My First Year As A Congestive Heart Failure Patient

In support of the February 2021 American Heart Awareness Month❤️, I am going to practice what I preach to others and share a snapshot of my personal thoughts after one year as a cardiac patient.

Life changing experience

My life changed forever one year ago today. At age 53, I went into the ED thinking that I had pneumonia and was surprisingly diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure with Dilated Cardiomyopathy with an ejection fraction of 15%. I had no prior cardiac history. Even my PCP missed the signs and misdiagnosed me.

Mixed emotions on my one year living with heart failure

On this day, I am filled with mixed emotions: (1) Gratitude for being alive today; (2) Joy for my stable medical condition; (3) Sadness for losing the adventurous future that I had planned (retirement years); and (4) Grief for the likelihood of a reduced lifespan, dealing with the chronic symptoms of this disease, and a real possibility of missing out on watching my teenage son turn into a man (e.g., college, career, marriage, grandchildren).

Living my life mindfully

With that said, I am embracing the challenge put before me to live my best life now, taking it one day at a time, living my life mindfully in gratitude and with love, and most importantly, cherishing every moment with my amazing son, my family, and friends. I am still blessed and luckier than many people in our world. So, as I head into year two, I will continue on my healing journey and in time, thrive in my new lifestyle— even during the challenging moments.❤️#AmericanHeartMonth #heartawareness

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