Doctors “three times” gave the wrong reason for a woman’s heart palpitations: she was worried. In reality, she had a disease that affected her heart muscle and put her at risk for cardiac arrest. Jade Cooke, who is 35 years old, used to do yoga every week. She knew something was wrong when she had trouble breathing after her yoga sessions.
But her worries were always ignored until she asked for an x-ray, which led to more tests that showed she had dilated cardiomyopathy, a serious heart condition. After that, it was clear what was wrong with her (DCM).
It was caused by a virus similar to the flu that she got one Christmas, and it made her heart barely able to pump blood.
Even though she was older, she was at a high risk of having cardiac arrest. Because of this, she had to go through a five-hour procedure to get an ICD and pacemaker implanted.
Even though she was so weak at first that she couldn’t even wash her hair, she was able to do easy yoga again after six weeks.
The cardiologists said that her dedication to yoga helped her get better so quickly.
Now, a teacher named Jade from Doncaster, South Yorkshire, wants to make sessions for people who are currently dealing with heart problems.
“I never thought that having a heart condition would change my life,” said Jade, who is also a financial controller.
I think my first thought was one of surprise. After a few months, I finally understood what DCM was and how dangerous it was. You said, “I couldn’t stop wondering if things would go back to the way they were before.” After surgery, when both my implanted cardiac device (ICD) and pacemaker were put in, I was at my worst. I felt like a lot of the things that had helped me grow as a person had been taken away. I just wanted to go back to the way I used to live. But after about six weeks, as things started to get better, I slowly started doing some gentle yoga moves. Because of this, my day-to-day happiness has gotten a lot better. Now, I want to tell people how yoga can help people with heart problems. I never thought that someone my age and in good health could get a heart problem, but the truth is that cardiovascular disease can happen to anyone at any time. Around the holidays of 2018, Jade got sick with a virus that was similar to the flu. By January, she was tired and her heart was beating fast. She said, “When I first went to my family doctor with worries, I was brushed off three times, and they told me it was anxiety.” In the end, my mom came with me and made me get an x-ray, which showed that my heart was bigger than it should have been. In March 2019, she was told she had DCM. Her heart’s ejection fraction, which is a measure of how much blood the left ventricle is pumping, was only 11%, which is much lower than the normal range of 50% to 75%.
By June 2019, she had started to lose weight and had to cut back on the hours she worked before she could be officially signed off.
She said, “It hurt my mental health a lot” because she “couldn’t do anything” or “move far.”
I’m pretty independent most of the time, but right now I need a lot of help from my mother.
My whole life was turned on its head. I couldn’t stop thinking about whether or not things would ever go back to how they were.
By September 2019, she was very likely to have a cardiac arrest, so she had a procedure that took five hours, and then she rested for six weeks.
At this time, he couldn’t dress, drive, or do yoga.
She said, “I was starting to wonder if I would ever be able to do yoga again.” I was feeling a strong sense of loss for the person I used to be. I felt like most of the things that made me who I was had been taken away. I just wanted to go back to the way I used to live. After an ablation in January 2020, her heartbeat was back to normal, and she was able to go back to work part-time. During an ablation, small burns are made on the inside of the heart to help stop the heart from beating too fast or too slow. After another three years, Jade is now taking three different kinds of heart medicine, and the amount of her heart function that is normal has gone from 11% to 32%.
“I also think that yoga has helped,” Jade was quoted as saying. “My consultant has said that he is amazed by my progress.”
My doctor has never told me exactly why yoga could have helped me, but she has agreed that it helps me feel less stressed and anxious and keeps my mind and body in balance.
In July 2021, she got her yoga teacher certification.
She said, “I also want other young women who are struggling with heart problems to know that they are not alone.”
I was given the runaround when I first started feeling sick, but I finally got checked out.