Nancy shares her story on how she coped with Graves' disease.
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My name is Nancy Patterson. I have Grave’s disease. I’ve had it for 20 years and I have now learned that you can live with it when I first got it, I just knew I was going to die. The first thing that I remember is I was driving in my car in Jacksonville, Florida and my heart started pounding just you could see it, you could feel it. And I’d never had anything like that before and it stopped after five or ten minutes and but it was very noticeable. It something I’ll always remember. And at that time, I thought, “Probably better to go to see a heart doctor.” It took me not very long to make the appointment but my diagnosis was just I was just under stressed and I should go exercise and so that’s what I expected to be told. I’ve even made an appointment with the cardiologist that I knew would tell me that. She wasn’t working that day. So I went in and had EKGs and things and the doctor said, “Well, your heart is fast but it’s okay.” And he said, “There’s a couple things I’d like you to do. I want you to wear a Holter monitor.” Now, 20 years ago, this thing looked like tape recorders, it where this big and you hang it around your neck and you walk around a tape recorded on your neck. And instead of saying out loud, I don’t think so. I just said myself, I’m not going to do that. Oh, it was come back and then he explained he’d run some thyroid test. Well, I didn’t do the Holter monitor. I didn’t go back the next day so it took me another six weeks to get diagnose but that was definitely my fault. Then I got more and more symptomatic.