When I embarked on my post-a-day project for February I didn’t think it would be followed by never-post-at-all March. Just wanted to let you know I’m still here, I have lots to tell you, and even more information to share.

I wrapped up heart month (February) with a super-fun shopping party at Hot Mama, where amazing women from all parts of my life — work, school, volunteer, and childhood friends, family, and heart sisters — shopped for the cause of raising awareness about women and heart disease. Ā Thanks to Hot Mama on Grand Avenue for hosting us, and for donating 15 percent of the proceeds from the party to Go Red for Women. Fun — and fashion — had by all!

hot mama collage with words(PS on the bottom left is my aunt, Susan, who lives in Colorado but surprised me at the party. So cool!)

But if that party was the high, then the next few days were the low. After yet another internal battle with myself about what I was feeling and how I was doing, I once again gave in and called my doctor. Yep, pain between the shoulder blades, pain in my chest (there’s a new one), inability to get through a day without laying down for three hours, pathetic workouts, sweats, aching legs.

Guess what? Sick again. Me, above, on February 28. Me, below, on March 7.

hospital 2013 1 editSince I always pass all available diagnostic tests, it was straight to the cath lab for another angiogram. This time, the result was mixed: my big arteries are clear and wide open (my doctor very pleased with this), but the LAD spasms under stress, restricting blood flow and perfectly mimicking heart attack symptoms. Oh, and I have microvascular disease too. That means all the tiny arteries are clogged, or spasm-ing (is that a word?), or both.

The short version: not gonna kill me, still gonna hurt and make me sick (the patient very displeased with this).

In the wise words of my brother: Well shit.


  1. Praying for clear answers & thorough healing for you! And, how do you still look so cute in a hospital bed? wow :-)

  2. Carolyn Tonneson says:

    That Mikey–has a real talent for wording things just right! :-)

  3. Angie Eoff says:

    Hey Jen

    Sorry to hear what has been happening. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

    Angie – Fellow Go Red Ambassador!

  4. Kate Edenborg says:

    And this is also what I’d say: Grrrrrrrrr.

  5. Jen….I had a feeling when you did not post. Hope you are feeling a bit better!

  6. Elizabeth Warmka says:

    Oh no! So sorry to hear this Jen! Hang in there and feel free to reach to any of us if ever you need to talk, grab coffee or whatever.

    Elizabeth Warmka

  7. Cindy Muzetras says:

    So sorry about the bad month following your high in Feb. I hope as soon as our ground thaws you will be able to have some good therapy while gardening.

  8. oh my, jen! so sorry to hear the chaos, but as usual, you word it well & wear it well.

  9. Sending prayers your way Jen!! Love Dayni

  10. Heather Cordes says:

    Well that just stinks! Hope your health gets headed in the right direction!

  11. Stephanie L says:

    Your brother pretty much sums things up for you…Hope you are feeling better. Glad you went in and are being proactive!

  12. I agree with your brother! That really stinks. I had a friend who was doing heart research at the Mayo a few years ago… Not sure if the study is still going on, but if you’re up for being a guinea pig, maybe you could use the situation to help others deal with heart disease.

    Saying some prayers you start to feel better.

  13. Lynn in MD says:

    I’m so sorry to hear this. I can’t imagine how frustrated and sad this must make you feel. I hope your doctors can figure out what’s best for you. It might not hurt to get a consult with a top ranked cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic either…

  14. marjan schuetze says:

    Jen, Sorry to hear about your March “down time”. The birds are singing & the snow is melting so I’m sure April will be alot better. Ken & I were excited to see you on the billboard when we drove back from Minneapolis in March. We all wear red in our PT, OT & Speech dept. on “Go Red Day”. Keep spreading the word & God bless… Marjan

  15. I am so encouraged by you sticking to your running no matter what you may be feeling on any given day! You are so amazing. I live with fibromyalgia and heart disease and the problem is that I often cannot separate the symptoms from one another. It is so discouraging trying to figure out what is happening from one day to the next. Your determination is very inspiring!
    best wishes,


  1. […] the thing about heart disease: it is not an event. It is not behind you. You are not cured. It affects me nearly every day. Some days I have pain. Some days I’m exhausted by normal activities. Some days I feel fine. […]

  2. […] 1. The illness I live with is heart disease (heart attack, coronary artery disease, endothelial dysfunction, microvascular disease). […]