Ken Gregoire Shares his Story
Ken Gregoire is an Adaptable Study patient partner and heart disease survivor who lives in New Orleans, Louisiana. By sharing his story, Ken hopes to encourage people to be more proactive in their healthcare.
Before my heart attack, I was one of those people who only went to the doctor when I really needed to. If I had a problem, I would put it off and tell myself that it would work out, or that it wasn’t that bothersome. But then, I started losing friends. In a six month period, I lost three close friends to heart disease and shortly after, I had my own cardiac event.
I woke up in the middle of the night with pain in my chest. It wasn’t a pain that you grab yourself and scream out, it was just an uncomfortable feeling. So, at first, I thought it was indigestion or acid reflux. I sat up for a while and when it didn’t go away, I became concerned. Then I remembered an old thing I’d heard about taking aspirin to prevent a heart attack. I took some powdered aspirin and went to the emergency room. Later, I was told that taking that aspirin may have saved my life.
At the emergency room, they told me that I was having a cardiac event and that I had complete blockage in three arteries. I ended up needing triple bypass surgery and when I came to, I was in shock. I had no idea about the severity of what had taken place and I had all these things stuck in my body! I had a tube down my throat and things in my arms. That’s when I decided that I really needed to get proactive with my health.
After my surgery, I changed my lifestyle. I am taking better care of myself and managing my healthcare. Losing my friends and going through my cardiac event made me want to do something to help others who might find themselves in my shoes. So, I talk with people and tell them that there are things they can do with their diet, activity level and medications that can really make a difference. My advice to patients is to keep an open line of communication with your cardiologist, ask as many questions as you can, and if you have concerns, voice them!