Today is Thanksgiving Day, at least here in the US. Reflecting on the last year, I am indeed thankful. I have gained at least as much as I have lost. After my heart attack almost a year ago, I have had to adjust to my limitations without giving in to them. It has become more and more difficult to work in my chosen profession, but the time off has allowed me to take better care of myself. I have been selling off assets to pay bills, but have used some of the money to invest in things like yoga classes to help me recover as much of my function as I can. I have found new sources of support even as I lost others.
One of the things I am most thankful for is the excellent medical care I received during my heart attack and afterward. I was treated promptly in the ER and was in the cath lab less than half an hour after arriving at the hospital. With 100% occlusion of the LAD (left anterior descending coronary artery), I would have sustained severe damage to most of my left ventricle without prompt intervention. As it is I have some scar, but an essentially normal ejection fraction, though less than pre-MI. I have a cardiologist who listens when I tell him my symptoms, and has aggressively treated them rather than brushing me off as “anxious.” I have talked to many women with heart disease who were initially sent home with diagnoses such as “panic attack”, “anxiety”, “GERD”, and “pulled muscle” when they were in fact suffering cardiac ischemia. On the way to the hospital this was indeed my fear, that I would be ignored because of being a relatively young woman. Fortunately that did not turn out to be the case.
I am thankful to have a comfortable home to live in, despite my financial difficulties. I am learning how to manage with less and simplify my life. I am grateful for the support of my loving husband. I am still able to care for my pets. I have supportive friends and family who love me and whom I love.
What are you thankful for today?