I was three months pregnant with my second child when I started having a racing heartbeat. I was concerned so I went to the emergency room of a small hospital while I was on vacation with my family. The doctor performed an EKG, echocardiogram, and other diagnostic tests. Based on these test results the physician sent me immediately to a major teaching hospital in Boston. There I was diagnosed with Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy—thicker than normal heart walls, which makes it difficult for the heart to pump blood. The condition is genetic, but I didn’t know of anyone else in my family who had it. I don’t have a family history of heart disease either.
I’m still reminded of my heart condition, but I choose to focus on family life. After a recent episode my husband said that “It’s great being married to Shannon because every few years you get a reminder of what’s important.” I’m very thankful for my health, and I believe that we should all appreciate every day we have together.