Posts Tagged ‘American Prinzmetal Angina Association’


The 12 Days of MIP: 4 & 3…

blood pressure

Book Club Members: Please send me any questions you’d like to ask Jane Christmas. I need to send them to her now. Go here to submit them to me.

It’s time to reveal two more of my favorite posts from 2013. While they may not be your favorites, read on for why they are on my list:

Number 4:

Think You Don’t Have What It Takes to Change the World? Think Again…

If I didn’t have two supportive families in my corner, there are a group of friends from my Virginia days who I think of as family. Being half the country away from them just physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually hurts. These folks love me as I truly am…warts and all and they didn’t have to. They get why I’m so serious about my faith; they laugh at the same inane stuff that I laugh at; they care about the things I care about. Occasionally, we get a chance to fly back to the east coast and spend some time with them. The visits, even if I feel like I’m wearing out my welcome with invading their homes for so long, seem far too short. There is just something special about a group of friends who have a lot of history together. We have some wild stories to tell about how God has worked in each of our lives and in how He’s worked with us, together as a group.  I’m sure that if we were to share these wild stories with those outside our group, there would be a great deal of skepticism. But, there’s one thing you can’t argue about–we have been servants for God, each in our own way…just doing what God asked each of us to do. And in the process of just simply answering the “call,” lives have been changed all over the globe. The bottom line? You don’t have to be anything special or unusual to change the world…you just have to go do it. Click here to see what I mean.

Number 3:

So, Where Are My Posts?

This is not my writing at my finest, honestly. Why? Well, it’s just a newsy post about what happened to me last summer when my Prinzmetal Angina condition decided to rear its ugly head for the first time in 14 years back in June. It’s the one time I wasn’t able to keep to my regular blog schedule this past year. This was my “I’m Still Standin'” post, even though 2 heart attacks almost ended my life. It was the easiest way to update everyone on what happened to me without having to recount the details a ridiculous number of times. And it was, for quite some time, the most viewed post on MIP. It spiked my readership pretty considerably, so I guess if I want more exposure for my blog, I need to have a few more heart attacks. Relax. Just kidding! So, if you want to read the account one more time about my brush with death, click here.

Friday’s Post: An Interview with Jane Christmas!

You might also like: The 12 days of MIP: 6 & 5; The 12 Days of MIP: 8 & 7; The 12 Days of MIP: 10 & 9; and The 12 Days of MIP: 12 & 11


The 12 Days of MIP: 8 & 7…

dental office

Book Club Lovers: Author Jane Christmas has offered to answer questions regarding her book, And Then There Were Nuns, for our book discussion this month. How do you feel about this possibility? Please comment below or send me an email. Click here to email. Thank you! And she just shocked the tar out of me today with the passage I read!

My next two favorite posts are, once again, an illustration of going from the sublime to the ridiculous. If you don’t know what I mean you may want to click here or here to see the other posts in this series!

Number 8:

The New Information on Prinzmetal Angina…

I completely understand why this post is not one of the most viewed items on MIP. It’s factual and probably not that entertaining. But, when I was first diagnosed with Prinzmetal Angina I was told that 1 out of 2 Prinzmetal Angina patients never even make it through their first heart attacks. Since Prinzmetal patients are often diagnosed in the prime of their lives (often in their 20s or 30s), this death rate leaves countless young children and spouses with a missing, but essential person in their lives at an age when few are expecting to say goodbye to their wives, husbands, mothers or fathers. That death rate is unacceptable to me and to the 139,000 other Americans who live with this condition–a condition that is not mitigated by exercise, eating right or taking your heart medications regularly.

When you’re in the hospital recovering from a heart attack, you’re strapped down, almost literally, by a pile of machines. Thus, you can’t go anywhere. You have a LOT of time to think. While in the hospital the first time, I found it astonishing that I had survived at all. I couldn’t fathom any logical reason why I would survive while all the other patients in the CICU that week never made it out of there (except in a hearse). One of the few reasons I believe I survived is that I have a “big mouth,” both in speech and in writing. And so, I believe I’m here to spread the word about Prinzmetal Angina and to suggest that more research needs to be done to prevent Prinzmetal deaths. In the 14 years intervening between my two sets of heart attacks, we do know more and let’s hope we learn even more in the next 10 to 15, when I probably will re-enter the hospital with heart attacks yet again (a near certainty for Prinzmetal patients).  And finally, I believe I’m here to remind folks that you can have heart attacks even if you do everything right; thus, it makes sense to take care of yourself so that you have an excellent chance of recovering from those heart attacks. My belief about that probably saved my life 4 times in 14 years. Still want to pick up that donut or cigarette? Put it down now and click here.

