always thinking of others, just one of many reasons you're so loved by so many! As I got through the post and saw everything was indeed ok, I let out a huge WHEW! You did say you were fine but I was hoping you weren't simply stating that so as not to worry others. I'm amazed at how calm you were able to remain, I'm not sure many people would be in the frame of mind to be as observant as you! I know myself, I panic at the slightest of symptoms and all 'thinking' goes out the window. I've learned a 'if you can do that, I can do that' lesson, so thank you for that! By the time I got to your 'warning signs' list, I must admit, I hesitated. I was terrified to read any further as I'm that person who should NOT be online looking up symptoms (if you know what I mean ;) But this advice came from you and you're like a mother to me (and of course a beautiful friend) so I pushed myself to read on and I'm glad I did. Most of those signs, I didn't know and I'm sure not everyone who comes upon this knows all these signs sooo T, this post could very well save a life and I'll be sure to share this with everyone I care about (thank you again) Life is so short & precious and sometimes it takes a scare like this to remember that. I don't ever want to forget! As for the team who treated you, just wow. The way you put it into words was wonderful, I felt like I was there with you and feel like if God forbid I'm in this situation, I too can remain calm and trust the hands I'm in. I'm thrilled to know you were so well taken care of... Ok, I am aware that I'm rambling on here but I'm just so happy you're ok as well as this happens to be an excellent, likely lifesaving post that should remain to be shared for years to come! Oh wow mouthful, I love you Terri, and that's that!! (((HUGS)))

5:57 PM  
Blogger Debbie said...

What a great and informative post Terri. This is my first visit to your blog but definately won't be the last. So true what you say about women. We assume we can do everything and never want to admit when we are experiencing pain. I'm sure your post will help someone. Great work.

7:25 PM  
Anonymous Carol Stephen said...

Dear Terri,

I felt like I was right there with you, as that siren got closer and the ambulance finally arrived, the people got out and hooked you up to all of the monitors, and even when you said you "felt you were putting a lot of people to an awful lot of trouble."

Thank you for reminding us all to "get over it" and not feel embarrassment in what could be a life-or-death situation.

And I am so glad (SO GLAD) you are with us still.

Carol

8:00 PM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Dear Meredith,

I am sooo sorry you were worried. I'd let Reg & Ellie know and it was quite a while before I realized SILLY REG had posted something on my wall! :-/ All's well that ends well, though, and in this case it did.

If I hadn't been so distracted by all the activity surrounding me, I might have had more time to think about the serious possibility of dying or losing functionality as "Outside the Box Manager" (above) described.

And as for handing one of the guys my iPhone, he was great. I liked being able to see the photos after the fact beause while it was happening, it was such a blur. I'm actually trying to get permission from the Fire Department to publish in-focus versions of the pictures. Right now the photos are blurred because I didn't get any photo releases signed!

Thanks for soldiering on, though, Meredith. Even though it sounds like you'd rather not read stuff like this, I'm really glad you did. The likelhood is, nothing will happen to you, but you might some day find yourself in the company of someone who might miss the signals.

You're such a terrific friend, M. Thank you again for your concern, and for taking the time to read and leave me such a wonderful comment.

((HUGS)) Terri

8:01 PM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Dear Debbie,

Thank you for taking the time to read and comment.

Not only do women think they can do everything, they actually DO everything. So it's not great wonder many will experience a situation like this and decide to let it go.

Because you are a blogger for BitRebels, it is a double honor to have you stop by.

Cheers and thanks again,

Terri

8:07 PM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Dear Carol,

First, let me say, #WAVEBACKATHON!

Thank you so much for reading and taking the time to leave a comment. It was a bit surreal calling 911 from my office, then walking to the front of the house and have a dozen people show up within a few minutes.

I'm not sure why it's so hard for women to put themselves first... but maybe it's a topic worthy of further analysis!

Thanks so much, Carol, for being part of my life! I'm very happy we're connected!

Cheers/Terri

8:16 PM  
Anonymous penelope beveridge said...

sending you hugs Terri hope you are feeling ok now. Anything to do with the heart is very distressing and can make you very tired. Stress can be a major problem and give you similar symptoms as well.

Penelope X

8:24 PM  
Blogger Neo said...

So many hugs for you dear. I tend to worry and get terrified in situations like this. I am so so glad that you are okay. Please take care of yourself. I mean it, take note of little symptoms and all. My dearest cousin passed away from his office in US and 911 get to the wrong building. It was a cardiac arrest. Trust me it was some nightmare. I never forget him.

Love you so much and please keep us updated.

The worst part of getting worried is that I am this far and hardly I can do anything, but if anything I can do let me know.

9:04 PM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Dear Penelope,

Thanks so much for the hugs! And thankfully, all is well :-)

Pen, the weird thing is, I wasn't stressed out! Or at least if I was, I didn't know it!

It's really nice of you to read and comment. Thank you for your caring concern!

