May 26

Virginia Hearts In Action helps counteract heartache

As an emergency room nurse I was used to swiftly tending to people's ailments.  But it was my own health problem that I couldn't get properly diagnosed in a timely fashion. I felt fatigued, had shortness of breath and fluttering of the heart, but when I went to get checked, I was always told that I was in good health.  When the symptoms persisted I insisted on further evaluation. It wasn't until 2000, after years of persistence, that I finally received a diagnosis of Bradycardia-tachycardia syndrome, more commonly know as sick sinus syndrome.  In 2003, a pacemaker was placed to regulate my heart rhythm-increasing the slow rate and decreasing the fast one.  Because of the years I experienced with undiagnosed symptoms of heart disease, I spearheaded the formation of Virginia Hearts In Action in 2005. Now on medical and finally feeling better, I have one mission in mind:sparing others from heartache.I want to make women aware of what they're feeling and raise their awareness though education, screening and treatment --- Rosalyn Francis, RN, BSN  
  • purple heart
    purple heart,
    Thank you! It is very important to help women be heard by their doctors! Women have different symptoms than men! Sometimes it harder to realize our bodies are telling us we need help! Education for women and doctors are important! I knew something was not right with my body! I was fainting, feeling extremely fatigue and a racing heart beat! I went to a neurologist , regular doctor and a cardiologist ! I tried to get them to understand something was NOT right. I had an appointment with a new cardiologist however the night before my appointment I suffered a sudden cardiac arrest! I was only 34!!! Maybe just maybe if someone understood and really listened to me this might not have happened! Women need to be heard! Women also need to learn more about their bodies and speak up! Women are important!!! We need to help one another! Thank you Rosalyn!!!!
  • silver4321
  • silver4321
    right on
  • silver4321
  • Kg
    You are fantastic Roslyn.. So glad that you are now getting the treatment needed, and so proud that you have started a support group. Kathleen. RN BSN
  • jackiec504
    You are your best advocate!!! Way to stand up for yourself and not back down until you got the help you knew you needed! And how awesome that you have started VHIA as a way to give back and educate others! You go girl!!
  • BevPohlit
  • connectcare
    Way to go, Rosalyn. The "other Roz" here, my dear! Please e-mail me at, and tell me how you got this support group rolling. I really want doctors to LISTEN to female (all) patients. I am particularly interested in offering support to other women. I have no medical background. I am a retired Business Coach. Stay on it, girlfriend!
  • anne-marie halloran
    anne-marie halloran,
    I was glad to read your comments. I was married to a Doctor and gleaned information here ad there. and just before my stroke I told my Physician that I had a small fever for nearly a month, small headaches a bit like boiling water,... bubbles] he took time to jot it on his computer, and while I worship my Physician, I was disappointed he did not pay attention to my "different" story. Having done much sports in my life, finished upper studies,, at one of the best U. in California raised two orphaned children, today very successful, I was the picture of health, my body still in good form .size 2. When my friend came to bring me something one afternoon and I could no longer get up from the living-room couch, I knew then, the mean headache of that early morning [at 5am] I knew something was drastically wrong, my legs, at 3 pm would no longer support me. The medical system has changed so much Doctors get just a few scarce minutes and seemingly cannot make a good diagnosis. In any case we called 911, and was told after one of the T scans that It was a stroke I could not believe it. I ate the right food, walked, had done lots of competitive sports in my life, but did not know the importance of the DNA. My family had Diabetes, and it was showing now, at my mature age. But, did I like my champagne all my life! I still feel cheery and young, but now walk with a cane, how humbling. Your story expresses our ignorance so well, we should know more about strokes. Thanks for taking the time to explain it so well. take care, and my best, Anne-Marie
  • strokebroke
    iam a rn myself 54 yo man who ha vision problems telltale of stroke tried to get into dr but no ins so i ended up with massive ishemic right side stoke that left me hemiparalysis and pretty brain dead now im in a rehab/retirement home /storage for handicaped and these guys cant get me on medicaid cause they are fools but got me full disability so they they can take it all but 50 dollars a month ins issues have cost me a life
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