Lessons I Learned from My Heart Attack

Taken from my Facebook Post on April 24, 2022:

“Last Thursday night was a special night for me and Afrin. After watching Jibraan practice his trumpet for the entire school year, he was placed in center seat for his school concert. We were excited, proud and so happy that he set his minds to something and performed it so beautifully.

Leaving the concert, I felt a sudden unease in my jaw. It lasted maybe 5 minutes and then subsided. I didn’t know what it was but I was glad it didn’t last. I told Afrin about it but then decided to go to dinner anyway since Jibraan was really looking forward to steak and almost never asks for rewards.

Dinner was great, but as soon as I stood up to head home the previous unease came rushing back, this time with nausea so I talked it over with Afrin and decided to drive to the urgent care center just to rule out anything serious.They called an ambulance because my EKG was abnormal and 9 hours later they discovered my troponin levels were rising and I had dangerously high blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels. I had a stent placed in my right coronary artery which was 99% blocked. I had indeed had a heart attack.

I want you to know I was never in pain. No stabbing sensation. No intense discomfort. Just a hunch resulting from an unfamiliar sensation. To be perfectly honest, I don’t know what came over me that night because normally I’d ignore something that seemingly insignificant.

It was scary. All I could think of was what would happen to Jibraan and Afrin if anything went wrong. How would my parents and my MIL take it if the damage was irrecoverable. I began to worry I'd never make it to my son or my nieces' graduations or weddings. I began to regret not having a closer relationship with my brother and thinking about how my sister would take it if something went wrong – not having seen each other for over 10 years.

I began thinking about all my friends I'm out of touch with including my best friends from college.

A thousand thoughts ran through my head (including regret about potentially not getting to see all the future Marvel movies – not kidding).

I’m grateful it wasn’t more serious.

I’m grateful for the people in my life who rushed to my side and support me always.

I’m grateful to have a new lease on life and for the fact that I was able to walk out the hospital 3 days later.

I’ve never been very religious but I feel blessed this happened during Ramadan, especially during the last 10 days – a sacred time. I felt protected in a different way than I ever have before.

I'm grateful for a second opportunity to get it right. Here's to second chances.”

And now I'm back to thinking about the business. After a really rough two years, we finally had the business back on track before this major life interruption which pulled both me and Afrin back out. The momentum we had gained a few weeks ago with our event seems stalled.

It's crazy how much a major life event can alter your perspective instantly. I'm more invigorated about the business than I've been at any point since we started. I can't wait to jump back in and build exactly what we set out to build.

No shortcuts. No compromises. No settling. Nothing but what we set out to do.

I've also never been more sure we can do it. My connection to every client we serve has multiplied exponentially. I'm so in love with these people and I see so much in our collective futures that was hidden from my view before.

We've all heard the saying, “art imitates life.” I feel strongly this is true for business also, at least I know it is for me. My business imitates what's happening in my life and I haven't been this alive in years.

Thank you for all the support and love. I'm so overwhelmed (in a good way) at the outpour of messages and posts and energy I've felt you send my way. I'm getting who I am for people and am so excited to step into that role with a deeper understanding of who that is. And again, here's to second chances.

Me in the hospital and a week later

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