Two weeks before being hospitalized with a heart attack, I was sent home from the Emergency Department of that same hospital with an acid reflux misdiagnosis, despite presenting with textbook heart attack symptoms like chest pain and pain radiating down my left arm.
At that first visit, I left for home feeling embarrassed and apologetic because I’d just wasted five hours of their valuable time. I felt so embarrassed, in fact, that I even sent the staff in Emergency a sheepish little thank you note the following day, apologizing once again for making such a fuss over nothing.
Not making a fuss is a valued trait for many of us strong women, but this tendency can cause disastrous cardiac outcomes when it makes us reluctant to seek immediate medical attention when we need it most. Continue reading “The heart patient’s chronic lament: “Excuse me. I’m sorry. I don’t mean to be a bother…””