Just in the Nick of Time
Mary Kate Boyle had no idea that she was on the brink of disaster. With a lengthy career as an emergency room and intensive care unit nurse, she was very familiar with symptoms of heart disease. However, hers were atypical. She and her husband had been living a fairly healthy lifestyle: eating a healthy diet; maintaining healthy weights; both very busy and physically active. An extensive cardiac workup two years before had revealed nothing alarming. Mary Kate had been experiencing tightness in her neck and back for a few months, along with a funny feeling in her chest. She did not have chest pain, nausea, or pain radiating down her arm. She chalked it up to stress. Her mother-in-law had recently died. Her daughter had endured a complicated pregnancy and almost died and then required emergency surgery right after her delivery. Her daughter- in- law was pregnant, due to deliver anytime. Life’s tensions seemed a legitimate explanation for the physical tightness.