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The Heart Matters blog and column are forums where people affected by heart disease can come to heal, get help and encouragement.  A safe place where you can not only get information but learn how to live with heart disease.

You may have survived a heart attack or had open heart surgery.  You may be someone who sat at the bedside while the love of your life fought to live after cardiac arrest.  You may have heart failure and are desperate to figure out how you will ever be able to manage with what’s left of your heart.  You may be living by means of an artificial heart and waiting for a transplant.  You may have atrial fibrillation and have no understanding what that is and why you have to take blood thinners.

Millions of people today are living with heart disease and one thing I’ve learned in thirty years as a cardiac nurse is they all have one thing in common – they have questions.  Questions about what has happened to them, questions about treatments, questions about how they feel or what to do if symptoms return, questions about the future. 

God has given me a gift – an understanding of what you’re going through and an ability to explain it in a way that people appreciate.  My writing is for you – answers to questions I’ve been asked so many times by patients just like you. 

As you read these articles, I hope you will gain understanding that will help you overcome the difficulties you face and encourage you to cherish your life and make it even better than it was before.  Please let me know if there is a particular subject you would like me to address in the blog or if you have a specific question you would like answered by using the link below.

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Joanne Privett, MSN, RN, CCRP

I've always been interested in people, who they are, and why they do what they do.  As an RN for the past 30 years, I've had the privilege of meeting people during some of the most frightening and dramatic moments in life.  I've listened to them tell me all about what it was that landed them in the hospital, the ICU, the treatment center.  My passion has always been to help them understand what to expect and encourage them to get better but when my own husband had a sudden heart attack (see Cardiac Rehab - A Personal Story), that passion became a mission.  Now I work in cardiac rehab where I am able to really help heart patients recover.  I write because I love writing and it gives me a way to help even more people deal with cardiac illness.  I hope you will enjoy the blog and will participate with your stories and questions as this goes a long way to helping others learn to live with heart disease.

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