Hugs/Cheers/Terri

9:49 PM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Dear Ruhani,

Thank you for being my friend and for taking the time to read this and for leaving me such a kind note.

I'm so sorry for your loss. For your cousin, I'm sure time was crucial, and I only wish the medics had arrived in time to help him.

You and I are connected in a way that transcends the miles that separate us. No matter how much time elapses between the times we talk, I know our friendship is solid!

I'm sorry if the post seemed scary, but just think of how this could help others! That notion is one of the reasons why I decided to write about it instead of feeling sheepish and embarrassed. It sounds corny, but if it does help just one person, it would be worthwhile.

Sending you lots of love, Ruhani, and warm thanks for being there for me!

((HUGS)) Terri

9:57 PM  
Anonymous Yoko Chan said...

Wow, this is the first time I've seen your blog Terri!

What an amazing post - it must have been scary, not just for you but for your family as well.

In Canada where we have universal healthcare there are a share of people who abuse the "free" medical system, but there are those who never get medical treatment due to either laziness, complacency or a misplaced fear of burdening the system. As a 30-something person, I'm sure I speak for my age-group when I say that we rarely think about our mortality. But as someone that's suffered from some pretty significant cardiac and neurological issues, I wholeheartedly agree with what you've written. We each know our own bodies best, and if someone ever believes that something just doesn't seem right, they should not hesitate on getting help, or at least a diagnosis - it can save their life!

12:17 AM  
Blogger Neo said...

((HUGS)) - Our friendship is and will be always solid. Some things in life we can't be certain but some things are certain. Yes you are helping out so many people out there with a single article. That is the thing I love most about you. I am proud of you everyday :)

12:36 AM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Dear Yoko,

Thanks for reading and commenting. It must be quite a marvelous thing to have access to all the health care one needs. I am not sure how anyone could abuse the system, but someone always figures out ways to game EVERYthing.

The first time I experienced chest pain, pressure, and also pain radiating down my arm and leg, I was in my 30s. I went through all the tests and nothing was found to be amiss. I had young kids at the time, but like you, never thought anything could happen to me.

This time, the pain in my jaw was new...as well as the persistence and intensity. It was unusual. That's what finally pushed me.

You didn't say what the basis of knowledge is regarding cardiac/neurological issues, but whatever the connection, my hope is that all is well now!

Thanks again, Yoko.

Cheers/Terri

12:45 AM  
Blogger BE THE MEDIA said...

Thanks Terri!

I am so glad to hear you are ok!

With the current heat wave criss-crossing the country, this could be a life-saving post. I have my interns running an EAv MISSION on your tweet right now. :)

Thanks again for this incredibly timely post.

Stay cool and safe :-)
Blessings,
David

9:02 AM  
Anonymous Misty Belardo said...

I am just so happy you are okay Terri!! ((HUGS))

10:34 AM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Dear David,

Thanks for reading and for the nice comment. I hadn't thought about how the heat could impact people because Seattle is so moderate in temperature!

What a cool idea to have your interns helping with this! Double thanks for support!

Cheers/Terri

11:50 AM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Dear Misty,

ME, TOO!

Lots of love to you and Marty!

Terri

11:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Terri,

Sorry for the horrific scare this must have caused you and yours! So happy you are well! This is so wonderful of you to share this so that others are as brave as you!


Take Care,
Theresamax

3:23 PM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Dear Theresa,

Thanks so much for taking time to read and leave a comment. It wasn't the most fun experience, but instead of hiding it, it seemed it had the potential to educate others, so that's what I tried to do with the post.

I just want to say how much I appreciate exchanging shouts and being connected with you. You're so kind and so supportive. I want to thank you sincerely for all you do for me.

Cheers/hugs/Terri

6:26 PM  
Blogger bewitched in salem said...

Thank you for sharing this intimate event with all of us. This selfless act could save someone's life.
Everyone needs to be aware that heart attacks do not discriminate, and seconds can be the difference between life and death.
Diabetics have 2 strikes against us....
(A) We are at an increased risk.
(B) We typically do not exhibit/experience the tell-tale signs of a heart attack.
Thank you again.

Bill and Friends of Bewitched.

2:01 AM  
Blogger Harold Gardner said...

It is so amazing to me that we still think about heart attacks as a problem for just men. I am glad you got the assistance that you needed; since there is a bit of evidence that even healthcare providers sometimes minimize the cardiac risk of women. Your thoughtful post will help many folks especially women manage their cardiac risks and recognize their symptoms. Thanks

2:21 AM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Bill and Friends,

Thank you for a really great comment. I didn't know diabetes made a difference, but both the emergency services personnel and hospital staff repeatedly asked me if I had diabetes.

It seems remiss that the sites I consulted didn't prominently include this information, so I am doubly grateful to you for contributing to this post.

Thank you again, Bill, and wishing you all the best!

