Mixed blessingsIn October, 2010, I was diagnosed with myopericarditis and had no idea the journey that diagnosis would take me on. I was 48 at the tme and a mother to 3 children, one wo was a senior that year. Every year, the myopreicrditis would return and I would be on STD for 12 weeks and by the grace of God able to regaim enough heart functin to return to my job a a junior high teacher. The recurring myopericarditis caused me to have dilated cardiomyopathy.
I remember struggling with the questions, "Why me?", "Why did I have to get this virus that attacked the lining of my heart?", "What could I have done to Prevent this?" Unfortuneately, there was no answer to ay of these quetiosn other than it was a virus that settled in my heart. I have no family history of heart disease nor was my current health an indicator of heart trouble(heart attack, CAD, stroke, etc.) I never thought I would be on this heart journey or me writing my story.
Fast forward to August, 2015 and the start of a new school year. I returned with some shortness of breath and fatigue but thought that I would recover just as I had in the past. That was not what occurred. I vividly recall that the last day that I taught would be my last day teaching forever. I had never felt that strongly about it in the past. I currently have Stage 3 heart failure as a result of the infection and am on permanent disabilty. I have a strong faith but still question why this happened to me. There is nothing I can personally do to change what's occuring nor can my doctors prescribe any other heart failure meds or titrate them up due to my low BP and heart rate. At this point it is a wait and see game how long my heart function can co tinue maintaining. At some point, a heart transplant will be needed. There is no rhyme or reason for when the myopericarditis comes.
I am cotuning to look at the blessings that have come from this including spending more time with my precious 20 month old granddaughter, developing new friendships, and being omy own timeclock and truly allowing my body to tell me what I can and cannot do on any given day.
There are no support groups that meet at the heart hospitals for my diagnosis. It seems that heart attacks and strokes are the major diseases and they only focus on those. I live in the Phoneix, AZ. metro area and if anyone is dealing with the same diagnosis, I would love to meet with you. Very few people develop heart failure as a result of my diagnosis and so I am in a very unusual situation.
I think the most diffuclt part of this has been that I look great, don't appear to have Stage 3 heart failure, and people don't realize just how sick I truly am. I get looks when I use the handicapp parking or a wheelchair.
I can hoestly say, through this 5 year struggle to date, I am lessjudgemental when I see someone using a wheel chair, etc. even though they don't look sick because there is a lot that goes on internally and only those who have experienced it, can truly appreciate the challenges we face.
God has brought me to this place and without Him and may prayers and support from friends, I would not be a positive place in my life. I still have my occassional pity parties but I try to embrace each new day and look for the positive in it.