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Share Your Story: Jennifer Stevenson

by Christy D. on Monday, December 9, 2013

Jennifer Stevenson Iowa

It started as an annoying chest pain that wouldn’t go away.  It was routinely in the middle of my hectic day that my heart felt like it was going to burst out of my chest because it was beating so fast.  This annoying pain that was keeping me from my work and making me massively fatigued just wasn’t going away.  After several months, I realized it was time to stop ignoring it.

Earlier in my career I was an emergency medical technician, so I knew the symptoms and what I should be doing but kept thinking it would be better tomorrow. I finally decided to go see my doctor.  She sent me to a specialist to run tests right away. 

While waiting for the results, I continued to lead my daily life.  It was while I was loading the dishwasher one day, my chest started to hurt. The next thing I knew I was on the ground.  It was weird.  Instead of falling quickly, I just spun downward and was unable to get up.  I was immediately rushed to the hospital.

“You’re too young for heart trouble” is the response I received at my arrival.  Initially, they diagnosed me with vertigo and anxiety based on my symptoms of not being able to walk straight, the left side of my body was experiencing weakness and chest pain that was causing shortness of breath.  Slowly, my speech was starting to decline.

I felt that the medical staff never gave up and eventually, I was diagnosed with SVT – Super Ventricular Tachycardia.  My doctor told me that my heart had an electrical problem.  Finally!  I felt like I’m not crazy! After a few trips to the Cath Lab and an ablation procedure, I’m doing much better.  I’m thankful for the outcome that I had and as a result, I’ve committed to slowing down; listening to my body, and enjoying life.  I recently told my story at the Go Red For Women Luncheon because I feel that it is important for other people to learn and understand the signs and symptoms of heart disease.