When I was 49, I suffered a heart attack that affected 50 percent of my heart function. At the time I was a registered dietician—I practiced good eating habits, led a healthy lifestyle, and didn't have any risk factors for heart disease. What surprised me the most was that I was in relatively great physical shape, but right before my heart attack I couldn't even manage to walk up a flight of stairs without stopping to rest.
At the time it never occurred to me that I could be having a heart attack. Fortunately I had a friend who convinced me to skip the gym one day when I was feeling really stressed. She told me to go to the hospital because I might be having a heart attack.
I think about heart disease everyday now. I don't take things for granted. Now that I've got a second chance at life I keep a new positive perspective on life and handle stress differently. But, my experiences with heart disease have made my daughters take better care of their own health.