More Bad News

Last night my mother had a heart attack.

My brother called after we were asleep to say she had severe chest pains after she went to bed and he called an ambulance. Within one hour she had a heart catherization and stent inserted in the artery (the LAD) that caused the attack. The cardiologist discovered more blockages but said because of her age, 87, they won’t do bypass surgery which she needs.

Now the kicker:  She is being sent home tomorrow morning just one and a half days after a heart attack and stent placement!! All the guidelines say she should be in the hospital 3-5 days but the insurance system in this country wants to save money and not lives.  In this case it is Medicare, the national insurance for those over 65. There is a rule that she has to be in the hospital three overnights before she can have inpatient cardiac rehabilitation.  Thank goodness for my wonderful niece who is running interference, talking to medical staff, and now hurriedly trying to find some inpatient cardiac rehab that my mother will pay out of pocket for.

Never in a million years did I think she would have heart problems. That makes 5 out of 6 members of our family with  (two died) coronary artery disease. Me being the 6th that is so far so good.

We left Branson this morning as planned on our way to Minnesota to get the mattress which is already being manufactured and we have prepaid for it. No getting out of that. It might be ready Thursday instead of Friday and then I alone or Steve and I together will make a beeline to Colorado.

We drove a two lane road through pretty Missouri countryside today and are staying in the Walmart parking lot in Chillicothe for the night.  Hoping to do better on sleep tonight but right now some dragster with a noisy car is trying his best to disrupt the peace.








  1. Oh Ev, I’m so sorry about your Mom, but so happy she has people like your brother and niece nearby so you don’t have to worry. Also, I’m grateful to hear they will not do cardiac surgery bc at that age, it is usually really not advised for long-term quality of life. Do not lose faith yourself though. A plant-based diet can protect you from heart disease. Keep doing all you can and I hope your Mom will consider it too, although I know it can be tough to change at any age. Big hugs.


  2. Sorry to hear about your Mom. Both of you had such great times together in Mexico. Know that you will be glad to get back to Colorado, always better when you can see what is going on, rather than hear and fear the worst.


  3. Evelyn, I am so very sorry to hear about your Mom! I know how stressful news like this can be while on the road. But at the same time, we are fortunate to have the flexibility to go where needed. I hope your Mom is comfortable. Safe travels as you make your way back to CO!


    • I know you went through a very rough time last year with back to back passings in your family. It’s hard. When we are young we take for granted that all of our family and friends will be around forever and then we get to be a certain age and suddenly there are events like this almost routinely.


  4. Evelyn, I had no idea your Mom was 87–she seemed so much younger when I last saw her. Please tell her I’m thinking of her and hope she makes a full recovery.


  5. Arrived safely in Colorado yesterday Andy. I’ve got some catching up to do on your site AND to finish your book, I am ashamed to say. Just waiting for normality to resume.


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