The Importance of Speaking Up: One Woman’s Journey to Chronic Heart Failure Diagnosis

(BPT) - Despite having asthma, Nichole Steward (pictured, right) considered herself a typical 39-­year-­old living an active life, frequently visiting the beach and participating in roller derby. Though she was surprised when she began experiencing heart palpitations, shortness of breath, and fatigue, Nichole figured that it was nothing serious and might resolve on its own.

As many women do, Nichole tried to explain away her symptoms. The heart palpitations could be due to stress and caffeine, and her constant exhaustion was likely related to her asthma. But when her symptoms persisted, Nichole decided to visit her primary care provider.

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