Cheers/Terri

2:40 AM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Dear Harold,

Thank you so much for reading and for your comment.

I think one of the reasons why heart attacks are not associated with women is—there are never depictions of women experiencing them—only men. It's curious to know why that's the case! Perhaps it is purely the perpetuation of a stereotype?

Thank you again, and wishing you a great Thursday!

Cheers/Terri

2:46 AM  
Anonymous Amanda Fox said...

Terri, I learned some of the points of this lesson you are conveying some 22 years ago with my father - particularly timeliness. He was a product of his era being born in the 20's. He was an upper level executive with IBM - phenomenal medical insurance and more than enough to financially handle any need that may arise, but he looked at asking for help (even from family or doctors) as somehow showing weakness.

I spoke to him on the phone on a Saturday evening as I used to those days when I was off beginning my life on my own. My step mother implored me to beg him to go to the doctor right then. I asked him how he was, and as usual he said he was fine and would see a doctor on Monday when he had a regularly scheduled appointment as it turned out. It scared me that he described what I already knew to be the signs of a mild heart attack, but I said to myself "he knows what he is feeling better than any of us."

Three nights later, on July 3 1990, My First Sgt. called me to his office. I assumed it was to tell me I was the loser in the working the 4th pool. He asked me if I drank - which I did - and poured me a cup of whiskey I can only guess as the detail of it has gone fuzzy over the years. Then another. Then he told me that on Sunday night my father has suffered a massive heart attack after what was believed to be a string of milder ones.

I had to wait until the morning to fly home, but by the time I arrives he was all but gone subsisting on machines. As it turned out, he wouldn't allow me to be contacted as I was testing for promotion that Tuesday the 3rd and didn't want what was happening to him to impact my ability to focus. That's how my dad was from day one to the end.

What I have never shook all these years though is that even though he, I and seemingly everyone else knew what was happening to some degree, we all remained silent. I suppose my point to sharing this is that while knowing the signs is an essential we all have to be aware of, so to is knowing how important it is to act immediately.

Maybe we misread the signs, That is perfectly fine. It is far better to have a false alarm than to not answer the bell at all. We cannot allow anyone, ourselves included, to not act right away. Not a day passes that I don't regret taking a forceful stance, even if the result would have been the same in all likelihood, because maybe it wouldn't have.

Maybe he could have lived long enough to see his granddaughter born. maybe he would still be here right now spending holidays with us. Or maybe not. I'll never know now and the reason I'll never know is we didn't act on the signs aggressively.

So please by all means - read this post Terri has shared. Read it twice and commit it to memory. Share it with anyone and everyone because it cannot be put in front of us enough. But also please remember that if you see the signs in yourself or someone else - put aside your pride or any tough guy/girl ego that may be present and go get checked out immediately!

It can make a bigger difference than you may ever know.

3:02 AM  
Blogger Cdog Zilla said...

My father had a heart attack when he was about the age I am now. I don't like to think about it, but I know for darn sure I won't let those symptoms go unremarked.

Stubborn and prideful can have their uses, but they are not traits you want to rely on when you're experiencing chest pain. :P

3:19 AM  
Blogger Nicole Mason said...

Terry, your amazing view of life is reflected not only in your photos but also in your writing...
I hope you feel better and that your words will echo in as many people as they can to save lives.

3:32 AM  
Blogger Sarin Suares said...

Useful info.

4:13 AM  
Anonymous Robert Rogers said...

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience and lesson with us. I remember when I was a teenager and one of my closest friends lost his father to a heart attack. It was incredibly difficult for the family and taught me a lot about how fragile life is. It is so important for us to make sure that we understand how our bodies our functioning so that we can know when we need to get help. This information is incredibly useful in accomplishing that. Thanks! It is also great that everything is ok for you.

4:14 AM  
Blogger Tweet Geist said...

My Human Buddy Is 49 Now & He's Been Watching David Letterman For Years & Remembers When He Was Recovering Before The Very Eyes Of His Viewers. Robin Williams Has Discussed His Operation With His Fans & On Dave's Show.

You Are The First Human Connected Online To Me To Share In Such Detail & With Such Immediacy. We Hope Your Social Media Obsession(?) Was A Comfort To You During This Time.

Thank You For Sharing Your Account & Hopefully Warning People In A Way That Makes Them Sit Up & Take Notice.

Human Females Need To Allow Others To Do More For Them Without Feeling Guilty! :-)

4:29 AM  
Anonymous Matt Cilderman said...

Terry,

I enjoyed reading your story; it was told very visually (I guess this fits well with you being a graphic designer) and I felt like I was there. Glad that you are ok!

A lot of blogs are narcissistic creatures and I appreciate the altruistic nature of this post! I am going to share this with some friends who will appreciate it.

Thanks,
Matt

Ps…I don’t have any aspirin in the house, better go get some.

4:38 AM  
Blogger abacnok said...

