Christina P's Story

Updated: May 7, 2020

My “journey” started last August. I have had high cholesterol for years but my doctor had my on meds and I was fairly active, didn’t smoke or drink and was only 44.... I had been working and dealing with my horses. I started having little pains in my chest in between my breasts. I thought I just pulled a muscle moving hay bales or feed bags. I didn’t even tell my husband.

After about three weeks I finally told him and he tried getting me to go to the hospital. He just lost his mother to a massive heart attack three years ago so this worried him. I told him I would give it a few more days and then I would go. This was the middle of September. I finally went and they did all kinds of tests and kept me over night. They mentioned heart issues and I told them I don’t know my mothers side as she is from Germany and came over when she was 8.

Well the next morning they told me they didn’t think it was anything serious and told me to follow up and have a stress test done as an outpatient. So a week later I did and I failed that. So they set me up for October 9th for a heart catheter. In the meantime I am still moving hay bales and taking care of my horses- and still having the pains sometimes pretty strong pains.

Well I have the heart catheter done and they find out that I have two blockages. One 55% and one 99%. And I am told I am not leaving the hospital and will be having open heart surgery in the next day or so. I was sent to another hospital that day and on October 11th, 2019 I had a double bypass. I was still in shock that it was happening and that I needed it. The hospital was great and I loved my surgeon. I missed my sons 20th birthday while I was in the ICU. I went home 4 days later.

I was 170 lbs at surgery and 6 months later I am down to 148. I am back to riding my horses (at 13 weeks) and caring for them. I went back to work at 14 weeks. I still look back and can not believe it all happened and hope that I never have to go through it again. Come to find out my mother had found out that her father had heart issues and had his first heart attack at the age of 39 and had 3 heart attacks. And now my mom is having issues too and is going through testing. I am praying she doesn’t have to have surgery.

#OHS #openheartsurgery #doublebypass #genetic #horseriding

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