Dee Bartsch recognized her own heart-attack-like symptoms and called 9-1-1.
Her suspicions were warranted — and then some. She was diagnosed with takotsubo syndrome, known as “broken heart syndrome,” and she also had several blockages in the arteries in her arms and legs.
Broken heart disease can resemble a heart attack, but is actually caused by a surge in adrenalin and other stress hormones that temporarily ‘stun’ the heart. Symptoms usually subside once emotions and hormones level off. The blockages in her arms and legs, however, required angioplasty to improve her blood flow.
After treatment, Bartsch immersed herself in a life-changing exercise and diet regimen.
“I started Cardiac Rehabilitation in December, and went every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday through May,” she says. “The staff develops an individualized program to help get your strength back, starting with your current Ātness level and working to increase it.”
In addition to carefully monitored exercise, Bartsch attended Community Hospital education classes with her husband to learn more about a heart-healthy diet and how to manage his diabetes. She’s now on the move — with t’ai chi, Zumba®, and hula classes. While strengthening her heart, the lifestyle changes also reduced her dress size, from a 12 to a 6.
“Not only did Cardiac Rehabilitation help my heart get stronger, it was tremendous for my well-being,” she says. “I cannot say enough good things about the Cardiac Rehabilitation staff and the training that has improved my life.”