Heart Failure

I’am a semi-retired 69 y/o female. Last Oct 31,2021 I took my blood pressure at home and my pulse was only 39. I work in a senior care facility as a Med passer/caregiver so as I would often take vitals on the residents I was used to taking my own daily, so I knew 39 was too low and something was wrong. I called Triage. They suggested I go in to ER. The ER doctor did some tests; an echo etc and told me I had complete heart block, I needed a pacemaker right now. I could not go home. It took 3 hours to find me a bed in a Twin cities hospital because they were full with COVID patients. I had pacemaker placed. Then the day before Thanksgiving I was back in ER. My top lead was dislodged. So had another procedure to fix that. Close to Valentine’s Day I was back in hospital. Still having shortness of breath, fatigue and had retained fluid which I gained 20lbs in 2 days! Now I have Heart Failure. Another revision because top lead was dislodged again. They took me off the Brillinta as that was causing the shortness of breath.  March I had a stress test and echo which showed my EF was still only at 25% and my heart still not pumping blood as it should. I then had angiogram in April when they placed 2 stents due to 80% block in one artery. I was doing ok but still had fatigue, I just want to feel good. September 16,2022 they upgraded my pacemaker to a 3-lead pacer with defibrillator. I currently have no symptoms and am feeling good, but I just can’t shake the feeling that something is going to happen. I can’t stop thinking of my own mortality and it scares me. How do I move on from all I’ve been through? I'm taking my meds, trying to move more each day and watching my salt intake. I feel good but still worry constantly about my heart failure. It sounds like a death sentence to me. It'll be a year October 31, 2022 since this all started and Im tired of worrying all the time.  I don't know what to do. I want to start living my life again but it's so hard! Thanks for listening. Guess I just had to vent ... 


2 Comments

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by Lavender - 2022-10-05 10:53:19

I'm sorry to read of all you've endured. It's life shattering to be faced with our mortality long before we expect it. I thought I would be like my grandmother and just get old without many dr visits and die peacefully and suddenly as she did. My own mom has a better heart than I-and she is on no meds. She's 96 though and her mind is gone and she's wheelchair bound after she forgot how to walk. 
 

We are all individually designed with a complex set of genes. We're not guaranteed anything. With today's advances in medical care-what would have killed our grandparents is now treatable. 
 

You have had your plumbing fixed. You have your electric fixed and with a safety valve on. You're as good as can be. You're not alone. Many folks live with an ICD. Your brain is still in recovery mode. It's trained itself to be on the alert for danger. Slowly it will settle down as you go through one peaceful day following another. Your guard will be let down. 
 

I got a CRT-P with no ICD 20 months ago after fainting here there and everywhere for six months. I'm physically fine with it. I'm used to it. The mental adaptation took much much longer than the physical acceptance of it. I had tears just two days ago at my pacemaker interrogation appointment. It's an affirmation of my dependence on it. I'm also aware of being thankful for another day to live. 
 

We have another day to do good. We have another day to right any wrongs we can. We are not done yet. God wants us here and has a purpose and plan for our lives. It's a gift. I'm glad that you found us. Be gentle with yourself and treat yourself with something peaceful like a stroll outside, a new autumn bouquet, a good book, an understanding friend.  You matter. You're important. You're understood. You're not alone.  
 

May the God of all comfort and peace uplift you and dispel your fears, renew your spirit and heal you. πŸ§‘πŸ’›β€οΈπŸ€Ž
 

Heart failure

by Julros - 2022-10-05 21:47:31

Everything Lavender said! 

Heart failure is such an abrupt term. It makes it seem like its something that could have been avoided, but you did nothing wrong! Yes, this sucks, big time. It ain't fair, but it is what it is. But you have control of what you want to do about it. 

There are much more effective treatments now than what we had even 5 years ago. It sounds like your providers have optimized your plumbing and wiring. As you heal, you may get a few tweaks and some med adjustments. All I can say is keep living. You are still here and still have something to contribute.  It does get better! 

And feel free to come here and vent! 

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