It was just a typical day and my kids happened to be home sick from school and heard me calling from downstairs.
My 11-year old and 15-year old came down and saw me crawling up the stairs holding my chest and head, rolling around in pain, trying to find a comfortable position.
They called 9-1-1 and once the medics arrived, I remember asking to go to Virginia Mason because that is where I saw my neurologist. At the time, I was thinking, “I am having the world’s worst migraine EVER!” It turns out that what I thought was a migraine was actually a hole in my ascending aorta (official diagnosis – aortic dissection/aneurysm) and I was going to need emergency open-heart surgery.
I am so grateful that the Virginia Mason ER and cardiology team diagnosed me fast and saved my life. This happened last May and I can tell you the road to recovery has not been an easy one.
I now rock a very cool chest scar and wear it with pride. Not only because it is a sign that I’m blessed to have received such great care and am still alive, but also because it is a constant reminder that it is okay and sometimes necessary to put myself first on the list of those that I take care of.
Please remember to listen to your heart and care for and love yourself, as much as you care for and love others. It CAN make a difference.
Get inspired and make it your mission to make a positive impact on women’s heart health at the American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women Luncheon on Tuesday, May 15 at the Seattle Waterfront Marriott. For more information, visit www.pugetsoundgoesred.org.
The event begins with an expo at 11:00am which includes heart education for women. Doors to the luncheon will open at 11:45am to kick off the program as guests will enjoy a heart healthy lunch, keynote speaker & special appeal.