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  • Writer's pictureTina Marie


By Tina Marie Marsden - July 13, 2021

An unexpected medical emergency can land you in the back of an ambulance, emergency room, or once again in a hospital.  Sometimes it’s no big deal, while other times it can make you feel like throwing in the towel. How we cope can greatly depend on the situation at hand. However, I’ve learned many times that we have more control over these matters than we think.

The matter

Most recently I found myself in the back of an ambulance for the second time in 60 days. My first thought, “This can’t be happening again.” The next, “Why is this happening again?” Just like that, I’m rushed with a range of emotions.

My initial feeling was fear mostly due to the unknown. From there I went to hurt and sadness. With everything I’ve overcome you’d think I’d be used to the unexpected detours by now. With so many questions yet to be answered I could feel the anger and frustration beginning to set in.

I had to reel it all in. After gathering my thoughts I was able to regain control of my mind. Literally!

Controlling my mind

I began to process the situation at hand. I had experienced another episode of AFib which is new for me. However, I was conscious and able to detail the moments leading up to my medical event to first responders. Both positives.

Back in a normal heart rhythm, my blood pressure looked good, and my oxygen level was at 100%. After testing and labs, my bloodwork came back normal. By all accounts, this was an isolated event. After a thorough evaluation I was back home within three hours (My LVAD does come with some perks! Lol.). While I acknowledge my feelings and their purpose, being able to control my thoughts at the onset of a heart event is another matter.

That initial fear was real and understandable. Acknowledging my feelings is something I don’t take lightly. Once back home I had a conversation with myself. Why did I get so upset and where did the fear come from? Why did I allow my thoughts to scramble all over the place? These were all valid concerns, just like my initial thoughts themselves. Overcoming advanced heart failure is an adventure all its own. So, what could I do differently in case of another event?

This too shall pass

I’ve come to this place where I’m constantly learning that my initial reactions and thoughts can directly affect the matter at hand. I’ve implemented these two first steps. Pray and breathe while contacting my medical team or 911. Next, I repeat positive affirmations to myself. “This too shall pass.” “You are protected.” My faith has and continues to be at the forefront in all I do.

Sometimes these things can all sound quite simple, other times they seem easier said than done; but I’ve learned it is possible! I’m constantly growing on this journey; and I understand that protecting my mind, managing how I cope with it, and controlling the unexpected can shift that detour back on track. This can then lead to momentum in a new and healthier direction.

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