Conjestive Heart Failure Recovery Update
After Hurricane Harvey hit the Houston, Texas area in, I helped a family gut their house. They lost everything from the floods. I didn't wear a mask and the doctors think I caught some type of virus from the bacteria in the water and it attacked my heart. Looking back at the past 5 years, I remember struggling walking from the parking garage to the office in Downtown, Houston where I worked.
Going back to the garage with the elevators always broken I had to take the stairs and I was on the 5th floor all the time where I parked. I could do 1 1/2 flights and have to rest, about to collapse and out of breath. Totally embarrassed if someone was behind me. Before that it was no big deal.
I remember loosing my breath just talking to co-workers in the office. I didn't know what was going on and then I got hit with flu like symptoms. Once those went away, it continued and my wife forced me to go to a local urgent care. Next thing I knew I was in an ambulance heading to the hospital.
When I was told it was congestive heart failure, I was in shock for a long time. I felt sorry for my self for about a year after that. Afraid to go to sleep at night, thinking I might not wake up.
When I first wound up in the hospital for congestive heart failure, my ejection fraction was down to 20-25%. This is a measurement of the amount of blood pumped out of the heart and also called heart strength. Normal should be around 75%. I was a few weeks away from death. Over the years my results might have improved a little to 30% at the most.
Up until now, we worried about it getting worse. If it stayed the same we considered it good news. We are happy to report that the Echocardiogram I had done last Monday November 1 is at 40%. We were very happy with the news as there wasn't any change each time we did these tests in the past. My last episode was Jan 2019 that sent me to the hospital and led to getting the Cardiac Ablation performed which seems to have fixed my Ventricular Tachycardia. Which was something else I had going on that was worse. I've lost 25lbs and continue to fight to lose more.
The battery in my Pacemaker/Defibrillator lasts around 6 years. I have about a year left on it before I need to have surgery to replace the entire device. They don't replace the battery only. I expect to have surgery for this in 2022, possibly later in the year. We continue to hope for more improvements over time.