Donna Goodson

Donna’s Story: I Learned That It Wasn’t ‘Just Stress’

“It’s just stress!” I said. It was a 95 percent blockage.

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Donna Goodson, Heart Survivor

I was at the doctor’s office for a physical. I had a lot of stress going on in my life, but something just made me ask, “How do you know if you’re having a heart problem?” I don’t even know why I asked him. I have asthma too, so I was putting a lot of my shortness of breath and being so exhausted on that.

He made me an appointment with Dr. Neeraj Badhey, cardiologist on the medical staff at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Hurst-Euless-Bedford, that afternoon. “What? It’s just stress!” I said. “No,” he said, “it’s not.”

It was a 95 percent blockage. I had signs for a very long time and had ignored them. The doctor didn’t know what kept me from not having a stroke or a heart attack.

I went to Texas Health HEB and had a stent put in. I almost didn’t make it through the surgery. A few weeks later, they had to do an angioplasty because of the pain. After another six months, the pain returned, so they set me up for a non-invasive treatment therapy called enhanced external counterpulsation (EECP).

Now, after my many treatments, I’m on my road to recovery!

The care I received at Texas Health HEB was awesome! Absolutely awesome! Now, I volunteer with cardiac rehab where they took such great care of me. I want to let other people know, “Hey, this isn’t the end of it.”

To heart disease, I’d like to say, “You’re not going to win. Because I’m a fighter and I can beat you.”

I ignored my symptoms because I thought it was just stress. But life had settled down and all the major stress had stopped, and the pains were getting more relevant. I made an excuse for everything, but the doctor was smart enough to recognize the signs.

Now, I’m so much smarter. I eat healthier. I’ve lost a lot of weight. I’m really conscious of my choices now. I just want to stand up and say, “Women. Listen. A little twinge is talking to you. And you’re just ignoring it? Saying ‘it’s stress.’ It’s not! Listen to your body. Pay attention. Because you may not get a chance to again.”

To find out if you are at risk for heart disease, visit YourHeartAge.com.

Physicians on the medical staff practice independently and are not employees or agents of the hospital or Texas Health Resources.

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