So, it’s February. It is American Heart Month so what better time to revisit my heart health story. This isn’t a healthy story nor is it a story where I say that I once was bad and now it’s better. It is the story of a normal person, with normal failures and normal wins. We would not know for 35 years but the day I was born was the first day I was a heart patient. I was born with a PFO (hole in my heart). I was born late, got stuck and had to be taken by c-section. They lost my heart beat before they took me. Needless to say, my introduction to life was a lively one. The first three years of my life, I struggled with allergies with milk and foods, nothing was working. At three I was hospitalized for severe malnutrition. The solution, so they thought, was to pump me full of antibiotics. This put me on a path to gaining weight, which was the purpose. By the time I started school I had begun seeing a cardiologist. There is no one that can give me the reason they first took me to a cardiologist other than the general doctor had questions that needed to be answered. The year I started school; I was five. That year I would go back into the hospital for being dehydrated and they found something at this point that worried them about my heart.
This began an entirely terrifying part of my life. Every time we would go to my main heart doctor, I didn’t mind that. There was a super cool gift shop, and I got to pick a prize if I was good. Soon I realized my main heart doctor was the reason I had to go to all the other doctors and get tests done. Again, I mostly remember the gifts if I were good. JCpenney and Toys R US were my favorite places to go. It is strange how the memory of our childhoods can hold a place in our minds. That year a miracle happened. They were trying to decide what was best for me. I apparently had a heart murmur and it was making me extremely tired and sick, but after a weekend of prayer they could not see the defect when we went back to the doctor after a weekend wearing a heart monitor. No surgery was needed after months of preparing me and making sure. I survived through just being careful with my body, taking heart meds for a while but not for long.
When I turned 24, I was found to have A-Fib (un- official). My life changed so drastically but finally I ended up in New York and found doctors that really cared and took my heart conditions seriously and began to find out what was up. I was found to have A-Fib (officially) and I had a blood clotting disease that got more complicated when three years later they found the hole in my heart. This made the blood clotting disease even more dangerous as it was like an open door for a clot. With medications and an exercising regiment I was pretty healthy for a bum heart at that time. Of course, as things go, my heart health goes from good to bad, to bad to good. A constant guessing game. Thus, here in Massachusetts I have finally found a good cardiologist and a plan that makes me feel good.
This is where I stand today. Heart meds, regular appointments and hopefully a plan for my exercise regimen. Stay tuned for the details for my better heart health plan! XOXO, Evie