February is National Heart Month, and in my role as the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women Director for Palm Beach County, saying I was busy was an understatement. My whole calendar was filled with activities, events and meetings.
I had been recently promoted to this position, and I was going a mile a minute to make sure everything was perfect, despite the fact that my body was telling me to slow down. I had been dealing with fatigue and momentary vision loss, but I just chalked it up to stress. I actually thought it was somewhat normal with how busy I had been, and I was almost embarrassed to ask for medical care. That would certainly change.
I remember it clearly. It was the day before Valentine’s Day, and I was at work and sitting in a meeting. I started to feel the same symptoms of fatigue and vision loss, but this time was different. They were so severe, I couldn’t ignore them. I excused myself to go to the bathroom, but I never made it. I fainted and my supervisor immediately called 911.
I woke up in an ambulance, and I couldn’t believe I was there. I thought it was a little ridiculous that I would be receiving this level of medical attention. Luckily, the paramedics knew better, and I was taken to Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center where I was finally able to understand the seriousness of my condition.