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Constance Katvala’s Story

Sacramento, CA 95814, CA

Constance's Story

On 9/15/09 I drove myself to the local emergency room due to chest pain. I had just been betrayed at work and was scared, stressed, angry and really upset. Then the pain started so I was going to Urgent Care and it got worse and I knew exactly where the emergency room was so I made the smart choice.
Tako-Tsubo or Broken Heart Syndrome is brought about by an overdose of epinephrine or adrenalin hitting your heart due to the incident. It was discovered in 1991 in Japan when they found that post menopausal women were dying shortly after their husbands of many years died. Because your heart looks like an octopus trap that the Japanese use when you undergo an angiogram they named it Tako-Tsubo which means Octopus Trap.
Every day new information comes out on Tako-Tsubo but I am still frustrated. My understanding after all my research was I should have made a 100% recovery within days to weeks. Well, it has been close to a year now and my ejection fraction rate is low 40-45, so I was put into Cardiac Rehab. Nobody really knows what to do with me. I am having a stress echo soon and we will see if I have permanent or repairable or I don’t know what kind of damage.
I have decided to live my life to the fullest and whatever may be may be. I now go to cardiac rehab and do cardio three times a week. I work out with a trainer two times a week and I have cut all sodium, all sodas, all deli meats out of my diet. I am trying to work myself up to becoming a vegetarian but that will take a while. I have just canceled my TV because it was sucking the life out of me. After a stressful day at work I would come home and veg in front of the TV.
I am starting a web site Tako-Tsubo.com but can only do it in my spare time. Since I work as an I.T. Manager during the day and that is really stressful it is sometimes difficult to even get on the computer when I get home.
I am trying to think of the event as a wake up call to live life and not let it pass me by. And yes, I did get an octopus tattoo with the kanji symbol for tako tsubo on my forearm. It is to remind me that life is for living and stress is not good so I should take a deep breath and try to enjoy the moment.

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