Aug 14
Rubyhope
Rubyhope , Posted on SUPPORT NETWORK Blog

Ruby Hope- A story of survival

Story image

Since having my heart attack three years ago, I count each day as a blessing. Although I have spent my career working in health care, I have not always made my own personal health the priority it should be.

Although I have a strong family history of heart disease having lost both my mother and brother to heart attacks, I didn’t realize how sick I was until I started feeling better.

It’s been a long journey to get this point. In 2010, I was diagnosed with coronary artery disease after an emergency room visit caused by shortness of breath and chest pain. I was prescribed medication for hypertension and began to make lifestyle changes that were both good for my heart and my type 1 diabetes.

When I learned I was in severe kidney failure in 2012, and was disqualified for a transplant because of my weight, I knew I still had a long way to go.

I worked hard and lost 50 pounds. My getting serious about diet and exercise meant that I no longer needed a kidney transplant, which motivated me to continue to lose weight and take charge of my health.

However, by 2014, staying active became a challenge. I would get winded just walking up the stairs and began to take shorter and shorter walks until one day, I had to call my husband to come get me after only walking a block.

My arm was heavy and I had a feeling of doom. I put off going to the doctor and instead rested on the couch.

When I finally made my way into the doctor’s office, I’ll never forget what he said, “Tell your husband to bring your lipstick, because you’re not going home.” Hospital, tests confirmed I had a heart attack and needed a quadruple bypass.

I now listen to my body and am passionate about encouraging others to do the same by taking the time to know their numbers: blood sugar, weight, cholesterol, and blood pressure.

I’m so used to pushing through. I work when I’m sick, and I make everything and everyone else a priority. I had to learn that it’s okay to take care of myself because then I’ll be able to care for others.

3 Comments
  • JamesPL
    JamesPL,
    Your story is very inspiring! It is so true that we can't ignore what our body is telling us and that we have to take care of ourselves. When I suffered a severe chest pain during one of my morning runs, not only did I deny it (only pausing briefly until I started a slow jog again) but I waited a day to see a doctor. But it scared me enough to do exactly that. After a stress test revealed multiple blockages, I had a quintuple bypass. Five and a half years later and I'm exercising more now than I did then. Good luck to you!
  • luv2hide
    luv2hide,
    Ruby, thank you for sharing your story. You are an inspiration.
  • Elizabeth17
    Elizabeth17,
    Thanks for sharing your story Ruby!!
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