2008. The year I started my second life. Earlier than that, I was diagnosed with Mild Beta Thalassemia - a lifetime blood disorder and Patent Ductus Arteriosus aka PDA- that needed a surgery within three months or the disorder will become irreversible. It's heart breaking, shocking and unbelievable but sadly, true.
They had to cut me up on my upper right back to avoid cutting of bone - fortunate enough, when they saw that I had water in my lungs, they included the removal of water even if it's not on the procedure.
A million bucks, a normal delivery and an emergency Caesarean section later, I'm now a mum of two handsome gentlemen - an impossibility if immediate actions were not taken.
Yes, I successfully had a normal spontaneous delivery on my first baby - which only means that my heart is strong enough to undergo pressure of the whole 9-month ordeal plus the labour pain.
Dave and I
Yes, two successful pregnancies without complications of high blood pressure and pregnancy diabetes.
Thanks to my dear cardiologist of St. Luke's, surgeon of Philippine Heart Center, and hematologist of Medical City. Most of all thanks to my parents - the Dad who work all day and dance all night to meet my financial needs, and the Mum who made our family strong spiritually to keep us going.
That's the reason why this campaign is dear to my now-healed heart, because I, myself is a survivor.
How to keep on surviving?
These are the things I'm striving to do to protect my heart from breaking literally:
- Never did, never will - Smoking. Say no to smoking, secondhand smoking and thirdhand smoking. Yes, there is such a thing as a thirdhand smoking and apparently, it's the deadliest.
- Wine. Wine. Wine. A shot glass of red wine before bedtime helps on keeping our heart romantic and healthy.
- Not all glitters are gold. Don't be a gold digger! Refuse fried and greasy food.
- No soda, suggah! Sugar is one source of degeneration of muscle tissues including heart.
- Zero Calorie H2O. A lot! Hydrated body means organs doing their job better, which means lesser chances of clogged veins.
- Eat green. Broccoli may squeeze in between teeth, but never will it stop your heartbeat.
This is my keloidal scar today. It burns sometimes when it's too cold especially when we were still in Baguio and every once in awhile, but other than that, I feel my like my normal self again.
WORLD HEART DAY is on September 29, and I did my part, now do yours in this awareness program.
Take a photo of yourself holding your pledge of how you'll take care of your heart with a hashtag #PangakoSaPuso and #SharingWorldHeartDay!