It’s all in a vein.
Jed Cook was shocked to learn she actually had a life-threatening illness after doctors told her three times her palpitations were anxiety, according to reports.
The 35-year-old Brit said she was doing yoga up to five times a week – until she started having trouble breathing in early 2019. Although clinicians apparently dismissed her concerns and dismissed them as anxiety, x-rays revealed real problems brewing.
“When I first went to my [general practitioner] I was lied to three times with my concerns and they said it was anxiety,” she told SWNS. “My mum finally came with me and urged me to get an x-ray which showed an enlarged heart. “
She reported that she was diagnosed in March 2019 with a heart condition called dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), which causes the ventricles to stretch, making it harder for the heart to pump blood to the rest of the body .
Cook said at the time that her heart rate was only 11 percent — when it should have been between 50 and 70 percent. She couldn’t “do a lot” or “walk very far”, which she said had a negative impact on her mental health.
Often independent, she said her mother was forced to help her with tasks she could have done on her own, stressing that her life had “completely changed”.
“I never thought I would be affected by a heart attack,” she admits. “I think I was in shock at first. It took me a few months to really realize what DCM was and how serious it was.”
“I keep asking myself if life will ever be the same,” she added.
Cook, from South Yorkshire, suspected a flu-like virus triggered the illness in December 2018, leaving her vulnerable to cardiac arrest. Surgeons reportedly performed a five-hour operation in September 2019 to insert an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator and pacemaker into her to save her life.
“I never thought that someone my age and fitness level would get heart disease, but the truth is heart disease can affect anyone at any time,” she declared.
She said she could barely wash her hair after the surgery, but just six weeks of recovery time allowed her to start practicing yoga again – which cardiologists say helped her recover quickly.
“After my surgery, my ICD and pacemaker were my lowest point,” she revealed. “I feel like I’ve lost most of what made me who I am. I just want my old life back.”
“I wonder if I can do yoga again,” she added. “I feel sad for who I was.”
After an ablation procedure in January 2020 — during which surgeons applied small burns to her heart to help regulate the irregular heartbeat — her heart reportedly started beating normally and she slowly recovered Activity.
Day after day, she says she now feels “a million times better” than before, and she wants to use her experience to raise awareness of the benefits of yoga.
“I also think yoga has played a role – my adviser said he was amazed at my progress,” said the yoga instructor, who also praised the British Heart Foundation, which funds heart disease research.
Now, she’s working on a campaign with fundraising platform Omaze to support the foundation’s work.
“I also want other young women with heart disease to know that they are not alone,” she concluded. “I was lied to the first time I got sick, but eventually I got checked out.”