Friday, March 19, 2021

So Here’s The Deal

 


If it seems like I’ve been a little bit off, not quite my usual hyper productive self lately or just not quite as present as what I have in the past there’s a pretty good reason for it.  I wasn’t planning to share these details on my blog, in fact I’ve only told a handful of people closest to me, but I know I haven’t quite been myself and felt an explanation might be in order.  You guys tend to pick up on stuff and I don’t want anyone to worry.

 


On January 30th I had a heart attack.  I am not even kidding.  At the tender age of 56 and despite the fact that I have been in really good health it happened.  Pretty darn crazy, huh?  Ironically enough this was right before the Prepare To Die Post post launched in February.  I had actually written that article last summer and just before Christmas decided to go ahead and finish it and get it scheduled to upload in the New Year.  Little did I know I would be putting my own advice to the test, but I can tell you from my own experience it is really good advice. 😉

 


So why did I have a heart attack, you might ask?  That is a very good question.  Not for anything health related, not even age related.  No changes to my diet, losing weight or getting more exercise would have or will help me.  I do not have a strong family history of heart disease either.  What I do have is the great fortune, or misfortune some might say, of having an electrical issue with my ticker.  A completely random occurrence.

 


I’ve had a lot of tests done and right now it is successfully being treated with medication.  The damage to my heart is minimal and should be able to repair itself.  My cardiologist is watching me closely and I monitor myself at home on a daily basis.  So far, so good.  I may have some surgery in my future, but right now we are taking a wait and see approach.  I tend to take a less is more approach to pretty much everything in my life and I want to see what my body can do for itself as much as possible.  My cardiologist feels the same way too so I’m glad about that.  So minimal medication and minimal medical interference, but if the surgery becomes necessary than that is what I will do.  As a family we already have a plan in place for that.

 


Right now I am working on getting back to my normal self, staying on top of things to the best of my ability and NOT getting COVID.  Once the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is available to me I will likely be getting that taken care of as that one is the best option for me.  Until then I’ll just keep doing what I’ve been doing for the past year.  Mask up and stay away from people.

 


Funny story.  It would seem that all of the times I've been told I have an anxiety issue and asked if I'd like a pill for that may not have been entirely the case.  It might actually have been my heart trying to tell me things aren't quite right.  This apparently has been going on for quite some time and was never detected.  Not uncommon for women to be misdiagnosed and told they suffer from anxiety when in fact they actually have a cardiac issue.  Interesting, don't you think?

 


Another thing with me is that I never like to tell anyone that something is wrong, especially my kiddos, because I don’t want anyone to worry.  I usually keep these things to myself, especially medical stuff, but this was pretty serious.  Like the ER doctor told me “you kind of need your heart”.  However, there is no need for anyone to worry because I am fine and I am getting better every day.  I am finally beginning to see my energy returning.  That has honestly been the worst part because I’m not used to having no energy and feeling the need to sleep all the time.  So this situation has not been one bit normal for me at all.  But I’m beginning to feel my old self returning and that is a very good thing. 😊

 

69 comments:

  1. I am sorry this happened but I am so glad you caught it early! I am glad to know that you have a good heart doctor and a plan in place. Please take care and know that you are loved by many!

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  2. Oh my goodness! I’m so glad you are ok!

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  3. I'm so glad you're doing better and have a good plan in place to monitor your condition!!!!

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  4. I am so glad you are Ok! And this issue is being addressed. I'm sure that was frightening. Keep taking care of yourself.

    Susan

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  5. OH I am so sorry to hear this but so glad you are back on the mend. I would never have guessed that you would have had a heart attack but that just proves that the unexpected does unusually happen in life. Please continue to rest, make your cards, and prayerfully you will be on the mend soon. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your girls!

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    1. I know! Pretty crazy! Sure not what I was expecting at all. :0)

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  6. I am so glad you are okay. A heart attack is not good. At the moment, I am trying to avoid a heart attack. I need a stint or two and am trying to do all I can to avoid a major occurence. Like I told my doctor, heart attack now might kill me; covid right now probably would kill me. I, too, am waiting for the vaccine so I can take care of a couple of tests. My heart issue is something I have had for at least 50 years and did not know what it was. I had it for so long it seemed natural. And, then there is the blockage. Take care of yourself.

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    1. You as well, my goodness. I will keep you in my prayers for continued good health.

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  7. Hi, I don't know where I found your blog but I've been a reader for a few years now. I really enjoy your content as I am in my 50's too with young adult kids. I am glad to hear you are on the mend and with your positive attitude I'm sure you'll be feeling normal very soon!

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  8. St Lukes has J and J. You have heart disease so if you are 55 or over, you can get an appt. There are TONS of appts available in Boise :-) Even tomorrow!

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  9. I'm glad you are starting to feeling better. This must have been quite a shock for you.
    -Kathryn

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  10. Glad to hear that you will recover and that they caught the issue before anything really horrible happened to you! Thank you for sharing, perhaps someone will read and be helped.