Hello, Terri;
I had a "mild" heart attack several years ago and it does make a person take notice of even small changes in their daily health. You are very lucky to have a family that knows when to call for help. Very happy you are doing better.

4:41 AM  
Blogger Santos W. Vega III said...

Great to know you made it through well. I have women in my life that also feel uncomfortable with putting people out or having so much attention directed towards them.

So long as everyone of us is doing our part to help ourselves first, others will be there when it is no longer within our power, in this case being a potential heart attack.

Much respect for sharing this experience. Great post.

4:43 AM  
Blogger Slang said...

First of all let me tell you how relieved I am that your chest pain was not a heart attack!
Since strong chest pain is the most common indicator of heart attack, calling 911 as soon as possible and then going to the hospital to get fully checked out is absolutely the way to go, so you did the right thing!
In many of these cases, speed is of the essence and could be the difference between life and death!
You should be commended for encouraging your readers to make the 911 call right away, and for sharing your personal experience to emphasize the seriousness of the situation.
Again, I'm so glad you're all right; you may have saved some lives by sharing your story, as many more people will be encouraged to make that call right away.
In times of serious emergencies people panic, get confused, and are unsure of what to do; Hopefully those who read your blog will be more prepared, thanks so much for sharing Terri!

5:24 AM  
Blogger Loris Castagnini said...

Hi Terry, I'm so happy you feel good now, I need to read and meet you every day here... I wish to tell you my History... I was 22 years old, I had slept only one hour per day for two years all days.. a day, during a normal day, my heart started to go so fast, my breath gone away, and I had a heavy iron on my chest.. this feel was for many times, and it was happened during a normal time of the day.. Then the attacks were more frequent and I had to go to Hospital for 4 times.. They checked me with ECG and many other checks.. Doctors told me "stop of your crazy life or it will be stopped forever.." - Yes! I was 22 years old but it could have been the end...

5:47 AM  
Blogger Coolshax said...

Hi Terry, I am so happy to hear your are doing fine. I think it is important that we all receive CPR training so family members can respond even before the paramedics arrive. We are also fortunate to have a son who is a combat medic, he has shared many life saving techniques with our family. Thanks again for sharing your experience with all of us.

6:24 AM  
Blogger VPerriello said...

Terri, it's great that you came through this OK. I've always had the highest regard for the quality of medical care in the Seattle area, it was there that I had surgery for my cancer -- 11 years ago, so it took!

Also, the information in this article can't be passed along enough... so many folk fail to take these symptoms seriously and suffer more damage than necessary, or die.

There was a comment earlier about CPR training. I finally took mine a few months ago, I think that any family needs at least one person with that training.

Thanks and stay with us a while longer, please!

6:30 AM  
Blogger Charles Pixley said...

Terri, first you survived the experience, and moreover are motivated to reveal it!

To paraphrase an ancient Budhist saying: 'if you save just one person you have saved the whole world."

Judging by the response on this blog, you have helped 1,000's already.

Would ask, if you don't mind, what is at the root cause of this event?

Did you have radiation during your breast cancer scare?

Do you have fits of anger from time to time.

Do you do any form of aerobic oxygenation?

Did you discover or were told you have blocked arteries?

Are you fully learned of and aware of the awesome benefits of CHELATION, used successfully without a single side effect by over 300,000,000 people and around since WWII?

Have you looked deep within to discover and up-root the cause?

It's my opinion we do not have dis-ease from a lack of aspirin, or any form of pharmaceutical chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery. They have their place, but the are vastly over used and we are vastly under self educated about the manifestation of soul, mental being, vital body, mind, ego, and their affects on our physical body.

Praise is due to you, because taken a great and brave step to assist in that education.

No more dis-ease for you.
Charlie
(e)CPIX

6:34 AM  
Anonymous Holly said...

Terry, wow, it looks like you've been through the wringer! First breast cancer and now this? Yikes! Thank you for sharing your experience. Women especially "don't want to put people through trouble" but you have to take care of yourself to be able to take care of others.

I saw this video on YouTube, it is a re-enactment of a woman's heart attack. Women's heart attack symptoms can be very different from the ones men get. If this is helpful, you can leave it up, if not feel free to delete it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t7wmPWTnDbE

I hope you are feeling better and taking good care of yourself.

Warm Regards,
Holly (@mobileHolly on Twitter)

7:23 AM  
Blogger JackieBernardi said...

Terry,

Thank you for such a detailed accounting of this scary experience. You showed 1). paying attention to your body is critical, and 2). that calling 911 is not plan B, but plan A.

This post has the potential to save lives. Thank you for sharing!

7:49 AM  
Blogger MrBill said...

Key to this is FAST response.
That begins with you (your spouse/partner, family) don't hesitate to call 911 when presented with these symptoms, especially with someone over 40. You can Google after the call while waiting for the EMTs!