Number 7:

Lessons Learned from My Dentist…

One thing I noticed, as my parents aged, was that they had a never-ending series of medical appointments to keep. This and attending the funerals of their friends became a full-time job when retired. I, myself, have chosen to work from home, at least for now, because similar things are happening to me. This is not encouraging since I’m still in my early 50s. Since I don’t have interesting discussions at the water cooler anymore, visiting the dentist semi-annually can become the highlight of my day. (Pretty soon I’m going to be talking to random strangers who all try to get away from me as fast as they can.) Click here to see what I mean.

Friday’s Post: The 12 Days of MIP: 6 & 5

You might also like: The 12 Days of MIP: 10 & 9…; The 12 Days of MIP: 12 & 11; and The Odd Days of December


The New Information On Prinzmetal Angina…


For the last 2 days I have sarcastically witted on about my last 2 heart attacks. But, it’s time to get serious. In 1999 I tried and could not find very much information about Prinzmetal Angina. I had to rely upon the information coming from my cardiologist and personal doctor. Here is what I was told:

  1. Prinzmetal Angina occurs when coronary arteries spasm. If they spasm hard enough, they create a blood clot which then prevents blood flow to the heart. This creates a heart attack.
  2. You can have Prinzmetal Angina without any of the “traditional” heart attack risk factors. This was, and is, oh, so true of me.
  3. In 1999 1 out of every 2 Prinzmetal Angina heart attack victims died.
  4. Negative stress is related to this condition.
  5. Eating right and exercising regularly will not change my risk of having a heart attack.
  6. An EKG and a stress test will often not show a Prinzmetal attack. This is also true of me.
  7. A Prinzmetal patient can expect to have a heart attack every 10 to 15 years. My 3rd and 4th attacks (I actually suspect I may have had a 5th attack that went undiagnosed, based on my symptoms.) came just a little over 14 years after the 1999 attacks.
  8. Prinzmetal attacks often occur when a person is at rest. Three of mine occurred this way.
  9. No one knows why Prinzmetal Angina occurs. You can’t even do an autopsy on a deceased Prinzmetal Angina patient to gain insights.


Here’s the good news: Largely thanks to the Internet, I can now find droves of information on this topic! So, here is the new information I am learning:

  1. Cocaine use is a causal agent of this. (That should be easy to stop.) 🙂
  2. They often occur like “clockwork” between the hours of midnight and 8 am. (The last 2 heart attacks occurred almost exactly a week apart right around midnight.)
  3. Beta blockers, commonly used for treating heart patients, are often “bad news” for Prinzmetal Angina patients. I was on a beta blocker when # 3 and # 4 occurred. Because of this new finding, I am now off this med and have been switched to a newer med.
  4. Exposure to the cold can bring on an attack. This is not good news for my migraines, where colder “climates” often help!
  5. 50% of Prinzmetal Angina patients have no conventional risk factors. Thus, you can be a professional athlete in perfect shape and die from this.
  6. Angiography can be used post mortem to examine the spasmed coronary arteries of Prinzmetal Angina victims. This means the medical community might be able to actually make some progress in figuring out what is causing this condition!
  7. When this occurred in 1999, my mother told me that her grandmother (my great-grandmother) died very suddenly at a young age. She wondered if her grandmother could have had Prinzmetal’s and it just had not been a diagnosed condition in “her day.” Now, there seems to be evidence that there could be a genetic component to this condition. In other words, Mom may be right. In fact my mom was always right, so let’s just go with what she said to save time.
  8. Conservative estimates suggest that 140,000 people have Prinzmetal Angina and most are younger heart attack patients than regular heart disease/heart attack patients.
  9. My new cardiologist has another Prinzmetal Angina patient. She also suffers from migraines. Migraine is a known risk factor for stroke. Migraines are caused by constriction of the vascular system of the brain. Strokes, of course, are related to heart attacks. Thus, there may be some connection here that warrants further study.
  10. The American Prinzmetal Angina Association has been formed in order to educate, support research grants and connect doctors who know things about Prinzmetal Angina!


Tomorrow’s Post: How MaryAnn Survived 4 Prinzmetal Angina Heart Attacks….

You might also like: Lessons Learned from Recuperating, Lessons Learned from Heart Attacks 3 & 4, Thank You, SCC, So, Where Are My Posts?, 2 Heart Attacks Too Soon, Part 1