Jan 15
HeidiCordero
HeidiCordero , Posted on SUPPORT NETWORK Blog

Freedom from the "What ifs" of a heart condition

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When I was 47 I was diagnosed with Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) and Ventricular Tachycardia (V-tach).  Up until then I had been very healthy with no significant family history of heart trouble.  A month later I had surgery for an ICD (implantable cardioverter defibrillator). For two years afterwards I had no significant episodes. I was hopeful that I had been healed.  Last summer I had a follow up stress test and the V-tach started again, even more quickly than before.  I was prescribed Flecainide and told not to swim nor exercise by myself.  I became overwhelmed with "What ifs..."  What if I I have V-tach or worse yet, pass out at work while teaching young children?  What if my heart becomes weaker and weaker because I can't do cardio exercise? What if I have to go on disability?  What if, what if?? As a mother of two beautiful teenagers the most agonizing was, "What if I die?" The "What If's" began to mount up and up until I was almost feeling paralyzed with fear to live a normal life.  Then suddenly a friend died of an undiagnosed heart condition.  During his funeral I had an epiphany -  I have to be thankful for the life I have been given. I started leading a Bible study called, "Winning the Battle Over Worry" by Barb Roose. The first lesson was about replacing the "What ifs" with "God if".  For example, "God if you allowed me to have V-tach, then I will trust you to sustain me each day - one day at a time."  Changing my mindset, changed everything.  With less anxiety, I had more freedom to live life to the fullest.  Since my V-tach is also affected by anxiety, I physically started feeling better too.  I don't take the Flecainide (which has lots of side effects) any more.  I have also found that some of the restrictions have turned into joy - like doing Zumba together as a family instead of exercising by myself.  I no longer pray for healing but rather to have the right attitude and strength to live each day to the fullest, no matter how many days I have.  

4 Comments
  • AHAASAKatie
    AHAASAKatie,

    Thank you for this great story! Katie 

  • sandyjean411
    sandyjean411,

    I trhink a positive attitude goes a long way toward healing and living longer.  (Studies have shown that to be true.)  Thanks for sharing your story.

  • Wleishman
    Wleishman,

    Hi Katie

    I can relate to the "What if's"....

    I'm ok until I start worrying about "What if". I also had an ICD implanted after Mitral valve repair surgery (you can see my survivor story for the full saga). It took me over a year and a half to get used to it. I recently had to get a new model of ICD implanted (2 wire instead of 1 wire).

    Many times I thnk "life isn't fair".... Then I realize there are people worst off than me. I try to live one day at a time. My job keeps me busy.

    I also have Ventricular Tachycardia and that's why I was given the ICD. I'm taking the drug Amiodarone. I'd prefer not to of course. They tried to wean me off it but then I got shocked by the ICD (July 24th 2018). They put me back on Amiodarone. The side effects aren't good but I need it to prevent the VT. After July 24th I had four more shocks. The last one was Nov 12th. That's when I got the new 2-wire ICD. It's been over two months and haven't been shocked again (knock on wood).

    Regards

    Wayne

  • strobel2007
    strobel2007,

    Thank you for the Godly inspiration!! I was diagnosed with Hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy 4 years ago, and atrial fabulation, the list keeps growing 😢 along with the surgeries.  My life is filled with what if’s, to the point it’s paralyzing, even with my trust in God and his will for my life, I get consumed with the what if’s. I’m looking forward to starting the Bible Study. Thank you 

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