I have been dealing with a life threatening health issue for the past year and a bit, it’s been so much to process and I finally came to the conclusion that I would like to use this forum to talk about what happened to me and to raise awareness about Sudden Cardiac Arrest.
More and more these days we see headlines in the news about people, especially young people having Sudden Cardiac Arrests…some are lucky to have quick intervention to save their lives, others not so much. You now see a flurry of activity in Community Centres and other public places across Canada to install AED (Automated External Defibrillators) in order to help save lives. You also see ads bringing awareness to this issue on public transit and other places telling you how to recognize the symptoms of a Sudden Cardiac Arrest and what to do to help, we’ve come a long way baby!
In my case, I have no underlying health issues that would have caused what happened to me so the specialists in charge of my care are on the search to figure it out. Because it is rare and problematic to this date, my case was presented to a group of Cardiologists with a specialty in arrhythmia at a conference held here in Vancouver about 6 months ago and although I am happy it had the attention of many of the best doctors in that field from across the country, I still wish it weren’t happening to me. I am a curious person by nature so thankfully I have found this all to be very interesting, I know more about hearts, heart disease, procedures, hospitalizations than I ever cared to, in fact, during a procedure just the other day I was asked if I was a nurse because I was able to talk so intelligently about my history, I just laughed and said no, unfortunately I have learned it from my experience. Every procedure that has been done, every medical term that is used I research, I know all the jargon and medical phrases, I just have this thirst to know what is going on, I want to be educated, I want to be involved in my care and make informed decisions about any aspect. Sadly I have seen first hand how many people out there these days are ignorant to their health issues, they have no idea what is going on with their bodies, I absolutely could not be that way.
I am happily married woman living in Vancouver, BC. I’m certainly not old enough to have the heart problems I have been coping with but I’m no spring chicken either. I am lucky enough to have a very dedicated husband who has been caring for me, he keeps me grounded and never lets any pity party I conjure up for myself go on for too long. This has turned our world upside down to say the least. Prior to my Cardiac Arrest I had a very high stress job, made decent money and whenever possible you would find us on a “road trip” at every opportunity. We love the desert, volcanoes, hot springs and have traveled quite extensively throughout Western Canada, US and Mexico leaving us with many, many fond memories and the urge to revisit the places we love so much. We both really miss that part of our life right now and we hope one day soon we can get back to having the wind in our hair on the open road. In our minds, flying is for sissy girls, we prefer to see things on the ground, they are much more interesting.
I am very grateful too that I also have a supportive family and a network of great friends who have been there for me every step of the way, we have certainly needed to lean on them more than once. I am not sure what I would do without any of these people in my life, the outpouring of support this past year has been overwhelming, without all the prayers, love and good vibes, I’m not sure I would have survived.
Something like this really helped put things into perspective and I have learned what is really most important in my life, I will share my thoughts and experiences here. My hope that is I can help others along the way.
Stay tuned and thank you for reading.