A letter from your heart disease

letter green door

To whom it may concern:

Congratulations! You have been selected to be the host for heart disease. You will begin to experience many or all of these symptoms — and may even deal with several of them at the same time. 

  • Pain! We are equal opportunity destroyers, therefore we will choose many places for you to experience pain. We have even devised many different types of pain, but we’ll throw in some nitroglycerin to keep your mind off the pain temporarily. We are continually improving our repertoire of pain categories, so updates are to be expected.
  • Mental confusion: This can be accompanied by embarrassment, memory loss, shortness of breath, poor co-ordination, and sensations of confusion or even shakiness. We try to simulate the experience of riding a never-ending roller coaster to satisfy your adventurous spirit. No safety harnesses required, and you have no choice of when the coaster ride starts, ends, or how fast it goes.
  • Extreme fatigue: Now remember, this is not just feeling tired. We will suddenly pull your plug, so to speak, and you will have no energy at all. Even dressing or taking a shower will be too daunting of a task for you to complete. And because we like surprises, we will not give you any advance warning, so you could be in the middle of the grocery store, at work, or chatting with your friends over lunch.
  • And speaking of feeling tired, we’ll wake you up just when you think you’ll finally get a good night’s rest.
  • Forgetting, losing, dropping things. These are just a few of the perks of your condition. You will learn to expect them, but never to enjoy them.

In addition to the symptoms above, we also want to eliminate some things from your crowded lifestyle. Here are a few of the things which will be taken away from you now that you have been chosen to have a chronic condition:

  • The willingness to be a martyr by always putting yourself last, and to say YES to everything anybody asks you to do even when you don’t want to/can’t do it.
  • The ability to complete any task which requires more than 10 minutes of concentration; multi-step activities or long-term projects will take 2-3 times longer then average.
  • The ability to have a ‘normal’ social life.
  • The ability to work all that unpaid overtime, go into the office on weekends, and accumulate sick days to earn the perfect attendance bonus.

As indicated previously, this condition is in constant flux and more symptoms will be added as we deem necessary. There is no warranty guarantee, technical support, or customer service available.

Your Heart Disease

♥   ♥   ♥   ♥    ♥

Dear Heart Disease,

I would like to clarify that, while you may wreak havoc on my body, and likely even confuse my mind — you cannot have my soul, my hope or my love. There are some good things that you have given me, things I never could have experienced had you not come to possess my body.

You have given me:

  • renewed friendship with strong, close, true friends
  • appreciation for my wonderful family
  • growth in character, perseverance, and hope
  • inspiration to help others
  • expertise and knowledge about a complex condition
  • ability to slow down and smell the roses
  • more compassion for others who are suffering
  • better knowledge of my own body and health
  • a reason to eat more nutritiously, exercise and take care of myself
  • reasons to rest when I need it

You see, you will not find me an agreeable host. I will fight you, I will not give up. On bad days, I will take care of myself. On the good days, I will take advantage of every precious moment. You have thrown some obstacles in my life’s journey, but I will go over them or around them, no matter what it takes. In fact, while I am overcoming them, I will stop for a moment to reflect upon the mountain I am climbing, plant a few seeds, relax and then continue on. I will learn and grow from this experience and try to help others.


Carolyn calligraphy




(adapted with gratitude from butyoudontlooksick.com)

9 thoughts on “A letter from your heart disease

  1. Thanks so much for this article. These letters sounded exactly like my experience and my attitude towards this disease. I appreciated being able to relate.


  2. ‘Forgetting, losing, dropping things. These are just a few of the perks of your condition. You will learn to expect them, but never to enjoy them.”
    I didn’t know about the “DROPPING THINGS”. This has been plaguing me for quite some time, thank you Carolyn now I can let it go!


  3. Carolyn, thanks a lot – it makes us think about ourselves and gives us strength to face our condition more positively. Great!


  4. Carolyn, you are the best. God has allowed you to be a host of heart disease because you were simply too talented to pass you by! I learn from you and am encouraged from you. I worry about you, too. Please let me know about your drug eluting stint! I know it’s spelled stent… but I mean stint as in your new saga.
    Lois – a fellow host of heart disease!!!!!


  5. Thank you so much for those two “letters”. This is the first time I have seen these postings and they should be required reading for any one with heart disease or for that matter any challange. They certainly put our minds in the right place.


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