My life is so different from what it was a year and a half ago. I remember how I used to complain about things that now feel so trivial. On May 20,2015, my dad called me. He gave me the hardest news that I never could have prepared myself for. He told me that my sister, my best friend, had died in her sleep. I almost collapsed, my body had went into total shock. It is so hard for me to write this as the tears spill down my cheeks. Life as I knew it was flipped upside down. As the months went by, I just found myself going through the motions of life. I actually do not remember a whole lot over that period of my life because I felt so numb for so long. I never really knew how complicated and complex grief was until then. It was not until months later that they were able to identify my sister’s cause of death which was Long QT syndrome. Initially, they had deemed her cause of death to be from ARVD (Arrythmic Right Ventricular Dysplasia). There is often a genetic component with ARVD, so I had some testing done. They had found a slight abnormality and basicly told me to stop exercising entirely because of the dangers of exercise and ARVD. This was so devastating to me as I was in the midst of training for my 3rd marathon. Running was everything to me. It was the only thing that seemed to help me cope with my grief and to get me through my day to day activities. I knew that I needed to listen to the cardiologist, so I stopped running. Another couple months went by as they did genetic testing on my sister’s blood. We soon received the news that she had a genetic mutation consistent with Long QT syndrome. This was another huge shock for my family. We were all advised to get tested. My genetic mutation came back as positive. After I got this news, I just sat there in complete shock. I had a hard time coping as the blows kept coming. I saw the cardiologist again and had another full series of cardiac tests. The cardiology department had become my 2nd home. The good news was that my QT interval was not prolonged. They told me I could resume exercise as there was no link to Long QT type 2 (which was the gene mutation I had ) and exercise . There are several types of Long QT, different types have different risk factors. The good news was I could run again , the bad news was is that there are still so many unknowns with Long QT type 2 and that most cardiac events occur while you are sleeping. I dwelled on this news for awhile, I had a hard time sleeping . It was all I could think about. However, I decided to try a new passion, weight lifting . I had already given up long distance running and I needed something to fill that void. Weight lifting helped me find myself again and I decided to participate in a challenge…..
I know this post has become lengthy so that is all for now….to be continued