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Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado

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Perspectives: Having A Chronic Heart Condition.
By Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado
Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Rated "G" by the Author.

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A woman learns to cope with congestive heart failure.

Image of EKG tracing on wall (c) 2011, by Karla Dorman.

 I used to be healthy as a horse.  That is no longer the case.

Seems my heart isn't working nearly as well as it used to be.  As a result, I have chronic heart failure:  my heart isn't getting nearly enough blood or oxygen and it makes me tired, not to mention, retain fluid in my lungs.  My legs and ankles swell and it is difficult for me to be able to walk long distances without stopping to catch my breath.

I have had to make drastic changes in my lifestyle: no salt, no caffeine, no foods high in cholesterol.  I have to take medicines to help my heart, keep my blood pressure lower (have high blood pressure too, to add to the fun!), and see my doctors every three months (sooner if there's any problem).  I have been in and out of the hospital since all of this mess started over a year ago and it's made me very depressed.

I find it strange to have all of this going on when I am not even fifty years old yet.  My parents didn't have any issues with their heart (they still don't; both are alive and kicking at 80 +; hell, Mama even does gymnastics and swims and runs over 4 miles a DAY!!  As for Daddy, he fishes, hunts, and golfs as well as works part time); my sisters and brothers take after them.  As for me, I'm the "damaged goods": I'm the one with the health problems.

My family tells me to "get over it".  I can't; that's the problem.  Before I got sick with my heart, I never took anything more than an aspirin for a headache or an occasional ache in the knees.  Now I take medication for blood pressure, my heart, cholesterol, and lungs, and I have to use oxygen when I go to bed at night or if it's hot and humid outside because the hot weather just aggravates my breathing.  I can't get around nearly as well; I have to use a scooter when out and feel older than my parents att times.

I don't know if I will eventually need heart surgery, but one thing IS clear:  I definitely do have a problem and a very serious one.  My condition needs to be closely watched and sometimes I feel as if I've become a prisoner of my own body.  I feel as if it has betrayed me and then people wonder why I'm oftentimes so depressed.

I wouldn't wish this kind of life on anybody.  Lately my life centers around doctor's appointments, medical bills (trying to get them paid off), hospital stays, arguing with insurance companies, and the like.  It is very frustrating and all of this aggravation isn't going to do my blood pressure (or ME and my health) any good! 

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Reviewed by Karla Dorman, The StormSpinner 7/11/2012
Sadness in these lines, Karen. Well done.

(((HUGS))) and love, Karla.
Reviewed by Michelle Kidwell Power In The Pen 7/11/2012
Well done Karen, thank you for sharing, its hard to just get over something so drastic...
In Christs Love
Reviewed by Paul Berube 7/11/2012
Very well told story, Karen.

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