Staying Alive! When life returns to a somewhat more normal pace, Google your local Red Cross to find a CPR course for you and your spouse/partner. EMT response is generally fast in metropolitan areas, but CPR until they arrive could be the difference in survival. Many companies offer Red Cross CPR classes to their employees or fee reimbursement, if not the class is very inexpensive to begin with.

8:18 AM  
Blogger Mike Ellsworth said...

Wow, Terri! Good thing you Googled and thus recognized the symptoms.

For more information on the disparity of cardiac outcomes for women, see Close the Gap: http://www.bostonscientific.com/your-heart-health/

8:36 AM  
Blogger Peggy Dolane said...

Thank you for sharing your story, Terri. Glad you were okay. I had a friend go through a similar situation and was also assured she did the right thing.

I'm going to pass your post along to my Sister-in-law who had an excellent blog focusing on cardio-health (@rehabmyheart). Afterall avoiding a full on heart attack is better than post at tack surgery and rehab!

8:47 AM  
Blogger Chiaki Fujita said...

Terri, I'm so happy you're now OK.. I saw those pictures in instagram..but I didn't know that it happened to you until reading this now. (I'm sorry.) Please take good care.. Thank you for sharing.

9:34 AM  
Blogger beth dole said...

Terri,
Good post. I have worked in Cardiac Rehab for twenty years. I can also advise for you or anyone who has similar symptoms there is huge benefit of chewing up one 325mg aspirin. This acts as a potent blood thinner and can help get blood to vulnerable areas of the heart. Also should you have symptoms in the future that are subtle keep a log of them so you can discuss with your health care provider when you get them, such as at rest, or with activity, or particular time of day. You might find my blog site helpful... http://rehabilitateyourheart.wordpress.com/
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rehabilitate-your-heart/408061852550204

10:39 AM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Dear Amanda,

I scarcely know where to start, but let me begin by offering my sympathy for your loss. Though it occurred many years ago, its effects are still felt.

At the time your father died, I don't think the awareness of heart disease was widely known. And people of our parents' generation weren't coddled. They survived the Great Depression, and many had to make their own ways through challenging circumstances. They were stoic and would've been ashamed to accept handouts. They were self-sufficient. They provided for their own. They were tough.

When you think about it, it's sad some of their values haven't survived.

But as it's often said, hindsight is 20/20, and my guess is that no amount of interference by you or other family members would have altered the course of history. He obviously cared about you and your success. I don't get the feeling he was being a martyr, but rather it was his selfless love and support of what you were doing that was foremost in his mind.

It's sad that he didn't live to meet his granddaughter, but he raised you to be kind and compassionate. That kind of gift continues as long as you're alive, and your daughter is the beneficiary. She is knowing your father through you.

As far as following through on a false alarm—I couldn't agree more. My situation could have ended quite differently if it had truly been a heart attack AND I had ignored the advice to call 911. I hope people will take seriously any signs that point in that direction.

Amanda, thank you for not only taking the time to read the post, but to offer your beautifully written response. I am honored to have you share your experience with me.

Warm regards,

Terri

5:49 PM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Hi, Cdog

Thank you for your comment.

Having a history of heart disease is a an important factor.

Since you have the awareness as well as family history, my hope is that you will never need to experience it, but at least you're prepared!

I love your comment about "stubborn and prideful ...." because reasons like that can stop people from asking for help.

Cheers/Terri

6:00 PM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Dear Nicole,

Thanks so much for reading and commenting. I realize it was a bit long, but I wanted to put the information in context.

I've been feeling GREAT ever since I found out I was OK! But I'm mindful of how the situation could've turned out differently, and hope somehow this information comes in handy.

Wishing you well, and thank you again!

Terri

6:04 PM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

YAY!

6:05 PM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Dear Robert,

It's tragic when someone loses a parent to a heart attack. And when you're a teenager, your folks are really only in their 30s or 40s! That's YOUNG!

Indeed, life is fragile, and knowing the signals of a heart attack arms us with knowledge to make the right choice when the time comes.

Thanks for your kind words and again, for stopping by, reading and commenting.

Cheers/Terri

6:09 PM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Tweet Geist,

Hello and thanks for this VERY interesting comment. There is substance but also a zaniness in the way you say it, and I must confess, whenever you've sent me notes on EAv, I've been both amused and bemused.

But I'd just like to say that yes—I do hope people read and pay attention to the warning signs. And YES to women acknowledging the need to ask for and accept help!

Be well!

Terri

6:13 PM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Dear Matt,

Thanks for reading and for sharing a comment here.

I'm glad you don't think this blog is narcissistic, EVEN THOUGH that post was pretty much all about ME! *wink*

Aspirin is something good to have around the house, specifically for this reason, so I hope you'll pick up even a small package. You'd only need one!

Wishing you a wonderful weekend ahead and thank you again for commenting.

Cheers/Terri

6:18 PM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Dear Ernest,

First, I'm sorry you had that experience, but very happy you are alive and well and that we met through Empire Avenue!

