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Share Your Story: Julie Crowe

by Christy D. on Sunday, July 7, 2013

Julie Crowe Kansas

My mother was 50 when she had her first heart attack and passed away at age 66 due to heart disease.  There is a strong history of heart disease on my Mother’s side of the family...

I was 52 years old and I had been experiencing severe jaw pain off and on for 4 or more weeks and finally on Christmas Eve 2010, I ended up in the ER for 5 hrs due to jaw, shoulder and neck pain. After EKG and blood work came back normal, I was sent home to follow up with my Doctor, which I did on the following Monday. The doctor said that due I needed to schedule a thalium stress test so I did for Thursday 12/30/10. I got up and prepared for the stress test.

I had a bad feeling about it all morning. Dye was injected, pictures taken and then the treadmill along with a drug to get my heart rate up. All went well (or so I thought)..no pain, etc. While sitting in the chair after the treadmill, the nurse who was watching the EKG just kept saying, "this really has me concerned" over and over. Finally I said, "what is it?" She said "oh, it is probably nothing, and I will just have the techs take some extra pictures when you go back." I was then sent back for more pictures and then sent home.

Within 20 minutes of getting home, my jaws, neck, shoulders and now my chest all hurt so bad I could not sit still. I chewed 4 baby aspirin and then the phone rang and it was my doctor's office calling to tell me they had me scheduled for an appointment with the cardiologist on Monday because my stress test showed I had "had" a heart attack. I told the nurse how I was feeling and she told me to go back to the ER. Once in the ER everything went very fast. The EKG showed I was having a heart attack and I was rushed to the cath lab where a stent was put.

I survived the widow maker of heart attacks. Since then, nothing has been the same for me. I quit smoking the day of my heart attack which was the best thing I could have done. I participated in cardiac rehab for over a year at my choice because it made me feel good and kept me honest. I keep myself up to date on new information, I take my meds like I am instructed and I do my best to help get the word out about heart disease and how it can happen without warning and be different than what you would expect. I had another heart cath done in December of 2012 and all was good.  My goal is to stay heart healthy and help others do the same.