Don’t Emulate My Family

 

Hana and Ibrahim Farraj – Wedding Photo.

Hana Farraj (my beloved grandmother) died of a heart attack in 1993, she was 70 years old. She had the heart attack while she was in Seattle (visiting her son), but she didn’t want to be a bother. So instead of going to the hospital, she waited, for three days, she even got on a Greyhound bus and rode down to Portland. She died the day she got back. Don’t emulate my grandmother.

Issa Farraj (my beloved uncle) died of a heart attack in 2015. He was 70 years old. He had a heart attack but didn’t tell anyone or go to the doctor because his son we getting married that weekend and he thought the doctors would bar him from flying. By the time things got bad enough he went to the hospital, his heart was damaged beyond repair. He passed away two days after his son’s wedding. Don’t emulate my uncle.

Issa Farraj.

Nuha Farraj Rice (my beloved mother whose neck I want to wring) has not yet died of a heart attack, but she came close. She had been experiencing radiating chest pains while exercising for more than six months … but she didn’t tell anybody because eventually, the pain would go away. Fortunately, my parents went to a college reunion and had to walk a fair distance to their car. My mom had to stop four times to catch her breath (even though it was a relatively gentle hill) and my dad insisted she went to see her doctor. It was only when directly confronted by her doctor that she admitted to the chest pains. She is now the proud new owner of two stents and a ballooned-out artery or two. Don’t emulate my mother.

This is serious business, people. You only have one life and you are the only one that really knows what is going on in your body. Even if you are fit and eat well this kind of thing can still sneak up on you as a large component of arterial health is genetic (Former President George W. Bush possibly the fittest man to hold the office had to have a mostly occluded artery stented). I want all of you (be you FiCon, Conservatarain, RINO, Libertarian, token liberals [@viruscop], or religious conservative) to live long and healthy lives. So here is my plea to you:

  • Go to your yearly doctors appointments
  • Watch your levels (blood sugars, blood pressure, and cholesterol)
  • If you need meds, for crying out loud take them!
  • If you think there is something wrong (chest pain, shortness of breath, unexplained nausea, etc.) go to your doctor!

Don’t emulate my family! Don’t die of the Farraj family curse.

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  1. RightAngles Member
    RightAngles
    @RightAngles

    Vicryl Contessa (View Comment):

    Qoumidan (View Comment):
    In March this year my mother started having chest pains. She went to the ER then the Dr who scheduled her to get a stent. Before putting it in they had a look and found her heart was perfectly fine. The pains that had emulated a heart attack went away and they guessed it must have been stress? She was embarrassed about the whole thing and I worry that next time she will try to wait it out but it won’t be nothing.

    My mother has done the same thing- thought she was having chest pain and it turned out to be heartburn. I always tell her, better to be embarrassed than dead. The signs in women are usually much more subtle- nausea, sweating, pressure or fullness in the neck or jaw, pain between the shoulder blades, unprovoked anxiety. Tell your mom not to worry- the doctors and nurses would much rather she come in and it be nothing than have to code her after she’s found down at home.

    The Mayor of Chicago Harold Washington died of a heart attack. The people around him said that all morning he’d been saying, “I don’t feel good.”

    • #61
  2. RightAngles Member
    RightAngles
    @RightAngles

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake (View Comment):
    You can’t guarantee ahead of time, though, when a heart attack will deprive you of several healthy years and when it will save you from the protracted, expensive, harrowing thing that could kill you otherwise. I’d agree with Scott that a heart attack sounds like a nice way to go.

    The main problem with going from a heart attack is it’s likely to be sudden and with no opportunity to wrap up loose ends and say goodbyes.

    The problem with Cancer, Dementia, etc, is that they suck and are slow ways to die.

    No good options.

    My ex’s grandma lived to be 94. But she never enjoyed the last 15 or so years of her life because she kept thinking she could die any day. She stopped planting perennials because she might not be alive next season to see them bloom. And every day she got up early and did her hair and makeup in case they found her body.

