Jun 10
Megnolia , Posted on SUPPORT NETWORK Blog

Pneumonia => CHF

Four years ago I was in my last year teaching Middle School Science before retiring. That winter I got bronchitis the went into my lungs and became pneumonia. I was given antibiotics and got better.  Over time I got more and more tired. I slept before I left for work, after I got there, at break, at lunch, after school was over,  before I went home and so on. I thought that it was a good thing I was retiring because I was getting old fast.  That summer I was still tired and finally diagnosed with CHF caused by my left ventricle having been deformed probably from a virus, not bacteria, that caused the pneumonia.  I have been on meds since then and my heart has responded well to them. I was very physically active before the CHF. Now not so much at all. I'm tired all the time. When I tell ( ok, I whine to) my cardiologist that I'm depressed and  frustrated because I have little energy and get up and go, he calls me his  miriacle  patient because of my test results, and to be happy.    Has anyone else with CHF had difficulty with the adjustment to the condition? I've gone to therapists, but their focus is primarily on social, chemical  or psychological causes for depression, rather than medically caused identity crisis.  If anyone else has had similar experiences  would like to talk about living with CHF. I would sure appreciate it!
Thanks, Megnolia
  • anna
    I was also told it was probably caused by virus. . really? ?? do they even care?
  • lbiuso
    "medically caused identity crisis." You hit on it! Chronic illness/loss of ability/disability causes a sense of loss of self. There is an identity of self "before the diagnosis/event" and "after the diagnosis/event." The medical and scientific literature has a large number of studies, mostly published in Europe, Canada and Australia that documents these cases to be true. Unfortunately, in the US, physicians are not trained to think in these terms and to treat patients in multidisciplinary teams that include cognitive behavioral therapists. Cardiovascular diagnoses/events precipitate anxiety and depression. Accompanying fatigue only exacerbates these feelings. Reach out to friends and family. Find a health professional who can provide cognitive therapy. Even moderate exercise (walking) can help to build up stamina and endurance and dispel anxiety/depression. Maintain a healthful diet. Visit the GoRedGetFit for suggestions..
  • CSnyder
    I was diagnosed in March with HF. I went to bed one day, feeling great, and woke up that night to go to work and felt bad. I had tightness in my chest, shortness of breath and couldn't walk from my car into work without stopping to rest. After about three weeks of going to my primary Dr. she finally referred me to a cardiologist. I had an echo done and after the technician was finished she said I should go to the emergency room right then. I was already in the hospital so they took me. After waiting in the ER for about five hours they finally admitted me. My ef was at 14%. I just had another echo and my ef was at 20-25%. I am on medicine but I also feel so fatigued I can hardly function. My arms and legs feel like they are going to fall off, my back bothers me and my shoulders also. I am able to ride my stationary bike almost every day but only because I am sitting down, The doctor doesn't know what caused my hf and I don't have any other issues as I did not have a heart attack and my heart cath was all good Now I think doctor is wanting to put an icd in me, very worried about that.. Even though I am 69 I was working a full time job and felt great. I am on leave of absence from my job and I am doubtful that I will be able to return to it. I was not ready to sit down and do nothing but because I feel so bad that looks like what is going to happen. I have changed my diet, lost some weight and try to get up every morning hopeful that I will feel better today. I hope everyone feel better.
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