Kathy Jager describes heart recovery, Orono plans
W60 sprint champ Kathy Jager of Arizona, whose heart problems were mentioned here a few days ago, has written to thank the folks who wished her a speedy recovery. She writes: “It really has meant a lot to me to read the thoughtful words from those who responded to the blog article.” She also answered a few questions about her condition, saying: “My first symptoms were (an) extreme change in blood pressure from 110/60 to 200/100 in a few days time period (and) extreme headache. Within three days of not finding any medication by my MD or the ER MD to control blood pressure, (I had) symptoms of feeling of chest tightness and feeling of midsternum pressure.”
I was diagnosed in the hospital by having chemical stress test and angiogram and monitoring of response . The collapse was of the second-largest coronary artery supplying blood to the posterior left side of the heart.
The artery is usually a 4mm internal opening; mine was 95% collapsed, which is fairly rare in comparison to plaque filled. It was probably a weak area from birth.
The cardiologist stated if I hadn’t been in such good shape physically it would have collapsed 10 years earlier and could have caused a heart attack or worse with the elevated BP. Three weeks after the procedure, I began slowly returning to training. Within two months I personally have been able to return to my full regime of three to five days a week training with no restrictions.
I plan to compete in Orono and several regional meets. I had hoped to go to Riccione if I could get a sponsor to help financially. I feel really good and hope to have some good performances this year.
It was a real wakeup call for me, not to take my health for granted, getting regular checkups and being tuned in to my body even more is what I recommend. I had a physical two weeks before this event and had competed ar the Huntsman Games the week before and didn’t have the same endurance for the 200 meter but hadn’t trained as much because of the heat in Phoenix. I hiked and played softball in St. George without any symptoms, however.
Thanks for you concern from you and my other friends. I have survived another hurdle in my life and will continue to persevere to live each day to the fullest.