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Not For The Faint Of Heart

After decades of misdiagnoses, Karen Hill Meyer can now run free.

Por Jill Schildhouse

Her whole life, Karen Hill Meyer struggled to keep up. Physical activities left her exhausted and breathless, and she got winded simply from walking up a flight of stairs. And her diet of fried foods and late-night carbs certainly wasn’t helping.

When she got to college, Meyer added blacking out to her list of symptoms and was eventually misdiagnosed with an anxiety disorder. However, at age 25 when she was taken to the ER after another blackout, her condition was apparent. “My resting heart rate was over 250 beats per minute,” Meyer recalls. “That’s when I learned I had a congenital heart defect.”

The defect was corrected with a catheter ablation, but Meyer continued to suffer from health problems. Finally, Meyer was diagnosed with dysautonomia, an unrelated condition that causes chronic heart problems such as fainting and high resting heart rate. She was put on medication to control the symptoms and finally had a chance at a normal life.

Getting Her First Wind

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July - August 2019

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