Because its Heart Month, I feel I have to share with you my heart story, and what I went through. This will be a 2 part series because it's long, but very important information.
Back in 2014 when we lived in Denver, I had all kinds of symptoms. My husband (Edward and me Kerri) We didn't know what was wrong. Having diabetes and making most things from scratch, using fresh foods for us. We thought we were eating healthy watching the sugars and starches. Eating lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. We had our own garden so full of veggies, we gave so much away to friends and neighbors. We love our veggies and miss them, now we are living in the mountains.
My Symptoms: WARNING: IF YOU HAVE ANY OF THESE CALL YOUR DR. TODAY!
- I was having swollen ankles especially when travelling. It seemed summer in the heat was the worst.
- Shooting pains down my arms every now and then. I would just be sitting at the table working on my computer. The pains would come. Then stop all in a minute or two.
- I smoked cigarettes and was drinking rum every night while watching t.v.
- Having shortness of breath, not exercising and feeling tired all the time.
- My real biggie was laying down at night to go to sleep and I was having anxiety attacks. I would have to get up, thinking I have to calm down. It was my heart pounding under stress.
- Coughing and wheezing sometimes, thinking it was the air. It was the smoking that was the major problem. But the biggest was all the sodium/water buildup in my body and that was the stress on my heart.
All this was my heart telling me I have a serious problem. Not knowing anything was wrong. I've never been in the hospital in my life. Except when I thought I broke my sternum in a bike accident. Got an X-ray and was fine and they sent me home. Well, the city life for me was stressful on my body, mind and spirit. the constant traffic noise, the barking dogs, honking horns and alarms going off, arguing neighbors, the air and water. Now I know it was a big deal and was taking a toll. The city water was terrible and the air was full of pollution, especially living between both I-25 and the Boulder turnpike.
Edward said to get an appt to see my regular Dr. He took me to the Dr. to make sure everything was o.k. knowing something was wrong.
Well after knowing I had swollen ankles etc. The Dr. just thought it was back spasms and gave me a muscle relaxer. He was a sports medicine Dr. and you would think, he would see the signs and know it was heart issues. Well I eventually got a referral to see a cardiologist. Thank God I did. Because he was not happy after seeing me in my condition, and knowing right away what was happening. I could just see his face fuming that it got this far and that I was miserable.
The next step was to go through a procedure. I'm thinking major surgery, my life is over. (Oh God the Drama) lol. I have so much to do yet in my 40's, so many more places to see and experience. You gotta know I've never been in the hospital before and I' m just terrified what's going to happen to me. So we made the date for the procedure for June. Went to St. Joseph's Hospital in Denver. I now think I was treated special. They put me in a nice quiet room by myself overnight to keep watch and make sure with diabetes and the heart stuff that there was no problems and all was functioning fine. I got to go home the next day. We were so happy. It took me a few weeks, but I recovered and felt so much better, I had color back in my face, I finally had circulation in my body. Even all my friends in the travel industry going to seminars and meetings, said I looked good.
We just Thank God that I didn't have a heart attack or stroke. and so very thankful I didn't have to have heart surgery. Although I had to go through cardiac rehab and strengthen my heart and body. My heart was not that strong and we need to build it back up. So I was walking my 30 mins a day either on the treadmill or walking in the neighborhood. Along with the couple times a week at Cardiac Rehab, where my sugars and weight was checked.I went back to the cardiologist for a checkup in the fall and said I was doing well and looking so much better. BUT your heart still isn't strong enough I want you to have an ICD Defibrillator. Where a little unit will be implanted and if your heart stops or beats to fast, it will shock you back. So the plan was to get it done before the end of the year because my deductible was already paid up for the year. We didn't need anymore Hospital bills.
Part 2 continued in next issue on the 23rd of Feb.