American Heart Association’s Survivor Class 2017: Meet Debbie Kryczkowski
Debbie has always stayed pretty busy, between her career, volunteer work, and being an engaged grandmother to five boys. She had so much going on, she was too busy for herself and for her health.
In the video (at the top of this page), Debbie says she started to feel ill, so she finally went to the doctor. They ran a stress test, she had an EKG, but she passed both. But there was something growing... Her health was going to take a turn for the worst.
Debbie explained her symptoms the morning of her heart attack: a sharp pain in her jaw, tightness in her chest (which made it feel like she couldn't catch her breath), Sharp pains in the middle of her back. She says,
...I was so sick from the top of my head to the tip of my toes, I had such an ill-feeling, and I didn't know what it was. It was a feeling I've never felt before.
Something told her not to stay home that day, so she didn't. She went to work and figured if she still didn't feel well, she would head to the doctor's office afterwards. She ended up leaving work early, though...
The physician's assistant walked in while she was at the doctor's and told her she was in the middle of having a heart attack. Debbie says,
...I didn't know I was having a heart attack. I didn't feel anything wrong with my heart. It was all the symptoms that women have, that we don't know about...
"All the symptoms women have, that we don't know about..." Just let this sink in. We've been told time and time again that women don't have the same symptoms as men do when it comes to heart attacks, but do you know what those symptoms are? Do you know what to look out for, so you don't end up having a heart attack, or having one too late?
Debbie goes on in the video to say that if she would have stayed home that day, she would have probably went to sleep... And probably wouldn't have woken up.
It's a scary thing that we don't want to think about. But we need to. If something doesn't feel right, even if something just feels a little "off," go to the doctor. It's better to be safe, than sorry. You don't want to ignore the symptoms and have it cost you the ultimate price... Your life.
Watch the video at the top of this page to see what advice Debbie has for women, and see her "why." The "Go Red for Women" campaign asks you to find your "why." Who and what do you want to be around for? What and who mean the most to you? This is your "why." And this is why you need to keep an eye on your health, especially your heart health.
You can join the American Heart Association and their Go Red for Women campaign during the “Go Red for Women Luncheon” at Daniele’s Banquet Specialists in New Hartford on Wednesday, May 3rd. You can get more details on the luncheon, purchase tickets, and/or make a donation by visiting the CNY American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women Luncheon Page.