Sunday, April 1st, 2007, while on my way home from Charleston after church and visiting my mother, I began having pains in my chest that didn’t seem normal. At the time I was on prescription meds for anxiety, so I thought I was having a panic attack. As I started to just breathe and tell myself that the pain would go away in a bit, it didn’t. It actually got worse with every breath I took.
Continuing to drive as I prayed for the pain to go away, it seemed like my chest got tighter and tighter. The traffic going in the opposite direction seemed to want to run into my lane and that’s when I realized that my vision had become blurred. I immediately turned around and headed to my sister’s house. As I pulled into the driveway, I opened the door and literally fell onto her front door. When she answered the door, I told her I felt as if I were having a heart attack! She called 911. Emergency team arrived and transported me to the Trident Medical Center in Summerville, SC. After keeping me overnight for observation, it was discovered that I had some blockage in the arteries leading to the heart.
On Thursday morning, April 5th I had a triple-bypass. The surgery and everything went very well. On Friday afternoon I started therapy and continued to do good. On the following Monday I was taken to physical therapy. I was given instructions on how to maneuver myself once I went home. I did so well in physical therapy the nurse kicked me out and said that I didn’t need physical therapy because I did so well with her instructions. She was going to use my time for other patients that really needed it. On Wednesday, April 11th I was discharged from the hospital and returned to work. The following November I discovered I was diabetic.
I am grateful today that I’m around to tell my story. We have to learn how to take care of ourselves and listen to our bodies when something doesn’t seem right. Your diagnosis of what’s wrong or the way you’re feeling at the time isn’t always correct. Sometimes you just have to let a medical professional diagnose the condition and give you instructions of what to do next or how to remedy the situation. I try to eat healthy and that’s a struggle every day because growing up in the South your appetite tends to gravitate towards all of the foods that are unhealthy for you. It’s a constant struggle but I take it one day at a time. I thank God for bringing me out of a terrible situation that could have very well turned into something drastic. I figure He must still have something for me to do as to why He kept me. I plan to stick around long enough to see what it is that I’m instructed to do. Take care of yourself. No one else will.
WRITTEN BY: CLARA HODGES
THIS ARTICLE IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY MISS BLACK GEORGIA NAKEIA STALEY FROM THE RED HEART TRUTH CAMPAIGN.