Today, I had the chance to share my heart story for the Ames Go Red for Women on April 25th. Believe it or not, I am the face of Heart Disease. If you think it only happens to baby boomers you are wrong! Watch the video to learn signs of a heart attack and what you can do to be healthier.
Wow, it’s hard to believe three years have passed since my heart attack. That’s three years of laughs, hugs, new friendships and celebrating life! Never in my wildest dreams did I think that I would still be telling my story. Hey, my names Melissa and I had a heart attack!! But talking with people and sharing my crazy heart attack ride has opened my eyes to the need to help others. The thing about having a heart attack is there’s no outward sign telling people about your journey. Many times we recover in private and act like it didn’t happen. We may be too embarrassed and think that we did something to cause it. I didn’t exercise enough! Was my diet crappy? Maybe, I’m too stressed out? We are often too quick to move on and get back to the hustle and bustle of life. This needs to stop, and we need to TALK!!!
Just within the past two weeks, I have met two women both in their 40’s who’ve had a heart attack. It's funny how we all look at each other like you have to be kidding... Right? Had I not so publicly shared my story and went on as nothing happened I would have never had the opportunity to help others. Many times I’ll ask Joe do you think people are getting sick of me yet?? And of course, being the amazing husband, he always says no. I have to thank Joe for being the one to inspire me to continue writing this blog. This has led me to meet so many amazing people at the American Heart Association who also have the same purpose, to end the #1 killer!
I celebrated my three-year heartiversary this past weekend. To be honest, it dredged up some not so fun memories of the night I had my heart attack. You start to remember the feelings of, is this happening? I am way too young? Why me? Nuts, could this happen again, what if the stents have started to block? But then you look around and see your beautiful family and remember that you are here for a reason so don’t let it go to waste.
With February being heart month I’m trying to increase education around heart attack symptoms, hands-only CPR and furthering the cause of the American Heart Association. So like it or not your gonna be hearing a lot from me!
Below, are a few of the fun photos from the events that I have been able to attend and get the word out about not being a heart attack victim but a HEART WARRIOR!
DSM Heart Ball 2019
Ken, Colleen and Kurt’s Valentine’s Day Radiothon
Wear Red Day 2-1-19
In closing, thank you for taking the time to read my blog and facebook posts. I hope you never have to share your story with me! So let’s work together to get the word out about heart disease and put an end to a devastating problem!!
Are you kidding me, It's been almost a year since my heart attack? What a crazy and wild ride I find myself on to this day. Never in a million years would I have thought that I would become part of a group known as heart attack survivors. I was a healthy, 40-year-old mom with no cardiovascular risk factors going about my daily tasks. Flipping the calendar from month to month and not realizing that February will now be the most important month of my life! Why do you ask? Because this happened....
February is not only the month of my heart attack but coincidentally is also known as Heart Month! Feb 3rd is National Wear Red Day, Cardiovascular Heart Disease Week is Feb 7-14, Heart Failure Awareness Week is Feb 12-18th, and Heart Valve Awareness Day is Feb. 22nd. If you're going to have a heart attack why not have it in February? One thing you'll find when reading my blogs is humor is a big part of my personal healing journey!
This blog is very important to me because heart health doesn't just matter to me but it matters to all of us! Maybe you haven't been affected by heart disease in your family or maybe you know too many people to count. Where ever you fall at on this spectrum it's very important that you and your loved ones know the signs and what steps to take to minimize your risks. Up until 2-10-16 I thought I was the pillar of health .. well was I proven wrong with the sensation of chest and jaw pain.
Heart Health not just affects you but your family and friends. Although our heart is ours it's interconnected between family, loved ones, and friends. Take a personal assessment of your health. Ask yourself do you have high cholesterol? High blood pressure? Family history of heart disease? Smoke? If you find yourself answering yes to these questions.. go talk to your doctor. Start your new path to a healthy heart this February and don't look back. We owe this to our loved ones.
Below is a picture of my angiogram when they fixed my right coronary artery with the placement of stents.. this is why February is so important. February brought about the research and medical developments to open my artery and save my life!!
During February, take in all the news, stories and information about Heart Health. Wear the color RED on February 3rd and stand united that we can change heart health and move cardiovascular disease out of the #1 spot for mortality.
Get involved with My Research legacy if you are currently between 21 and 49 years of age, of any race or ethnicity or gender, who reside in the United States, and who have been diagnosed with a heart attack, stroke, atrial fibrillation, aortic dissection or systolic heart failure/cardiomyopathy. Click on this link to see if you're eligible. https://www.myresearchlegacy.org/home