Women and Heart Disease
In her book, Take It to Heart: The Real Deal on Women and Heart Disease, Pam chronicles her experience with heart disease and the lessons she learned along the way. Pam talks to Dr. Oz about her book and shares her wake-up call for the millions of women at risk for developing heart disease.
Like many women, Pam says she never stopped to question what her busy, overscheduled lifestyle might be doing to her heart. "I was an adrenaline junkie," she says. "I ran around and had a business and I amped up my life all the time not knowing—thinking that that energy was really reflective of a good heart, not that I was wearing my heart down."
When doctors discovered Pam's main artery was 98 percent blocked, she was told she had just days to live unless the problem was immediately corrected. Pam underwent triple bypass surgery and says the operation and subsequent recovery was a life-changing experience that made her reevaluate how she was living. "Believe me, the priorities shifted like the seats on the Titanic," she says.
Convinced that a combination of genetics and stress were at the root of her ailment, Pam says she decided to not only change her own life, but to help get the message out to other women. According to her book, heart disease is the number one killer of women in America—a little known fact that Pam says is costing lives.
Through things such as prayer, meditation and Reiki, Pam says she got past the denial, depression and disbelief that she says oftentimes accompany heart disease. In addition to changing their diet and exercise, she says that women need to literally listen to their hearts and take time to care for themselves. Although Pam says she learned that lesson the hard way, it brought her to a deeper understanding of herself. "I really liked how I felt at the end because I got back to my heart; I really started to live," she says.