I’ve come to learn that a common reaction to a heart attack is others’ utter shock that this could happen to “YOU, OF ALL PEOPLE!” Women in particular report reactions like this because, generally speaking, we’re used to being the ones who take care of others, and to being the strong glue that holds our family life and relationships together.
How dare we get sick?
Dr. Wayne Sotile, in his very useful book Heart Illness and Intimacy: How Caring Relationships Aid Recovery, talks about the “family scramble” that can happen when somebody in that family is diagnosed with heart disease. And few things can heighten the family scramble, he claims, like the “wrong” family member getting sick. Continue reading