Today is my one year anniversary of having a heart attack. It was not your usual, garden-variety, artery blockage heart attack; it was one no one really hears much about, but that can be just as deadly.
The technical name is Takotsubo. It is also called "stress cardiomyopathy" or "broken heart syndrome". It is brought on by extreme emotional distress and is mostly seen in women. The emotional distress situations listed include divorce or a relationship break up. Such was my situation - over 20 years of marriage being tossed away by my cheating husband, despite all the chances I gave him to do the right thing.... (Due to the contentiousness of the divorce situation, I cannot share much - just leave it at LTA with my BFF that has destroyed both my and her families, with children in both. The history and details are much more sordid than that, but I am unable to tell at this time, fearing legal repercussions....because of this, I have only lurked here for a long time, joining today just to share this important information....)
The good news is, if you are having such an attack, which gives you much the same symptoms as the other type heart attack, and get help right away, you can survive, and the damaged heart muscle can heal rather quickly. My personal good news is I knew my family history regarding the blockages-type attacks, and I was able to get help quickly when I had my attack; I am now nearly "cleared" by my cardiologist as well.
I write this today to warn you all, especially anyone new to the immense pain the situation causes, to be careful. Know the signs of a heart attack; don't be afraid to seek help because it might "just be a panic attack" (statement not meant to downgrade panic attacks, as I have had mild ones of those too, so I know....but it is a phrase we use to downplay things or because we might be embarrassed if that is "all it is"....I know - I started to that day....). It is better to be embarrassed than to be dead. Regardless of how you feel today, maybe feeling like you'd be better off if you were dead, I guarantee you, it will feel differently a year from now. I am still in the midst of the divorce process; a year ago, I wished I were dead so I didn't have to deal with it all, but today, I wrote a note of gratitude to the people who helped me when I had my attack - I am grateful because I am alive today. What a difference a year makes!!
I am no doctor, but I am a survivor, so if anyone has questions about Takotsubo, please ask. I will try to answer. I never knew about this possible problem until I suffered it; I hope to make as many people aware as possible - before they or someone they know suffers it as well.