Many people don't think twice about shortness of breath. They tend to link it to other things like stress or even lack of physical activity.
"A lot of times the symptoms of a rapid heart rate, dizziness and weakness is often a symptom similar to other symptoms like anxiety," said Dr. Jay Merrill.
We learned that one woman only didn't begin to question her weird feelings until 20 years after the first episode. "One day I was out practicing softball and out of the blue my heart just started racing," said Janet Powell
Janet was dealing with a super ventricular tacacardia, which is a rhythm problem in the heart. After working at the the Wellmont CVA Heart Institute for 15 years, Janet was not new to heart problems. "I was gonna try and go on to the ER but on the way to the hospital the rhythm broke and went back to normal," she explained.
Although Janet encouraged her patients to have procedures done when they experienced the same problem. She began ignoring it because it would only happen a few times a year. "The very last episode that I had was actually here at the heart center," she said. "I was seeing patients and was not exercising. All of the sudden it took off."
She tried to continue to work, but realized that it couldn't be ignored any longer -- she needed an ablation. "[An ablation is] a procedure that is designed to actually cure many kinds of heart rhythm problems," said Dr. Merrill
The Wellmont CVA Heart Institute says these ablations can take anywhere from two to four hours and they perform up to 275 of them a year.
Janet had a full recovery and says that although she wishes that she had done the procedure sooner, she is thankful that she can use her experience in the workplace to help other patients. "I'm able to volunteer now that I actually had this procedure done," she said.
For more information on an ablation you can contact the Wellmont CVA Heart Institute at (423) 230-8200.