A sad woman in a group of friends receives a hug then they are all happy

How to Adjust to a Diagnosis of Heart Failure

“You have heart failure,” is the single worst phrase you ever want to hear. Getting a diagnosis of heart failure is one of the most shocking things you can hear from your doctor.

When I was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy we thought that was the worst thing not knowing that heart failure was around the corner.

The hardest thing for me was adjusting to the diagnosis of heart failure.

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What helped me adjust to my diagnosis of heart failure

Faith

Leaning heavily on my faith in God was the number one reason that I succeeded in adjusting. Living a Christian life was something that was instilled in me since I was a child. Whenever things were going good or bad in my life the thing that was taught to me, was prayer.

Even when I could not pray, others were praying for me on my behalf. When I was able, I renewed my commitment to God and started attending church a lot more. There is something about hearing the good news that Christianity brings, it is almost like a healing process.

My support system

My family being my support system was another way that I adjusted. When I was first diagnosed with advanced heart failure, my family and friends stepped in and made sure I knew that I was loved. Many times we can feel that we are burdensome to our families, but that could not be farther from the truth.

Education

Reading and educating yourself about the disease itself can be daunting, but it is a must. Just so you get a better understanding of the condition and you can comprehend when your cardiologist speaks to you. It is also important because it allows you to ask questions and be better equipped to advocate for yourself.

Going through anxiety and depression is something I wish that nobody has to go through but unfortunately, that is not reality. It's almost as if it comes naturally when you are diagnosed.

Therapy

You might become anxious because of not knowing how long you have to live, how things will be financially, and a slew of other things run through your mind. You may become depressed because you see no hope on the horizon. That is where going to therapy helped me get through this part of my heart journey.

My therapist helped me to see that there was life beyond heart failure and that this wasn’t the end of my story. Seeking help from a therapist does not mean there is something wrong with you. The stigma against mental health in our society is finally changing. Mental health is just as important as your heart health.

Positivity

Thinking positively and encouraging myself have been monumental in helping me adjust to heart failure. You would be very surprised by how much impact thinking positively has on you and others around you. Doctors were constantly telling me that my attitude was positive and that I was always smiling no matter what the news was because I chose to see the good in everything. Just because I see the good in everything does not mean I do not have bad days.

We all adjust differently

We all handle the diagnosis of heart failure differently and this is how I adjusted to heart failure. Many people don’t know what it takes to endure what we have to go through daily, but adjustment is possible. Resilience has become second nature to me as a result of my heart journey. You can get through this too.

How have you adjusted to your diagnosis of heart failure? Share with us in the comments below.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Heart-Failure.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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