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Member Spotlight: A Heart Attack and a Reality Check

Posted on May 12, 2019

It felt like a huge truck was crushing my chest. It happened early in the morning. I had trouble breathing. I felt myself passing out. My boyfriend was there and quickly gave me two regular Bayer aspirins. The ambulance was there in two minutes.

The doctor said my LAD [left anterior descending] artery (known as "widow-maker") was blocked. They put two stents in. I woke up during the procedure and could feel it in my heart. They put me asleep again and I awoke to the sound of my boyfriend's voice. The [catheterization] unit nurses had let him put pressure on my leg to prevent bleeding. The doctor said the aspirins helped save my life.

I wish I had known that my artery was blocked prior to my heart attack. I knew I had been feeling short of breath. I didn't think about it being heart related. I should have known better. My mom is a retired cardiac care nurse.

Having heart disease means realizing just how precious life really is. God has given me, as well as others, a second chance at living. I had my heart attack in 2015. Since then I've learned to make better choices, especially with my diet. I don't eat as many fried foods as before. I try to eat clean and healthy. I don't go outside in the extreme heat during the summer months. If I feel tired, I rest. I have a KardiaMobile monitor that I use every day to check my heart.

I have noticed with heart disease I experience fatigue a little more frequently. Also, I can't seem to handle very warm temperatures as before. I believe it is extremely important that we encourage people to eat healthy and take care of themselves.

Maybe someday heart disease will be a thing of the past. For everyone that has it, I will say that you are not alone. I'm with you. That's what I love about MyHeartDiseaseTeam. It gives us a platform for communication. God bless you all.

This article was written by MyHeartDiseaseTeam member Donna Kinney as part of a Member Spotlight Series. Donna is a former dental office owner who loves animals, especially corgis.

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