Panelist: Joan Jahnke
Episodes in which Joan Jahnke appears
Retired Registered Nurse
Joan was born In Canada and was educated both in Canada and in the United States. She worked many years as a registered nurse including as Charge Nurse in Cardiac Care. She has travelled around the world extensively with her naval officer husband. She has children and grand children, and has always been active and enjoyed the competitiveness and enjoyment of many sports, including golf, field hockey, basketball, biking, swimming and long distance walking.
She has never smoked and has always had a healthy diet and has had no major illnesses. She retired in 2007 as President of a healthcare company. Her first cardiac symptom was in mid 2005 and with each year, her cardiac symptoms increased without any answers from the multiple tests she had performed into 2008. She was then encouraged by her local cardiologist to go to a Center of Excellence in Heart care and in 2008, during a provocative heart catherization at Emory University Cardiology, she experienced a cardiac arrest. Of interest, Joan had researched her symptoms and discovered a New York Times 2006 article about an interview with the lead Cardiologist at the National Institutes of Health (N.I.H.), Dr. George Sopko, speaking about the results of the WISE study and the discovery that there were women who had clear coronary arteries but had chest pain consistent with coronary artery disease. The description to Joan convinced her that this was her problem but she still had to go through the many tests required to exclude other diseases.
The N.I. H. WISE studies results determined that she had Severe Cardiac Microvascular Dysfunction. Since 2008, Joan has been active on a variety of web sites and publications getting this story out for both patients and doctors.
This is the story of her medical journey, the challenges and disappointments of medicines tried and the difficulty in getting medical personnel to believe her heart problem.