A real patient story

While at work in September 2014, I lost vision of my left eye and had terrible feeling of “heat” all over the left side of my body.

The ER ophthalmologist directed me to cardiology for a vascular problem.

A week later, I could not walk 100 meters (325 feet) without crushing chest pain and shortness of breath.

I was no longer functional. Making my bed was all I could do in a whole day. I was no longer an active 54-year-old.

I was seen and dismissed by 5 cardiologists over a period of 18 months. Cardiologist #6 listened and believed me.

I was diagnosed after many tests and many more months with Microvascular angina and vasospasms and non-obstructive coronary arterial disease.

With diagnosis came treatment, and medication adjustments were done every 3 weeks until I started feeling better and eventually found some stability.

I finally returned to work after 3 years on disability. I joined online support groups for women with heart health issues – they were essential through the diagnostic journey. With their precious insight, I become acquainted with my condition and learned how to become proactive in my care.

I am determined to participate in discussions and initiatives leading to best care for women with heart conditions – especially non-obstructive heart patients.

Charlotte, aged 61


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