A year ago:
I was out of breath from walking down the hall. I thought I was just pathetically out of shape.
I had a lot of trouble getting a good night’s rest. I thought that was “life”.
My stomach felt bloated and my jeans were fitting uncomfortably. I thought I was gaining weight.
I had no appetite. This of all things should have tipped me off but I thought, “Good, cause my jeans are fitting uncomfortably.”
I was “grumpy”, didn’t feel like myself at all, and didn’t take as much joy from my nice little life. I thought I was overwhelmed from work and doing the busy mom thing.
I was exhausted, I couldn’t lay flat without feeling like I couldn’t breathe, I coughed all the time, and I felt like I couldn’t take in a good breath. I thought I’d caught a bronchitis or something, and it would run its course.
I remember having the distinct feeling that I was kind of sucking at life, but I bet I was giving folks a decent impression of being fine.
A year ago, today:
I decided to declare defeat (that’s how I looked at it) and went to a clinic after school. I was tachycardic, had an ejection fraction of 15-20% (it should be 55+), an enlarged heart, and I had some major congestive heart failure. I spent four days in the hospital and found out that I had a heart condition called dilated cardiomyopathy that, left untreated, had a “very poor” five-year prognosis (Read: If we don’t fix this, you’re not likely to make it five more years.)
Yes, holy sh*t, indeed. I wrote that clinic nurse a heck of a nice Thank You later on.
I can’t believe it’s been a year already. This seems crazy, but I actually think, “Wow, what a good year.” With a really good prognosis today, this is not a big thing. Despite not losing weight because HELLO, stupid metabolism-slowing medications – I’m living a significantly healthier lifestyle. It does still involve eating junk and Netflix. It also involves counting sodium, going to the gym, and getting a defibrillator implanted last month. I’ll get into changes I’ve/we’ve made in a future post, but I gotta tell ya, this “heart failure patient/survivor” thing, it doesn’t have to be awful. I do still tease Hubby that at least he can get a young hot blonde 2nd wife when I kick it. He does not find that funny.