At The Doctor's Office

Doctor It Up

Laughter may be the best medicine, but you still need to see the doctor sometimes. It's important to have regular checkups and take any medications you're prescribed. Find out how to get the most out of your appointments and build a productive partnership.

Are you a heart event survivor? Look for this icon to find content just for you.

Are you a heart event survivor?
"Yes, it is complicated, but with a positive outlook, relaxation techniques, such as meditation and Reiki, plus daily exercise, I am a survivor."
"I am a 16 yr survivor of a heart attack and I am a cardiovascular nurse. At 42, I had indigestion, not thinking of anything serious. After an hour of no relief from antacids, I went to the local ER. I was discharged, diagnosed with a hiatial hernia. Two weeks later, I had a similar event, went to another ER, discharged with "stress". It wasn't until I was at home in my garden that I got similar symptoms. Knowing that reproducibility of symptoms is a marker, I called a friend who is a cardiologist and was told to come to his office immediately.

My resting EKG was normal, but after a few minutes on the treadmill (stress echo) I had EKG changes. I went to the cath lab where I had an 80% stenosis of my LAD (left anterior descending artery). I was angioplastied and did well for a while. Five years later, I experienced right shoulder discomfort. I thought it was from my purse. Knowing that I have symptoms, I saw my cardiologist. This time, no heart attack, but I had a 99% tandem stenosis in my right coronary artery, and now have 3 stents. I exercise, eat well and know the signs to watch for. I am active in teaching heart health awareness in my community. I continue to work full time in the field of cardiovascular medicine.

Despite all of that, I am not immune to further heart attacks. To complicate this more, I have Lupus and recently had a kidney transplant with the complication of a DVT (deep vein thrombosis). Now I am on Coumadin for life. Yes, it is complicated, but with a positive outlook, relaxation techniques, such as meditation and Reiki, plus daily exercise, I am a survivor. I have applied twice for the WomenHeart program to be a speaker and attend their training symposium, but have never been selected. I have so much to tell about survival and how to live each day. Life and love conquer all obstacles. What I have learned is to give back. That is why I continue to teach, tell my story, talk to my patients and try to keep centered with survival. I have a very supportive husband and am well known in the medical community where I live and work. All of those factors are so important. Keep up the good work with this program."
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