I Had A Heart Attack Even Though I Thought I Was Golden
I Had A Heart Attack
It has taken me awhile to be able to share this with anyone other than close friends and family. I guess I felt that if I don’t talk about “IT”, maybe “IT” didn’t really happen. But “IT” did. Just over 3 months ago on October 22, 2016 I had a heart attack. You may not know me personally, but people who do were shocked because “I am the healthiest person they know”.
I was cleaning up the yard on a gorgeous fall Saturday afternoon – which is something I love to do. Being from Chicago, you don’t know how long the good weather will last before the snow flies! So there is urgency to the yard cleanup.
I was doing “aerobic gardening” chopping things down and weeding when I began to feel a tightness in my chest and sort of a dizzy, choking sensation when I bent over. I had to quit because I didn’t feel right. I thought the chest pain was from yoga which I had gone to the day before (I hadn’t gone in about 6 weeks). The class did a great number of sun salutations – which involves a lot of down dogs, planks and “pushups”. I thought the pain I was feeling was muscle soreness showing up in my chest 24 hours later.
But thinking back, it didn’t feel like normal muscle pain – there was a burning sensation and it continued into the night. The pain bothered me enough to get up to find a pain reliever – which I never do. My guardian angel was with me when in the dark my hands found Boswellia (frankincense), a natural anti-inflammatory amongst all the Advil and Tylenol bottles. It turns out that it also is very, very good for heart health, better than aspirin, and I didn’t know this at the time.
The next day I felt a little out of sorts, but I did some more yard clean up – though I took it easy. And once again I felt my guardian angel was with me because my annual checkup (the one you need for insurance purposes) was scheduled on Monday! I don’t think I would’ve gone to the doctor, if it hadn’t been scheduled.
But What About Lunch?
It was only the second time I met my doctor – you see I never get sick. I brought up the strange sensation and luckily for me she is very thorough and does an EKG with every annual physical. When she looked at the results of the EKG and compared it to the previous year, she told me I needed to get a cab and check into Northwestern Hospital right then and there.
Do you know what my response was? I told her I was meeting a friend from California for lunch, and she was waiting for me this very moment. Could I have lunch and then go to the hospital???? She looked at me and said “Audrey, you’ve had a heart attack. You need to get yourself to the hospital ASAP!”
This is when my world got flipped on its head.
I Thought I Was Golden
You see I lowered my cholesterol by 40 points. Triglycerides down by 37 points. I lost 12 pounds. Everything was “normal”. I play tennis, I walk my dog twice per day – I am fit! And I’m only 55 years old. I basically thought I was golden. I couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that I had a heart attack! Even my doctor was very, very surprised.
- Yes, my father died of a heart attack when I was only 20.
- Yes, my mom’s brother died of a heart attack.
- Yes, both my grandfathers died of heart attacks.
Even with strong family history of heart disease on both sides of the family, I thought I was golden. And it turns out what I had wasn’t genetic at all – rather a rare condition. More on that another time…
But Sometimes God Wants Us To Experience Something.
And I think He wants me to share my experience. My journey. Because I’ve come such a long way from where I was and in a relatively short period of time. I am healing myself with a combination of conventional and holistic medicine that I think will be helpful to other survivors. Some of it is heart health specific, some of it is healing in general.
So in the coming weeks this blog is dedicated to anyone who had a heart attack and survived, to the families of a heart attack survivors, to anyone who has heart disease and wants to prevent it, and to other fellow health seekers who are fighting serious health battles. And especially to others who think they are golden…
For the month of February, I will be doing a FacebookLive broadcast every day of the month. Each day I will share a holistic way to take care of yourself. You can find me here. “Like” my page and you will get notifications of the broadcast. And it won’t be just me talking. Look for the healers that have helped to make me whole.
Thanks for reading to the end. Because oh, by the way, I’m also doing this for me.
For my list of 28 ways to improve your heart health holistically, click here.