Congenital Heart Defect
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@CardioSmart, American College of Cardiology
The following week I saw my first cardiologist, Dr. Pagan-Carlo. He took my vital signs and recommended that I get a stress test the following day. The test showed that my resting heart rate was fine but my stressed heart rate was abnormal. I went back to my cardiologist and he strongly advised me to get a coronary angiogram and potentially an angioplasty as well. I was asked then to make a decision and consent to the procedure. This is when I think the knowledge gained from working at the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation came into play. I wasn’t inclined to get any major heart procedure since I felt fine that day. But the symptoms and their potential consequences, which I had seen in a lot of communications materials at work, helped me decide that the smarter decision was to follow my cardiologist’s advice.
The recovery period was a huge learning experience for me. In cardiac rehab, I learned how to gradually regain my strength, to live a healthy lifestyle through good nutrition and stress management, to develop a way to cope with emotional challenges and appreciate the important things in life, like family and friends. The recovery and health improvements I have made to date validate all my effort and perseverance in changing my lifestyle.
For the “I am CardioSmart” contest they asked the public how well are you living with heart disease. The responses were overwhelming! Their expert panel chose one winner in the following categories: Heart Attack, High Blood Pressure, Heart Failure, Congenital Heart Defect and Coronary Artery Disease. The winner in each category received a $100 Amazon/iTune gift card and have their stories featured on CardioSmart.org.
ÁmateAhora, Voices for Health will post for the next five days their inspiring stories from each of the 4 winners and the grand prize winner—a trip for two to San Diego, CA. And speak at the American College of Cardiology.