Chapter Twenty-Two: What Heart Attack?

As October 2016 unfolded, I just didn’t feel well. I was having trouble breathing and had no energy. I finally decided to drive myself to the ER while Yvette watched Allison at home. I thought that the doctors would simply give me some meds and send me on my way. Instead they decided that I had suffered a heart attack and hooked me up to a bunch of machines. I called Yvette and told her what was happening. She called Rob, who drove up from Boston.

After several hours in the ER, the doctors told me that I had to be admitted to the hospital. I told them that was not an option and signed myself out with the promise that I would see the cardiologist the next day, which I did. I explained to him that I could not undergo any tests or procedures that would take more than two hours. He seemed to reluctantly understand. He wrote five scripts that I would add to the two that I take for myasthenia gravis and sent me on my way. Rob went and picked up my new meds.

That afternoon, Dr. Costello came with an intern that he was training to see Allison. The visit became as much about me as it was about Allison. The intern was overly concerned  about my low blood pressure. I told her not to worry about it and concentrate on Allison.

I was exhausted, and for a long time had been asking the powers to be for more help. In early November I received a call from Jackie, the director of the VNA who told me that she had good news. She had secured full time in-home care for Allison and would call me the next day with the details. She did indeed call, but not with the promised results. Instead she told me that she had found somebody who might be willing to help part time. My hopes had been dashed, and I was devastated. Rob, Allison’s PT from the VNA, happened to be at our house when this call came. I was so devastated that, perhaps foolishly, I dismissed him and the VNA that day.

Early December brought about new challenges. Yvette was not feeling well, and missed several days of work. After a week, I was frantic because I could not get out to get Allison’s meds and other provisions. My son Rob offered to skip work and come help from Boston. I called the VNA and asked if they knew of anyone who could help. They told me about Ann, who had just lost a client and might be available. Ann called me and said she would come the next day.