After an excruciating weekend waiting for test results and envisioning a multitude of really bad outcomes, I received my test results on Monday. They were fine–no further damage and no open heart surgery. What a relief! Of course, when they called with good results, it did not mean that I could reverse my decision to leave my corporate job. (See My Decision to Leave).
Stress can be harmful to your heart health and I most certainly have to take care of mine. An article in Time Magazine from June 22, 2014, explains “Stress causes an overproduction of white blood cells, which defend the body against diseases but can cause problems when produced in excess. These extra cells can stick to artery walls, causing restrictions in blood flow and aiding the formation of clots that can cause blood-vessel blockages throughout the body.” (New Study May Explain Why Stress Can Cause Heart Attacks)
Dr. Steven Nissen from the Cleveland Clinic explains how stress can trigger a heart attack:
I chose a pretty extreme way of limiting my stress. Stepping out of the corporate world is the right decision for me and allows me to chase what I have always wanted to do. When I look in the mirror, I can see that I made the right decision. I look and feel younger (except for that decision to let my hair go grey!) and the relief of knowing I don’t have to think about it any more is amazing.
I have come to terms with my departure from Corporate America and now look forward to the possibilities that await me. I am in a rare position to be able to stop mid-life and totally recreate myself. What a tremendous opportunity!