Friday, February 1, 2013

My Heart Story

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Hey There Lovelies! It is officially February and you know what that means?! Heart Month!! It is heart and stroke month which is very dear to my, well, heart. As many of you know I underwent open heart surgery in June 2011 So February is going to be a "heart themed" month, where I wear my heart printed pieces, lots of red, pink and feature some fun DIY's i've been finding over the past little while!! But since some of you are new around here I will explain things a bit more.
  I found out I had a congenital heart defect called a "Coarctation of the Aorta" which means my aorta was too narrow. The doctor's attempted to put a stent in it but the first attempt in May 2010 tore my Iliac artery and they had to replace that. During the second attempt in August 2010 they lost the stent in my abdomen and had to perform an emergency laparotomy to find and remove the stent.

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My laparotomy scar augusut 2010, and then august 2012
During this surgery a line that was in my arm in order to monitor my blood pressure caused my brachial artery to collapse. So in January 2011 the doctors took a vein from my leg and replaced my brachial artery in my arm. Which is why I have a "no blood pressure cuff" tattoo above that scar now, because a blood pressure cuff could cause that artery to collapse again. bp1_zpsce56d1fa photo bp1_zpsce56d1fa.jpgbp_zpsd56e3e0a photo bp_zpsd56e3e0a.jpg
Scar from brachial artery replacement, and "No BP cuff" tattoo January 2013

Finally on June 22 2011 I had open heart surgery through my back to remove the piece of aorta that was too small and they replaced it with plastic!! It was successful and we had no complications.
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My thoracotomy scar December 2012
I am so lucky to be in a place with access to amazing health care, doctors and amazing staff at hospitals where I had surgery and recovered. I had a lot of bad luck, but some good luck too, as things could have ended up much worse than they did. So, campaigning and raising money for the Heart and Stroke foundation is incredibly important to my family and myself. Without the research done, and amazing advancements in technology my life could have turned out much differently than it did. I would really appreciate if those of you who feel inclined to do so would donate to the heart and stroke foundation, I have online donation set up Here
xJennaD

30 comments:

  1. I'm amazed at how truly awesome you are whenever I hear about your health struggles.

    Courtney ~ http://sartorialsidelines.com

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  2. Wow.. you've gone through a lot!! But I love how you've kept a positive attitude.. and thats so inspiring! xo


    iambornlippy.blogspot.ca

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  3. This is pretty amazing Jenna! You're one tough cookie. ;)

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  4. Thank you for sharing your story with us. I've read some of it before on your blog but didn't know you had so many complications. You're a strong woman! My Grandpa passed away of a stroke, so the heart and stroke foundation is dear to my heart as well. I will be sure to donate (and perhaps wear some pink and red as well!) during heart and stroke month!

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    1. Thank you so much! I appreciate the support :)

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  5. You really ARE one tough cookie, Jenna! And so inspiring! You have been through so much, I'm glad everything's ok and you're in tip top shape : )

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  6. Girl, you are amazing! Definitely teared up a bit over this touching post, thanks for sharing your story with those of us who are new around here! Can't wait to see all the pretty pink and red heart themed things for February :)
    xo Hannah

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    1. Aww thank you so much! I appreciate that :D

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  7. This post made me tear up! Thanks for sharing. You are one tough girl! Can't wait to see the rest of your heart themed February posts! ♥♥♥

    Robyn xo
    www.whats-hanging.com

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  8. Wow. That's incredible. You are really tough to go through all that. I don't really understand how it works at all, how can they move bits of you around to replace other bits? But it certainly makes me impressed with medical skills today. I am glad that everything is ok now for you!

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    1. Haha, I have no idea, doctors can do some pretty impressive things sometimes!

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  9. Oh my gosh, I can certainly see why this foundation means so much to you! I got emotional reading about your journey and I'm so happy everything turned out well and you had access to great healthcare. You are one tough, awesome woman!

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  10. You're so strong and beautiful :) Not to mention, inspiring. Love this post.

    xo Ashley
    luckylittlebird.blogspot.com

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  11. Wow! What a lot for you to go through. Strong AND beautiful? It's a combo to be reckoned with. Thanks for sharing your story and I'm looking forward to seeing your heart month inspired posts! Christina (www.thediymommy.com)

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  12. Every time I have read your story, I am just so amazed and inspired Jenna! You are truly a fighter and I can't even imagine all that you have gone through over the years. Hooray for heart month...looking forward to seeing more of your hearts :-) Happiest weekend! xo Marisa

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  13. This story gets me every time! The bravery, dear me, this month is all yours and I look forward to all the heart inspired outfits.

    xThe Pretty Secrets

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  14. Jenna, this is amazing! I thought I already posted a comment but it must have not made it through. I had no idea that you are such a strong person! I have loved your style and writing but now know just what an inspiration you are!
    Thanks for sharing and happy Heart Month!

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  15. I knew about the aorta surgery through your back, but man you've been through even more! So much good and bad luck. I can't believe all the extra crap that happened from surgeries trying to fix things. I'm glad you're finally healthy and everything is going well since your last surgery though. And I love all the bad ass scars you have!

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    1. I love my badass scars a lot now too, definitely a lot of crazy luck. I am really happy everything worked out how it did though :) It was a learning experience for sure!

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  16. I knew about some of these procedures, but I never realized how many you've gone through. I love how proudly you're showing off your battle wounds, too. It kills me when women feel ugly or less because of scars. You are gorgeous (your hundreds of followers agree) and inspiring. (:

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  17. Wow, thanks so much for sharing this. I knew that you had surgeries, but I didn't know to what extent. I'm so glad they discovered your issues and helped you. You are truly blessed and I hope you're still doing very well. I can't wait to see all your pink/heart themed clothes.

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  18. Oh my goodness! Being a pretty new reader I had no idea! What a scary thing to have to go to at such a young age! Im glad you were blessed to have no complications this last time and that you're doing well! What a brave story. You are seriously inspiring girl!!
    -Jessi
    haircutandgeneralattitude.blogspot.com

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    1. I really appreciate that! Thank you :D

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  19. I just LOVE this. I'm so glad you decided to share this story with your readers and I really enjoyed talking with you about it. You are a survivor and it really is inspirational!

    xo

    Ashley

    Southern (California) Belle

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    1. It was awesome to talk to you about this too! You're so sweet!

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  20. Oh wow! HOw crazy and frightening. Heart stuff scares me still - my husband was hospitalized when we were younger due to an issue but didn't have to have surgery. His is a stress trigger apparently. Anyhow, I can't believe how many things you went though! Your tattoo is smart - did you have to get it or choose to? I like it either way - it's neat that it's both functional and just aestechically nice.

    <3 katherine / of corgis & cocktails

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    1. Thank you so much! It's crazy so many people are effected by heart issues. My tattoo was something I decided to do, I didn't want something to screw up my artery again! No more surgeries!

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  21. This is a very honest and open post.

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  22. My name is Sarah, i'm 23 and currently in hospital awaiting the exact same surgery for the completely opposite problem! My aorta is dissected and over twice the normal size. I had been worrying about the scar but as i see here, it's not too bad at all! Hope you have no further complications and I wish you lots of luck for the future. Thank you for doing this blog and putting my, and probably many others', mind at ease! Xx

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Thank you for the love!