Sunday, August 07, 2011

Battery Included...

Battery Included...

At the end of June I had a follow up Echo cardiogram, and the very next morning my cardiologist called me...(that's never a good sign) He told me that my Ejection Fraction (google it) was decreasing, this last Echo showed it to be between 30-30%, the previous Echo I had in April was 40%- Because of this, he suggested that I get a second opinion, and take a more aggressive approach to my treatment for the Congestive Heart Failure. His recommendation was to go to the Cleveland Clinic to meet with a doctor there. This past Monday was my appointment at the Clinic. Over the waiting time (between the echo in June and this appointment) I was feeling worse.

I am feeling tired, and short of breath and really emotional , and I am having a lot of PVC's.

Also over the time I was waiting for the trip to Cleveland, I was joking about feeling like "Dorothy waiting to go to OZ"- there are so many similarities! (Comparing the Doctors at the Clinic to the 'Great and Powerful Oz"..."If I only had a {good} heart" ,etc.) the most ironic thing about that comparison was the fact that when we pulled up to the Miller family Heart pavilion, it was a tall green tinted glass building! -My Oz! I felt like Dorothy felt , full of excitement to find my answer, and fear of what lies ahead, I entered the large green building...

On Monday, I met with three Doctors, Dr. Zimbwa a cardiologist, Dr. Hsich , the attending cardiologist, and Dr. Kanj, and electrophysiologist. I also had to go back on Tuesday for a cardiac MRI and I elected to meet with Cardiac Rehab nutritionist while I was up there that day for the MRI
The very short version of the results of the visit are:
1. I will have to have an ICD-Pacemaker placed in my body, on November 11.
2. MY meds were adjusted and added to , now I am on 9 medications a day.
3.I will be following a strict Heart Failure/Diabetic diet.

4.The Cardiac MRI showed more fluid around my heart-lungs than was revealed on the Echo, so one of the additional meds that was added is a second diuretic that, along with the dietary sodium reduction, they hope will pull the extra fluid away from my body...

Right now I am trying to process all of this, the emotion of the journey ahead of me, adjusting to the new meds, and feeling physically spent, and the financial reality of all this is becoming a bit overwhelming.

I am working hard on being thankful.
I am thankful for...

My support system of family and friends.
Doctors with knowledge, skills and access to technology.

That I have a job
That I have a plan of action, which has a very positive outlook of feeling better in time.

I know that there are many more things I can add to that list at this time, these are the most important and the things I am focusing on.

There is a line from a Mumford and Sons song that I keep focusing on that says "You are not alone in this, as brothers we will stand and we'll hold your hand."
As I turn 42 years old tomorrow, my hope is that this 42nd year of my life will be one of healing, hope, growth ,positivity and joy! I also hope that I can get back to the part of me that likes to share positivity and joy! I know I can get there again!


Jon Boy said...

Hi Chel

You have had news that a lot of people with Heart Failure Dread, but hold on, you are in the right hands. we all from time to time hit that low point and with us it's probably a lot more times then others. i know i had my share of them low points after initial diagnosis but things for me have improved so much. From an EF of just 12-15% i am now at 65-70%. yes i do sometimes worry about my future on this wonderful earth and get a little tearful but in that same period i then feel thankful like you do for what i have. the key to all this is make the very most of the good days, live every day as if it's your last, and when you feel a little dodgy then rest, listen to your body. Having an ICD can be looked at in two ways...a tiresome piece of metal that worry's you and makes you feel insecure and inferior or a magical piece of kit that not only can save your life and improve it but it enables you to be a bionic being, a superhero.

so what do i suggest you positive, strong and think of a superhero name for you and be rest assured that there are 90% more benefits then there are negative drawbacks...

hang on in there

Jonathan xx

Joshua Cole said...

Hey hey Michele, I tried posting this a few weeks back and got denied or blocked by Spam. I really think though that the only thing wrong is that you have spread your heart out in everything you've done. The love you have given your family in friends is unmatched and goes without comparison. Jess and I are the luckiest newly weds ever to have you as our sister. We look up to you more than you know. When its time for us to raise a family, its you we are going to use as a model. Investing your whole heart in everything you do is the reason everything you've done is so amazing. Anyone who had used that much love, would need a little recharge too!
You told me when I had my accident that, if anyone would turn something like that into a positive, it would be me. The same goes for you here, its the way our family operates. No matter what the news or what the forecast may be, we approach it as anything else and look for the positive things along the way. You may need to work a little harder, but it will only make you appreciate the results that much more. Think of all the curveballs that have been thrown your way, and how you have managed to keep moving forward and make things happen. This is just another one of those pesky things that you will take care of, and become stronger because of it!

Chel said...

@ Jon Boy- Thank You so much for the encouragement, it means so much to me to have someone who has gone through and lived with it encourage me! You definitley have the gift of being an encourager. And I have decided my super-hero name with be "Bat-Girl!" (battery!)

@ Joshua Cole (Pokey) I love you, baby brother...Your post has a lot of truths in it, and you know me better than anyone- it is evident in this post. You words mean so mcuh to be I cannot express how valuble everything you said is- LOVE YOU!

Dave and Betsy's Blog said...

Love you Chel!! I'm with you even though I'm far away. I'm praying for you. I still think you have a beautiful heart! :) But I'm thankful you have a plan and that you're in good hands there and that hopefully with all of those great suggestions in place, things will start looking up. I wish I could've gone with you to Cleveland - maybe see a show together! O.K. next time I'm there, for sure! Love you!


Chel said...

Bets- I wish you could go to Cleve with me too! Thanks for the words! Love and miss you!