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Where Were You On This Day?

Anyone who was alive that day will likely never forget where they were or what they were doing when all hell broke loose in New York City and at the Pentagon. No one knew what was happening or whether we were about to be at war on our own soil.

Of course there are remembrances all over social media today as there should be because we never want to forget that awful day, as painful as that memory may be. I didn’t lose anyone close to me and I thank God for that, but I know several people who did. So many people perished that day and continue to die as the effects of the chemicals released from the building collapses and in the many days following exact their terrible toll on responders who spent endless hours, days and weeks sifting through rubble in the hopes of discovering someone who may have survived.

There are people coming into adulthood who have no memory of that awful day because they were either very young children or not even born yet. I hope they never know the terror we felt on that day 18 years ago.

But I also have another September 11th story. My story began two years ago on the evening of Monday September 11, 2017 while I sat in a Toastmasters meeting, having just delivered  my ‘off the cuff’ response to a Table Topic. If you’re a Toastmaster, you know what I am referring to. I returned to my seat in the auditorium and began to feel a warm, burning, tingling sensation originate in the middle of my chest and spread to my upper arms and into my lower jaw. It wasn’t particularly painful but it was a very odd feeling and one I had never before experienced. I was having a heart attack brought on by a spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD). 

A very loud voice in the back of my mind kept saying “women’s symptoms are different from men’s”. This is the voice that potentially saved my life because I was trying to talk myself out of seeking help and getting checked out in case it was ‘nothing’ and I was embarrassed. I’m so glad I listened to the voice that most surely belonged to my guardian angel. 

I spent three days in CCU because they couldn’t get me stabilized. I went home on Thursday and by Sunday I was back in the ER, after an apparent second SCAD. This time I was released from the ER and went home to recuperate.

Not many of the doctors and other medical staff knew quite what to do with me because not very much is known about my condition unless it’s an area of specialty for a cardiologist. I was treated as a classic heart attack patient, which I was not. I was given the usual cocktail of meds, even though I had low blood pressure and low cholesterol. Not only that, but a statin, which was originally prescribed to me, is contra-indicated for my condition. Fortunately I found a cardiologist that understands my situation and is medicating me appropriately.

The same cardiologist recommended me as a WomenHeart champion to be trained by the Mayo Clinic. I am now a community educator for WomenHeart and I spread to word about women and heart disease and how it is different from the experiences men have. I talk to women about what to look for as symptoms they may experience, what their risk factors are and I encourage them to advocate for themselves and not allow medical staff to be dismissive because they don’t fit a certain profile of patient.

I have had two major health events in my life and have tried to make the best of each of them. When I had breast cancer, I changed my diet and lifestyle and became a health coach. When I had the SCAD I became a WomenHeart champion and doubled down on my health coaching and self-care. It helps me to give meaning to these seemingly random events that happen and helps me to not consider myself a victim. I am not a victim, I’m a victor and you can be too.

ICYMI…How about a sugar detox? I don’t have a fancy name for this program but I can tell you a little about it. We’ll begin on September 18th and end October 16th using Zoom.

If you want to get your energy back, lose a few pounds and generally feel better, this is the place for you. I’ll share some of the strategies I used to eliminate sugar from my life and to get back on track in my own weight loss journey.

Won’t it be nice to eliminate cravings, not feel that “hangry” feeling when your blood sugar drops, and to be able to control what you’re eating?

Click here to schedule a quick chat with me so we can decide if this is a good program for you. You’ll be glad you did.   

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