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Vaping Prevented Me From Having A Stroke before I Turned 30

Karina White | August 05 2018

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Vaping Prevented Me From Having A Stroke before I Turned 30

Vape healthy

I was 16 years old when I smoked my first cigarette. Although I tried to hide it from my parents, they knew right when I started smoking. I thought I was the cool kid in school because I smoked cigarettes. My father was a 15 year smoker that started when he was 16. I always grew up thinking, “I wanted to be just like dad.” He was hypnotized shortly after my sister was born and hasn’t had a cigarette since.

When I was 19 I started smoking a pack to pack and a half a day. Cigarettes were like candy to me. After a meal I would get out my cigarettes and just start smoking, and I relied too heavily on them.  Right when I woke up in the morning, I would have a cigarette. Randomly in the middle of the night, I would wake up and go have a cigarette.

I went on for several years smoking a pack or more a day.  I would always say to myself, “this is going to be my last pack,” but then found myself going to a corner store and buying another carton of cigarettes because it was cheaper to buy them by the carton.  I was truly addicted to cigarettes.

When I was 24, I was working a job where there was a lot of heavy lifting, probably up to 70lbs on a busy day.  Mind you, I was obese at this point. I was over 350lbs. One of my cohorts at my job screwed up and didn’t separate one of the crates of parts and it probably weighed over 150lbs.  I thought to myself “I can get it.”

That moment was one of the scariest in my life. One of my co-workers watched me try it and watched my large body collapse to the floor.  Before I completely passed out, I could feel my heart racing very, very fast. I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I thought for sure I was having a heart attack at the age of 24. I said my final prayer…and a few hours later I woke up in the emergency room.  My heart had raced to 171 beats per minute before I passed out. A nurse came in and noticed I was awake and went and grabbed the doctor. The first words out of my mouth were, “I’m dying aren’t I?”  He let out a pretty big chuckle, knowing that I was disoriented and had no clue what was happening or why I was there. He said, “No, you’re not dying, but you’re lucky you got here when you did.”

I was silent. I didn’t know what to think. After some fluids and laying down and relaxing for a while, the doctor said I was free to go, but he highly suggested I see a heart specialist. I stayed off my feet for about 3 days I had to go see the heart specialist. I got there and did a number of tests that included drawing blood. After all the tests, the specialist said they needed to do some research to figure out what my exact condition was.

I get a call about a week later telling me that the heart specialist wanted to see me. I went in the next day and the news I received was shocking. I was diagnosed with Supraventricular Tachycardia (SVT). This has episodes of an abnormally fast heart rate…meaning my heart will suddenly start racing, then stop racing or slow down abruptly.

The specialist gave me my options, and all of them included quitting smoking. One of them included surgery. The doctor said If I don’t do something about it, I would probably die of a heart attack or stroke before I was 30 years old.  

I opted not to go the surgery route and decided to “get healthy.”  At this time, even though it was difficult, I destroyed all my left-over cigarettes, and quit smoking for good. I started doing some research on alternatives to smoking and found vaping. Even though I thought it looked kind of stupid when people in public let out big clouds, I knew it was the healthier alternative. This all happened when I was 24. Before I found vaping while I wasn’t smoking, I was starting to get stir-crazy and became very irritable. So I picked up my first vape mod at my local vape shop and started vaping.

I went to the doctor a year later, and this is a year without smoking a cigarette. The doctor said my SVT was gone before I even told him that I had been vaping for a year. He was blown away (no pun intended). My blood pressure and standing/resting heart rate had been reduced by a lot. He only told me that I had to lose weight to be completely healthy, but stated it was a huge improvement from when I almost died.

I recently started a weight loss kick and have lost 80lbs since January 1st, 2018. I would not have been able to lose this weight if I didn’t smoke anything. The vaping essentially replaces all the sweets that I can’t eat and really curbs the temptation.

I can now happily say that I am in the best shape of my life, physically and mentally.  I don’t get tired walking up a flight of stairs, I can taste food again, I don’t have a dry, nagging cough anymore.  I look younger.

Vaping saved my life. Period.

-Nate

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