It took a call from a friend today to bring back the memories of telling family and friends that I had a heart attack. I remember having feelings of embarrassment and shame. Asking myself what are people going to think? What do I say? Should I tell them everything and over qualify that I didn't have plaque! Or should I say my heart is clear it was just a crazy abnormality? You're probably wondering why would she think that? Well, whether or not we want to admit it we all have in our minds a preconceived notion of who will have a heart attack. They must be obese, smokers with high cholesterol and blood pressure. Sorry to say that is not the case.
Crazy as it is, my friend after an angiogram found out he too had S.C.A.D (Sudden Coronary Artery Dissection) same as what caused my heart attack. What are the chances? This is so crazy. But I hate to say it.. but I now have my first member of my crazy heart attack club.
Do you know somebody who has had a heart attack? Was it a family member, friend or loved one? Did you ask yourself upon finding out, why did they have a heart attack? Well, imagine what the person who had the heart attack is thinking. We tell ourselves people are going to judge me and they must think I'm a horrible eater. She must not have any idea of what the inside of a gym looks like. She must spend all her time eating at McDonalds, smoking a pack of cigarettes a day and drinks like a drunken sailor. Well, let me tell you that is not the typical heart attack victims lifestyle. Most heart attack victims actually live healthy lifestyles and are avid runners and exercise more than four times a week.
During the first few weeks, I would find myself over explaining my heart attack. I would tell anybody that would listen that my cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugars were below normal levels. I did stop at my weight.. now that maybe a little too much TMI..
I wanted everyone to know that mine was not caused by plaque but due to S.C.A.D. (Sudden Coronary Artery Dissection). The scary thing about S.C.A.D. it has no explanation. No one knows what causes it, why and when it happens, and who's affected. It just is one of those crazy things in the universe that decided to happen to my heart.
In the end, we all need to remember that people who have heart attacks are just like you. They still can eat, drink and have fun. Don't judge them and think that all they should ever eat is chicken, lettuce, and carrots. You are going to see us having fun and living life. Hell, we just had a brush with death. What is that quote about everything in moderation? I just ask that before you give someone advice about how they should be doing things think" Am I perfect?" Do I always live a 100% clean lifestyle? Don't judge or label us just because we had a heart attack. You have simply been lucky to not be a member of our "crazy heart attack club".
At the end of my call today with my friend, I finally felt like I had somebody who knew what I was going through. We currently have a support group of two but my hope is to work with the American Heart Association to identify others. Healing from an event like this is not just physical but a mental journey as well. So be kind when you hear of somebody having a heart attack.. Think more with your heart than your mind!