Leslie Wimes – I’m Not Dead Yet!

I know some of you thought I was dead, or at least hoped I was dead. Sorry to burst your bubble.

I’m back.

Even heart disease couldn’t keep me down. It surprised the hell out of me, though.

You see, I have never had any indication that I suffered from heart disease. I have never been a smoker.

I don’t have hypertension. I don’t have diabetes. I don’t have any co-morbidities that would scream heart disease.

And yet, on Nov. 21, 2018, I had a double bypass.

Two of my arteries had blockages. My Left Main Artery had a 70% blockage and my proximal left anterior descending artery had a 90 percent blockage.

We are talking widow maker-type stuff, folks. I was a walking time bomb.

I experienced the worst chest pain ever, complete with shortness of breath.

Thankfully, my blockages were found before any damage was done to my heart. My heart is operating at normal capacity. For you medical folks, my ejection fraction is 65 percent!

A lot of people aren’t as lucky. They discount their chest pain as indigestion and don’t go get themselves checked out.
Those are the people that go to sleep, suffer from massive heart attacks, and don’t wake up.

Don’t be those people. Get regular checkups, especially if you have risk factors for coronary artery disease.

Women present differently in most cases when it comes to heart disease.

We may not have chest pain. It could be back pain or jaw pain. Being a Registered Nurse, I knew something was wrong, even though initially, ER doctors told me I was fine. I had to call back to Florida to my primary doctor and tell her to get me a cardiologist ASAP! That’s how my blockages were discovered!

Remember, trust your body. Doctors aren’t always right. Your body will tell you when something is wrong. Mine told me that my heart needed help.

Now that my heart has been fixed, look forward to my columns coming back. I know you guys missed me.

I missed you too.

Leslie Wimes, a Sunshine State News columnist, is founder and president of Women on the Move and the Democratic African American Women Caucus, www.daawc.com. Follow Leslie on Twitter: @womenonthemove1