Cardiovascular disease is a major cause of deaths across regions. In fact, records have it that deaths from heart disease are greater than deaths from all forms of cancer combined. Below is an inspiring story of Jackie Carr who was affected by stroke. She survived the dreaded attack, and today shares her beautiful story reminding us that cardiovascular disease can affect anyone, and this is why it is important to make healthy lifestyle choices, and know the signs and symptoms of heart attack and stroke. Here is her story:
My name is Jackie Carr and I am a stroke survivor. Every day, I did the same thing…always supported the needs of others, never prioritizing my own health. I’d been diagnosed with high blood pressure and through trial and error my doctors prescribed a medicine regimen that would control my “silent killer.” It was quite an easy fix: four pills twice a day. The problem was, more often than not, I would forget to take my medicine.
I considered myself to be a SuperMom. From the moment I woke up to the minute I went to sleep, I was the “get it done” girl for everyone in the household except myself: breakfast…cooked; laundry….cleaned; errands….completed; kid activities…done! In the words of my friends, I could leap tall buildings in a single-bound. With a schedule like mine, who has two minutes to take a pill?
My SuperMom status changed on a Thursday afternoon in 2006. I had a horrible migraine headache and really wanted to take a few minutes to rest, but resisted so that I could make dinner. By that evening, everything in my view was tilting to the left. I had a horrible headache, but justified it as being caused by “vertigo” (my own self-diagnosis).
The next day, I continued my daily errands and managed to drive myself to the grocery store. It was once I left the store that I was forced to acknowledge that there was something very wrong. I could not find my car because I could not recall what type of car I drove. In an instant, my short term memory was gone and I went from remembering everything to remembering nothing.
Fortunately, a neurologist ran tests to determine that I, like other moms in their early 40’s had created a perfect storm for a TIA or “mini stroke”: migraine combined with uncontrolled high blood pressure. In the words of my physician, a TIA serves as a warning that lifestyle changes are needed.
I have since retired my SuperMom cape. I decided that MY health is far more important than a completed task list. Each day I take my medicine, exercise, and make healthier food choices. My blood pressure reads textbook numbers (120/80) and while my lifestyle changes may not be a foolproof way to prevent a stroke, I know that I’m definitely living a more heart-smart life.
Living a Beautiful Life is more about a feeling than a look. Living a beautiful life means feeling grateful for ALL things; being present in the moment; positively touching the lives of others; being kind, compassionate and loving yourself.