On the morning of November 26, 2018, I had a heart attack. While I was not under cardiac arrest, my Cardiologist (I have one now) told me after I had cardiac catheterization and a Stent installed in my Circumflex Coronary Artery, that I did in fact have a heart attack. At 53 years old, it was a tremendous wake-up call and the first day of the rest of my healthier life. This is where my success story begins.
I had been considered fit, maintained a pretty decent weight, and was no stranger to exercise. Over the past few years, I have competed in several 5K races and four Warrior Dashes. Even though most of my muscles were fit, the most important one was not. For a few months prior to the big event, I was feeling sluggish, would feel fatigued after simple tasks, and was just not feeling right. I found a new doctor and made an appointment to see what was wrong. While my new doctor could not see me for a few months, my heart had a different idea. As I entered the emergency room, my blood pressure was 267 over 160 (through the roof). My chest felt tight and my left arm was hurting. After my blood pressure was under control, the Cardiologist performed and angioplasty and inserted a stint in my artery. I vowed the next day as I was released from the hospital to never feel this way again. I have lost 20 pounds, with the goal of losing another 5. I have maintained a high focus on a low-sodium diet as well as a low fat diet and reduced caffeine. I attended Cardiac Rehabilitation to help guide me back to a new normal exercise routine. My wife, family, friends and co-workers provide great support which help me stay focused. The research, support and information provided by the American Heart Association has been invaluable.
I experienced the value of this tremendous organization in 2006 with my Father-in-law’s triple bypass, in 2016 with a Valve Replacement in my Father’s heart and my personal experience is 2018.
Heart Disease does not discriminate. Know the signs.