I started this blog several weeks ago to talk to other moms about my journey to become green. My hope was to share information and maybe inspire others. Being healthy, taking care of the planet and giving back are all very important to me and that’s why I typically post on my blog daily.
On a normal day, I am up at 5:45 AM. By 8:30 AM, I have gotten my son up, made sure he was ready for the day, cooked him breakfast and driven him to school. The beds are made, sinks and toilets cleaned, load of laundry in the washer, and dishwasher emptied. I have had breakfast, spent time with the Lord and done 20 minutes of yoga. With all that done, I am ready to upload my blog post for the day.
Although the alarm went off at its normal time on Wednesday morning, it was immediately obvious that this would be no ordinary day. At first, I thought that maybe my arm had fallen asleep. It felt as though I had hit my funny bone – hard – and the pain radiated through my fingers. I had a sharp pain in my left temple and could barely see out of my left eye. Immediately, I started trying to assess what was happening.
I started thinking about the pain in my upper back that had persisted for the past 2 weeks. I began thinking of the heaviness in my chest that had started at the beginning of the previous weekend. Now, the pains in my chest were sharper and I could barely get enough air to say my own name. I prayed that God would help me hold it together long enough to get my son to school. Then I called my friend and business partner to make sure things were covered.
I have an appointment scheduled for next Tuesday but something told me this would not wait. When I called to see if they could get me in that day, they told me the first appointment was not until 3:45 PM. That wasn’t going to be good enough. So, I called my mom about picking my son up from school and, against her wishes, drove myself to the hospital. It was a good thing I got there when I did.
I am a relatively healthy woman. My diet is pretty healthy, I exercise and do yoga, I have a strong faith, I make sure I get enough rest and I don’t engage in unhealthy habits. I am not perfect by any means, but I try to live a healthy lifestyle and serve as a good example.
What happened is this: my body was trying to tell me that a heart attack was imminent. Due to both family history and poor habits in my past, my LDL cholesterol was high and my HDL cholesterol was low. And because I tend to hold my stress in, I was putting undue pressure on my body. Luckily, the nitroglycerin and blood thinners helped to stabilize me and reduce my pain. My heart did not suffer any damage because I got help in time and I am now on a regimen to deal with my cholesterol.
I have already done posts on the importance of taking care of your heart. Stop smoking. Eat heart healthy foods. Stay away from processed foods or fast foods. Get rid of sugar from your diet. But here is the take away from my experience these past couple of days: pay attention to your body!
It took some pretty extreme symptoms to get my attention and I was told that I was only a few short hours away from a full on heart attack. Had I tried to wait for my appointment next Tuesday, I likely would not have survived.
Go to the doctor and find out your numbers. Make the changes and get to know your body. What happened to me could happen to anyone. Don’t be stubborn. Don’t wait. Educate yourself and take action. I very well could have left my husband without a partner and my son without a mother just because I was willing to ignore my symptoms. Please don’t do that to yourself. You are too important and valuable. I am so very fortunate to have been given another chance and I hope you’ll share this journey to better health with me. Together, we could save the life of another wife, another mother. I am here for you!
With Profound Appreciation To All Of You Who Read This Blog,
Penny from Green Moms and Kids