Continue to Encourage One Another

As I take my journey with returning to college, dealing with my health issues, getting back to myself since my SCAD heart attack these words mean so much to me. I found them on a support group for SCAD heart attack patients. We all need encouragement no matter who we are and what the situation is. I do seek God in troubling times and in not any troubling times as well.

Received this book from E-bay to get ready for the HESI. Lord knows when that will be and how with this situation we are having with us right now. I look forward to the many and do I mean many purchases coming this week I can share with you!


My Broken Heart

It was an early morning by myself, I was studying my Human Biology book. I had taken my early morning med and had some yogurt. It came on all of a sudden about 5:30 am. I thought, could I have heartburn from that? It could happen from swallowing the medicine, it has happened to other people before. I knew I was tired as I worked overnight on Tuesday night. I had classes all day Tuesday and Wednesday and barley any sleep on Tuesday before work as I have a late afternoon class on Tuesday’s. Here I am up early on Thursday morning February 13th studying for a test next week and I do not need to be at school until later this afternoon. Could this be anxiety? I know better than this as I have been in the medical field and studying to be a nurse. I generally tell people call 911 immediately. I felt such a heaviness upon my chest like an elephant upon me. By 5:50 am I decided to leave the house. I figured with my unsteady breathing and horrific pain they will say it is nothing. It was extreme cold that morning and I could not open the driver’s side door. So I went to the passenger’s side door and dialed 911. From there my life became a series of events I will never forget.

I knew right then and there I was right that at 5:30 am I was having a heart attack. But it gave me anxiety as well. The police officer came to me in the car and said the ambulance would be arriving any minute and was calming me like the 911 operator. I was grateful for the ambulance to come, which felt like an eternity. Mainly because I was having a heart attack. Two, it was really low temps out. I chewed the aspirin and we head to the local ER but they asked if I wanted to go to the hospital in Iowa, as we are 20 minutes away from Iowa. My insurance is only for Illinois and I get to the hospital in town. They ran a battery of tests and offer meds and make sure it is not indigestion. My levels continue to go up. But here’s the thing I need to be transferred to a cardiac hospital. Nearest hospital with my insurance is an hour and a half away. So add that to my nerves, my anxiety goes up but not my blood pressure. I know to be calm in a situation. I was told I do not look like the typical heart attack patient.

Finally a couple hours later, yes at least a couple hours later I get transferred to another hospital in Rockford. We had to hold off to do my angiogram until the next morning. Girl who had heart attack at 50 with anxiety issues, thanks! Family sitting back being worried. I just wanted to go home but knew I was better there. So finally I was able to eat, so I ate good, haha! My oldest daughter is an ICU nurse in Iowa and works in their cardiac care unit, she worked night shift, so she kept up to date with the care while I was there that first night. This was just day one of my life changing.

The ironic thing in this story is that on Valentine’s Day February 14th I had my angiogram, they looked at my heart. My heart attack was caused by SCAD, Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection. I was blessed and do I ever mean blessed with no stents. I was in the hospital a few days and then back the next day after being discharged due to heaviness again. But no heart attack, just high levels but not high enough. They changed my meds and observed me for a few days. Both times being transferred in the ambulance was long and bumpy and wish it on no one ever!

I decided to join a support group for SCAD on Facebook and with the COVID-19 my Cardiac Rehab is postponed right now. I feel tired and try to do things but am fearful of germs. I felt like that with my already diagnosis of Stage 4 Chronic Kidney Disease anyway. This has slowed me down and that I would say has happened for a reason. I still have a long way to go. I still have tests to do for my diagnosis of SCAD. So off to another adventure in my life.


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Food Lies We Tell Ourselves

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There are times we allow food to control our lives. Food is to nourish our bodies. When we become so dependent on eating to not eating, as an obsession we then have signs of an eating disorder. How and why we got there is the key to it. And no it is not that easy.

I have been there for many reasons all around. Kind of scary for women but I have realized in the past two weeks observing how severe it is on men in our world.

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There is always this trying to look good or be perfect scenario. There is also something deeper down inside that produces our souls to have an eating disorder. Eating disorders are serious and should never be taken lightly. Anorexia, bulimia, over eating, excessive exercise, excessive calorie noting and such can lead to serious health conditions in the future, even death. Yes death.

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We may have all heard of singer Karen Carpenter who passed away due to her long suffering of complications from her anorexia. She was with the duo act the Carpenters. Her heart failed due to this. I do remember this story. I was 13 when she died. It was really scary to me. The Carpenters music was my parent’s (my mom & step dad) favorite, they used one of their songs for their wedding. They were married in 1980 and their music was very inspirational to them as well as many today.

You might be wondering, hmmm what is Kathy’s point here? It is not just anorexia that can cause death. Obesity due to constant over eating can cause serious health issues. You can be at risk for diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, and many other health issues. Obesity can also cause pain on your physical body as well as your mental status.

Why do I care and what do I know? Well I have tried the starving myself for weight loss. I have also had my issues with bulimia. I have been so depressed I sat down on the couch and ate a bag of chips and cookies with soda pop. Well, none of that solved a single thing in my life. All it has done is cause arthritis and pain in my knees. Now I have some balance issues as in I am clumsy but having been overweight does not help this at all. I have this always wanting to present myself a certain way and never letting anyone know that I am struggling with anything. I must look perfect at all times so no one knows what is going on deep down inside. My mom was like that and some of it came down on me. Well, one day it exploded and I just did not care about myself anymore. Well, I am here to say that you can get back on track. I need to continue to care for my overall health but for now I am stable in my health and mental status.

I have watched my youngest deal with anorexia and go from outpatient and then back to the inpatient program. It was hard to see what she was going through because as a mother this was something I could not fix. It was not like a cold or cough where I could buy medicine or go to the doctor to fix her. Mom’s want to fix the problem and help their child as you do not want to see your child in pain. I am grateful she is doing good. It does take time with recovery and you need to understand that. You also need to understand and respect that there could be triggers and have some empathy where that is involved.

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We as a society and educational market seem to say, “hey be your best”. Or there is that coach that says, “you are not good enough, can you do better”? How are those words helping our youth? That stays with you as you age. Even going into your 50’s you will remember this.

What I do know is that when you start to lie about eating think about that. I get that someone might fib once but when it becomes a constant issue please talk to someone. When we become obsessed with calories or journaling to have the least amount of food and calories is not good. Even an obsessed amount of exercise can not be healthy for your mental health. There is nothing wrong with wanting to watch what you are putting in your mouth and exercising just watch the signs. With any addictive personality it is easy to get hooked to do these kind of things. 

I encourage you to find it in your heart what is right for your health. Talk honestly with your physician therapist or a Pastor at your church. Find what the healthy decision is for you. But be REALLY honest within yourself. I care and so do many others. God Bless, Kathy