July 11th, 2005 is a day Jenylyn Carpio will never forget. She was adjusting to life as a new mom, which had left her feeling run down and tired. On this particular day, Jenylyn was visiting her mom, who gladly offered to babysit her 6-week old daughter so she could rest a bit.
What happened next changed her life forever.
“Next thing I knew, my mom had apparently revived me with CPR because I underwent sudden cardiac arrest after I went down for a nap.”
She was immediately taken to the hospital where she underwent tests and had her childhood and family’s medical records carefully examined. Jenylyn was diagnosed with Congenital Long QT Syndrome, a heart rhythm disorder, and complete heart block. Life changed in an instant for the new mom.
The following morning after her diagnosis, Jenylyn was given an Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator, or ICD, which is a battery-powered device placed underneath the skin to keep track of the heart rate.
Since the incident, Jenylyn has had a total of 3 ICD’s installed, the last of which she hopes lasts another 5-7 years.
“After receiving my first ICD, I went through a long period of fear, discomfort and pain from the physical adjustment of relying on a device for my heart rhythm, and self-esteem issues, fatigue, and lack of sleep from being a new mom since the event occurred weeks after I had given birth.“
Adjusting to the new changes in her life was tough and caused Jenylyn much stress. She went through a long period of fear, discomfort and pain from the ICD, which she was now relying on to stay alive.
Little by little, Jenylyn worked her way back to strength to a point where she was ready to start exercising again. To safely pursue her passion for living an active lifestyle, Jenylyn had to undergo comprehensive tests, including a physical exam with her physician and blood tests. Once given the go-ahead, Jenylyn moved forward with one motivating factor in mind;
“I wanted to be a better example to my family.“
Staying on Track
For Jenylyn, technology has been instrumental in making physical activity part of her life. She uses a fitness app to keep her accountable, as it tracks her movement and sends weekly workout reports to her email. At the end of each month she receives a summary of all the workout she’s logged.
She also believes in making an active lifestyle something to enjoy;
“Find an activity or exercise regimen you enjoy and have fun with it!”
As with many of us, time is an obstacle for leading an active lifestyle. Jenylyn uses 15-minute breaks at work as opportunities to do walking laps. She also gets up earlier than her family to work out, and squeezes in a treadmill run after family outings, when needed.
“I just keep doing my best to stay as active as possible. I know it’s good for my health, especially my heart health, and I just have fun with it.“
This year, Jenylyn joined the Move It Monday ambassador program in hopes of showing people that it’s not too late to get moving and lead an active lifestyle.
Even if you’re going through tough times, there’s always a way and that is what Jenylyn has proven to us all.
“Things happen. Life happens. Just keep going forward and do your best to stay on track.“
Do you want to get to know Jenylyn? Reach out to her on Twitter!