The Best Possible Outcome
Last updated: August 2023
It started with a widow maker attack. Fortunately, I worked in a hospital, and they were able to stabilize me before they life-flighted me to the hospital. I don’t remember much. I just woke up in the ICU, and it was during COVID-19, so no visitors were allowed. I was very confused, and my sons were not allowed to visit.
A glimpse of recovery
A short while later a doctor came in. He was happy to see me awake, explained what had happened, and proceeded to tell me how lucky I was. My three-week stay in the hospital was extremely difficult, but I was eventually discharged and went home after some physical therapy.
I felt well enough to return to work, and for the first three weeks I felt good. Then, I thought I had eaten something that made me sick. When I returned to the doctor for my follow-up visit, I was told I was doing well but needed some blood work.
An unexpected turn
The next morning on my way to work, my PCP called me and said I needed to get to the hospital. I went in for lab work, but I was told I would not be leaving. I was admitted and stayed for three weeks. Finally, I was discharged with a temporary ICD. That lasted about six months, and I was told I would need a permanent implant.
The day I went in for the ICD surgery I had to have a left heart catherization. I was immediately admitted after several procedures, a Taver, and other things. I was told I would need a heart transplant and that I was in advanced heart failure; I was in shock.
Facing a harsh reality
The cardiologist explained what was happening, and he ask my family to come in. After speaking with my family, they started the work up for the transplant. It took a full week, but after going through all of that, the doctors told me I didn’t qualify for a transplant. They said I had too many antibodies.
My other option was an LVAD, but the thought of living the rest of my life with a tube coming out of my stomach didn’t sound like something I wanted to do. I started asking how much time I had left if I decided against it. They said six months, maybe less. My sons were adamant that I would be getting the LVAD, My ejection fraction (EF) was 10% with no time to wait.
A second chance at life with my LVAD
The LVAD was a major surgery. I woke up the next day with bells and beeps going off. I could feel the tube in my stomach. It took me almost a full year to recover. That was two years ago, and I’ve accepted this as my way of life. Mine is a destination. I spent a lot of time feeling sorry for myself and sunk into a deep depression. To make matters worst, my relationship of five years was coming to an end.
It took lots of praying and faith, but I made it through. My LVAD has kept me alive, and I’m very grateful for that. My life has completely changed. I was very active and felt I was living my best life. How quickly things change. I’m no longer working, but I keep busy. I’m well passed the depression, and I realized my life would go on with a few changes. I would love to talk, that really seems to help.
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