I had been ill on and off for about 2 years. Prior to this I was running 25-30 miles per week. At age 40 I thought I was really fit!! Then came the illness. Nothing that could be pinpointed and I ended up having a wave of tests and diagnostic surgery.
Despite me telling my GP that i had chest pain on and off for years and being sent for an ECG nothing could be found. My health continued to deteriorate. I was nauseous most days and lost nearly 5 stone in 6 months. I continued to work full time and try to live day by day as best I could, dealing with different illnesses as they appeared.
I began having palpitations which got progressively worse over 6 months.
I knew there was something ' not right' but didn't really listen to what my body was telling me.
Eventually the Dr offered me anti depressants for 'anxiety' as I now had what seemed like endless palpitations throughout the day. As a qualified nurse I decided not to take these as I was sure that I did not have anxiety! 6 weeks later and at the age of 42 years old I collapsed walking Into the hospital where I work and had a heart rate of 33 per minute.
I was diagnosed with 2nd degree heart block and had a permanent pacemaker fitted after a night in coronary care. This was a total shock. I had suffered from mild chest pain since I could remember but never thought that this could be life threatening.
The shock and trauma of this will probably stay with me for as long as I live. I still have nightmares about collapsing and not waking up. I am totally aware that I'm blessed to have had a pacemaker and that there are people much worse off than me. BUT I would urge anyone who feels unwell to get checked. Even if you have to keep going back to the Drs numerous times. My GP was devastated that despite the ECG she had missed the heart block.......me .....i'm happy and very blessed to be alive, and I'm learning slowly that just because I have a heart condition that I can still have a healthy and fulfilled life .