Friday, May 8, 2009

Facing death at 24

I am working hard on my oath to be Happy where I am. Part of this realisation of how I want to live my life, started for me this week a reflection on where I've been. Being diagnosed with a very real and dangerous heart condition in December 2006 at the age of 24 was amazingly scary. It's something I still haven't completely wrapped my head around two and a half years later, and I am beginning to grasp the fact I probably never will. And as my wonderful friend Kylie (thank you for the inspiration for this post hun!) wrote in her comment on my last post, I am a Cardiomyopathy survivor, when many are not. In Memory of those who unfortunately are not.

Some of you may have heard of Tyree. A beautiful 29 year old new Mom with a 3 1/2 month old baby girl. She woke up one morning, picked up her adorable baby girl and collapsed and went into a coma. She was diagnosed with Peripartum Cardiomyopathy(PPCM) with an Ejection Fraction at 25%. She suffered severe brain damage due to lack of oxygen and sadly passed away soon after her collapse. This story really struck me, as a newly diagnosed Dilated Cardiomyopathy(DCM) patient AND as a new Mum. My ejection fraction was 30%. Only 5% higher.

And Karen who was pregnant with a sweet baby boy when she suffered sudden death due to undiagnosed DCM.

Also Lakeisha Nunley whom suffered cardiac arrest due to undiagnosed PPCM, leaving behind a most gorgeous baby boy.

These are just some of the amazing women and Mothers whom have had their lives cut short by this disease. I will always keep these strong, brave women and their families in my thoughts.

Then there are all the amazing women I have found through amothersheart All of whom, like me, are survivors of Peripartum Cardiomyopathy or Dilated Cardiomyopathy (Same condition, different causes). Each of whom have amazed me with their strength, compassion and support.

For me, what have I been left with? A lifetime of heavy duty heart meds. An arrythmia caused by the damage to my heart. Annoying weight gain, diuretics, shortness of breath.

My Life.


  1. I've enjoyed reading your blog. I'm a friend of Emily's (Emily's Adventures) and traveled from her blog to yours. I have "significant health problems," as in I'm a breast cancer survivor, have two kinds of arthritis, am borderline diabetic, and, for many years, suffered from Lyme disease before it was diagnosed and treated (twice). Although my health problems are different than yours, I very much identify with your experiences and the challenges you face.

    I love it that you've decided to reach out to others through writing. I also like your "happy where I am" philosophy. One of the most important lessons that I've learned is "to be content whatever the circumstances." That doesn't mean that I passively accept my situtation, but it does mean that I choose to be happy while dealing with it.

    God's blessings on you and your family.

  2. Thank you, I was really excited to receive a comment and yours in particular has meant a lot to me. I really appreciate you taking the time to write to me, and to share with me your ability to "be content whatever the circumstance". It is certainly a long journey to get to that place, especially after all that you have been through. I very much relate with your experiences as well, I think surviving life threatening and chronic illness managing to find joy along the way makes us part of a pretty special club!