Heart Failure – Alzheimer’s in the Family

My mom is doing great at Dayspring. She knows that I’ve been a little sick but nothing else. Let’s keep it that way.

Some of you know that mom and I had a virus the end of December/first of January. Mom had a low grade fever and cough but nothing else. I had low grade fever, night sweats, and cough. Mild symptoms, really, but not feeling well. About day 8-10 I became very lethargic. Couldn’t do a lot of normal things, including walking from my den to the kitchen.

I went to urgent care on a Sunday. My heart rate was 110. There was low grade fever and lethargy. The doctor ordered bloodwork, x-Ray’s and an EKG. The flu and Epstein Bar tests were negative. The EKG showed a left branch bundle block and the bloodwork was negative for all except for elevated calcium and albumen. The doctor thought I had some type of virus.

I went to my GP the following week and took the records from urgent care. After the exam he scheduled a cardiac workup that included a stress test and electrocardiograph. These tests were completed over a 4 week period. Due to the COVID 19 pandemic, tests couldn’t be done right away and any heart procedure was considered elective surgery and could not be done. My heart was functioning at 30%.

In the meantime I was started on two cardiac medications. This was to hold me over until the cardiologist could get me in for the procedures. It was a stressful wait. My bp would fluctuate from 80/40 to 155/85. When it was low I couldn’t function at all. I had to keep a BP record.

I was restricted from walking, housework, and most day to day activities. The doctor was seeing me every 10 days. When my bp plummeted I would get dizzy or black out while simply walking or doing the dishes. It was a pita.

The hospital opened up for elective surgery last Thursday. My cardiologists, Dr. Goodroe and Dr. Goeble brought me in immediately and scheduled my Cardiac Catheterization and ICD implant back to back on Wednesday, yesterday. My EF factor was still 30% and I have heart failure. The ICD implant is a defibrillator and a pacemaker combined. The pacemaker will help my heart beat more normally and the defibrillator will get my heart started when it quits beating.

The catheterization was done at 7:30 am. It went well and my arteries look great. No narrowing or blockages. Good news. I went back to recovery to wait for the implant procedure. Since I got heparin in the first procedure the Doctor wanted to wait a bit.

I slept a lot and went in for the second surgery at 5:30 pm. I didn’t wake up again until 3:30 am today. My left collarbone felt like I’d been kicked by a mule but everything else was ok. I got a chest x-Ray at 6:30 am and all looked good.

I saw both doctors and PAs soon after returning to my room. They were all pleased with the outcome. 1/3 of my heart muscle is damaged. The implant will help that. I told them that my brain was so much clearer and I actually felt better. They think I may be a super responder which could mean that my heart heals over time. We were all excited.

They also told me and it’s in my record that my sudden onset heart failure is probably related to having the COVID 19 virus. They are ordering a test when I heal a bit and the FDA antigen test becomes available.

I came home a little while ago. No driving for two weeks. No ocean or water body for one month, no lifting anything or raising my arm above shoulder height for two months and back to normal activities in two months. No contact sports ever again but I think I can live with that.

I would urge all of you who read this not to take this virus lightly. Even when things open up please wear a face mask and carry hand sanitizer. Practice social distancing. Even with states opening up there is no vaccine and no herd immunity. Take care of yourself and your loved ones, even those strangers that you may encounter. You won’t regret it.

As always. More later.

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2 thoughts on “Heart Failure – Alzheimer’s in the Family

  1. Sandi Wow! What an ordeal. So happy you received proper care and are on the mend. Yes, this virus is serious and there is still so much to learn about it. Sending tons of SD hugs and loving wishes. XO Lew and Kathleen❤️

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