Last updated: March 2023
I was diagnosed with stage four congestive heart failure (CHF) on January 8, 2021, and since then, I was doing alright until September of that same year. I still went about my normal life. Then, doctors surprised me with information after a set of photos and a stress test that revealed I had a hidden heart attack.
A trip to the emergency room
Seven months later, I was getting weaker from the week before Labor Day, and it just was getting worse. In December, I went to the hospital with what I thought was another heart problem, and I was so weak that I had to crawl from my truck to the ED doors on the ground.
It wasn't my heart this time but a new problem that snuck onto me. My autoimmune system started turning on me, and it was making me so weak that it was hard to tell whether or not it was a heart issue. They kind of yelled at me for not coming in sooner and took fast action as the autoimmune symptoms were affecting every inch of my body.
Well, after seven weeks of being inpatient from December 10, 2021, to January 21, 2022 (which included two hospitals and a nursing home) I was in such a weakened state that I had to go to the hospital three more times. I was in so many times that they were taking care of me even before other people sitting in the waiting room.
My last visit was the most memorable. As I was getting ready to go to sleep in my recliner, I had just put my blanket on me and felt a sharp pain in the lower part of my chest. I called my landlord friend, and he asked if an ambulance was needed. I said no, I would drive, but by the time I reached my truck, I was in such pain and so dizzy that I told him to call.
The most memorable trip
When they came I was feeling better but still went to the ED. I was awake all through the night, but I felt fine. Then at 09:05 the pain repeated itself just like 12 hours previous. I rolled over to my left away from the room monitor and once again the pain was leaving.
At 10:00 a cardiologist entered the room in a very upset mood and tossed this down on my table and said, "We can't have this!" By 2:00 that afternoon they decided to put a stent in and ballooned the artery below the stent. They also issued me a Life Vest and sent me an email asking if I knew what a defibulator was. I think they plan on putting in a pacemaker as my research seems to indicate that a vest is a prelude to getting a pacemaker.
Autoimmune or heart problem?
As for the immune system, it is a problem because it is hard to tell whether the energy loss is from the heart or the autoimmune condition. I asked the immunotherapist, and she told me that energy loss could be from the inside attacking my muscles, which can mimic energy loss. All told I had 14 stays in the hospital from January 21 to now.
Have you experienced shortness of breath in the last week?