Life has a way of throwing a curve ball our way. For the most part my life has moved along nice and smoothly with a few hiccups along the way. Like the rest of us we have worries of finances, our families, our health, jobs and the future. But we wake up every morning, put one foot before the other and face the day’s challenges.
Thursday night was my curve ball. For the past few weeks I have had severe problems with heartburn and acid reflux, which included off and on symptoms of chest pain, racing heart, shortness of breath, upset stomach and the feeling that something was stuck in my throat and I could not swallow. My meals the past few weeks consisted of bland foods except for Thursday afternoon when I had a slice of pizza.
Thinking back I am sure that pizza was the culprit for the next chain of events. Not long afterward I knew it did not agree with me. As the afternoon progressed it seemed as if it was getting worse, swallowing was becoming difficult and my heart started racing along with the chest pains getting worse. As it progressed I took my blood pressure – it was a bit high, but I assumed it was because of my active afternoon. About 2 hrs later I was feeling worse took my blood pressure again and it went up significantly and after a third time I told my husband better take me to the hospital, at that time I was having trouble catching my breath.
The ER doctor treated me right away as a heart patient, eventually the preliminary tests in the ER showed no damage to the heart from a heart attack, but they decided to keep me over night for observation because of my age, my diabetes and family history of heart disease. I was also scheduled for a stress test to confirm that there were no blockages or other problems with the heart that could cause these symptoms and I am happy to report that I have a healthy heart for a woman my age and for someone who did not take care of her health over the years.
The next step is now to determined what caused these symptoms and to find a way to treat it. One of the diseases my doctor will look into is GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux disease). The symptoms I had Thursday, could have been a heart attack and without going to the ER I could have been at risk of a severe heart attack.
Since being diagnosed with diabetes nearly 2 yrs ago I have made some positive changes in my eating and exercise. And now since this happened I am determined to even make more healthy lifestyle changes for myself and my family. I want to live to see my children married with families of their own, I want my DH and I to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary and I want to be healthy enough to enjoy the life God gave me the way He intended.
My mother was 47 when she was diagnosed with heart disease and within 8 yrs had three heart attacks. When I was 14 my father died at the age of 57, of a massive coronary or MI (myocardial infarction). When I was 23 – 9 yrs after dad died, my mother died from complications from kidney failure due to her weak heart. I do not want to be a statistic. I want to beat the odds.
I want to thank the blog page: Rehabilitate Your Heart for educating me and other readers on heart disease and the importance of getting the emergency room right away. Before reading the articles on Rehabilitate Your Heart I was not aware that by being a woman and a diabetic, my symptoms of a heart attack would be atypical of what most would consider normal symptoms.
Everyone from the nurse who admitted me to my family doctor told me I did exactly the right thing by getting to the emergency room asap, because if it had been a heart attack, every second counted to stop any damage to my heart and from suffering the consequences of not getting treatment in time.
I was blessed that it was not a heart attack this time. I am sharing my story because I would like to see all of my friends, those near me and those in my blogging world to be aware of the symptoms of having a heart attack and to never think of these symptoms as nothing serious. As my doctor said, it is best to have it checked out and have nothing serious wrong than to ignore the signs and die because it was not taken care of.
I have lost too much already because of cancer and heart disease. My prayer is for all us to reach a nice old age enjoying life to the fullest with our loved ones. And when we are called Home, we can go knowing we honored God by living a happy and healthy life.