my heart attack
August 20, 2012

its a semi-sunny monday
the light bouncing off the flat hudson
mish is sitting next to me
i am happy to be alive

last week i had a heart attack

here is what happened
on tuesday morning
while walking in a parking lot in nyack
i heard a loud commanding voice

“can u help me”

more of a demand than request
a challenge – a plea
i turned and saw an enormous woman
struggling to get out of her car

she was stuck

“can u help me? she asked again
as i walked toward her
“oh u r rosie odonnell”
yes i am

the ghost of christmas future
me – if i did not wake
there r no accidents i thought
as i braced myself and lifted her

it was not easy
but together we did it
she was up and on her way
with gratitude

a few hours later my body hurt
i had an ache in my chest
both my arms were sore
everything felt bruised

muscular – i thought
strained or pulled tissue
i went about my day
the pain persisted

i became nauseous
my skin was clammy
i was very very hot
i threw up

maybe this is a heart attack
i googled womens heart attack symptoms
i had many of them
but really? – i thought – naaaa

i took some bayer aspirin
thank god
saved by a tv commercial
literally

i did not call 911
50% of women having heart attacks never call 911
200,000 women die of heart attacks
every year in the US

by some miracle i was not one of them
the next day i went to a cardiologist
the dr did an EKG and sent me to the hospital
where a stent was put in

my LAD was 99% blocked
they call this type of heart attack
the Widow maker
i am lucky to be here

know the symptoms ladies
listen to the voice inside
the one we all so easily ignore
CALL 911

save urself
xxx

Rosie O’Donnell’s poem about her recent heart attack