Eight years ago today, I was hospitalized for a myocardial infarction – or what my doctors referred to as the “widow maker” heart attack. (Note the gender-biased semantics here, heart sisters: docs don’t call a cardiac event caused by a blocked left anterior descending coronary artery the “widower maker”, do they?)
I am, frankly, surprised to be here writing this today.
For much of those past eight years, particularly during the first early years, I did not actually believe I would make it to this anniversary. Ongoing cardiac issues associated with a secondary diagnosis of inoperable coronary microvascular disease mean frequent episodes of debilitating symptoms, a fistful of daily cardiac meds, and having my pain specialist at our Regional Pain Clinic on speed dial.
As Australian cardiac psychologist (and himself a heart surgery survivor) Len Gould likes to say: before heart attack, every chest pain is just indigestion. Afterwards, every chest pain is another heart attack!
Happy heart-iversary to me, and to all of you who are survivors, too!
Q: Have you recently celebrated your own Heart-iversary?
- Should heart patients make a ‘Bucket List’?
- More on my story of misdiagnosis and survival in a feature interview published in last month’s issue of EP Lab Digest.