National Women's Health Week
Mother’s Day, 2017 took on special meaning for Barbara (“Barb”) Maine this year. Barb and her husband, Larry, have been lifelong Othello residents. Barbara is a mother, grandmother and great grandmother who enjoys a busy, active lifestyle. She thought she was -reasonably healthy. All that changed on January 18th of this year. She said she’d been having some distressing symptoms leading up to the prior weekend. “I was so very tired,” she said. “I also had a burning sensation leading into my throat to the back of the throat. I felt a pressure on my chest and some shortness of breath. The heart palpitations that I’d felt only occasionally now intensified to almost constant level.”
Barb called CBHA’s Othello Family Clinic the morning of January 18th. “I described my symptoms to the receptionist and was told to come in immediately,” she recalls. “Dr. Bashar Elali, our family’s physician, was waiting for me when I arrived and I was taken care of immediately.” Barb was given two aspirin which she chewed and swallowed. An EKG (electrocardiogram) was performed and blood tests were run. “Dr. Elali told me ‘something is not right with you’ and sent me to the hospital for further tests,” Barb said. “He then told me I was being transferred to Kadlec Hospital in Richland for a heart catheterization procedure.
Due to an extremely dangerous winter storm, that transfer could not take place until 4 a.m. the next morning. Barb remained in Othello Hospital on strict bed rest. She was told she must remain very quiet as she was “on verge” of a heart attack. Weather conditions improved slightly and Barb was taken by ambulance to Kadlec Hospital where the heart catheterization procedure revealed six blockages to her heart. Surgery was scheduled for the next day. “The surgeon visited me before surgery. I was so scared. He took my hand and told me he would take care of my heart problem. Then he asked me if I would take care of myself when I got home.” She replied that she would.
Barb has done just that! She has recovered quite nicely and is so grateful for the good health that has been restored to her. “I credit CBHA and Dr. Elali for their quick response. He knew right away that something was terribly wrong.”
National Women’s Health Week kicks off on Mother’s Day, May 14, and is celebrated through May 20, 2017 with the goal of empowering women to make their health a priority. Dr. Elali stresses the importance of following this advice. “Barb did the right thing in seeking medical attention,” he said. “She could tell something out of the ordinary was happening.”
National Women’s Health Week is sponsored by the Office on Women’s Health, US Department of Health and Human Services. For better health, they recommend women have regular well-woman checkups and preventive screenings at appropriate ages. Being active is high on the list as well as a healthy diet. Woman are also encouraged to pay attention to their mental health, including getting enough sleep and managing stress. Unhealthy behaviors, such as smoking, texting while driving, and not wearing a seatbelt or bicycle helmet should be avoided.