2 Heart Attacks Too Soon…Part 1

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Today is “Go Red for Women” Day in the U.S. Why? Because February is National Heart Month and heart attacks are the number 1 killer of women each year in the U.S. Yes, that’s right. It’s not breast cancer or AIDS or suicide or a rabid partridge in a pear tree. It’s heart attacks and Go Red for Women Day is…well…near and dear to my heart. What you are about to read explains why  and was, in its original form, written for the FB faithful. Since it’s quite long, I’m going to break it up into several parts. And while it’s directed at my gender, the same holds true for my male readers, too. Here is “My 2nd Birth-day…”

In 1999 I had to abandon my afternoon plan to pick up corsages for my children’s elementary school music teachers…to go to the hospital.  On May 18th, 1999 I, out of the blue, had 2 back-to-back heart attacks (It just felt like one long nightmare and pain to me.) at the tender age of 39 with no risk factors for heart disease.  Do I focus a lot on this anymore?  Not really–too busy living life!  But I feel that, since I narrowly escaped literal death almost 14 years ago, that I should draw a little attention to the number 1 killer of American women and remind my sex to do something very out of character for us–take care of ourselves FIRST.  (You’ll see why later on here.) Today I choose to focus on the “God lessons” I learned, but the rest (on a variety of topics) are coming in the days ahead:

  • Heaven is for real–not just a book title or a recounting of visiting Heaven by Colton Burpo.  I had that “hovering over my body” feeling during my incarceration in the hospital back then.  Of course, it could have been the “dope” I was on to help me cope with the pain.
  • Heaven is not a scary place to go to.  The calmest days of my life were spent approaching “the valley of the shadow of death.”  Yep, that’s right.  If you believe in the Lord, just go with God and you’ll be all right.
  • God hears our prayers.  While I clearly knew I couldn’t forestall my own death and I felt confident that the eldest DS and the DD would one day join me in Heaven along with the LSH, I couldn’t say the same for 4 year old youngest DS.  And I couldn’t see how the LSH was going to raise 3 children on his own while trying to live on the road to provide a roof over their heads.  I asked God to let me stay here a little longer, so I could finish the mothering job.  Now, do I think the LSH and his family would have figured out a solution and made sure my kids were well provided for?  Yes, but why make their lives more difficult???
  • God is still in the miracle business.  My crazy heart condition means that 1 out of 2 die when a heart attack occurs.  The doctors were stumped as to why I was having heart attacks, until God showed them my problem “in action” as they were ready to take the scopes out of my body.  While I was in the CICU, 11 out of 12 of the patients there that week died.  I, alone, walked out, healthy as a horse.
  • Love the one you’re with.  Since I could croak at any minute literally, I trust God to put me where I’m supposed to be and to minister to the person in front of me to the best of my ability.  Do that one (not as simple as you think) thing and your life will be immeasurably blessed.  I have a growing list of “adopteds”, thanks to a benevolent God and to living this little strategy. 
  • One encouraging word changes lives.  Ask God to make you a blessing to those you encounter and even the silly things you say may be the one thing that helps someone move forward in their lives.
  • One disparaging word keeps you up at night.  Unfortunately, my tongue is my worst enemy.  What I’ve learned is that if I go to the person I’ve hurt with said tongue and ask for forgiveness right away, they are amazingly forgiving and I sleep better.
  • Read your Bible.  Probably should be # 1, hunh?  But, unfortunately, I seldom remember to do this first thing every day.  But, God seems to know exactly where I am in my life and what kick in the pants I need for the day when I do.  (God and I have a very weird relationship…He kicks; I whine about how much it hurts and then I reluctantly, grudgingly and slowly give in and He just smiles knowingly at me and then I roll my eyes at Him.  We should probably go to counseling except that He keeps arguing HE’S the Counselor. So, why do I have a counseling degree?)
  • God is okay with who you are.  Even if you argue with Him, whine at Him, and roll your eyes at Him.  He still thinks you’re worth the effort.  Now, if I could just get okay with who I am!
  • God is yanking out my “selfish weeds.”  I just wish they came out a little easier and faster.  In the last 14 years, I have learned to care less about my well-being and more about other’s.
  • Trust your gut…every…single…time.  Unless your gut is saying, “Go commit a crime.”  God invented the Twilight Zone…we just have to be brave enough to embrace it and visit it.  But, when we do, it blows your mind.  Let God in.


Point to Ponder Challenge: Wear red and be thankful you’re taking up oxygen on the planet.

Stay “tuned” tomorrow for Part 2…Age & Fitness!

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This entry was posted on Friday, February 1st, 2013 at 6:55 am and is filed under God stuff, Lessons Learned. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.


  1. February 1st, 2013 | Prince William says:

    PtPC way to show thanks: grow plants to replenish the oxygen?

  2. February 1st, 2013 | maryann says:

    Works for me. 🙂

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