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Rockpainter, January 8,  2020  9:38am EST


A 54 year old Mother needs inspiration. I have an ICD and a low ejection fraction rate. 

5 Replies
  • JamesPL
    JamesPL, January 9,  2020  9:26am EST

    Welcome to the AHA support network! You are in the company of a multitude of heart patient survivors who know what you are feeling. All of us know and understand the anxiety of being diagnosed with heart disease. It's the initial shock and acceptance that can be difficult. But eventually you do and begin to realize the many amazing technological treatments available which have had great success. The ICD that you have is one good example of the technology available for treatment. Have you discussed cardiac rehab with your cardiologist? This is an excellent physical therapy that will help you recover your heart strength while lifting your spirits. Over time through treatment, medication and therapy, you will realize the benefits of your recovery.

    Wsihing you all the best!


  • AmbassadorC
    AmbassadorC, January 9,  2020  7:50pm EST

    A warm welcome to the support network! We welcome you with heart as we are each other's strength for the journey. My fellow heart warriors have given you some great insight and encouragement. I would like to echo their remarks in the sense that it's important to take one day at a time and not get too overwhelmed with the big picture.  Your feelings and thoughts are completly normal and expected when being faced with heart disease.  From the what if's to the "why me"s" that run through your mind, the pain the your body experiences, it is all part and parcel to the journey.  The upswing is that you are connected to a community of patients who have been there, done that and understand.  As a mitral valve repair patient, I experienced many complications post surgery that I was not expecting to. As a result, I had to adapt and overcome, to what I now know to be my "new normal".  I would like to share with you a post to this community that I am hopeful will give you some encouragment as you continue through your journey.  Remember, we are here for you, every step of the way - don't give up and keep on fightihng with heart! 

    With heart, 

    Ambassador C 

  • AmbassadorC
    AmbassadorC, January 9,  2020  7:58pm EST
    Heart EKG_0173.PNG (6).

    What is your new normal? How have you adapted and overcome?

    Good evening Heart Warriors❣️
    Welcome to our newest members of the community. While this is a repost, I would like to share with you a positive and encouraging perspective, that life does not have to be limited if you are diagnosed with heart valve disease.  

    Adapt and Overcome - What is your New Normal?

    I recently celebrated my three year anniversary from open heart surgery for a mitral valve repair on June 13th.  In many ways, it feels like a second birthday.  A time to celebrate, a time for reflection and a time to appreciate all the blessings that have been bestowed upon me during this journey.  Yesterday, I completed my "maintenance checkup" and I could not help but pause and reflect upon the many obstacles that I have overcome in my first year of recovery. There were many speed bumps on the road to recovery and I felt as if they were road blocks at times.  I look back and think to myself, how did I get through all of this?  The answer:  To Adapt and Overcome.  

    While it may sound quite simple, it can be quite challenging.  As I reflect upon the beginning of my journey, I had to "adapt" when  life threw me a curve ball and I was told that  it was time to have open heart surgery to repair a leaking valve.  Life doesn't always go as we plan. We have a choice, we can either ignore the issue and hope that it goes away, or adapt and overcome. 

    The best laid plans for my recovery, didn't go as I had thought.  I had prepared, researched and prepared some more, researched and prepared.  I had many lists and checked them twice, even three times.  What was not on my list is what would become my "new normal".  As I hit the various speed bumps upon my road to recovery (fluid around my heart, atrial flutter, irregular heartbeat resulting in 3 cardioversions,  atrial fibrillation and a catheter ablation) within 4 months of open heart surgery, my recovery plan did not allow for flexibility.  I thought I would have this surgery, go through the healing process and be "fixed".  I quickly needed to learn how to "overcome" these obstacles. Swelling, weight gain, rapid heartbeats, restricted diet, bouts of sightedness's, fatigue and low blood pressure just to name a few, are what became my new "normal" at various times during my recovery. These were tough pills to swallow at first. 

    I am happy to report that the outcome of my "maintenance checkup" yesterday was a positive one.  While my valve has been repaired, I still feel occasional palpitations, and at times sightedness's but my heart is beating as strong as ever.  My blood pressure tends to run low, but I am alive and kicking.  I am no longer restricted by rapid heartbeats, even though I still get PVC's.  I am able to kick box 3-4 times a week and I keep fighting with heart. My research and checklists have allowed me to pay it forward and help make someone else's journey a little easier.  This has become my "new normal" and I continue to "kick out" heart disease one beat at a time.  

    What is your new normal?  How have you adapted and overcome? 

    To read more about my journey; Operation Backward Blood

    Keep on fighting with heart,


  • JamesPL
    JamesPL, January 9,  2020  9:09pm EST


    This is so inspiring! Congratulations on your recovery, attitude and perseverance! I admire you for it!


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