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There was pain under my shoulder blade that radiated into my back. Since I have a family history of heart attack, I thought for sure I was headed for one. When I came to the Women’s Cardiovascular Health program at Johns Hopkins, I got a lot more than I expected. Turns out what I thought was heart-related was really part of GERD [gastroesophageal reflux disease] symptoms. But they also found that I was prediabetic with high LDL—the bad cholesterol.
What was so great about my experience wasn’t just the relief of knowing what was happening, but also being able to get everything I needed in one place. My initial exam was so thorough and personalized, I felt as if I was in a boutique. And then I was connected with other services such as nutritional counseling and psychology for stress management.
That stress management component has been really important. I’m a sales representative in a demanding industry. When I go home, my work doesn’t stop. What’s been helpful is being able to talk to professionals who take the time to understand.
They’re also great at education. Despite being physically active and proactive in terms of my health, there’s a lot I don’t know. I’m 58 and menopausal, for example, and that has an impact on my health.
Because of my family history—not just heart attack but stroke, too—I know I’ll need to continue with regular follow-ups. But, that’s OK. It’s a huge relief to go somewhere that is truly comprehensive.
Article taken from the Spring 2009 issue of Johns Hopkins Health
Loyce talks about her experience at the Women's Cardiovascular Health program at Johns Hopkins