sharing lessens the load

I recently received the following email from an acquaintance of mine from high school. We were in the same choir and small group together, then. Now, we are FB friends.

I wanted to take a moment to thank you for posting the story about your heart attack awhile back. I just got home from a 3 day stay at St Mary’s hospital. The findings are blockage in the front of the my heart.

It was your listing of symptoms that hit me like a ton of bricks on weds morning after 4 days of my symptoms. My doctor ordered me to go to the E.R.

The funny thing is my blood pressure, cholesterol, and heart rate are excellent. My ekgs were considered normal and the stress test was normal until the nuclear images came back and showed the abnormality.

So anyway, I thought you might want to know that your story really may have saved a life. Thank you.

It is not the first note I’ve received from various people who have read my heart story. As with other burdens we each carry, the weight of it is divided when we are able to share our story with others who might benefit – or even avoid! – from its outcome.

I must tell you I am a little nervous about my cardiologist appointment next month. Each time I go in for a visit, it seems, something dreadful is found. It’s been six months (unbelievable!) and I’m leary about outcomes from possible stress tests, etc. But in the end, it’s not entirely in my hands. Grant it; I’m always nervous about the parts that ARE up to me (diet, exercise), but I have been on a journey of learning how to let God do His thing. If you’ve walked through fears surrounding health issues, or financial issues, or relationship issues, or…well, you know how difficult it can be in those times – letting go of supposed control.

Thank you, Deb, for taking time to share with me your experience.
Thank you, for helping me carry the load.
I will be anxiously waiting to hear where your journey takes you.

*****

Once again, my warning signs:
* sore throat like really bad, burning acid indigestion
* weak upper arms
* trouble catching my breath sometimes

March 2010 – stent in my right artery – 85% blockage
July 2010 – stent in the “widow maker” artery – 95% blocked. (which was NOT detected in March!)

I do NOT have: (the typical risk factors when doctors begin watching for heart-related problems)
* diabetes
* high cholesterol (but do have very low good cholesterol – HDL)
* I am a non-smoker
* My EKGs appeared normal

I DO have:
* family heart disease history

Don’t be overly paranoid…but please watch out. Heart disease in women is a silent killer. None of this grabbing your left arm and falling to the floor stuff. I was walking around for days having heart attacks and didn’t even know it.

Make sure you see your doctor this year!

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