We work out in a class (I’m in the MWF 3 p.m. group) and everyone knows each other; they’ve been together for weeks. They are all at least two decades older than me. Three men and one other woman.
“You didn’t have heart surgery did you?” Patrick asked.
“Yes, I had a heart attack and now I have a stent.”
“But you’re too young!”
“Yep, I’m a poster child for it can happen to anyone,” I said with a smile, my new stock response for the shocked. Obviously and unfortunately I am not too young and neither are the many others like me. I saw this fact on a poster in the heart clinic: “62% of all people living with heart disease are under 65.”
I don’t mind telling the story and I hope people share it so that other women listen to their bodies and advocate for quick, accurate diagnosis and treatment. I would like to imagine the trainers telling their friends, or my fellow patients telling their daughters, so that if a woman they know has a heart attack, she too will be joining us at rehab.
We’re very nice, and she will like it.