For the Troy Daily News
TROY — After years of trying to eat right and follow exercise programs, Lynn Matson was blindsided when a heart attack struck last fall.
The day before the attack, she’d ridden her bicycle 11 miles without difficulty and the morning of she participated in an aerobics class.
After running errands, the Troy woman arrived home and soon began experiencing a tightness in her rib cage area. She described the feeling as like a tourniquet being pulled tight.
A trip to the UVMC emergency room with husband, Rick, showed blood pressure of 200/95 and an EKG indicating she was in trouble. Matson was taken by CareFlight to the heart tower at Good Samaritan Hospital, where she received a heart catheterization with two stents to correct one blocked artery.
“I have exercised regularly for at least 30 years and I’ve tried to provide heart-healthy meals since my husband’s heart bypass surgery 15 years ago,” she said. “Given the fact that none of my grandparents or parents and neither of my siblings have had heart attacks, I was blindsided by mine.”
She said she was blessed with the timing of her heart event and the care she received.
“When you are in a region where you have a community hospital, it is wonderful to know if you are in a big emergency that needs major attention that you are going to get it,” Matson said.
After the catheterization, she began participating in the cardiopulmonary rehabilitation program at UVMC.
“I have really needed the security of the heart rehab Phase Two program to monitor my exercise sessions as I have rebuilt strength and endurance,” said Matson. She feels she has recovered completely. “I value the guidance and encouragement provided by the dedicated and upbeat staff in the cardio-rehab department at UVMC,” she said.
Matson worked for 30 years as a teacher in the Tipp City and Troy schools, taking time out to raise the Matsons’ two sons, until retirement in 2009.
Looking back to the days before her heart attack, she said she experienced indigestion-like symptoms lasting only a couple of minutes over a period of about two weeks. She wondered if she had digestive issues, but never suspected a heart attack.
“I would encourage anyone finding themselves wondering if they are having a heart attack to get help without hesitation. Women’s symptoms can be so varied that we really don’t ever want to hesitate to get checked out, thus hurting our chances of recovery,” Matson said. “It is better to risk the chance of sounding a false alarm than to risk your recovery potential. The early intervention I received made all the difference in my chance of a complete recovery.”
To learn more about local cardiac services, visit uvmc.com or premierhealth.com.