Still Fighting With It

Last updated: November 2022

I'll be 55 in January, but I was diagnosed with heart failure in 2014. It started at work when I suddenly did not feel good at all and was experiencing some difficulty trying to breathe. Happy to get off work, I had to take my time walking to the bus stop to catch the bus because I felt so much pressure on my chest, and I was struggling to catch my breath.

I should have been dead

When the bus came, I got on and closed my eyes. In about 30 minutes, I was at my house. I was feeling a little better but not too much. My roommate greeted me with a plate of food, and that made me happy! Long story short, that night, I could not breathe at all. I was struggling to get air in my lungs.

EMTs came and rushed me to the hospital, and I passed out only to wake up the next day to a lot of doctors in the room. One of them told me that I had acute congestive heart failure. What made it really bad, I was told that my ejection fraction rate (EFR) was 10%. I didn't know what that meant. Even with all of their terminology, I still didn't understand. Basically, one of the doctors said to me, "You should be dead because that's not possible."

Heart failure has completely changed my life

Wow. It's impacted me, how I live my life, what I consume, what I drink, everything, and it's definitely impacted my family. My children are all very concerned and want to take care of me, but I gently push their hands away because I'm perfectly capable of taking care of myself. It's been a struggle living with CHF. I'm more mindful now of how much and what I eat along with my fluid intake.

In 2017, I was told that I probably would not live to see 55. That same year I went out of town to stay with a friend only to pass out again at their house. I woke up in the ICU unable to see. I found out that I had diabetes type II. My blood sugar was sky-high, and I was told again that I should be dead.

Overcoming all odds

Well, my birthday is only two months away. Since I've been seeing a new doctor for my CHF and working with her, my EFR is now at 30%. So, everything seems to be going along very nicely. My daughter still wants me to come home. She's still telling me that she will take care of me, and I love her for it. But, I thank God because even though I still fight with it, I no longer have the limitations I use to have. I can walk up a flight of stairs now, I take my meds as prescribed, and I don't eat the foods I use to; I eat a lot healthier now. This is my story.

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