Find Out How This 20-Something Used Her Fitbit Data to Make a Life-saving Decision


By Meagan Seeley, as informed to Ethan Watters

It’s wonderful how straightforward it may be to overlook important alerts your physique could also be sending.  A bit bit of knowledge about what is occurring in your physique can assist you make important—typically even life-saving—selections. If it hadn’t been for the information I used to be getting from my Fitbit, I may need waited till it was too late. 

My well being disaster began in June. Towards the top of that month, I seen I wasn’t feeling nice. But being an eighth grade trainer on the finish of a robust yr with progress stories to write, I attributed my lack of power to stress and the June warmth. It was over 85 levels, and I stay in Edmonton, in the midst of Alberta, Canada. We will not be used to that type of temperature. 

In early July, after college was over, I drove the 4 hours north to my hometown of Grande Prairie to go to my mother and father. It was there that my signs turned worse. Walking up the steps, I couldn’t catch my breath. I bear in mind placing my head down on the kitchen counter simply attempting to take deep breaths. I believed, “This is actually kind of scary. I’ve never had this kind of feeling before.”

Even with these signs, I seemed for excuses. There had been wildfires within the space, so the air was smokey, and I used to be mildly allergic to my brother’s canine. I believed possibly air high quality was the explanation I used to be having bother respiration.

In the top, I used to be fortunate to have my Fitbit. My Versa 2 was a Christmas current I had requested from my mother and father in 2019, and I had been utilizing it to preserve energetic throughout COVID. For probably the most half, I had saved to my purpose of 10,000 steps a day and spin lessons 5 days a week, totaling 150 Active Zone Minutes. I additionally cherished the sleep monitoring and testing my Sleep Score. 

At my mother and father’ home, I started to discover some uncommon readings from my Fitbit. My resting coronary heart fee is normally 55 beats per minute, however with even small actions, my coronary heart fee spiked to over 100 bpm. I figured, Okay, my physique is telling me to calm down for a day. So I mainly sat on my mother and father’ sofa all day. But if I even acquired up to get a drink of water, I might verify my watch and see my coronary heart start to race. 

At the top of that day, my Fitbit confirmed that I had over seven hours within the Fat Burn Zone, which means my coronary heart fee was working at 50 to 69 p.c of its most. But I hadn’t been exercising. When I went to mattress that evening, I couldn’t really lay flat as a result of my coronary heart would begin to race. My Fitbit confirmed my coronary heart fee spiking to 144 bpm.

The subsequent day I referred to as Alberta Health Services for recommendation. I informed them how I used to be feeling, however I might additionally inform them the information my Fitbit had collected. They advisable I am going to an emergency room for a full diagnostic. 

That go to to the hospital was the start of a life-changing medical journey. The medical doctors decided that speedy heartbeat and shortness of breath had been attributable to a number of massive blood clots in my lungs. Those clots, in flip, had been attributable to a massive non-cancerous tumor in my stomach. The tumor had grown so massive that it had flattened my inferior vena cava, the most important vein within the human physique. The constriction on that vein was inflicting the clots that had been discovering their approach into my lungs.

Needless to say, it was scary and a lot to absorb. I’m 28 and have been wholesome and athletic all my life. But in fact, the expertise was additionally fairly fascinating. I’m excited by drugs and medical procedures, and the medical doctors defined each step as we made a remedy plan. The strangest half was that, earlier than my surgical procedure to take away the tumor a few weeks later, they’d to place a filter in that enormous vein to preserve clots from escaping. I used to be so curious concerning the process that I didn’t take the sedative they supplied so I might keep alert. 

It’s been 5 months because the surgical procedure, and I’m feeling fairly good. I’m once more counting on my Fitbit to assist me get again to form and to regulate my coronary heart fee. My mother now has a Fitbit, and we’ve got a pleasant competitors to encourage one another. When we speak on the cellphone, we frequently share what number of steps we’ve taken that day and our Sleep Scores. 

I’ve a few medical issues to observe up on. There is likely to be some scarring in my lungs, and there’s a slight probability of a recurrence of the tumor. My surgeon informed me to monitor for any signs. I jokingly informed her that I managed not to discover the primary tumor till it practically killed me. But the reality is, with my Fitbit as a trusted companion, I’m far more in tune with my physique now. 

If I actually assume again, I had noticeable signs six months earlier than I went to the physician. I believe COVID has brought about a decline in individuals’s psychological well being. Feeling blue makes it even tougher to take self-care severely as a result of we’re much less in tune with our our bodies. That was true for me, at the least. It was straightforward to keep away from eager about it and to put all the pieces off. 

I can truthfully say my Fitbit saved my life because it helped me hear what my physique was saying to me. I’ll by no means be with out it. 



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