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 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, Mr. Larry "8 Wives" King (RIP, dude). Those guys have heart attacks.
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?
Who could of guessed that in this modern day and age, women going to the ER with a heart attack are twice as likely as men to die in the hospital simply because we don't have a penis.
Blatant gender discrimination in cardiac events is so common, it even has a name: The Yentl Syndrome.
I get it, what with Covid and insurrections and #blacklives matter, maybe gender discrimination isn't at the top of your worry list right now. But ... allowing doctors to continue to give men better medical treatment is sort of slow, spendy genocide. So my goal? Get the Yentl Syndrome abolished.
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 mean, it is weird how very few books talk about either women's heart disease and how fewer still
just blab on and on about improving my lifestyle, implying that all heart attacks are the
fault of the patient. Also, no one talks about the stress of heart surgery, the ridic
health insurance system, the emotional trauma of flirting with the Grim Reaper and
living to tell it.
So kick off your fuzzy slippers, fire up the tea kettle, and enjoy The Yoga Teacher's Heart Attack.