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A New Outlook on Life

April 10, 2018

Sometimes life throws you a curve ball.

EKG

I was supposed to leave today to teach and vend at Quilt Festival in Chicago. After the show we had tickets to see Hamilton. The following day we were to drive to Paducah, KY to vend at AQS Quiltweek .

If you are scheduled to be in my class in Chicago this week, I apologize, but I had to find a replacement to teach my class. You should receive a separate email from me regarding this issue.

I totally enjoy my job. There is something to be said about being your own boss, doing what you love, and meeting people who enjoy the same things that you do.

My job consists of creating applique quilt patterns, teaching classes, traveling, and vending at quilt shows. That is the fun side, however, there is so much that goes on “behind the scenes” including lots of admin work, which takes up a huge amount of time. I’m not kidding when I tell people that this is a full-time job.

Every year I say that I will be “cutting back” on the amount of travel and shows that I do, and every year I seem to add “just one more thing”.

Recently, I had a wake up call, which has made me rethink my priorities.

On March 28 I had lunch with a friend. As I left the restaurant to get into my car I noticed that my heart was racing and my chest began to hurt. I had noticed previously, for about three weeks, that I had been having shortness of breath when climbing just one flight of stairs. Because of these previous symptoms, I had made a doctor’s appointment to discuss these issues with my primary care doctor. My appointment was on March 29, my birthday.

When the racing heartbeat and pain in my chest began, I quickly realized that this was something serious. I was able to check my heart rate on my Apple Watch and realized that I was experiencing 122 beats per minute, my normal resting heart rate is generally around 54.

Heart-Rate

Three thoughts went through my mind at this point, drive home, drive myself to my primary care doctor, or drive directly to my local hospital. I chose option number three. Granted, this was probably not the best idea, driving yourself to the hospital while having a heart attack, and for future reference I would suggest that you call 911 if you find yourself in this situation.

To make a long story short, I was admitted to the hospital and a stent was inserted into one of the main arteries of my heart. It wasn’t until the doctors talked to me after the surgery that I realized what danger I had avoided. It seems that I had a 95% blockage of the LAD artery in my heart. This is often called the “Widow Maker”. My cardiologist told me that I had “dodged a major bullet” and that if I had waited a week longer to see a doctor that I would not be sitting here today.

You may have read my post on this on my Facebook page, if so, I apologize for repeating it here. However, since not all of my readers subscribe to Facebook, I thought this info might help someone else to be more informed.

Fortunately for me, I had read up on symptoms of heart attacks in women, as I know that they present themselves differently than in men, and I was prepared.

My advice to you is to listen to your body.

I have no history of heart disease in my family, I am not overweight, I don’t have high blood pressure, I do not sit around, and I eat healthy. I do, however, have a history of high cholesterol in my family.

If you are a woman, please read up on signs of a heart attack in women. That description of an elephant sitting on your chest may not be what you feel. In my case that “elephant” must have been a baby one because, tome, it was bearable, although I do have a high tolerance for pain.

I’m currently at home for a few weeks, “taking it easy”. I will resume my “new normal” schedule shortly and hope to see many of you at future shows and classes.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. Donna permalink
    April 10, 2018 2:08 pm

    So glad you were wise to go when you did. Clearly 95 % blockage had to be a shock? You mentioned all the right things you did. Not over weight, don’t sit around, and all that etc. Then, you have to wonder how that happened? I guess healthy this and that, just isn’t enough. Stress and cholesterol are the culprits perhaps. So maybe you need to slow down some, rest more? And try to find ways to reduce stress. As we age our needs change. That’s just how it is.
    Hope you are recovering well. God bless.

  2. Sharon Kimber permalink
    April 10, 2018 2:43 pm

    My thoughts and prayers are with you hope you have a speedy recovery.

    Your classes are wonderful. I have taken several and enjoyed them so much.

    Sharon Kimber Beaufort, Sc

    skimber76@gmail.com

    On Tue, Apr 10, 2018 at 12:53 PM, Sandy Fitzpatrick of Hissyfitz Designs wrote:

    > Sandy Fitzpatrick posted: “Sometimes life throws you a curve ball. I was > supposed to leave today to teach and vend at Quilt Festival in Chicago. > After the show we had tickets to see Hamilton. The following day we were to > drive to Paducah, KY to vend at AQS Quiltweek . If you ar” >

  3. Sharon L Dvorak permalink
    April 10, 2018 3:29 pm

    Best wishes for a speedy recovery. Take care of yourself. No shows or classes come before your health.

  4. Lee permalink
    April 11, 2018 7:17 am

    So happy to hear a happy outcome! Lot of rest, and NO stress!

  5. Elyse DeWyngaert permalink
    April 11, 2018 11:42 am

    Dear Sandy, I am so thankful that you had a successful outcome to this cardiac event and corrective surgery. You have me in tears, when I think of what you have gone through. July 2016 I had a similar situation, where I drove myself to a satellite ER, then drove to Alexandria Hospital where I was admitted. As a nurse I know better, but logic didn’t reign supreme with me either. Denial was my chief complaint. Thank you for sharing your experience and again I am so thankful you are on the mend. My love to you and your family. Elyse DeWyngaert. P.S. I would so appreciate your address and contact information, I don’t get to see you on Facebook.

    On Tue, Apr 10, 2018, 12:54 PM Sandy Fitzpatrick of Hissyfitz Designs wrote:

    > Sandy Fitzpatrick posted: “Sometimes life throws you a curve ball. I was > supposed to leave today to teach and vend at Quilt Festival in Chicago. > After the show we had tickets to see Hamilton. The following day we were to > drive to Paducah, KY to vend at AQS Quiltweek . If you ar” >

  6. April 12, 2018 4:43 pm

    Hope you are feeling better and better!! 🙂

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