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Susan Hendrickson’s Story

Cardiomyopathy Survivor, Age 58, Lenexa, KS

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Susan's Story

My life was changed suddenly about 13 days ago. As I look back now, I know that I ignored some of the warning signs! I’d have some small pains in my chest but they would go away. My blood pressure was too high and I also smoked. I knew I needed to make changes but always put it off for another day. Well that so called “other day” caught up with me while my husband and I was out shopping. I remember heading to the check out and all of a sudden feeling super hot! I took my coat off and was still too hot so I told my husband that I was going out to the car and to get some air. I barely made it to the car before these awful pains hit me in the chest, down both of my arms and into my neck and back. I couldn’t breath and the pain was like nothing I’ve ever felt before! I knew I was in trouble and told my husband to call 911. I was taken by ambulance to SMMC and greeted by a team of professionals waiting for me in the hallway. I was so scared and will never forget the look I saw on my husbands face. Everyone around me was working so fast and then I was taken to the Cath Lab. This is the room where the diagnoses begins, I had Takostubo Cardiomyopathy. I was in the hospital for 3 days then sent home with instuctions, medications and to follow up with my new cardiologist. I made a appt with my Cardiologist and walking into his office was another wake up call…this is now REAL! I quit smoking 13 days ago, changing my diet and still trying to adjust to the meds and this new life style. Seems like it takes me longer to do things now and I get scared very easily when I feel anything different in my chest or shoulders. I feel like I need others to talk to that has been through this.
I want women to know that our signs of a heart attack is very unique and different from one person to another. Get help quickly if you have any symptoms.

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Susan is interested in giving and receiving support from other women with heart disease. Contact her if you'd like to give and receive support.

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