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junenek, October 12,  2019  4:13pm EST

Apple Watch Saved My Life

The Apple Watch feature for atrial fibrillation saved my life. I was diagnosed with high blood pressure after a few months of caring for my 42 year old brother who went into cardiac arrest as a result of massive pulmonary embolism and suffered a stroke. He was without oxygen for 20 minutes and that put him in a vegetative state. My blood pressure was 196/115. I had severe chest pains that hurt every time I took a breath. Every trip to the emergency room yielded no results. The doctors couldn’t find out where the chest pains were coming from. They simply ruled out a heart attack or blood clots. I was placed on HBP medication as well as medication for anxiety and pain. Nothing took the pain away. Through all the tests I found out I had the Factor V Leiden deficiency which put me at a higher risk for blood clots.  

I was asleep one night and my Apple Watch woke me up with vibrating alerts that my heart rate was 145 and had been that way consistently for more than 15 minutes while at rest. I tried to get up and take deep breaths hoping it would go down because I had experienced this before, unaware of what it was but there was never anything done about it. My heart rate got up to 186 and I was just sitting still. My chest began to hurt and my heart was seemingly jumping out of my chest. I felt faint. Hours had passed until I finally called 911. My speech was labored to the rapid beat of my heart. The paramedic arrived and said I was suffering from SVT (supraventricular tachycardia) my blood pressure was extremely high. My heart was stopped and started back once in the ambulance by way of medication. It was the most uncomfortable feeling that I’ve ever had. I coded in ambulance and was rushed to emergency. Shortly after I arrived my heart rate shot back up and my heart was stopped and restarted again.  This made two times. I was informed that this could only be done twice, after that I would need to be shocked. Later I was told I had to have a procedure done (catheter ablation) to correct the problem.  I stayed in the hospital and underwent a stress test that showed that the left ventricle of my heart didn’t fully relax which was a dysfunction. It was 2 days before my 40th birthday. I was released with beta blockers to prevent my heart from speeding up and looping until the procedure was done. They didn’t always work and the chest pains where still there on a daily basis. I finally had the procedure September 18th (over a month later). I still suffer from HBP and chest pains as the procedure didn’t eliminate those. The next step is to find the source of the chest pain. I take it one day at a time. I scare easily and I can always feel my heart speeding up when it happens. I have become reliant on my Apple Watch to let me know when to breathe and to be aware of what my heart rate is. It’s a daily realization of who I am and the resilience that has a larger call on my life than heart disease. My grandfather died of congestive heart failure, my grandmother died of congestive heart failure, my mom has high blood pressure, has suffered a heart attack and so has my brother. I remind myself that the wheel doesn’t need to be reinvented but the buck must stop here. My life is valuable and my heart matters.

1 Reply
  • depotdoug
    depotdoug, October 12,  2019  5:26pm EST

    Your last three words are so so meaningful.  Junenek. I've had my Apple S4  now 50 weeks and use it exercising fervently and it works. My ICD/pacemaker now on my 2nd device since 01/17/2019 max HR is set to 180. I think so if if I get anywhere close to 150 or 160's I slow down my cardio jogging or by cycling or whatever I'm pushing myself to hard. And take an EKG reading but see if my HR drops to my 70BPM it's programmed for at resting.

    i'm glad your APPLE Watch was effective and life saving.  What are your cardiologist and Electrophysiologist going to do about your SVT ?  Ablation or ICD/pacemaker or?


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