Finding care during COVID-19
When the Jordans moved over 900 miles from New York to Georgia, they looked forward to catching up with family and never missing a Double Dutch jump rope match again. But COVID-19 quickly changed their plans.
“We moved at the beginning of the pandemic. It was hard getting to know a new area, but we made it. My kids couldn’t go to school for the first year,” Lataye said, explaining the stressful time.
“At the start, I didn’t have a doctor or insurance either,” she said. And, because all of her providers were based in New York, she also went without her prescription medicine for a period of time.
But when she started experiencing headaches and minor chest pains, Lataye knew it was time to get care for her heart murmur and high blood pressure.
After establishing a primary care provider, Lataye was quickly connected with specialty care at Wellstar Avalon Health Park. The mother of four was grateful to get safe care during the pandemic.
“I wasn’t afraid to go to the doctor. I was thankful to be able to get care,” Lataye said about getting treatment when she needed it most.
Here, Wellstar Cardiologist Dr. Natasha Mamdani partnered with Lataye to create a personalized treatment plan for her cardiac conditions and keep her heart healthy.
One-of-a-kind heart care
Ever since the beginning, Dr. Mamdani has been committed to creating a care plan centered around Lataye’s unique needs.
“Lataye was initially diagnosed with hypertension during her last pregnancy. After giving birth, her symptoms improved,” Dr. Mamdani said, explaining the mother’s situation. “However, she developed high blood pressure months later.”
“This can be quite common. When someone has gestational hypertension, it can often lead to having hypertension later in life,” Dr. Mamdani said.
Because of the hectic move and gap in care after leaving the Empire State, Lataye went without her medications for a few months, which caused uncontrolled hypertension.
To bring her blood pressure back down to a normal level, Dr. Mamdani prescribed heart medications that would work best for Lataye and monitored her closely. She created a tailored care plan to keep the mother feeling her best.
“Every single patient is different. Lataye’s treatment plan was built around what did and didn’t work for her,” Dr. Mamdani said about how she used PeopleCare in her approach.
“I took my blood pressure three times a day,” Lataye said, describing the plan to get her heart health under control. “Dr. Mamdani worked with me to find the right medications and dosage. I saw her every two weeks to make sure my levels were going down.”
Along with specialized care, Lataye found compassion and support from team members every time she stopped at Wellstar Avalon Health Park.
“At Wellstar, everyone is very friendly and kind. They make you feel welcome,” Lataye shared. “When I go to my appointments, everyone knows my name and remembers who I am. It feels like we’re family and we’ve known each other for a long time.”
After just a handful of visits, her blood pressure was back under control. But even with Lataye’s quick success, Dr. Mamdani encouraged her to make lasting changes to stay well in the long run.
Leaving the comfort zone
Along with medicines to manage her heart conditions, Dr. Mamdani also gave Lataye a “prescription” for health. This meant forming new, healthier habits for diet and exercise.
“When it comes to heart health, staying active is important even if it’s just walking 20 to 30 minutes a day,” Dr. Mamdani explained. “It’s also helpful to eat a diet low in carbs and animal fats like red meat.”
Having the support of the Wellstar family has been crucial during Lataye’s new wellness journey. She has learned different ways to manage her heart conditions and how to have fun along the way.
“Before trying a new food, we always do a little taste test first,” Lataye smiled. “So far, my favorite healthy food is asparagus. Our whole family loves it.”
She added, “We even have ‘Vegan Mondays’ to try a new vegan meal each week.”
With her busy schedule, Lataye has made it a point to prioritize her health needs. She is focusing on finding exercises she enjoys and doing them whenever she can.
“It’s hard to fit in exercise, but I’m trying my best,” Lataye said. “I enjoy riding my bike outside, visiting trails and new dog parks.”
All of Lataye’s willpower has led to real changes in her health.
“After finding the right medications and monitoring her diet and exercise changes, Lataye’s blood pressure is now well controlled,” Dr. Mamdani said. “I am happy with her results.”
“For physicians, it’s our job to present information in a way patients understand and are able to take home the lessons we teach them,” the cardiologist said about her role in Lataye’s journey.
Along with healthy habits, Lataye has discovered another important lesson: taking care of her own wellness needs to be there for her family longer.
“As a busy mom, I don’t have a lot of time to myself, but I wanted to be healthier for my kids and family,” Lataye said, sharing how her loved ones became her motivation.
“Now, I have my heart murmur and high blood pressure under control, and I’m going to live a long time.”
Moving forward, Lataye’s future and heart health look brighter than ever, especially with her Wellstar family by her side.