7 Things to Be Thankful For
Last updated: March 2021
Here in our community, we have lots to be thankful for. Here is a list of 7 things to be thankful for.
A proper diagnosis
For most of history, all shortness of breath was lumped under the umbrella term asthma. In other words, any cause of shortness of breath was dubbed asthma. Gradually, over time, other causes of shortness of breath were discovered. Today, heart-failure is considered its own disease with its own treatments. Today, if you have heart failure, you are diagnosed with heart failure and properly treated. That is a testament to improved wisdom.
I have been a respiratory therapist for 23 years now. Wisdom about heart failure has grown incrementally in this short period of time. This increase in wisdom is due to all the hard work of researchers. They are working overtime to learn as much as they can about heart failure and this wisdom has lead to better medicine and improved technology. All of these are helping people living with heart failure live better and longer than ever before.
Medicines like diuretics have been around for hundreds of years. They have helped many people breathe easier. Thanks to modern wisdom, physicians now know why and how they work. They know what specific patients might benefit most from them. Today, there are many different variations of diuretics available to physicians and patients.
There are also so many other medicines available too. Some help doctors help their patients recover from flare-ups. Others help doctors help their patients prevent flare-ups. There are many other medicines that are currently in the heart-failure pipeline. This means that things may get even better in the near future for all those living with heart failure.
As a respiratory therapist, I take care of many people experiencing flare-ups of heart failure. I have access to machines called BiPAP that help these patients get through their flare-ups. These machines buy time to help doctors work their magic with all the great medicines now available. Also available are various devices to help improve heart function, such as pacemakers and ICD devices. There’s are even apps that can show you your heart rhythm and oxygen saturation.
Improved wisdom, technology, and medicine go a long way to helping doctors best help their heart failure patients. Simply put, doctors are heart-failure smart, more so now than ever before. This is true of primary care physicians. It is true of emergency room physicians. It is true for hospitalists. And it’s particularly true for cardiologists -- the heart experts.
Heart failure action plans
The decision of when to seek help is a difficult one. I have often heard doctors say things like, “If you would have come in sooner, it would have been so much easier to fix you. Please. Don’t wait so long to come in next time!” This lead to the creation of heart failure action plans. These are plans that are created by you and your physician. They help you decide what actions to take when you experience symptoms. Do you make changes to your treatment regimen? Do you call your doctor? Do you call 911?
Heart failure communities
Communities like ours are a great thing to be thankful for. Such communities are great places to learn about heart failure and heart diseases. They are also wonderful places to meet others living with it just like you.
For those living with heart failure, there is so much to be thankful for. And things are only going to get better!
Have you experienced shortness of breath in the last week?