I Have No Intentions of Dying.
I was born and raised in New York (Brooklyn/Staten Island.) I was divorced in 2006 and my sons were ages 9 and 13. It was difficult, but I was determined.
I have always believed in The Secret and power of intention. I speak it to my sons and they follow the same path. Sometimes, they remind me to get back on track with the Universe.
I have had a pretty highly regarded career. In my last job in NY, I was the Executive Director in medical academics. Most of my positions were in health care and most of them had more of a 24/7 role and not a 9-5 role.
I made a decision to move to California in 2016. Yes, 3,000 miles away at age 50. A job offer literally fell into my lap toward the end of the year. In December, I was diagnosed with pneumonia, so I was following the doctor’s orders, but still working full time and then some.
In January, 2017, thirteen days before I was scheduled to fly out to California and in the middle of packing up my house, I couldn’t shake the pneumonia and couldn’t catch my breath. I went to the Emergency Department of my local hospital, coughing and rattling. Something had to give.
I was triaged and all of a sudden there was an immediate sense of urgency as they walked me to the back of the ED. The doctor looked at me as a “walker” and said “That’s the patient? Put her in the hallway.”
I kept coughing and coughing. They came over and did a chest X-ray. Yes, I had pneumonia. They did blood work. They took me for a CT scan.
And then, the same doctor came over to me and said “I think you have a pulmonary embolism.” Despite my shortness of breath, I shook my head “no” and said “No. I don’t.”
More tests and I was put in a room in the ED. Soon thereafter, I was told that it appears that I had a heart attack, sometime in the prior two weeks of walking into the Emergency Department.
Additional tests and I was told I had “several silent heart attacks” and that I needed to go for cardiac catheterization. There, the cardiologist stented me. And then he told me that my heart was only pumping at 20% – he didn’t understand how it was that I was still alive, working, taking care of my household and my family. I told him I had no intention of dying. I was put into the Cardiac Care Unit.
The stent was placed 10 days before my flight was scheduled to leave. The doctor told me I could die on the plane and that I probably shouldn’t make the move.
I told him I have no intentions of dying – I have two kids and a job waiting for me in California. I explained that I don’t think in the negative and that I have every intention of getting on that plane.
He absolutely believed I was just belligerent.
Every healthcare professional that came into my hospital room said “You’re the one who is moving to California?” And I responded “Absolutely.” Most shook their heads.
I had a job waiting for me and a new life. I did my first 50 years in NY and intended to do my next 50 in California.
The doctor put me on a Life Vest. That is a vest that one wears with an external defibrillator. I had to wear it for 23 hours a day (the only time I could take it off was to shower.) In the event I was having another silent heart attack, it would take over and shock my heart.
The day before I was getting on the plane, I saw the cardiologist. He gave me specific rules for flying – drink a glass of water every hour, get up and walk the length of the plane every hour and in the event that I couldn’t, I was to shake my legs to make sure the blood was pumping. I also had to prove that I had a cardiologist in CA and an appointment within 72 hours of landing.
I was pushed in a wheelchair through the airport in NY, wearing a vest with wires and carrying a medical card explaining what it was.
I got on the plane – ready to go. I continued to put out to the Universe that despite everything, I was making the right decision and to continue to guide me.
I landed in California to my new home. I started work at my new job two days later. I walked slowly, I paid attention to my breathing, I met my new staff and explained the vest to them. By rights, I shouldn’t have made it. But I did and I was going to keep making it.
Three months later, I had another echocardiogram. My heart was now pumping at 40%. It doubled in three months.
I continued to put out to the Universe that I had no intention of dying. My kids need me for a long time and I have too much more to do with my life.
Now, just about a year later, my heart is pumping between 50-55%. My cardiologist is amazed. He wants me to get to 60-65%, but to see the progress I’ve made is somewhat miraculous.
I think differently. It’s all about the Universe answering me.
I had no intentions of dying. And the Universe understood.
I’m living a great life in California, with a great job and the support of all of my family and friends in NY along with my new friends and colleagues in California.
And I live with gratefulness every day.