The Style Sensor

The Style Sensor

By Cristina Beltran

Recent Posts

My Heart Story, From the Beginning

My Heart Story, From the Beginning

I wish I could tell you exactly when or why it all started, but I can’t. Because I don’t know. Nobody knows. Not me, not my parents, not my doctor, not the NIH. I only have memories leading up to my cardiac arrest. My mom […]

Soft Floral Maxi Dresses

Soft Floral Maxi Dresses

“Florals, for Spring. Groundbreaking.” But really, I can’t fill my closet with enough soft floral maxi dresses right now – I’m obsessed. And there are so many beautiful ones out there. This particular dress came from H&M (!!), and they actually have so many others […]

Style Notes #6

Style Notes #6

  STYLE NOTES #6 MY FAVORITE GARDEN SETTING IN NEW YORK Ladurée Soho. You’ve probably seen me mention this spot a few times on Instagram, but it really is one of my favorite gardens in the city. I was just there last week for my […]

Spaghetti al Limone

Spaghetti al Limone

Happy Friday! I made this pasta for dinner about a month ago on my Instastories. It must have looked extra yummy, because of a bunch of you asked me to put up the full recipe on my blog. So here it is! It’s so simple to […]

Cara Brown Designs: One of A Kind Statement Necklaces

Cara Brown Designs: One of A Kind Statement Necklaces

When I first opened my Instagram account (7 years ago!), I had no idea what the platform really was. I basically started an account so that I could use the filters on my photos. I didn’t even realize that it was a social media platform […]

Style Notes #5

Style Notes #5

STYLE NOTES #5 THE COMFIEST SWEATPANTS, EVER I’m actually sitting on the plane as I type this, wearing my Softspun Joggers, and thinking how incredibly comfy they are. My mom introduced me to these, and I think they’re one of her best finds. They’re so insanely soft […]

The Best Button Downs For Any Occasion

The Best Button Downs For Any Occasion

If I could only wear one top for the rest of my life it would undoubtedly be a button down shirt. For me, nothing looks more polished and put together than a crisp white button down. Not only do they look polished, but they’re also […]

Style Notes #4

Style Notes #4

STYLE NOTES #4 A CASUAL JUMPSUIT I’VE BEEN EYEING I saw this Madewell jumpsuit a few weeks ago when I was downtown shopping and have been thinking of it every since. I can appreciate a good jumpsuit and this one really stood out to me. […]

Denim on Denim

Denim on Denim

Happy Wednesday! How do you feel about a Canadian Tuxedo? I actually really like the way denim on denim looks, when worn the right way: think Olivia Palermo, not Justin & Britney. Even if you’re not a fan of the double denim, I do think a good […]

New York Dining: The Lobster Club + A Funny Story

New York Dining: The Lobster Club + A Funny Story

Images via NYTimes, Wallpaper, and The Lobster Club One of my favorite restaurants in the city lately (Scott’s too) is The Lobster Club, a Japanese style brasserie in midtown. It’s the third part of Major Food Group’s takeover of the restaurants in the Seagram Building. […]


Latest Post

My Heart Story, From the Beginning

My Heart Story, From the Beginning

I wish I could tell you exactly when or why it all started, but I can’t. Because I don’t know. Nobody knows. Not me, not my parents, not my doctor, not the NIH. I only have memories leading up to my cardiac arrest.

My mom remembers one Christmas, during my sophomore year in college, I was home for the holidays, and apparently I complained for a week about my chest hurting. For some reason I don’t remember that at all.

I remember the summer of my junior year, I was living in New York and interning at Brides magazine at Condé Nast. A few times that summer I remember staying up all night because my heart felt like it was racing. It never hurt, but it definitely felt like something weird was happening in there. I chalked it up to anxiety or that extra salty dinner I had a few hours before, and tried to push it out of my head so I could fall asleep.

Other than those couple of memories, nothing major really happened until after I graduated from college and moved to New York.

My first year out of college was a complete whirlwind (as I think most people’s are). After graduating, my best friend and I moved to Manhattan, ready to live in the city and take advantage of everything it had to offer. When I look back on it, it kind of reminds me of freshman year in college, but for adults. We were in a brand new city, making tons of new friends, attending every event or party we got invited to, and just having the time of our lives.

My first job was at a law firm, working as a legal assistant. I’d always wanted to work in fashion editorial, but magazines weren’t hiring at the time so I thought I’d follow in the footsteps of so many of my relatives and perhaps become a lawyer. Turned out that law was not for me. I worked hard (with super long hours), but I never felt any connection to or gratification from the work. It was actually a few months into that job that I started The Style Sensor as a creative outlet. (Side note: if you’re curious, feel free to read the original Style Sensor blog HERE, it’s hysterical.)

Needless to say, between the insane work hours and active social scene, a few months into my post grad life, I started feeling total exhaustion. I was always tired. Today I realize that exhaustion likely had something to do with my heart. But at the time I just thought I needed more sleep and more coffee.

Looking back, there were warning signs. Some nights I would lay awake because of a fluttering sensation in my chest. When I mentioned it to a doctor, she listened to my heart and told me it wasn’t uncommon to feel fluttering, that it was probably due to anxiety and exhaustion (which is often true). Another time I left work because I was feeling sharp pains in my chest and throat. I went to a doctor by my office who took an EKG, didn’t see anything abnormal and thought it could be acid reflux (another common cause of chest pain).

Every now and then when the pain or flutters were bad, I’d do what you’re not supposed to do. I’d google the symptoms. HEART ATTACK was always the first thing to show up in the results. “No way,” I’d think, “I’m not having a heart attack.” I’d still click the link though and keep reading. After scrutinizing every article and forum I could find, I’d deduce that I couldn’t possibly be having heart problems. The chances of a 22-year-old fit girl having a heart attack were almost zero. I’d pop another Tums and move on.

Soon enough I got used to my heart flutters and chest cramps. I told myself there was no way I had heart problems, and that I was fine. But the chest pains persisted. My friends could tell you, many times when we’d go out I’d end up stopping at a pharmacy before dinner to buy a pack of Tums or cough drops because my chest or throat was hurting.

A year into working at the law firm, I left to start a career in public relations. One week into my new job, after a year of feeling chest symptoms, I had my first heart attack. And even then the doctors thought it couldn’t possibly be a heart attack.

This introductory post ended up being a lot longer than I expected! I’ll stop here and pick back up next week.

Thank you for reading,

xo Cristina

PSA. If you’re ever feeling something in your body, be sure to tell your doctors. I worried that maybe there was something wrong with my heart but never explicitly said that to a doctor, I think because I was scared. Nobody knows how your body feels as well as you do. If you suspect something is off or wrong, tell your doctor and ask for testing. Doctors have all the skills and knowledge to help us, but they cannot read our minds. As patients, it’s our job to tell our doctors what feels wrong, so they can do their job to fix it.