Name: Shawn O
Location: Valley Village, CA
I would like to share my story because I feel it is unique and maybe helpful for others to hear. I am 32 years old, 5'6, 180 pounds, exercise rigorously and regularly, lost 20 pounds last year, and 1 month ago, I was diagnosed with angina with a 80-90% blockage of a major artery in my heart and another 70% blockage along the same artery.
I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, and told that I most likely would have had a heart attack later this year. The one area that I let myself go was my diet. Fast food was a staple of my everyday eating habits and I felt justified. I believed that since I exercised 2 to 3 hours a day, 4 to 5 days a week, that I could eat just about anything I wanted, and it would be okay. I mean, I had lost twenty pounds in the last year, how bad of a job could I be doing?
Then, around Christmas, I started having chest pains. I attributed it to stress, or sickness, and ignored them for a few weeks. Finally, my wife forced me to the doctors where, due to the intuition and responsibility of the physicians, I was diagnosed with diabetes and angina. I had a stent inserted, and I now have something in common with a 64 year old ex-president.
I want to share my story because I believe that most people have this idea that heart disease affects the old, or those that are morbidly obese, and neither of those describes me. In the diabetes class I took, I was the youngest person there by 10 years, and no one in the room had experienced what I went through. I want people to know that everyone is susceptible to this disease, and that it affects those of all shapes and ages, even those the nurses repeatedly say, "He's so young, why is he here?"