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Share your Story: Janine Krolikowski

by Jason H. on Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Janine Krolikowski Michigan

As an Echocardiographer, I knew all about the heart and heart disease.

I worked as an Echocardiographer (heart ultrasound technician) for many years and I lost both of my parents to heart disease at a young age.  Despite my knowledge and family history, I shrugged off my own symptoms.  One week prior to my heart attack, I felt pain between my shoulder blades.  I told myself I must have pulled a muscle when I was doing yard work.  Even as the pain began to worsen, the denial grew.  But when the pain wrapped all the way around my chest, I finally admitted something serious was happening.  Even then, instead of immediately going to the hospital, or calling 911, I took an aspirin and slowly began getting ready for the day.

My doctor sent me to the emergency room at our local hospital.  Once there, an abnormal blood test led to an ultrasound of my heart, using the same type of machine I had used at this same hospital for many years.  That’s when I knew, the minute the technician came in and put the probe down on my chest, I knew immediately that I had had a heart attack.

I received a stent in a main coronary artery, which was found to be 98% blocked.  The healing process that began after my heart attack was a bit more difficult than I had thought.  I found myself emotionally drained and the realization of what had happened to me, hit home.  I was afraid that I was following in my parent’s footsteps.  Fortunately, I found the spirit to take my life in a different direction.  I decided I would take control, exercise and do what the doctors said because I was going to be a survivor.  I believe my life took a huge turn after my heart attack.  I work daily to make good heart healthy dietary choices, exercise, and reduce stresses.  I Go Red for all of you lovely ladies out there, my two daughters, husband and my parents!


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