    • #62
  3. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Isaac Smith (View Comment):
    It didn’t seem like it then. Most of my friends still had their grandparents around. Early 70s would be disappointing.

    I know what you mean. A friend who is near my age just had her grandmother die not long ago. My last grandparent died in early 1978. The one before that died in 1970. The two before that were both before I was born. Talk about missing out on growing up with grandparents. It always seemed odd that my friends still had grandparents. When I married my wife, she still had a grandmother living. (Of course, she lived to be over a hundred.)

    • #63
  4. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    RightAngles (View Comment):
    The Mayor of Chicago Harold Washington died of a heart attack. The people around him said that all morning he’d been saying, “I don’t feel good.”

    Same with ol’ Richard J. He was actually in his doctor’s office.

    • #64
  5. Vicryl Contessa Thatcher
    Vicryl Contessa
    @VicrylContessa

    RightAngles (View Comment):

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake (View Comment):
    You can’t guarantee ahead of time, though, when a heart attack will deprive you of several healthy years and when it will save you from the protracted, expensive, harrowing thing that could kill you otherwise. I’d agree with Scott that a heart attack sounds like a nice way to go.

    The main problem with going from a heart attack is it’s likely to be sudden and with no opportunity to wrap up loose ends and say goodbyes.

    The problem with Cancer, Dementia, etc, is that they suck and are slow ways to die.

    No good options.

    Me ex’s grandma lived to be 94. But she never enjoyed the last 15 or so years of her life because she kept thinking she could die any day. She stopped planting perennials because she might not be alive next season to see them bloom. And every day she got up early and did her hair and makeup in case they found her body.

    My grandma (the Lebanese one) has been saying “Well I guess I’ll talk to you later….if I’m still living” for 40 years. She’s 91, and a complete delight as Mustang will attest to. Everything in the house has people’s names taped to the bottom so everyone knows what goes to whom when she goes to the glory. I may have told Mustang’s mom to put my name on some of the Lebanese decorations she has…

    • #65
  6. RightAngles Member
    RightAngles
    @RightAngles

    Vicryl Contessa (View Comment):

    RightAngles (View Comment):

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake (View Comment):
    You can’t guarantee ahead of time, though, when a heart attack will deprive you of several healthy years and when it will save you from the protracted, expensive, harrowing thing that could kill you otherwise. I’d agree with Scott that a heart attack sounds like a nice way to go.

    The main problem with going from a heart attack is it’s likely to be sudden and with no opportunity to wrap up loose ends and say goodbyes.

    The problem with Cancer, Dementia, etc, is that they suck and are slow ways to die.

    No good options.

    Me ex’s grandma lived to be 94. But she never enjoyed the last 15 or so years of her life because she kept thinking she could die any day. She stopped planting perennials because she might not be alive next season to see them bloom. And every day she got up early and did her hair and makeup in case they found her body.

    My grandma (the Lebanese one) has been saying “Well I guess I’ll talk to you later….if I’m still living” for 40 years. She’s 91, and a complete delight as Mustang will attest to. Everything in the house has people’s names taped to the bottom so everyone knows what goes to whom when she goes to the glory. I may have told Mustang’s mom to put my name on some of the Lebanese decorations she has…

    I have a Lebanese friend whose grandma is in her 90s, and has kept the same yogurt culture alive for like 70 years.

    • #66
  7. 1967mustangman Inactive
    1967mustangman
    @1967mustangman

    Vicryl Contessa (View Comment):

    RightAngles (View Comment):

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake (View Comment):
    You can’t guarantee ahead of time, though, when a heart attack will deprive you of several healthy years and when it will save you from the protracted, expensive, harrowing thing that could kill you otherwise. I’d agree with Scott that a heart attack sounds like a nice way to go.

    The main problem with going from a heart attack is it’s likely to be sudden and with no opportunity to wrap up loose ends and say goodbyes.

    The problem with Cancer, Dementia, etc, is that they suck and are slow ways to die.

    No good options.

    Me ex’s grandma lived to be 94. But she never enjoyed the last 15 or so years of her life because she kept thinking she could die any day. She stopped planting perennials because she might not be alive next season to see them bloom. And every day she got up early and did her hair and makeup in case they found her body.

