I woke up this morning to the familiar sound of a new email arriving via my iPhone. “PING”. I had received a response to a story I wrote about Coronary Microvascular Disease.
The email was from a woman asking for help. She began, “I'm a 65 year old woman and have a bad family history of heart disease”. She explained that, although she sees her cardiologist every 6 months to a year, he doesn’t hear her when she complains about dizzy spells and other strange symptoms. She continued, “He doesn't seem too concerned… he says it's not bad enough to do anything about.” She closed her email with “I'm beginning not to feel safe with him as my doctor”.
Strength In Numbers
I began writing about my experiences with doctors, diagnosis and this thing called heart disease in December of 2009. Since then I have had dozens of emails and comments asking for advice. I share what I know. For instance, if your doctor isn’t taking you seriously, move on! Having trouble explaining your condition to family or friends, try this. I knew there were a lot of women out there with heart disease, what I didn’t know is how many of them needed to hear my story. That’s where you come in.
Why It Matters
Stories of women with heart disease abound. You may not feel as if your story is worth telling. Perhaps you don’t think of yourself as a writer. All of that doesn’t matter. What does matter is that you actually tell your story. Your personal experience with pain, doctors, medications, etc. can and will affect your readers.
I received this comment on my blog a few days ago from a young mother. “Thank you so much for taking the time to create this site. I just left the hospital two days ago with cardiac syndrome X suspected. My symptoms started abruptly two weeks ago. So I am absolutely terrified as to what this means for quality of life. I have a six year old. Probably don’t have to explain more than that. Your site gave me much needed information and direction. Thanks!”
The pen is indeed mightier than the sword.