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  11. So glad you are ok! I understand not wanting to worry others but remember you would want your kids/family to tell you if something happened to them. And yes - women's heart disease (and other issues) are woefully under diagnosed. Good thoughts for your recovery!

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  12. Oh my. Sorry to hear that. I said a prayer for you.

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  13. I wish you the speediest recovery ever! Sleep is when your body can best do its repair work. It must've been a very frightening experience for you and your family. I'm glad that you are now aware of your condition and that you have it under control. I'm also grateful that you shared your story so that your readers can benefit from your experience. Best wishes, Maggie

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  14. That sounds very scary! So happy to hear you are feeling better. Sending healing thoughts.

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  15. Oh, my goodness, what a shocking ( and traumatic?) experience! I am so glad that you are well and regaining your strength. I agree with your attitude and philosophy regarding what happened and how best to deal with it. I will keep you and your sweet daughters in my prayers--you are truly blessed to have each other! Mary in Kansas

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  16. Oh my, I hope you are doing much better and wish you a speedy recovery.What a shock especially when you are so healthy and have been doing Keto for so long. I guess we never know what life is going to throw at us. Best thought to you and your girls:)

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    1. I've been super healthy so it was a complete surprise.

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  17. I'm sorry you're having to deal with this, but so glad that it can be controlled with meds. Your optimistic, can-do attitude will stand you in good stead in managing this, I'm sure. Sending prayers for you and positive thoughts.

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  18. I have had heart problems most of my life. The first time they found my electrical problems I was 39. I had other heart challenges too, probably since the time I was little as my grandma said I was a wimpy child with no energy. Either my heart was too fast or too slow. As we know neither one pumps the blood right which gets the oxygen to our body. I have had almost every type of arrhythmia possible and have a pacemaker / Defibrillator implanted. (I am on #4) I have also had open heart surgery - a mitral valve repair and maze procedure to help stop the Afib. I have been on anti- arrhythmics for a good long time. About every 10 years the one I am on stops working and they have to try a new one. Doing well right now. My thing was I always wanted to do everything like I did before. Clean the whole house in one day or push myself really hard for a day or two and pay for it later. You seem to have good routines and kids who can help out too so that is good. If you are so tired you can't stand it - that is your body telling you REST! If it doesn't get better with rest then look further. I had the same cardiologist for 22 years and recently had to get a new one. Women years ago were told they were anxious or worrying when really at times it was their heart. You know your body well enough to know when something isn't right. In my 20's (I'm 62 now) I went through 5 cardiologists in a few months. No one would listen to me or would discount what I was saying. My insurance company told me I couldn't keep switching. I told them when I found someone who would listen to me and work with me I would quit switching. lol. You spend every day in your body - a doctor - even a good one doesn't spend much time with you so they must listen to you! If you have any questions about anything I will leave my e-mail for you. I have lots of experience with tests, surgeries and arrhythmias. I also worked for the whole last year in my cardiologists office doing ekgs, heart monitor hook ups, scheduling tests, prior auths and referrals, etc... It helped that I have been a long term heart patient for so many years. It sounds like you have a good doctor and are getting your strength back. Take care. Crystalhankey@yahoo.com

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    1. Oh my goodness Crystal you have really been through a lot. Thank you for sharing and showing what not giving in or giving up is all about. So glad you are doing well now. You are so right that we know ourselves far better than anyone else. I think that is the biggest reason I refused meds for anxiety. In my gut it never felt like the right course of action. Turns out I was correct. Take care my friend! :0)

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    2. I try to always trust my gut if something doesn't seem right. Especially with my health. Women have been told that it's all in their head so much in the past that they sometimes believe it instead of what they know is not right. Women with heart problems also present different than men a lot of the time. It sounds like you take good care of yourself and remember arrhythmias - electrical problems with your heart - can happen to anyone. Even without a family history. I have had 8 angiograms to look around in my heart and it's clean as a whistle - I just have electrical problems now that I got my leaky valve fixed 13 years ago. Take care and I'm glad you found a good doctor.

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    3. It is a lot of odd signs and symptoms that all began to add up. Sometimes our bodies can be so weird.

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  19. Oh my, I'm so sorry to hear this, but glad they caught it and you/they can take whatever action is necessary to keep you safe. Take care of you - remember, put your own oxygen mask on first! Sending you big hugs from France!

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    1. Will do! I've got loads of plans in the works for just that. Thank you so much for the hugs. :)

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  20. I am sorry to hear this happened but it sounds like you and your cardiologist have a plan and you are on top of things. No one wants to have a heart attack but I'm glad it called attention to a problem you didn't know you had and now it can be treated. If you don't mind sharing, what were your symptoms? I've heard they can be different for women than for men. And yes, it is very interesting that heart problems in women can be misdiagnosed as anxiety. I remember years ago, my father had what they call a widow maker and survived and went on to live a number of years. I remember sitting in his hospital room and reading some literature the doctor had given him. The one thing I remember about everything I read was how the heart can heal itself. I was amazed at this. As the Bible says, we are fearfully and wonderfully made!

