Mar 20
Cat112400 , Posted on SUPPORT NETWORK Blog

Two babies later...

At age 24, I was single and living alone.  I began working on certification for personal fitness training.  I slept alot but just assumed I was depressed.  I went to the doctor for a sinus infection, but left the doctor appointment with a referral to a cardiologist because he "heard something wrong" with my heart.  Feeling awkward because I thought I was healthy, I had an echocardiogram and cardiac catheterization which resulted in a diagnosis of ideopathic cardiomyopathy and an ejection fraction of 37%.  At that time, I was encouraged to terminate my exercising and I was referred to a doctor for preparation for a heart transplant.  The doctor that I met with (a female doctor) started me on a medication regimin with a beta blocker and an ace inhibitor.  The transition to the medication was difficult because I was even more tired all the time now.  The medication did stabilize my cardiac condition and was monitored constantly.  I had wonderful doctors at that time and then after I moved.  After attending graduate school in psychology, I got married at age 30.  I became pregnant with my first son at age 33 and had a wonderful support team of doctors that guided me safely through my pregnancy.  Lehigh Valley Hospital displayed my story with my doctors in their monthly health magazine.  At age 37, I gave birth to my second son and again with wonderful support from my doctors.  Soon after, my doctor was concerned about an increase in my PVCs so I had a cardiac ablation which was unsuccessful.  A few years later, my doctors sent me to another hospital to attempt another ablation which was successful and I titrated my medication.
At the present time, I am med free and I am persistent about exercising and eating healthy because I was blessed with my two sons and was given a second chance.  In addition to a full supporter of Go Red For Women, I have been researching how to incorporate my career as a Licensed Professional Counselor with supporting others diagnosed with heart conditions, especially because I did not have access to any resources when I was given my diagnosis at a young age.
  • jrivera36
    Your story is such an inspiration. I wish you well on the counseling piece, I attempted to locate a counselor who specifically treated in heart conditions but was unable to find one. Best of luck and will keep you in my prayers.
  • purple heart
    purple heart,
    I wish you all the best! Your story is so uplifting ! Thank you for sharing! I feel becoming a councelor would be very much needed for heart patient especially since you went through it!!! I would have loved to have someone to talk to during the entire process !!! Please continue with this very needed councelor job! Thank you!
  • AHA/ASA Sarah Ismail
    AHA/ASA Sarah Ismail,
    Hi Cat112400, We appreciate your story and I'm sure you do and will continue to inspire others. Crazy, you never know what people are dealing with by just viewing their external shell. Continue the great work, Feel free to subscribe to our Together to End Stroke newsletter and/or Stroke Connection Magazine where you may discover similar stories and become familiar with others who traveled the same road as you. I've found as I continue to follow others and learn their stories, it motivates me to continue as a stroke advocate and sharing information with my loved ones and family in effort to help them prevent and beat stroke. Take care.
  • LadyAnneBoleyn
    I'm glad you shared your story. I am at the age (30) where I am considering children and am nervous about getting pregnant with my heart condition. Any advice would be great!
dark overlay when lightbox active
dark overlay when lightbox active
dark overlay when lightbox active
dark overlay when lightbox active