Having had a heart attack, I'm sure you're really mindful of the symptoms. I'm doing great and really appreciate you taking the time to read and comment.

Wishing you well, Ernest!

Cheers/Terri

6:24 PM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Dear Santos,

Thank you for reading and commenting. It's not surprising to learn the women in your life feel uneasy about inconveniencing others, because it seems to be characteristic of many women!

Having family, friends, neighbors and people in our lives who are there to support us is truly a blessing.

I appreciate your participation here and wish you all the best as the weekend approaches!

Cheers/Terri

6:28 PM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Dear Charlie,

Thank you for reading the post and for your comment. I'm glad you think I did the right thing, especially in light of the fact that I really *was* okay.

But as for encouraging others, I definitely think it's important to err on the side of caution. Discounting what one is experiencing for WHATEVER reason could have dire consequences!

On another note, I am enjoying getting to know you on various social media platforms and just want to say thanks for your encouragement and support!

Cheers/Terri

7:31 PM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Dear Loris,

OMG! That's frightening! What on earth were you doing that required such a strenuous schedule!

Twenty-two is an incredibly young age to be going through shortness of breath and chest pressure! I'm really glad you were able to go to a hospital and that you had a doctor who set you straight. Just think if you hadn't listened this conversation wouldn't be happening...

I hope you're taking care of yourself now and live a long and healthy life!

Thanks for the comment :-)

Cheers/Terri

7:35 PM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Dear Mark,

Thanks very much for your well wishes and for reading and commenting.

What a great point you made about CPR training! I hadn't thought of what a valuable skill set it would be to know exactly what to do in the event CPR is required.

I have to think the job of combat medic is difficult and stressful, but having the power to save lives is amazing! Please thank your son for his service and best wishes to you all.

Cheers/Terri

7:40 PM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Dear Vince,

Thank you, yes, it's great to have survived this insanity. Seattle is, indeed, an amazing place for all kinds of care — especially cancer. I'm glad to learn you were successfully treated here and that you've been free of the disease for 11 years! BRAVO!

The idea of getting CPR training is a great one. I don't know why I've never looked into it, but it's on my list now.

Thank you so much for reading and commenting. It's great to have a conversation here in what I'd describe as a quiet space. It engenders a better connection with people that can't really happen effectively elsewhere.

Wishing you all the best!

Cheers/Terri

8:13 PM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Dear Charles,

Thanks for reading and for the provocative questions! The root cause was not determined, but after it was all said and done, I was pronounced to be in amazing shape.

I've never heard of Chelation, but will sure be looking it up after I leave here this evening!

I'm not prone to getting angry or stressed out, and the day it happened, I was actually sitting at my computer working on a completely different blog post. (I enjoy writing.)

But getting some serious aerobic exercise is something I need to do more regularly!

You've given me some terrific things to think about, Charlie, and I really appreciate the time and energy you gave on my behalf.

Cheers/Terri

10:18 PM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Dear Holly,

:-D It doesn't feel like I've been through the wringer, but maybe I took a quick trip through the spin cycle on Sunday!

Thanks for including the link. It's terrific and the funny thing is, the way she sort of brushed it off in an embarrassed way, reminded me of what I said.

All is well, Holly, and I'm very grateful to you for your contribution to this thread!

Cheers/Terri

10:24 PM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Dear Jackie,

Thank you so much for reading and commenting and distilling the message down to two simple points! Brilliant!

If nothing else, I hope the post makes people feel okay about calling 911.

Wishing you a great weekend,

Terri

10:28 PM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Dear Bill,

Hmmm. I really thought it made sense to Google first because I really didn't want to erroneously call for help.

Your point about CPR is a great one, though, and I think everyone can benefit from having the knowledge to administer it. I'm planning to look into it, and hope others will, too.

Thanks so much for taking the time to read, and for adding your valuable thoughts here.

Cheers/Terri

10:34 PM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Dear Mike,

Thanks for reading and commenting.

And thanks for including the link. I'll be sure to check it out!

Cheers/Terri

10:35 PM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Dear Peggy,

Thanks for reading and for your comments. I'm glad I'm okay, and I'm very happy to hear your friend is, too.

Everyone needs to be grateful for the amazing people who help with cardio rehab, so bravo to your sister-in-law!

Here's hoping we still manage to meet up one day at the University Village. If we don't make it this summer, let's definitely aim for fall.

Cheers and thanks again,
Terri

10:40 PM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Dear Chiaki,

The instagram pictures were a bit cryptic. A few people asked what happened, but I didn't go into any detail. At that point I hadn't decided to write this post.

Thank you so much for your concern and for taking the time to read and comment. I really appreciate our connections throughout various social media channels, and look forward to getting to know you better!

Cheers/hugs/Terri

10:43 PM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Dear Beth,

Thank you for your comment here, and wow—great idea to track symptoms. It's similar to when you have a visit with your doctor and get to the appointment, completely forgetting all the things you wanted to ask! Keeping track makes so much sense!

