My Aching Heart
It’s Monday night (5/8). Nothing too exciting going on. Just getting ready to watch Gotham with the hubby when I receive a text message from my sister-in-law, Karen. She wants to know if I spoke to my father. That’s weird of her to ask so I text back, “What’s up?” She immediately calls me. She proceeds to tell me that Anthony had a massive heart attack. I can’t believe it. What? My brother I ask her. She continues to inform me that yes, my brother.
Enter the nightmare. Turns out my brother – who is only 43 years old by the way – was not feeling like himself on Monday at work. He was tired and felt like he had heart burn. He called his wife to tell her, and she immediately tells him to get to the hospital. He doesn’t think he needs to go and thinks it would be an overreaction. She convinces him and asks her son/his step-son David to meet him there. She saved his life…read on.
At the hospital, Anthony suffers a massive heart attack and goes into a coma and is flown to another hospital for emergency heart surgery. He receives a stent as he had a blocked artery. From there, he is put into an induced coma and remains in that state for at least two days.
I fly in the next day (Tuesday) and immediately rush into my sister-in-law’s arms. She’s like a sister to me. I begin crying. Anthony looks terrible. I think he is going to die or have brain damage. When he had his heart attack, he went into cardiac arrest and was out for at least 10 minutes. The doctors are concerned too.
We don’t know for the next couple of days how it is going to turn out. They begin the “warming process” and he begins to come through. He cannot speak. He still has the tube in his throat, but he is fighting to get it out. A good sign. He’s a fighter after all. My big brother. My best friend in life.
Miraculously, he comes through very slowly. The entire family is ecstatic. I can go in. He knows who I am. I ask him his birthday. He knows it. I ask him mine. He knows it. I think everything is going to be alright. It is going to be alright. Anthony went home Monday, May 15. His life is nothing short of a miracle. I am so happy.
While I think most of what happened to Anthony is genetic (we have heart disease on both sides of my family), I also believe we all are stewards of our own health. I share this not to shame Anthony or embarrass him, I share it to warn you all.
This event is a real indicator to the importance of good health. Good health not only comprises eating well, it means managing stress appropriately as stress can be a major factor in overall wellness.
I am asking all of you to get yourselves checked by a doctor. I came home and made an appointment for a full physical.
You can also add these foods into your diet:
- Eat fish high in omega-3s, such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring and trout.
- A handful of healthy nuts such as almonds or walnuts will satisfy your hunger and help your heart.
- Berries are chock full of heart-healthy phytonutrients and soluble fiber.
- My favorite and likely yours too, chocolate, but make sure its 70% cocoa
I know, easier said than done, but a must do.
- Start by taking a look at your job. Is it really what you want to be doing? Do you dread going there every day? If so, learn to love it or find another one.
- Look at the relationships in your life. Are they helping you be a better person? Do they help eliminate stress or add it to your life? If someone is not a compliment to your world than they should not be a part of it. It truly is as simple as that. It’s for the betterment of your health.
I cannot stop thinking about what I would have done if I lost my brother. If his family lost him. He has two young kids and a wonderful wife. It would have been awful. He is lucky. He survived and life will go on, but not everyone does.
Take care of yourself first, and then make sure those around you are being taken care of as well. Heart disease is the leading killer in women and men. It is the silent killer in women. Don’t ignore your heart.
What happened to Anthony woke me up. I hope sharing his story, helps you too.