Causes of heart condition Dilated Cardiomyopathy
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Visiting the doctor’s surgery, her concern was dismissed as nothing more than a bout of anxiety. “When I initially went to my GP with concerns, I was fobbed off three times, with them saying it was anxiety,” Jade, from Doncaster, recalled. But Jade knew that something else must be going on ever since she contracted a flu-like virus at Christmas 2018.
“My mum came with me [to the doctor’s] in the end and pushed for me to have an X-ray,” Jade said.
A few months later, in March 2019, she was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM).
“I think I was in shock at first,” said Jade. “I never thought I’d be impacted by a heart condition.”
Jade said it took her a while to “realise exactly what DCM was, and how serious it was”.
Her heart’s ejection fraction – a measure of how much blood the heart’s left ventricle is pumping – was just 11 percent compared to the normal range of 50 to 75 percent.
By June that year, Jade’s weight plummeted and she felt so frail that she was signed off of work as a financial controller.
“I couldn’t do much or walk far and it really badly impacted my mental health,” Jade remembered.
“I kept asking myself if life was ever going to be the same again. I felt like I’d lost most of what made me who I was. I just wanted my old life back.”
Then she had a five-hour surgery where an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) with pacemaker was fitted inside of her.
“Six weeks after the surgery, I started using gentle yoga movements as things started to heal,” said Jade.
Day by day, Jade felt “a million times better”, and despite having ablation in January 2020 – small burns to the inside of the heart to help stop irregular heartbeats – Jade is proud of her recovery.
“I also think that yoga has played a part – and my consultant has said he is amazed by my progress,” said Jade.
“My consultant has never actually said why practising yoga might have helped, but it does reduce stress and anxiety and keep my mind and body in balance.”
Her love for the practice inspired Jade to qualify as a yoga instructor, which she did in July 2021.
“I also want other young women with a heart condition to know that they’re not alone,” she said.
In addition to yoga and surgery, Jade has benefitted from medication and support from the British Heart Foundation (BHF).
“The charity has been a lifeline,” Jade said. “That’s why I’m backing its latest partnership with Omaze.”
Jade added: “The campaign will not only raise significant funds, but also widespread awareness for the BHF and issues surrounding heart disease.”
The winner of the latest Omaze Million Pound House Draw will get the keys to a four-bedroom, Victorian town house in the desirable London borough of Islington – worth over £3,000,000 – and £100,000 in cash.
For full terms and conditions, see www.omaze.co.uk.
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