After Heart Attack

Heart attack symptoms are often different for women than they are for men.¹ The recovery for each individual may also be unique. I am sharing my experiences with you, but don’t assume that everyone will have the same symptoms or the same results for recovery protocol.  If you suspect you may have symptoms of a heart attack, call 911 and get help now!

OMG…I’m Having a Heart Attack

heart with stethscope

I called 911 when I was struggling for air…I couldn’t talk to the operator, but she knew my name. I had called from my landline phone and the dispatcher knew who I was and where I was, so she could send help.  I was fortunate to have had a package delivered to me that day and my postal lady arrived just before the ambulance got there. She sat with me and kept me calm while we waited for help to arrive.

When the EMTs asked me if I could walk to the gurney that waited outside at the bottom of my porch steps, I thought I could. Only when I stood up did I realize I was having a heart attack. My heart was beating so hard it felt as though it might burst out of my chest. When I stood up and felt my palms were wet and my body drenched in sweat the thought that went through my mind was, “I’m having a heart attack“. I later learned that I had a sudden cardiac arrest and not a heart attack. Both can be fatal.

Death Came Knocking at my Door

dont die with the music still insideI was very weak when I came home from the hospital, just in time for Christmas. The most I could do was lay on the couch and make it to the bathroom and back. I was to weak to make myself anything to eat.

I am grateful my husband took care of me the first week. He knew me better than anyone.  He knew my innate will to live. He saw the struggle in my eyes. He watched as the light in my eyes flickered and nearly dimmed for eternity.

I felt as though life was slipping away.  My doctor had suggested I “take care of things” since “some patients with your condition don’t make it”. My husband, bless his soul, didn’t want to talk about “the end”.  So I wrote him notes on his laptop and let him know when the time was right he could read them.

My husband witnessed the transformation in my health, as if by magic…my life energy returned. The turning point for me was learning that my body was starving for B vitamins. I realized my lifelong issues with vitamin B6 deficiency might be caused by this new thing I learned, called MTHFR.  It was something I was reading about in a book called “The Whole Heart Solution“.  The book was a gift given to me as I was leaving the hospital.  I had been wanting to read it, but now I needed to read it.  I believe this book saved my life.

My 7 Steps to Recovery

1. Getting the nutrition my body was starving for.

In the book I learned more about MTHFR and decided to try this special type of B vitamin that was a bioavailable form.  After all, what did I have to lose? I told my husband about them and he immediately ordered them online and got overnight delivery. I started taking them and overnight I felt the life energy in my blood return. My husband saw the spark of life back in my eyes. The pallor of my skin was different. I was going to live.

Those first weeks and months I was weak and could do little but read or watch tv. I had marathons of tv episodes, much to my family’s chagrin. I guess I needed a feeling of conformity, structure, repetition, or order. My daughter hates fish, so she found my obsession with Deadliest Catch a little to much. I found comfort in the soothing voice of the Lidia Bastianich who took us on culinary adventures throughout Italy in her show, Lidia’s Italy. I watched her shows day after day. There was something about her love of food and her native Italy that spoke to me and kept me calm and gave me a feeling of peace.  I realized that my path to health was through food.

2. Juicing.

Eventually I started wanting to learn how to make myself stronger. I watched the movie, “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead“. I started juicing again. It was like having a shot of nutrition coursing through my veins and all without needles. Two other movies to watch about juicing are: Super Juice Me and “The Joy of Juicing“.

The best way to get optimal nutrition into your bloodstream quickly is by juicing. Green juices with either kale, spinach or other leafy greens were added because they are loaded with folate, the vitamin my body needed. I added celery and cucumber to all my juices along with one fruit per person for sweetness, along with any other herbs or other ingredients that made for pleasant tasting flavor profiles. Did you know, “on a per gram fresh weight basis, herbs rank even higher in antioxidant activity than fruits and vegetables, which are known to be high in antioxidants?  Many studies have also shown that most spices tend to have unique medicinal qualities.” ²  Check out the recipe section for my favorite juice combinations.

3. Drinking filtered water.

Water is critical to life and the best way to give your body a “kick start” is to hydrate your cells with clean water. Do not drink tap water that contains impurities from a municipal system or from a well.

4. Connect with nature. Get fresh air and sunshine. Take off your shoes and ground your body to the earth’s energy.

my way homeMy husband would walk me outside through the snow to our greenhouse. In the middle of March we could go into the greenhouse where it felt like we were in Florida. The sun gave me vitamin D and the fresh air outside filled my lungs with oxygen.

The combination of the sun and the fresh air gave me energy that invigorated my body. I took off my shoes and put my barefeet on the ground inside the greenhouse. The earth has a magnetic energy that grounds our body’s energy to make it a more neutral state. Professionals refer to time spent outdoors as eco-therapy because it is so beneficial for healing.

5. Mind over matter.

Change your perspective. Let go of emotional baggage that is weighing you down and causing unnecessary stress. Allow yourself to think positive thoughts. Don’t become of victim of your disease, instead learn how to become stronger so you can help your body to heal itself.

6. Laughter.

laughing largerEveryday I watched a funny tv series. I asked my friends and family to send me cartoons, jokes, or stories that would make me laugh. It is true that laughter is the best medicine.  Even the University of Maryland did a study on “Laughter is the Best Medicine for Your Heart“.

“The ability to laugh — either naturally or as learned behavior — may have important implications in societies such as the U.S. where heart disease remains the number one killer,” says Miller. “We know that exercising, not smoking and eating foods low in saturated fat will reduce the risk of heart disease. Perhaps regular, hearty laughter should be added to the list.”
—  Michael Miller, M.D., director of the Center for Preventive Cardiology at the University of Maryland Medical Center and a professor of medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine

7. Gratitude.

I learned to be grateful and appreciate life. I had been given another chance at life. I was humbled by my mortality. I wanted to love and be loved, so I look for ways to be thankful for what I had, instead of complaining about what I thought I was missing.

get well

¹ Gender and Heart Disease, Go Red for Women, American Heart Association
²Top Anti-Inflammatory Foods, Herbs, and Spices, Dr. Mercola,