    My grandma (the Lebanese one) has been saying “Well I guess I’ll talk to you later….if I’m still living” for 40 years. She’s 91, and a complete delight as Mustang will attest to. Everything in the house has people’s names taped to the bottom so everyone knows what goes to whom when she goes to the glory. I may have told Mustang’s mom to put my name on some of the Lebanese decorations she has…

    Reminds me of a story I heard of a Gentleman who ultimately lived to be 115.  When he was 101 he went into a bank to purchase some 5 year CDs.  The gentleman at the bank tried to talk him out of it, but he told them he wanted them and he intended to collect on them in five years….which he did!

    • #67
  8. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male
    @MiffedWhiteMale

    1967mustangman (View Comment):
    Reminds me of a story I heard of a Gentleman who ultimately lived to be 115. When he was 101 he went into a bank to purchase some 5 year CDs. The gentleman at the bank tried to talk him out of it, but he told them he wanted them and he intended to collect on them in five years….which he did!

    Reminds me of the story of the elderly couple who went to see a divorce lawyer.  The Lawyer asked them why they wanted a divorce now after all those years of marriage.  They responded that they had wanted to wait until the kids were dead.

     

    • #68
  9. RightAngles Member
    RightAngles
    @RightAngles

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    1967mustangman (View Comment):
    Reminds me of a story I heard of a Gentleman who ultimately lived to be 115. When he was 101 he went into a bank to purchase some 5 year CDs. The gentleman at the bank tried to talk him out of it, but he told them he wanted them and he intended to collect on them in five years….which he did!

    Reminds me of the story of the elderly couple who went to see a divorce lawyer. The Lawyer asked them why they wanted a divorce now after all those years of marriage. They responded that they had wanted to wait until the kids were dead.

    Haha! In the 90s, I saw the oldest woman in the world on TV. She lived in France and was 124 years old They asked her to what she attributed her long life, and she said, “I quit smoking when I was 117.”

    • #69
  10. Judithann Campbell Member
    Judithann Campbell
    @

    RightAngles (View Comment):
    Haha! In the 90s, I saw the oldest woman in the world in TV. She lived in France and was 124 years old They asked her to what she attributed her long life, and she said, “I quit smoking when I was 117.”

    My 92 year old father quit smoking decades ago, but he refuses to give up bacon. He eats 4 slices of bacon every single morning. He also consumes ice cream at least once daily. He has taken to saying that when he meets a doctor who is as old as he is, he will take that doctor’s advice :)

    • #70
  11. RightAngles Member
    RightAngles
    @RightAngles

    Judithann Campbell (View Comment):

    RightAngles (View Comment):
    Haha! In the 90s, I saw the oldest woman in the world in TV. She lived in France and was 124 years old They asked her to what she attributed her long life, and she said, “I quit smoking when I was 117.”

    My 92 year old father quit smoking decades ago, but he refuses to give up bacon. He eats 4 slices of bacon every single morning. He also consumes ice cream at least once daily. He has taken to saying that when he meets a doctor who is as old as he is, he will take that doctor’s advice ?

    Ha! My grandma ate bacon and biscuits with redeye gravy every day and lived to 89. Her mind was sharp till the end.

    • #71
  12. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Isaac Smith (View Comment):
    It didn’t seem like it then. Most of my friends still had their grandparents around. Early 70s would be disappointing.

    I know what you mean. A friend who is near my age just had her grandmother die not long ago. My last grandparent died in early 1978. The one before that died in 1970. The two before that were both before I was born. Talk about missing out on growing up with grandparents. It always seemed odd that my friends still had grandparents. When I married my wife, she still had a grandmother living. (Of course, she lived to be over a hundred.)

    When Mrs R and I were married in 1970, all four of my grandparents were still living. At the time I thought that was something special. Or depending on your count them, you could say all six were still living. (One was a step-great-grandmother, about the same age as her stepson.) The last one died in 1996, at age 98.

