Me, my heart and gratitude
katie pertiet

Me, my heart and gratitude

**note** the ambulance shot was NOT while I was in cardiac arrest but the next morning while transferring to another hospital ;)

journaling reads:
So, last week on July 27th, My life changed forever.

First, a little back story. I haven't felt "well" for years. About 5+ years ago I went to my internist complaining of heartburn, shoulder pain, lightheadedness and concern for my heart since my mom has a pacemaker. He ordered a stress test and it was completely normal. About a year ago I felt worse and went directly to the cardiologist in my next-door neighbor’s practice. I didn't see my neighbor because I didn't need my next door neighbor to see me naked [but we're passed that now haha]. They did an echo and a stress test and both were normal. So I was told to keep working on getting the weight off and there was nothing to worry about.

Then, last Thursday, I went to my TRX Yoga class [I'd been going for 3 weeks] and just wasn't up to it or into it that day but pushed myself to go to help my never-ending weight struggle. About 25 minutes into the class I stopped to get a drink and got very light-headed. Went back to the TRX straps and think I might have blacked out a minute or something because all of a sudden I was holding on and spinning. Turned out there was a critical care anesthesiologist in the class and she recognized what was happening and helping me out of the classroom to a bench. I couldn't catch my breath, was sweating profusely, and my shoulder hurt. I was afraid I was just hyperventilating [like I'd done as a kid] and was embarrassed and when asked if I needed an ambulance I said no. Tapped my apple watch to call Randy to come get me and the dr. grabbed my wrist told him they had called an ambulance and to come to the gym. I was complete jello and the ability to breathe was getting worse. The dr. asked the club owner for their AED, they didn't have one. She asked for baby aspirin, they didn't have any. And luckily the ambulance arrived quickly and the hospital was right down the street.

When I got to the hospital the back/shoulder pain was worse, breathing was harder and I was sweating like crazy. In between breaths I asked for our neighbor who is a cardiologist there and luckily he was the cardiologist on call and arrived with his wife when he heard it was me and they were great support for Randy. They said I was VTach [Ventricular tachycardia occurs due to a problem with the heart's electrical impulses.] when I arrived and then I went VFib [a rapid, life-threatening heart rhythm starting in the bottom chambers of the heart. It can be triggered by a heart attack. Because the heart doesn't pump adequately during ventricular fibrillation, sustained VF can cause low blood pressure, loss of consciousness, or death.] and they shocked me while still conscious and I screamed bloody murder and passed out.

After I woke up again I was feeling much better. They did an angio and I have big clear arteries with no signs of any heart disease and the echo showed my heart muscle to be strong and healthy too. So technically I suffered sudden cardiac arrest. They determined that the best course of action would be to implant a defibrillator. It could have been done at that hospital but my neighbor asked her husband if it were happening to her would he want her to be treated there or at St. Joe's and I was transferred via ambulance to St. Joes' for the procedure.

I’m home now and filled with gratitude. Gratitude for the dr. that was in my class and saved my life. grateful for my neighbors and getting me the best care. Grateful for my husband for always being by my side and there to support me through it all. And I’m grateful for all the people I work with supporting me through my recovery! Each new day is a gift.
And I am grateful!

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