Living with Heart Failure and Stents

I had a double bypass back in 1995 due to a 96% blockage. I had the Widowmaker, but they caught it in time. I lived a normal life driving a semi-truck over the road for a living. Until 2008, when I came home for the weekend and me and my wife went to Kroger to do some shopping, I came out of the store and grabbed my chest and fell over backward. Luckily there was an off duty EMT who saw this and started CPR on me. They shocked me 28 times before I came back. I had burn marks on my chest. The ambulance started to the hospital but I died and they had to bring me back again. Lifeflight was called in to fly me to a hospital 43 miles away.

"He won't make it"

At the hospital, they told my wife to call the family because I wouldn't make it till morning. I remember what I thought was waking up and seeing everyone there. I saw my Mom and Dad, my brother, and aunts and uncles. They all smiled and talked to me. But, the ones I saw and talked to were all deceased!!! Then my Mom said, no son it's not your time, not yet...

Pacemaker and defibrillator saved my life

I spent 2 weeks in ICU and started doing better. Then they said I had a choice to make, take a chance of dying a sudden death or have a pacemaker/defibrillator implanted. Well, I chose the implant and had to give up my 23 years of a driving truck because of DOT rules. I have had about 8 heart attacks after that and in December of 2019 they put in my 28th Stent. The nurses and staff at the VA hospital in Nashville, TN presented me with a certificate naming me the Man of Steel because of the 28th Stent. It has superman on it and is signed by the nurses and doctor! It is awesome. But through all this, I was also diagnosed with CHF. I have had renal failure with this and have had my meds adjusted to 13 pills to take in the morning, 4 at 1 pm and 6 pm in the evening. That's 23 pills a day.

More health issues to manage

But I have an awesome cardiologist at the VA. He is from Vanderbilt University and had literally performed a miracle for me. I feel great, do my own yard work, and even planted a garden. Life is wonderful for me and life is great. I guess the Good Lord isn't done with me yet so I am grateful for each and every day!! Oh yeah, one other thing, my heart does not pump my blood enough through my body so last year I was rushed into surgery again because my colon was not getting enough blood to it so they had to cut about a foot out and do a Colostomy. So now on top of all the heart and artery problems I have to do my business in a bag connected to my side next to my belly button!! But hey, I am still here and enjoying my grandbabies and life.

My advice- never give up

So to all of you who feel life is over, NO IT IS NOT. I am still here and can cope, so CAN YOU!!! Never give up!!! Enjoy life while you still have it. But I look at it like this too, I am saving money on TP now with the bag!!! LOL. GOD bless everyone and have a great day tomorrow!! Till later.

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