Life is Why! Join me in supporting the American Heart Association!
Twenty - one years ago, it was discovered that I had five blockages in three of my arteries, and I underwent emergency bypass surgery. Before then, I felt I was a healthy woman. I exercised regularly, watched what I ate and visited my doctor for regular check-ups. But I was a smoker, and I had a family history of heart disease. Two major risk factors.
After watching my father suffer from emphysema from a lifetime of smoking, I was finally determined to quit. By the time I made that decision, it was too late. The damage was done.
When my symptoms began, they were the classic signs, chest discomfort, fatigue and headaches. Of course, I ignored them, passing them off as stress due to my father's recent death. Thankfully, my doctor didn't ignore them and insisted I have more and more tests to determine the cause.
These tests showed that I had heart disease because of genetics and my past habits as a smoker. But I was lucky. I could have suffered a heart attack, which may have taken my life. But I am alive today to share the joys of life with my children and grandchildren, and to help others learn to live a healthy lifestyle by sharing my struggles. I also visit heart patients after their surgery and in rehab units through my association with Mended Hearts.
Women, know your numbers and listen to your body. If you experience symptoms, don't ignore them and if you are a smoker, STOP today! It could save your life!
Thank you in advance for your support!