I have to disagree that most people have something wrong. I've met several elderly ladies in my community that had Preeclampsia and not one of them has an autoimmune disease or any sort of cardiac issue that they are aware of (and I am shameless enough to ask)...
Heart disease is the leading killer of women in the US. People are getting autoimmune problems left and right, and almost everyone is not exercising or eating properly. So, yeah, most of us will probably get something like this in the future, but the majority of people without PE will, too. Something in our bodies clearly didn't work right, but I think there are too many variables we don't know yet to say everyone here is unwell...(like higher BMI increasing your risk for PE and being obese is not a great thing for your heart)....
For me, I think that the anxiety and fear that came from having HELLP with no risk factors, other than it was my first pregnancy, was the hardest part. After coming home from the hospital I read (this board) that there is probably something awry with my body and it made me feel like a ticking time bomb. I went to every specialist possible, had extreme anxiety, depression, and the verdict was that I was healthy. I didn't believe them because I felt it was only a matter of time before they would find something, and I turned into a severe hypochondriac.I think that a lot of women here may feel the same way. I made it a point to talk to every OB and specialist I could and they all had to reassure me I wasn't in failing health. I actually talked about PE with everyone I came in contact with I went so crazy for awhile (that is how I met so many people with it!)
I don't feel like we should ignore our health, but if you know your body and find a trusted GP that you see regularly, eat right and exercise! I wouldn't waste your time worrying about the future. There actually are PE people that remain healthy their entire lives.
I met a woman who had PE with all of her children (7!) and nearly died with her last. She lived to 105 years old and died of pneumonia. The only reason she stopped having babies is her uterus prolapsed with the last.
Obviously, Caryn is a science genius, but I know for a fact that if you are one to stress about the future of your health you WILL develop health problems because of it. I think the research showing a connection between cardiovascular disease and PE is important, but only for the researchers to possibly allow PE patients to have preventive treatments at an earlier age. Not for us to feel like their is something wrong with us. Also I think the testing for underlying disorders after a HELLP pregnancy is great, but I think the stress that comes along with not finding a single astricks on their labwork when we have convinced ourselves the boogie man is living inside of us, is detrimental on our well-being.
And I'm just writing this because I wish someone would have said this to me three years ago.
Relax and be like 105-year-old Mabel who lived a very LONG carefree life.