Kristie Lindblom, 38, has Long QT Syndrome Type 2. She was diagnosed in 1999 at 19 years old. Her treatment includes a beta blocker, spironolactone, and an ICD.
How/when were you diagnosed?
I was diagnosed during my freshman year of college. I had been passing out and the school’s doctor sent me to the emergency room. When they called me back, I ended up passing out right there in the ER! I woke up with a good bruise on my cheek and a diagnosis of Long QT syndrome.
What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced in living with your diagnosis?
The biggest challenge has been managing the anxiety that goes along not only with my diagnosis, but also goes along with having an ICD. I’ve learned to manage it through years of good therapy and lots of yoga and meditation.
What is one positive thing that has come out of your diagnosis?
I have had the opportunity to work with organizations like the American Heart Association and SADS to help bring awareness to Long QT Syndrome. Also, because of my diagnosis, we found out several other family members also have Long QT Syndrome and are now managed under a physician’s care. Also, though my career as a professional dancer was cut short when my ICD was fitted at 21, I am absolutely in love with the role I have now teaching Somatic Movement at the university level to dancers and actors.
What encouragement or advice would you give someone who has just been diagnosed with your condition?
I would let someone know there is no wrong way to feel about their diagnosis. It helps to just sit with whatever it is that comes up. This isn’t to say you should wallow in anything, but there is so much power in acknowledgment. There is strength in vulnerability. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for help and get support. It really helps.
What does your day-to-day life look like?
My day to day life isn’t incredibly affected by my diagnosis unless I am having a bad anxiety day. I raise my family, work, and play just like everyone else. I’m just more mindful of avoiding things that might trigger my type, staying hydrated, and being sure I take my medications. If the anxiety is bad, I use the skills I have learned to manage it (and sometimes that means hiding in bed for a few hours!) and take things one step at a time.
What are your favorite hobbies and activities?
I love anything outdoors, reading, live music, dancing, watching hockey (go Pens!), playing with my dog, and cooking
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