to the club you thought you'd never have to join
Imperfect heart got you sad? Mysogynist doc making you mad?
Then welcome to the Unicorn Heart Club!
Until 2017, I had always thought that people who had heart attacks were cigar-chewing white dudes, men with high blood pressure, gnarly cholesterol and a backpack of bad habits. John Candy, Tony Soprano, those guys.
I knew to the bottom of my Lululemons that I would never, ever have a heart problem. I exercised at least ten hours per week, taught yoga, meditated, and frequently pretended to enjoy kale smoothies. My blood pressure has always been pitch perfect, cholesterol remarkably great, resting heart rate around 55bpm.
However, at the tender young age of 53, I had a series of heart events, including a walking heart attack. Who knew you could multitask -- make breakfast for your kids and have a cardiac arrest? Who knew that the E.R. doctor would dismiss my elevated cardiac enzymes and abnormal EKG and send me home with salad recipes? Who knew that my blocked LAD could be written off as "benign" by a highly-recommended cardiologist?
Color me gobsmacked to learn that doctors often triage heart patients based on patient gender. Do you have a penis and chest pain? Let's race you through the ER like cheetah. Chest pain but no penis? Sorry, it's probably just hormones, we'll have Nurse Sloth and Dr. Koala get right on that.
As a result of this gender discrimination, women are twice as likely as men to die of heart disease than men are. Blatant gender discrimination in cardiac events is so common, it even has a name: The Yentl Syndrome.
I don't know how, but, dang!, Yentl Syndrome has got to be abolished. Right? Of course right!
The past coupla years have been bumpy as fuck and then, in the life-gives-you-lemons moment of inspiration, I thought that the perfect (and shocking) sequel to my yoga college memoir would be my heart memoir, The Yoga Teacher's Heart Attack. I'll be putting up excerpts by the end of 2020.
She published her yoga memoir in 2007 and is at work on the shocking sequel, The Yoga Teacher's Heart Attack. Excerpts to be posted by December 2020.
For NaNoWriMo 2020, Tracey will try her hand at her first fiction book.