T is for Time

Feb 18, 2019 | Heart Health

“You gotta have heart.

All you really need is heart.

When the odds are sayin’ you’ll never win,

That’s when the grin should start.

You’ve gotta have hope.

Mustn’t sit around and mope.”

When Richard Adler wrote these lyrics for the 1950s Broadway musical Damn Yankees, he didn’t have women with heart disease in mind, but Danielle Archer, Katie Adams, Heather Ray, Stephanie Davis, and Susan Moss are women who, despite their health struggles, have maintained hope and HEART.

Her story: Susan Moss remembers being in the Jewish Hospital heart catheterization lab 20 years ago, watching as her mother, who had a long history of heart problems, had stents put in. “I vowed to myself this would never happen to me,” Susan says. She became a vegetarian and exercised multiple times a week. She had low blood pressure and kept tabs on her cholesterol levels. Susan had taken the time and the energy to ensure heart disease would not affect her.

Five years ago, however, she began experiencing dull chest pain that woke her up at night.  She reached out to her colleagues at Kindred Healthcare who helped her get in touch with a cardiologist.

Her diagnosis: Susan had a 60 percent blockage in an artery.

What she learned: While Susan was glad her heart condition wasn’t worse, the blockage did make her wonder whether she had wasted time by eating well and exercising over the past 20 years if she was going to end up having a heart problem anyway. Ultimately, she realized that the time she spent doing those healthy behaviors was well spent. “I didn’t have a heart attack, and I could have. I’m living my life so I don’t have the issues my mother had. You don’t want to live a compromised life,” she says, especially since she is the busy mother of three teenage and young adult children.

Extra tidbit: This woman’s cholesterol dropped from 340 to 133 when she did this.  

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