Life is what you make it. Well, at least that's what I was told. I'm not sure I ever understood what that meant for many years. What I do know is life will throw you a curveball, and when that happens it can change your outlook in a major way or simply change you forever. I had been thrown a curveball that was about to change my life forever, and it was called heart disease.
One thing I know when it comes to me having heart disease is that I overcame it. Not that the disease went away, but the fear of not living did! The fear of not having a healthy life did!
I lived my life fearful of the unknown because my health was taking so many turns for the worse. At 12 years old I was diagnosed with a heart murmur, at 17 years old I was diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, and at 21 years old I was diagnosed with heart failure. Eventually, all the fears started to cease, and life did become what I made it. Now I see clearly the saying has a lot of truth to it in my opinion.
That brings me to my life today. The impossible happened, the things that I hoped and prayed for became my reality right before my eyes. I'm now able to manage my life and disease in a way I thought I never could.
Managing another condition: diabetes
I am now a heart transplant recipient. It caused me to have diabetes, but I'm managing that as well. If I am honest, diabetes was one of the most challenging diseases to get used to and conquer; in my opinion, heart disease was much easier to manage. My numbers would always either go too high or too low and trying to get it all under control was extremely stressful for me.
I dealt with heart disease so long I mastered it, as far as knowing my body and when something was triggered. Diabetes came with a whole different manual that I had to get used to.
Today I am one of the ambassadors for a nonprofit organization called WomenHeart, along with being transplanted and managing my diabetes the best I can. I am grateful to be in the place I am today because it wasn't always this way. I had a doctor visit the other day, and to hear the doctor tell me I used to be very sick and where I am today is much better, I was filled with gratitude.
It took me down memory lane and tears filled my eyes because my faith stayed strong and I'm here today. My anxiety has calmed down, I am in a better state of mind - my life has changed in many ways. I work in the school district near my home and I love it. I specialize in working with special needs children, and I would have never known that's where my passion lies. My plan is to go back to school full time and get my degree, and it will be my full-time career.
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