My Health & Heart Condition Update

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had heart palpitations and murmurs.

It wasn’t until June 2021, when I saw my friend Emily Schuman post about her personal experience, that I started to take my episodes more seriously. It was also around that time that my episodes started to strengthen in length and severity. I texted Emily and asked for her Dr’s information immediately.

Doesn’t everyone have heart palpitations these days? I honestly just wrote it off along with everyone else. Sometimes my heart flutters would kick in while I was doing the most random things. They’d kick and turn and then disappear.

But then things kicked up a notch. For the past four or so years, I would find myself sitting down for lunch, or standing in my closet, and be completely taken down to the floor by the most intense heart beats ever. My hands would go numb, chest tighten and head spinning as if I was going to pass out. The first few times this happened it felt like I was having a heart attack. I would be holding June and yell out to Grant to intervene, sitting in the hallway trying to calm my breath. To say that it was scary is the biggest understatement. I’d stay up all night researching, worried and anxious.

“Deep breathing,” Grant would often say. But no amount of slow breathing or mindfulness could tame the severity of these attacks. My worst episode was when I was sitting at lunch with a few girlfriends. It lasted for around 5 minutes before we were questioning calling 911. Luckily the episode ended.

At that specific lunch, I was a few blocks away from my cardiologist, who I found via Emily (thank you Emily!) and I went straight to see him. I explained to him how scary these events were and I knew in my gut that something was off. He ran a few tests and found nothing.

Always trust your intuition.

My cardiologist immediately ordered a heart monitor (sticker) that I was instructed to wear for two weeks. Again, after two weeks, we captured nothing. After running all sorts of tests, from stress to treadmill and more, we were left empty handed. My cardiologist said unless we were able to capture an episode on an EKG as it was happening in real time it was too hard to say. I felt so deflated. I asked if there was any device that I could have at home to help record anything. I was expected a dinosaur style EKG reader that I was well ready to invest in.

That’s when he suggested the KardiaMobile EKG reader. I carried that thing around with me morning, noon and night. It got to the point where it was just another accessory that I always had. Months went by with a few flutters here and there, but never one that lasted long enough for me to get the device, open up my app and record it. So, I kind of honestly just chalked it all up to stress, anxiety of being a new mom.

Eventually I stopped carrying around the device and kind of just went about my life.

If you have been following along on Instagram, you’ll know that the past two years has been a very intense health journey for me. I was diagnosed with Endometriosis and Adenomyosis (which I later learned you cannot actually diagnose without an MRI or surgery). Long story short (and going to write this in another blog post) I was scheduled to have a hysterectomy on December 5th, 2022. I was completely at my wits end.

I wrote a book, had a baby and launched a new fashion brand in 2022. I also spent the entire year in and out of doctors offices, medical consultations, acupuncturists, physical therapists, you name it. By Thanksgiving I was 1000000% completely and utterly exhausted.

Exactly one week before my hysterectomy, we walked in the door from Thanksgiving at my mother in law’s ranch. Grant was feeding Hugh, June was playing in her room and I was putting away groceries.

That was when the biggest episode to date hit me like a ton of bricks.

I took a seat on our kitchen floor and called out to Grant as calmly and forcefully as I could (read: Grant hurry the F up and get the device). You guys, the device just so happen to be in the drawer above my head. My phone just so happen to have bluetooth turned on and by the time he handed it to me I had the app on and device in hand.

The episode lasted 4 minutes in total and I captured the final 30 seconds. 3o seconds that could have changed my life. My heart was beating 160 BPM. I immediately emailed it over to my cardiologist. He called me the next day and the first words that came out of his mouth hit me hard:

That device might have just saved your life.

He explained that I had Supraventricular tachycardia or “SVT”, an irregularly fast or erratic heartbeat (arrhythmia) that affects the heart’s upper chambers. I said “Oh, well, wait, I’m getting a hysterectomy in 6 days!” He immediately replied, “No, you are not.” He explained that it was too dangerous and if I were his sister that he wouldn’t take the risk.

I have to say that in that exact moment all I felt was relief. Relief to have an answer. Relief to know that I’m not crazy. Relief that my intuition is in fact always correct. The weirdest part was that I felt relief that I wasn’t getting a hysterectomy (again, more on that for another post).

My cardiologist immediately introduced me to an amazing specialist and conversations and appointments were made to perform a very routine procedure called an SVT Ablation. As I’m sitting in my bed right now, writing out this post I can’t help but cry tears of relief.

You guys…The past several years have truly felt like I’ve been climbing the biggest uphill battle with my health. When that final heart episode happened I truly believe that it was someone telling me to just S T O P everything. That is really what I did from that point forward. Since November 27th, the evening I was unpacking those groceries, I have scaled back in ways I never knew I needed. I detoxed off of all of my medications, scaled back with my schedule, and started doing things that truly feel like they feed my soul.

Not only have my Adenomyosis symptoms fully stabilized, but I haven’t felt this great in 4 years. I’m not saying I will never get a hysterectomy, I’m taking things day by day. But I know that I wasn’t supposed to get it on the day I had scheduled it for because of this heart condition. The timing of it all just feels so serendipitous and the fact that I’m feeling so much better physically is only a sign that it all wasn’t meant to be. The most beautiful thing about this entire story is that life really does reveal itself in the moments that you need it to the most. Sometimes we can white knuckle, fight or flight, research and schedule our way through life using our brain… but sometimes, we just have to listen to our heart.

I had my heart ablation surgery this morning. I cannot thank the incredible team of healthcare workers and my doctors for making me feel at ease. Now, I’m back to bed and going to take full advantage of my in-house room service and binging Netflix (wink, wink).

Cheers to a fresh new chapter!