    None of Mrs R’s grandparents were living at the time.  One of hers was born during the Civil War, or whatever they call it down south. I don’t think too many people our age can say that, but I’ve run into some who can. It take a couple of instances of children being born to parents who were far into middle age at the time.

    • #72
  13. RightAngles Member
    RightAngles
    @RightAngles

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Isaac Smith (View Comment):
    It didn’t seem like it then. Most of my friends still had their grandparents around. Early 70s would be disappointing.

    I know what you mean. A friend who is near my age just had her grandmother die not long ago. My last grandparent died in early 1978. The one before that died in 1970. The two before that were both before I was born. Talk about missing out on growing up with grandparents. It always seemed odd that my friends still had grandparents. When I married my wife, she still had a grandmother living. (Of course, she lived to be over a hundred.)

    When Mrs R and I were married in 1970, all four of my grandparents were still living. At the time I thought that was something special. Or depending on your count them, you could say all six were still living. (One was a step-great-grandmother, about the same age as her stepson.) The last one died in 1996, at age 98.

    None of Mrs R’s grandparents were living at the time. One of hers was born during the Civil War, or whatever they call it down south. I don’t think too many people our age can say that, but I’ve run into some who can. It take a couple of instances of children being born to parents who were far into middle age at the time.

    My grandfather was born in 1897 when his mother was 47 years old.

    • #73
  14. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male
    @MiffedWhiteMale

    The Reticulator (View Comment):
    When Mrs R and I were married in 1970, all four of my grandparents were still living. At the time I thought that was something special. Or depending on your count them, you could say all six were still living. (One was a step-great-grandmother, about the same age as her stepson.) The last one died in 1996, at age 98.

    None of Mrs R’s grandparents were living at the time. One of hers was born during the Civil War, or whatever they call it down south. I don’t think too many people our age can say that, but I’ve run into some who can. It take a couple of instances of children being born to parents who were far into middle age at the time.

    Both of my kids (age 10 and 7) grandfathers were in WWII.  I think that’s getting pretty rare at this point for their age group.

     

    • #74
  15. Vicryl Contessa Thatcher
    Vicryl Contessa
    @VicrylContessa

    We moved our wedding from Portland (where we both live) to Nashville so that the one remaining grandparent between the two of us will be able to attend. She’s 91. My other grandmother died about a year ago at the age of 98, just a little shy of her 99th birthday. My paternal grandfather was just shy of his 90th birthday when he passed a few years ago- he would have lived longer if my grandma and other family had recognized the signs of a stroke in time. My maternal grandfather smoked for 50 some years and died of lung cancer in his early 70’s.

    I’m very glad that Mustang’s dad made his mom go to the doctor when he did. I think there’s a very good chance that his mom would not have been at our wedding if she hadn’t have gone to the doctor. And I would like our kids to grow up knowing all grandparents.

    • #75
  16. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    @Midge

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):
    Both of my kids (age 10 and 7) grandfathers were in WWII. I think that’s getting pretty rare at this point for their age group.

    Only one of my kids’ grandfathers will have, and that’s the result of a spring-autumn romance.

    • #76
  17. TooShy Coolidge
    TooShy
    @TooShy

    RightAngles (View Comment):
    Me ex’s grandma lived to be 94. But she never enjoyed the last 15 or so years of her life because she kept thinking she could die any day. She stopped planting perennials because she might not be alive next season to see them bloom. And every day she got up early and did her hair and makeup in case they found her body.

     

    I almost gave that a “like” but didn’t because it is too sad.

    But couldn’t she have planted some seeds and known that other people might enjoy them, even if she might not? I remember planting a small flowering bush and some bulbs right before moving to a new house and thinking that the new people moving in would be able to enjoy it.

    • #77
  18. profdlp Inactive
    profdlp
    @profdlp

    TooShy (View Comment):
    I remember planting a small flowering bush and some bulbs right before moving to a new house and thinking that the new people moving in would be able to enjoy it.

    I bought a house in March and have enjoyed all the little beautiful surprises springing up all over the yard.

    • #78
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