I decided to create a website to share my unique story, experiences, and hobbies. I grew up as an only child, but this doesn’t mean I lacked siblings… I grew up in a household full of animals that became my best friends! With this in mind I developed a love for animals very early on in life. I currently have six dogs, three cats, a horse, and a salt water fish tank.
In early childhood, I wanted to be a veterinarian. My passion for animals never changed, but as I started to mature during my teenage years, my dad and I battled health issues. It was during this time I was exposed to healthcare and became interested in nursing. Being hospitalized was a very vulnerable feeling, but my nurses were always there at the bedside. It was this aspect of nursing which initially sparked my interest.
I entered a bachelors of nursing program directly out of high school. Four years later I graduated nursing school and found myself searching for my first nursing job. During my critical care semester in nursing school, I was exposed to the intensive care unit (ICU) setting. At that point, working in the cardiothoracic ICU became my “dream job”, although as a new graduate with no experience, ICU jobs are hard to come by. I ultimately accepted a job on a medical surgical/hospice unit. I met a variety of unique patients, co-workers, and mentors who helped, guided, and shaped me into the nurse I am today. After working on this unit for a year and a half, I accepted an offer to work in the cardiothoracic ICU!
I will be talking about the externship I did during nursing school, how I did a ICU fellowship to finally obtain my dream of working in the cardiothoracic ICU, certifications I have, and much more nursing related.
In addition to being a healthcare provider, I also have the unique perspective of being a patient. I’ve had procedures such an EP study/ablation with loop recorder insertion for inappropriate sinus tachycardia. I’ve had arthroscopic hip surgery to repair a torn labrum. My post-operative course was complicated by deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and bilateral pulmonary emboli (PE). In February 2019, I also had a dual chamber pacemaker inserted for junctional rhythm. Although these aspects of my life are very personal, I benefitted from those who shared similar experiences and hope mine will, in turn, help others too!
I’ve had my horse, Jazz, since I was 12 years old! I love the ocean, have a passion for ocean preservation, and I’m am a scuba diver! I currently have my PADI advanced open water and nitrox certification.
I’ve been diving in the Great Blue Hole off the coast of Belize, Hawaii, and even New York. I’ve gone cage-less shark diving in the Bahamas, St. Maarten, and Jupiter, Florida alongside hammerheads, bull sharks, tiger sharks, Caribbean reef sharks, lemon sharks, and more! I enjoy raising awareness about the decline in sharks due to barbaric practices such as shark finning, and debunking the false perception of sharks as man-eaters.
I also love to snowboard! I learned how to ski at a very young, but around the age of 10, I decided I wanted to learn how to snowboard. I fell in love with it and traded my skis in for a snowboard ever since! When I’m on a mountain, you can usually catch me in the park trying new jumps!
I’m also a skin-care/make-up addict and will share some product reviews with tips & tricks which I find helpful!
I am excited to share my journey!
I’m so proud of you for creating this site! So many people will learn from your journey! 🙂
Thank you! 🙂
Hi Katie, I was wondering if your pacemaker has any affect on you exercising and or your active lifestyle? Also were you not a candidate for Cathlab ablation?
Three years I did undergo an ablation for a tachyarrhythmia called IST (inappropriate sinus tachycardia) where I received SA node modification. I still have sporadic episodes of an elevated heart rate but I also have episodes of a slow heart rate, junctional rhythm. Bradyarrhythmias such as junctional rhythm cannot be treated with an ablation. Typically ablations are for tachyarrhythmias/irregular rhythms such as VTACH, AFIB, SVT. The treatment for bradycardia is a pacemaker.
Regarding exercising or my active lifestyle, my pacemaker has had a positive impact. I have not been able to exercise yet as I am still only a few weeks post-op and following restrictions while I heal. Before my pacemaker when I would go into junctional rhythm I would become very weak and dizzy. This really really affected my lifestyle, I could barely stand for a few minutes never-mind work out! My pacemaker now prevents this. I have gone on brisk walks with no issues, no more dizziness or weakness. I look forward to exercising again in the near future.
I am 50 (fairly fit and active – or have been) and due to have a pacemaker fitted in ten days. I was only diagnosed with a 2nd degree heart block condition 8 days ago. I had been living with dizzy spells and breathlessness for 2.5 years, thinking that maybe I had long covid.
How are you with exercising now, 3 years on?
I have my pre-op assessment in 6 days, I’m thinking of asking for the newer micro pacemaker, as I want to go back to my yoga and not sure if the traditional pacemaker with the wires will infringe on my movement. Any tips you might have would be really appreciated.
Hi Katie, I stumbled on your page from a post on social media. I am also a PE survivor, a saddle PE after shoulder surgery. I am 8 months post op from not only my shoulder surgery but also had to have a pericardiac window when the catheter and wires used to attempt to administer tPA to my clots pierced my heart and pericardium. Our stories need to be told to inspire others. God Bless.
You have quite a story yourself. I’m glad you’re here today and able to share your story as well. I wish you all the best!
Glad to read your story I’ve to had some complications and surgeries but nothing like yours but my body bares the scars as well and I am to shy at not wanting to show my scars as well and also. You have a great story continue to share and best of luck to you and a speedy healthy recovery.
I appreciate the kind words and I wish you the best of luck! Never be ashamed of your scars, they represent the unique journey you’ve endured and your strength.
You seem like a strong and bomb ass woman. How do you stay so strong? At a 27 female, I stress about careers still and always compare my self to others.