Last updated: August 2023
Hello! So some of this may seem familiar - some not.
We had just come home from a UK tour when my symptoms hit full force. It started the month before the trip. I had gained some weight and wanted to drop it before we left, so I tried walking more and faster! Admittedly, I was having trouble getting up the hills. I told myself it was because of too much junk food and not trying hard enough in previous workouts. I was normally walking five miles in about one hour and five minutes.
A shocking onset of symptoms
I went on our trip and started retaining fluid like crazy, but I blamed it on the flight. I had an odd inhalation crackle that I couldn’t explain at night. I went back to work a week after coming home. That night, I had the worst coughing spell in my life. I just couldn’t catch my breath and I thought, “Wow! If this is what COPD is like I want NONE of this!”
I went to my assigned Urgent Care and the doctor thought it was pneumonia, but he ran a BNP test too. He sends me home and said that he will call me with the results, which ended up being 1,110. WOW.
It's in my genes
Fast forward one month, I got an echocardiogram, a ZioPatch, a whole heart angiogram, and a Cardiac MRI all done. My diagnosis so far is non-ischemic dilated cardiomyopathy with an ejection fraction (EF) of 22%. I found out that this was possibly caused by the same thing my mother passed from. She was diagnosed at 58 and died at 64. They said, “Oh no, it’s not familial."
Anxiously awaiting answers
So, now I’m waiting to see two more doctors to see if I should have an internal cardiac defibrillator (ICD) placed and/or a ventricular synchronization. Three more weeks of having my heart remind me with every flip flop that sudden cardiac death can take me without warning.
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