Since February is heart month I’m going to share with you how heart disease has affected my family. 

My dad had his first heart attack around 52 years old. We don’t know exactly when because he didn’t know. Not all heart attacks are as visually catastrophic as they show on TV. The severe pain, clutching of the chest. He never had that. Only through medical tests did they determine he had one and it was caused by a blockage of the main artery going to his heart. He had an amazing team of doctors that attempted angioplasty but because of some complications, had to do a bypass. 

My mom waited until she was 54 to have her first. We were going to go on vacation. Before she left she had severe pain between her shoulder blades and was really nauseous. We spent our vacation at the hospital with her, grateful she survived. She did flatline on them once. 

About five years later she had her second. Both times she had to have stents put in her arteries. Later she had a pacemaker defibrillator implanted to regulate her heart rate and if it needed to, shock her heart to get it to start beating again. 

Her heart was functioning at less than 20%. 

September 27, 2013 she passed away. She was shocked over 10 times by her defibrillator. 

After my dads heart attack he suffered the loss of one of his kidneys then a few years later list the second one to cancer. He spent the next eleven years on dialysis. He lost one of his legs to an infection which was complicated by the dialysis, diabetes, poor circulation from his heart disease. He had the same pacemaker defibrillator that my mom had. 

September 24, 2014 he passed away. He was being released from the hospital and I was on my way to get him when I got the phone call that he had died. 

Heart disease is vicious. It does not discriminate. It is scary. In less than a year it stole both of my parents from me. My dad had beat cancer, lost a limb and learned how to walk again with a prosthetic leg. He fought so hard to come back from all of it. In the end he lost it all to heart disease. 

If there is anything good that I can take from it is to get my health in order. Also, I found my calling. 

I need to get my health on track. I have a two year old son that needs me. I want to be a good example for him. Hopefully we can avoid the health problems my parents. 

I took care of my parents the last years of their lives. It kept them from living in a nursing home. Staying in their home was important to them. So, in March I start my training to become a nurses aide. After that I’m going to get a degree in nursing. It’s an important job. It’s a fulfilling job. Knowing that you helped someone is a good thing.