I have always determined to be very honest here, but at the same time, try not to give y’all TMI. This may fall under that heading, but I gave you part of this story earlier, and I feel I owe you the rest, such as it is. Remember a couple of weeks ago when I said that if the cardiologist told me my heart issues are because I’m fat and post-menopausal, I was going to kick him? His shins were saved because that’s not even close to what his diagnosis was. I sorta wish now that it had been–it would be beat the actual facts all to hell and back.
Turns out, I’m in heart failure. Yup. How much does that suck? A lot, in my opinion. We got this news on Thursday after the electro-cardiologist talked us through the results of the 7-day monitor and the echocardiogram I had. Apparently, the quick-and-dirty explanation is that my left ventricle is not doing its job well–my ejection fraction, which should be somewhere between 50 and 70 is only 37, and there are several other readings that indicate I am in mild-to-moderate heart failure. It’s genetic–thanks a bunch, Mom. And trust me, the irony and rather sick humor of a romance writer with a failing heart is not lost on me.
At this point, I’m still processing–it feels very surreal because outside of feeling breathless when I take my daily walks and tired–more tired than I should–I’m still me. Still writing and editing and enjoying my kids and cooking and spending time with Husband and dusting my tables and changing my sheets and meeting my friends… so it’s hard to feel like anything is different, except that something is. I won’t be coy and claim I had no idea. I’ve known something wasn’t right for at least a year, now it has a name.
The news, demoralizing as it is, has some hopeful moments. People can live a long time in heart failure. There have been lots of new medications discovered for heart failure patients in the last fifteen years. I’ve already started on two of them as of Thursday. I’m doing a stress test and nuclear testing in a couple of weeks and then I see a new cardiologist–one whose specialty is heart failure–on January 6. There are things that can be done to help me, and I’m trusting that whatever those things are, they will work for me. I’m trying to stay away from Dr. Google (that’s hard), and I will do whatever the new doc tells me to do because if I’m throwing my lot in with them, I should do what they ask.
So, my plan is this: mind the doc, change my diet if that’s necessary, do what exercise is recommended, take my meds as instructed, and past that, live my life. Take the trips in the coming year that I I’ve been looking forward to, stay in the here-and-now and enjoy every moment. I know I will have times when I get scared of what may lie ahead, but I won’t dwell on what my future might hold. I will, however, gratefully accept all prayers and light anyone wants to send my way.
Gratitude for this week: Medical science and all the new things that are revealed and discovered each day; Husband, without whom life would be much harder; all the Christmas lights that are staring to show up in the ‘hood; being able to escape into writing–it keeps me grounded; had a great time at the book signing at Whyte Horse Winery–sold some books, met some nice folks, and had some good wine.
Stay well, stay safe (masks, folks, it’s getting bad out there), be kind, and most of all, mes amies, stay grateful,