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so i dont really know how to write this, im 17 and im awaiting an echocardiogram that wont happen until july. i find myself rapidly googling how COVID-19 affects people with heart conditions and freaking out, i dont know what to do, i feel completely helpless and fragile every day and its become too much to bare.. any advice i could get would be very much appreciated
Apward, April 25, 2020 11:06am EST
First I just want to say that you're feelings of worry and helplessness are completely normal. This is a scary time and those that are immune suppressed and those that have heart conditions. However, I would encourage you to utilize this - https://supportnetwork.heart.org/your-questions-answered/. Health care professionals can answer any questions you may have! Also, google or the internet, in general, has a way of delivering news in a rather intense or graphic manner. I would continue to follow the CDC recommendations of social distancing and hand washing.
https://www.heart.org/en/coronavirus - check out this link for heart-related issues with coronavirus, in order to get more relevant and specific resources to keep yourself safe!
In reference to your stress, I would try various coping skills to help maintain a sense of peace. https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management This is a link for stress management! You got this Cameron03! Your feelings are valid and you are not alone! Try utilizing these resources to help with your questions and concerns!
MBurke, April 27, 2020 12:30pm EST
When I read your post it took me back 23 years ago. I was a young woman recently diagnosed with cardiomyopathy. I, like you, read everything I could on the internet and it added to my anxiety. Some of the information was true and HARD, but some information was dated, or wrong. After reading your post I pondered on what advice I wish I had back then. Here are my thoughts:
1. Know that your feelings are normal, okay, and you won't feel that way forever. Just as you are receiving help for your heart problem, seek out a pastor, friend, or counselor to help you sort through your fears, sadness, and grief. Don't go at it alone. Writing on this site is a great first step. Good for you!
2. Write a list of questions for your doctor. Since you are finding the internet is adding to your anxiety, stay off it for a while. Ask your doctor, if there are one or two sites she recommends you check for information and updates and then schedule that time. Limit your time.
3. Be careful that you don't let your disease define you. You will have to be intentional about this. I am a 23-year survivor and I still deal with some symptoms, I still go to the doctor, I still take some meds and yes, I still stalk the internet from time to time for information and updates but I am more than that. I am a mother, wife, a professional, a Mimi, a friend, and a child of God. You have cardiomyopathy and that is real, and big, and no joke. But that is not all you are. God has a plan for your life and he isn't going to let a diagnosis stop His plan for blessing you and giving you a fulfilling life. I am praying for you Cameron, and my (enlarged) heart goes out to you. - Your heart sister- Michelle
JamesPL, April 30, 2020 12:40pm EST
There's a couple of things that's important to remember here. Much of what we've heard about COVID-19 is inconsistent or unsubstantiated. In short, they simply don't know. Often times we here about potential or possible causes, side effects...etc. I think much of what is being reported is overemphasized for the purpose of sensationalism. It's frustrating because many of the reports are conflicting. Sometimes from the same person. So don't let yourself get carried away with it. I also think it's important to remember that worrying about something you have limited or no control over will not do you any good. Make every attempt to isolate yourself as much as possible and if you need to go out, protect yourself as much as you can. That's all you can do! Knowing that you are doing all that you can to help yourself is your best course of action.
I wish you the best of luck!
saraward120, April 30, 2020 1:00pm EST
I'm so sorry you're feeling this way. First off, what you're feeling is completely normal. I think anxiety starts to grow any time you come up on an echo. I know mine does when we're waiting on one for my daughter who has a CHD. Then you add in the stress of COVID-19 and the extra anxiety and general fear our society is living in right now and it can be a lot to handle. Many of us are feeling the exact same way that you are. You're not alone. My advice would be to speak with your cardiologist about your fears and get any information specific to heart conditions and COVID19 from a medical provider and not the internet. They will be able to address your specific fears and your condition. Also, I would encourage you to talk about your fears or anxiety with family or friends. I have found that being open with my loved ones about my own fears and feelings has helped me feel in control of them. Lastly, take it all day by day. I have found when I start thinking too ahead into the future and all of the "what ifs" start accumlating in my head, I start to feel overwhelmed and out of control. You can't control what hasn't happened yet, but you can control today.
I'll be thinking of you-