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    1. That is so true. We are fearfully and wonderfully made. If it helps other women I do not mind sharing. I was washing the dishes and had a tremendous amount of pressure in my chest and then if felt like a band tightening around my forearm. No pain, but I went immediately into the bathroom and took 2 aspiring. I pretty much knew at that time it was what it was. A trip to the ER confirmed something was going on, but the tests and the cardiologist determined exactly what.

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  21. So glad you are OK and on the mend.
    May I ask what symptoms you had? They say women have different symptoms and I always worry I might misinterpret. But I certainly don't want to run to the ER every time I have a twinge. I realize my question may be too intrusive, so I completely understand if you're not comfortable sharing details.

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    1. Thank you Jo.

      If it helps any woman I don't think it is intrusive at all. I had intense pressure in my chest and then it felt like someone was tightening a band on my left forearm. No pain, but I knew it wasn't normal. My advice, if in doubt check it out. Even just a trip to your regular doctor so he can do an EKG just to make sure something isn't going on. Up until now I've never had an EKG done.

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  22. Bless your heart...literally! I preach to the choir all the time about how symptoms of heart trouble can seem like other things. I’m so glad they figured things out and are watching you closely. I didn’t have a heart attack, but my issues were terrible enough to warrant a bypass surgery at the age of 42...almost five years ago. Continue to take care of yourself.

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    1. Oh my gosh Mandy! Your were so young for a bypass. I will take very good care of myself as I'm sure you are too. Us women need to stick together!

      Fortunately all pf my blood tests and everything else has come back perfect. So no other underlying issues to be concerned about at this time. I am very fortunate.

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  23. Wow! You just never know what is around the corner, I am so glad you are on the mend and are getting your energy back. Take care of yourself, hugs.

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  24. Oh my. I’m absolutely shocked and I’m sure you were. I’m glad you are recovering.
    Did you know you were having a heart attack? If not, so glad you went to the ER.

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    1. Yes. I knew something wasn't right. I even took 2 aspirin right away because of it. Turns out that was a smart move! :o)

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  25. I'm so sorry to hear about your heart attack! That's terrifying. It's great to hear that you are on the mend, and currently able to treat it with medicine. Sending you lots of healing & peaceful vibes.

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  26. Oh my! I am so sorry to hear that you had a heart attack! I am glad to hear that you are on the mend and are being monitored closely. Take care of yourself and stay safe too!

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  27. I am so sorry this happened to you. I will be praying for you. Take it very easy, you will be in my thoughts.
    Ellen

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    1. Thank you so much Ellen. I appreciate it very much.

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  28. Thank you so much for being open with us and sharing your experience!

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  29. Wow, really glad you are okay. A heart attack is scary, but also good to know this is something you can treat and will get better with time. Best wishes for a complete recovery and optimal health!

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  30. I had no idea. Yes, you've been rerunning some old posts, but otherwise, you've hidden it well. (In my defense, I have to say that we've been on the road since mid-February, and I haven't been paying attention to much of anything that was my 'normal' routine. I read your blogposts, but otherwise stayed out of the loop.)
    So glad you're resting. Your girls need you. We need you. Glad to hear you're doing better.

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    1. Thank you Cindy. I appreciate it!

      The "revisiting" old posts is actually a planned part of this year's lineup. For a very good reason too, but you'll have to wait a little bit to find out why. :0)

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  31. Oh my word, what a horrible thing to go through. It must have been so scary for you and your girls. It's such a relief to hear that you are on the mend and that you are looking after yourself: You are very precious and valued by people across the world.

    Thank you for sharing your experience. As you know say, women and men don't necessarily show the same signs of cardiac problems so you have done us a great service in reminding us to check out any medical issues, even if they seem relatively trivial.

    Anyway, best wishes and big hugs. I'm sending love and positive energy towards you.

    Heloise XXX

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    1. Thank you so much my friend from across the pond! XX

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  32. I'm so sorry this happened to you and am really glad you are ok! Heart issues can be scary and traumatic. My husband had aortic valve replacement/aneurysm repair surgery 3 years ago at age 55. We knew he would have to have the valve replacement eventually because he was born with a bicuspid instead of tricuspid valve. The aneurysm was an unexpected and scary surprise. Thankfully his surgery was successful and other than being on some meds he has never felt better. Thank you for sharing your experience and best wishes for continued healing and good health.

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    1. Oh my goodness Angela. Your dear husband has been through quite a bit. So happy he is doing well now and thank you for the well wishes. :)

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  33. Im so glad that you are doing good now! Prayers for your heart to be and stay healthy. I enjoy your posts so much. They are always encouraging and positive, no matter the circumstances. Keep getting rest and feeling better! Prayers!

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  34. Oh, mercy! Thank goodness you listened to your body. Do be careful.
    Jeannie@GetMeToTheCountry

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