She has a big heart

Published 10:22 am Thursday, October 14, 2004

By By MARCIA STEFFENS / Cassopolis Vigilant
CASSOPOLIS - Ruth Timze of Niles thought she would be the last person to have a heart attack. Didn't she lose some weight, and quit smoking last year? Her cholesterol numbers were good. As a registered nurse she sees patients daily at the Lakeland Clinic on School Street in Cassopolis.
Still on Labor Day, which turned out to be a very stressful day for her at home, she couldn't ignore the symptoms she had been putting on the back burner for weeks before.
She didn't have the warning signs most men have upon having a heart attack. Her left chest didn't hurt, but under her arm did, and finally the pain in her arm extended down to her fingertips.
She was surprised when the blood tests and EKG from the emergency room at Lakeland Hospital in Niles showed positive. "I wasn't scared until they told me it could be fatal.
The medication to dissolve clots isn't effective if the patient waits too long to seek help.
Timze was lucky and had only minimal damage to her heart. She returned home on that Wednesday and was back to work the next week.
Now she is seeking ways to manage stress and pacing herself. "I used to think no one at home can do things as well as I can. I am learning to delegate."
If something happens at home to raise her stress level, she said she "walks outside. I don't want to do any more damage,' she added.
Timze has been a nurse since 1992 and has worked in Cassopolis for six years. "I love the hours and the people, both patients and people I work with," she said.
She had nothing but praise for the doctors and nurses at Lakeland Hospital, especially Linda Cozzaline, also an R.N. She wouldn't leave after her shift until she learned about me, Timze said.
Timze was anxious to get back to work as having had this experience she said, "I can really help my patients."