The EMTs said a regular aspirin, though a pretty high dosage, takes longer to enter the blood stream than an 81mg baby aspirin, which breaks down quickly.

Thank you for sharing the additional links, too. I will be sure to check them out!

Cheers/Terri

10:49 PM  
Blogger NewsMeBack said...

Terri it is just good to know that you feel better now :) Take care !

2:24 PM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Hi, NMB and thanks for reading and commenting. It's definitely more fun carrying on with business as usual rather than hanging out in a hospital, but given the outcome, I'm just grateful all seems to be well.

Cheers/Terri

5:40 PM  
Anonymous Skip Prichard said...

Terri, I will add to the chorus of those who are glad you are OK. And your story may save lives. Thank you for sharing it.

9:06 PM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

11:35 PM  
Anonymous Soness Stevens said...

Terri,
Firstly, I'm happy to hear you are well. What a relief! I'm
Sure many are wondering: How did you remain so clear headed? How fortunate that you had support and wonderful EMS services around you!

Sending healing prayers to you. Keep shining!

Soness

1:02 AM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Hi, Skip!

If it's a chorus, it's definitely music to my ears. Thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment.

If the blog post encourages someone to call who normally wouldn't, it will be a huge success!

Wishing you a fabulous week, and again, my gratitude for giving your time and attention.

Cheers/Terri

1:18 AM  
Blogger Joe Costello said...

Terri,

Glad things worked out and all fronts...the breast cancer and the heart issue. It was a very well-written and inspiring story, especially the part about how we may feel guilty when we require so much attention.

I think understanding the basic signs to not ignore, doing the aspirin thing and calling 911 are so very important.

It's funny I came across this because I just completed watching a video about all of us need to understand how to help someone who is having a heart attack in a public place. I attached it here thinking it will help and hopefully people will take the time to watch this short video:

http://www.heartrescuenow.com/

Be well and thanks again,

Joe

8:46 AM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Hi, Soness,

Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. Clear headed? Do you mean because I asked one of the people to take photos? I guess social media is interwoven into the fabric of my being now!

Thanks also for your concern and good wishes. Wishing you a great week!

Cheers/Terri

8:02 PM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Dear Joe,

How wonderful for you to include the link to the video! Thanks for doing that. I'll watch it as soon as I've finished writing this reply.

The thing about having a catastrophic health event like cancer—it causes a person to take stock and really identify what matters. Family, friends, colleagues all matter, and in order to stay around to enjoy the people and things that one values, it's important to take care!

Thank you, too, for reading and commenting. It means a lot when someone takes the time to do either!

I wish you a great day today, and every day and thanks again for the link!

Cheers/Terri

8:07 PM  
Anonymous Kerry said...

Glad you caught it in time. My prayers are with you.

5:40 AM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

11:09 AM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Hi there, Kerry!

Thank you for stopping by, reading and commenting on this post.

It was definitely great to receive such immediate help! Thanks so much for your concern, and I hope all is your life goes well!

Cheers/Terri

11:09 AM  
Blogger Ladybead Beach Jewelry said...

So glad you acted fast. Wishing you much health and happiness. Rose

4:34 PM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Dear Rose,

How wonderful to have you stop by, read and comment on this post. Thank you for taking the time.

When I found out I was alright, I was both happy and chagrined. Happy that all was well, but chagrined because of all the resources that were used to help me.

But it could have gone either way, so my hope is people will err on the side of caution instead of taking a chance.

I hope you're doing great! I've missed seeing you, but love my bracelet and think of you whenever I see and wear it.

(((HUGS))) Terri

5:53 PM  
Anonymous Alexander Klein said...

Terri,

We discovered that my wife had advanced cervical cancer the day we found out that she was pregnant with our child. After "exploring and defining" it - it was already stage three, she elected to wait until after Joshua was born, to have treatment. Joshua was taken by Emergency Caesarean (sp?) Section seven months later. Char went straight to MD Anderson for surgery, via Lifeflight. Josh is almost 5 now and Char is still holding on by her fingernails. But, most importantly, she's holding on. It's too late to hope for remission, but it's not too late to do everything we can it insure that Joshua knows his mother loves him dearly. He'll know that his mom paid a heavy price to insure his safety because she loves him more than anything.

IF you're ill, as the disease consumes you, it's hard not to let it harm the rest of your family. Try, fight, struggle, to insure that those around you know they are loved. This disease doesn't just often kill the patient, it kills the entire family. Standing near you, we know you fight, we know you're tired. But know also that we're standing by you, supporting you... because we love you more than you'll ever know.

11:31 AM  
Anonymous Alexander Klein said...

Yikes. It dropped the first paragraph.

"PLEASE pay attention to the signals that your body is sending you. My wife KNEW there was something wrong, she just didn't want to find out what it was. FEAR."

