by Margo A. Ragan
Come with me, dear reader, as we imagine the following scenario. You are a very busy individual, perhaps the editor of a popular regional magazine. Or, you are a sales executive, juggling the demands of a family and a calendar of business appointments that could translate into month end commissions. You have promised yourself a membership in the local fitness center, but you are too busy, too tired, too stressed, too broke—you fill in with the appropriate adjective.
Traveling to and from work on I-95 is fraught with traffic challenges so you try to relax on the road with a cigarette or two, a habit you have on your bucket list to quit but haven't tackled yet. Since you are late getting home for dinner, you stop at a fast food restaurant to pick up a bucket of fried chicken, wings, or maybe your favorite, a Philly cheese steak with French fries and onions. Tomorrow you plan to eat only salads and soups because most of your slacks are already too tight.
Now you are lying in a hospital bed, staring at the ceiling trying to remember how you got here. You remember some discomfort in your chest, breaking out into a cold sweat, having trouble breathing, being lightheaded. Someone had yelled, “Call 911”, and that is all you remember.
According to the American Heart Association, you may have had a myocardial infarction, or in terms we quickly understand, a heart attack. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention asserts 1.5 million heart attacks occur in the United States, resulting in 500,000 deaths annually.
If you want to finish reading this story go to page 102 in Summer 2012 issue of Bucks County Magazine.