Follow us on Pinterest
Welcome! Log In | Register |
Log In with

"I Didn't Know I Had a Heart Attack"

  • Comment Comments (1)
  • Print Print

Cardiac Rehab and Recovery

Two months after the attack, I began cardiac rehab -- a program of exercise, nutrition, and support to help my recuperation. Not only did it get me out of the house, but it gave me the reassurance I needed to start being active again. I saw gradual improvement in my strength and confidence, but later in the month I suffered a major setback after a near-fainting spell resulted in another trip to the ER. My arteries were in spasm and had closed up. No one knows why spasms occur, but after a year of trying different combinations of medications and supplements, my doctors concluded that my period and eating meat likely triggered the attacks.

Now I take eight medications and nine supplements each day to help keep my hormones and arteries in check. I swore off all meat, and that has helped me tremendously. And nearly a year after my initial hospitalization, I started exercising again. My doctor and I put together a plan that is slowly building up my endurance. I'm up to 40 minutes of running nearly every day. It's been a struggle, to say the least. I went from being able to do brutal 75-minute boot-camp classes to not being able to walk even halfway around our cul-de-sac. So even though I'm getting better, by my standards I'm not there yet.

To this day I'm dismayed by how little women know about heart disease -- and how little I knew as well. So I joined an organization called WomenHeart and attended the Mayo Clinic for training, and now I've made it my mission to help educate others. I speak to women's groups mostly, but sometimes strangers get my speeches too. Because carrying heavy things can still tire me out, I have a handicapped parking tag. Recently, after a visit to the grocery store, I saw a woman eyeing me -- and my hang tag -- in the parking lot. She angrily asked why I had parked there. I looked her square in the eyes and told her that I'd had a heart attack. She laughed in disbelief. On impulse, I pulled down my V-neck to reveal the 10-inch scar that bisects my chest. While she was apologizing profusely, I took the opportunity to give her a lesson about heart disease. I hope she drove away a little wiser.

To learn more about the unique way heart problems affect women, read our story about heart disease risks for young women.


What do you think of this story?  Leave a Comment.

What do you think? Review this story!
a3984502 wrote:

Hi folks! I am very excited to share with you a wonderful guide that helped me quit smoking for good - I have 9 months of smoke-free now, with the help of Allen Hudson's Quit Smoking Strategy. With Allen's guidance I managed to overcome my dependency, to fight the withdrawal symptoms and any temptations. I am so happy, my family and friends are so proud of me and most importantly, I feel healthy and full of energy! All thanks to Allen and his Quit Smoking Strategy:

6/18/2012 04:29:01 AM Report Abuse

Add your comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Register | Log In

Please confirm your comment by answering the question below and clicking "Submit Comment."

Todays Daily Prize
More Smart Savings
Fitness Magazine on Facebook