Kim describes her daughter's mltral valve symptoms and tries to explains why she dismissed them.
She would describe having a rapid heartbeat or a light-headedness or that something wasn’t right, okay? And no one really associated the fact that she had a mitral valve problem with her electrophysiology problems. Lay people, we didn’t make the association even though we’d had the experience. We already knew about it; we knew it was in the family. We didn’t make the association.
So she would have these periods where she would feel uncomfortable. It was an uncomfortable feeling or she would feel like her heart was pounding very hard and stuff like that, and sometimes what women do and they find that it works and it actually does work is drink something cold. If you drink something really cold it settles everything down and so if it was like she was exercising a lot and all of a sudden she felt this, you are exercising, what do you do, you go drink cold water. You drink a cold drink and it settles it back down again.
So, she wasn’t like necessarily walking around every day. It was episodic. But when she did go to the doctor what she got told was, you know, because they would run an EKG and nothing would show up because she wasn’t in an arrhythmia at the time they were running EKG. So there was nothing wrong, just settle down; don’t drink so much Coke and other caffeinated beverages and she was, she is a Jersey girl; she was excitable and she was quick to move when something needed to be done and very, very physically active and so doctors would be, you know, “Settle down girl,” and so she wasn’t picking up on there was something serious here even though she knew from her father’s issues that there could be something serious here.
Everybody that was of authority around her was telling her no. So what she was noticing she was dismissing and that’s what women do with heart disease. They notice it and dismiss it. So, the number one symptom of heart disease in women is a heart attack coming on severe fatigue. From the day you have your first child you are severely fatigued. You are always on. You are always not sleeping well.
So a lot of the common things women don’t notice and that was what happened with Jennifer is, she would notice it; she could make it go away so it wasn’t a big deal and anytime she saw a doctor it wasn’t a big deal because they weren’t looking for it because you shouldn’t have those issues when you are 24.
Conditions: Sudden Cardiac Death, Mitral Valve Prolapse, Heart Disease, Endocarditis, Atrial Fibrillation
Related Terms: Heart Health Advocate, Cardiology, Heart Survivor, EKG, Cardiac Problem, Women's Heart Center, Heart Valve Replacement, Heart Transplant
Location: Mesa, Arizona, AZ, Phoenix, Tempe, East Valley, Phoenix Metropolitan, Scottsdale, Gilbert, Anthem, Chandler, 85206