At 20-years-old, I thought my life was over, and I feared if I went to bed that I wouldn’t wake up the next day. I had my whole life planned out. I was engaged to a wonderful man–we’re married now–and I had a wonderful career in the army and planned to serve 20+ years, then retire.
Things took a turn for the worse. June 2015, I was feeling just fine. I had gotten up super early to head to the range–my favorite thing to do. I was zeroing my weapon, and the last thing I remembered was walking to look at my target. When I woke up, I was in the back of a Humvee, surrounded by my NCO and many other soldiers on our way to the ER. At first, we all thought it was probably just dehydration. But no matter how much water I would drink, the same thing that happened at the range continued to happen. Doctors were confused. They all said I was “too young” to have a heart problem.
After many tests and constantly being in and out of the hospital, they decided it was time for me to medically retire from the army. They put me on a no PT (personal training) profile and quarters until I was officially out of the army. So basically, I was told to stay in bed unless I was going to the doctor. From what I know about what’s wrong with my heart, I have tachycardia, RBBB (right bundle branch blockage), mitral regurgitation, and a bunch of other things in my medical record about my heart.
Now, a year and a half later, I’m still facing new challenges, but I have overcome A LOT. Some days are harder than others, and I’m just waiting for the day a doctor will tell me they can operate on me, and I can go on to live a healthy life. In the meantime, I am stable enough to go back to school and do small things around the house, as long as I remember to take all my medicine and continue to watch my heart rate. My husband and I also talked about getting a service dog. My dog is now in training, and one of the things we didn’t have to teach him is to go get help if I start to black out and to take my medicine. Seriously, the dog will wake me up the second my husband leaves for work and will NOT leave me alone until I take my medicine.
For those of you also going through this, don’t give up. Hang in there.
The informational content of this article is intended to convey a personal experience and, because every person’s experience is unique, should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.
This story is intended to convey a personal experience and, because every person’s experience is unique, should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.