Making a Map: From Health to Heart Disease and Back Again
Author Julie Kohlhaas found out the hard way what an important role family history plays in heart disease, as documented in her new book, MAKING A MAP. With low cholesterol and blood pressure, a vegetarian diet, and a low-stress (retired), active lifestyle, she thought that at age 52 she was immune to heart disease. Her family history, however, dictated otherwise: a father, two uncles and two brothers with heart disease. Kohlhaas also discovered the differences between how men and women experience the symptoms of heart disease. She documents the winter of travel in the Southwest that preceded her sudden life-flight to Phoenix Memorial Hospital for triple bypass surgery, 1,500 miles away from her home in Michigan. Through her own vivid rendering of events, personal journal reflections, and e-mail correspondence with other RV friends, she chronicles the six days in the hospital, rehabilitation in both Arizona and Michigan, the emotional roller coaster of self-discovery, and the eventual gratitude for difficult lessons learned. Readers of MAKING A MAP are invited to share in the life-changing journey the author and her husband experienced when a health crisis on the road catapulted them into the unfamiliar territory of heart disease without a map. With the backdrop of an exhilarating and memorable trip in treasured American wilderness areas, a love of travel and learning, Kohlhaas' book about women and heart disease challenges readers by: Portraying honestly her own experiences before, during, and after heart surgery; Posing questions for other women as they begin to research basic information about heart disease, strategies for prevention of disabling attacks, and practical ways to maintain heart health; Describing the internal pilgrimage that her heart crisis and healing so richly precipitated; Providing a map not only for how one might heal when crisis strikes, but also for how couples can set a course for maintaining a healthy quality of life as they approach and live retirement. MAKING A MAP is an inspiring, informative book for those who care about health, personal growth, and enduring quality of life.
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