I will be celebrating 11 years as a heart attack survivor on May 13th.
That day I was at work, and I kept having to stop every few feet to catch my breath. I had been experiencing a weird pain in my back, just inside of my right shoulder blade, on and off for a few weeks. I went home early that day in the hopes that I could lay down for a little while and that I would feel better. I was never able to fall asleep or get comfortable as the pain intensified. Around 2:00 a.m. I called my parents and asked them to pick me up from my apartment and take me to the Emergency Room. I had lab work, went through different tests, and answered a lot of questions. My pain increased, and it felt there was a rod going through my chest. While I was waiting for answers and relief, I started to experience tingling and numbness in my left arm, and I threw up. What felt like many, many hours later Dr. Haynie came in and told me he wasn't sure what was going on, but that I would need a heart cath to figure it out. They took me back almost immediately.
I woke up in recovery with both of my parents by my side. I asked my mom what they found, and she told me that I had a clot in one of my arteries that they were able to remove. I remember asking her "Wow, could that have caused a heart attack?" and she said "Laura, you did have a heart attack."
I had 100% blockage in my LAD artery. I was 25 years old - still playing soccer and running half marathons. I was lucky because they were able to clear it out. I see my cardiologist annually, and I haven't had any more issues with my heart.
I am lucky enough to say that I am a survivor. So much has happened in my life in eleven years' time - the biggest being marrying Trey and raising our amazing kids - Walker, Chase, and Natalie.
As I think back on everything I have been through, I am so grateful to have parents that are always there when I need them. Grateful for listening to my gut when I knew something wasn't right. And extremely grateful that I get to live this wonderful life.