Sorry for the screw-up.

Alex

11:38 AM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Dear Alex,

Thanks for your personal perspective on paying attention to our bodies' signals and overcoming fear, as well as your observations about how disease affects not just the patient, but everyone around them.

My wish and hope is that Char can summon the strength to be positive and to enjoy the gifts in her life — you, Josh, family and friends. At the age of 5, Josh will most certainly remember his mom, and I'm sure you all are doing everything you can to reassure him.

Making a timely call and acting quickly in the face of fear are good actions to take on a number of health fronts. I'm so sorry to hear what your family is experiencing, but feel grateful that you took the time to share — and inspire others.

Best wishes to you and your family, and thank you for reading and commenting.

Sincerely, Terri

4:26 PM  
Anonymous Paula said...

Terri, your blog is very insightful and informative. I know I was so grateful to all the folks at Harborview who cared for me and
provided excellent therapy and emotional support so I was able to come home and had the confidence that I could do basic daily
activities.

It is so wonderful that there are people who are so skilled at providing emergency care. I actually went outside when the fire truck was about to leave and thanked them for all the work they do for the people of Seattle and got big smiles from the fireman and many thank yous (is that a word?).

And I'm so glad that you are well :>)

2:31 PM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Dear Paula,

Thanks for reading and figuring out how to post a comment! It's weird the first time you do it!

We are so lucky to live in Seattle. Its Medic One program, though not the first, is a model nationwide. I'm glad you were able to get the help you needed when you had your bicycle accident!

Thank you for expressing your thanks to the ER people. I know they don't expect it, so it's extra nice when someone takes the time to do so.

Get well soon!

Cheers/Hugs/Terri

2:44 PM  
Anonymous Hiro said...

I am very glad you were okay, and that you were able to detect the warning signs! I was just having a discussion about is, because it came up on Tumblr, but it is so rare for people to know symptoms of heart attack in women, whether they be men or women! I know I definitely wouldn't have known we would not be doubling over, clutching our hearts in agony had I not had CPR training (and watched a video telling us the dangers). So many women get injured or die because of the lack of information, which seriously needs to be remedied... Probably through use of more women having heart attacks in e media, as opposed to just men (apparently it's because OH GOD FORBID WE CAN'T HAVE EXPOSED BREASTS! Which is ridiculous excuse to leave half the population in the danger).
I'm glad you were okay, and thank you for the informative post. I hope many more women and their loved ones will know now the warning signs!

9:50 AM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Dear Hiro,

Thank you so much for reading and for your wonderful response.

It's true—symptoms can be different in women and men, but in the media, we only see depictions of heart attacks in men. So many women would not recognize they are experiencing a heart attack because they wouldn't identify with the media version of the symptoms.

A new fire station is being built in my neighborhood, and when it's complete, I plan to sign up for a course in CPR! Thank you for reminding me! And how awesome that you've already completed the training! Bravo!

When the emergency crew arrived, they exposed my bare chest to apply monitoring patches. In the back of my mind I was thinking, OMG, I hope my son isn't watching! Poor guy—it would most certainly traumatize him! :-)

My hope is, somehow this post ends up helping someone. And again, my sincere gratitude for taking the time to read and comment.

Warm regards,

Terri

10:21 AM  

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I wrote some essays in 2005 to satisfy a long-time desire to write, but work became too busy and I stopped as the year sped by. That December I was diagnosed with breast cancer.

After four years in remission, this blog was resurrected in the summer of 2009 after I was tagged on Facebook's "25 Things."

September 1 marked my tenth anniversary of remission, and I hope to write something new every now and then.

My name is Terri.

Thank you for stopping by!

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© 2005-2017 Terri Nakamura; Photos & Illustrations © Respective Owners

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"AirBNB"
digital detox on airbnb

The Horsfall House in Randle, WA

Randle, WA, United States
76
Digital detox in our charming 100-year-old farmhouse on 21 acres, 10 minutes from the Gifford Pinchot National Forest & near Mt St Helens, Mt Rainier & White Pass. Five bedrooms, bath/shower, full ...

'FILMS I LIKE :-)

  • Amelie
  • American Graffiti
  • Argo
  • Being John Malkovich
  • Breakfast at Tiffany's
  • Chinatown
  • Death at a Funeral
  • Departures
  • Forrest Gump
  • Gladiator
  • Idiocracy
  • Indochine
  • Legends of the Fall
  • Living Out Loud
  • M.A.S.H.
  • Office Space
  • Ordinary People
  • Repulsion
  • Riding Giants
  • Sin City
  • Sophie's Choice
  • Tampopo
  • The Best Years of Our Lives
  • The Majestic
  • The Orchid Thief
  • The Shining
  • Tropic Thunder
  • What About Bob?
  • Zero Dark Thirty
  • Zoolander

i like people who are funny and smart. kindness is good, too. - terri nakamura

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