For Petra Kvitova, everything changed thanks to a single, simple text message. It was February, and the Czech tennis standout had just landed in Doha, Qatar, for the next stop on the hectic tennis circuit. Seven months after winning her second Wimbledon title and four months after clinching another Fed Cup, she ought to have been on a high. But something was wrong. She felt empty, listless and, most worrying of all, unable to explain why.
Kvitova was preparing for her second-round match against Serbia’s Jelena Jankovic when she checked her text messages. Among them was one from her longtime coach, David Kotyza.
“I think it’s a good idea to take a break,” he said. “Otherwise, I don’t know how long you are going to keep on feeling this way.”
Taken aback by the message, the 25-year-old knew something had to be done. She thought it over “for four days and for four nights” until she realized Kotyza was right. The pair had discussed her feelings in January during a tournament in Sydney in a conversation that had Kvitova on the verge of tears. Mentally and physically, she was exhausted.
By PHIL BARBER – THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
November 23, 2013, 3:00 AM
UKIAH — The fastest schoolgirl in American history speaks rather slowly. She is introspective and articulate, and she chooses her words carefully, though she remains as candid as ever.
“Right now, I just don’t have much desire to prove myself,” Amber Trotter said. “The older I get, the harder it is for me to want to prove myself.”
Granted, Trotter is not a schoolgirl anymore, unless you count her Ph.D. program in clinical psychology. She is 29 now. But anyone who follows distance running in the Redwood Empire knows her name, and probably remembers the records she shattered as a senior at Ukiah High in the fall of 2001.
When a cardiac nurse collapses during a stress test, her physicians must track down a rare heart condition before it kills her.
DISCOVER MAGAZINE NOVEMBER 2012 ISSUE
By H. Lee Kagan|Wednesday, September 26, 2012
I was checking on my patients in the cardiac monitoring unit at the hospital where I am on staff, when Denise, a 31-year-old nurse on the unit, stopped me to ask about chest pains she was having.
“I think I need to come see you,” she said. Denise had been my patient for several years. “I’ve been having these pains off and on. It’s been more than a month, and they’re not going away.”
Denise was clenching her fist over her mid-chest—a signal that, despite her relatively young age, she might be experiencing cardiac pain. Patients describing angina, the major symptom of a heart starved for oxygen because of narrowed coronary arteries, often clench their fist against their chest to illustrate what they’re feeling. Typical angina is a pressure-like pain felt in the middle of the chest that is brought on by physical exertion. It fades away with rest. The ache may radiate into the neck or jaw or down an arm.
But Denise’s chest pain was not typical of angina. Her pains were occurring at random times, unprovoked by anything she could identify. And the discomfort went away spontaneously after several minutes, whether she stopped what she was doing or not. Exercise didn’t bother her at all, she said. As I eyed her overweight frame, however—she was an even five feet tall and weighed 150 pounds—it struck me that serious exercise was something she probably thought about more than she actually did.
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