I started journaling faithfully again this last February after my life changed drastically in November of 2009, where I was diagnosed with severe Congestive Heart Failure. Honestly, it did not sink in at first as to what was going on in my life. It took a while for me to realize how serious my condition really was. For example, I was admitted to the hospital on a Sunday, and was already scheduled off for Monday. I called my boss Monday morning to tell him I would need off Tuesday as well, but I could be back to work on Wednesday. I was excited to actually take a “sick day”! I have not been back consistently to work since.
I was in and out of the hospital during December through February. During December, I received a defibrillator. This device was internal and monitored the electrical activity of my heart. In the event of life threatening changes in my heart rhythm, the defibrillator would shock my heart and return it to a normal rhythm. Thank goodness my rhythms were okay, and it never shocked me! My ejection fraction was continuing to lower, and at this point was anywhere from 8-10 percent. During January, I begged my doctor to let me go back to work. Who would have thought?! He said he did not think I was ready, and when I actually was back in the work environment I would tire very easily. Me being who I am did not believe him, and wanted to try anyways. I should have listened! I went back for a few days, and quickly realized he was right. I was only scheduled for 4 hour shifts, but each day I was leaving early due to complete exhaustion.
Part of heart failure is the loss of appetite, and not being able to keep food down. This played a big factor in my life during the next few months. The beginning of January I started vomiting everything I ate and drank. In result, I was losing weight and becoming very weak. It lasted for about a week, then I had a few good days (when I went back to work), but the nausea soon started again, which began my next hospital stay. During this stay, doctors found my ejection fraction now between 5-8 percent, and they officially placed me on the heart transplant list. Doctors also deemed it necessary that I would need a 24 hour IV medicine in order to keep my heart pumping strong enough. Thankfully, I was able to go home. I quickly found a way to hide my battery operated IV bag by keeping it in my purse. Thank you fashion for big purses!
I remember the night, like it was yesterday, when I was first put on this IV medicine. I was feeling horrible and was very jittery. My heart was racing, and the sweet nurse did not know what to do. He quickly went to get the doctor, and after the doctor examined me, he looked at my mom and asked “Does she look sick to you?” Mom answered a quick, “Yes” with sadness and a look of worry in her eyes. I will never forget that moment. I started to realize when I could not work anymore that my condition was serious, but it was not until now that it had become reality. He then placed me on this medicine that would help my heart pump better. It worked. So, therefore, I was dependent on it. This night quickly went from horrible, as I stated earlier, to amazing. You will read why in my next post.
I was released from the hospital February 6th, and now I had began the journey of waiting for a heart.