My Life or Death 'Adventure' with Congestive Heart Failure
Signs of (CHF) most times include
- Shortness of breath
- Excessive tiredness
- Leg swelling
- The shortness of breath is worse with exercise, while lying down, and may wake the person at night. A limited ability to exercise is also a common feature.
(CHF) defined in medical terms
Just what is heart failure (HF)? It is often defined as congestive heart failure (CHF), that occurs when the heart is unable to pump efficiently to maintain blood flow to meet the body's needs. The common terms: Chronic heart failure (CHF) or congestive heart failure (CCF) are often used interchangeably with congestive heart failure.
How my bout with (CHF) began
There you have it, ladies and gentlemen. The medical definition of congestive heart failure. I suffered from this deadly-affliction during the months of June and July, 2015. The funny thing, if there is one, was that I did not realize how close to death that I was living.
I would work in the afternoons in my birdhouse shop and sweat as if I were in a sauna. Not a bad gig, I thought to myself. But I was swelling more by the day. My stomach and ankles were swelled so out of proportion that my wife, Pam, and our daughter, Angie, literally grew angry (through love) to get me to have a doctor check me out.
I knew that I was licked, so I visited our family physician and she sent me (immediately) to the emergency room at North Mississippi Medical Center, Tupelo, to see what was wrong with me. Our family physician had thought that I had congestive heart failure, but she wanted to be absolutely sure of her diagnosis.
My meeting with a cardiologist
From the emergency room to Cardiology Associates also in Tupelo where I met with a Dr. Hill who gave me an EEG and he did not mince words. "You either get a heart cath, or die." I was not one to argue with someone, especially a physician, who was this adamant about my condition.
I did take a heart cath and the nurses "drained" my heart and body of the excessive fluid that had built up around my heart. I was told later that they drained 57 pounds total out of my system.
Pam told me during my hospital stay that prior to getting my heart cath, I was talking non-sense at our home and sitting in my recliner and falling asleep without any effort. I did remember some of the things that she told me and then I was not surprised at her and our daughter being so concerned.
Before I came home, my cardiologist gave me my new orders in how I was to live. Some of his advice was easy to accomplish while other parts were down right tough namely the Mediterranean Diet that I have to stay on for the rest of my natural life.
This special diet strictly has me to never eat junk food at all. No chips, candy bars, or doughnuts. No fun. But by keeping on this diet, I will be increasing my lifespan by months. But I also know that as gifted as my cardiologist and the medical personnel are who tended to my case, God still has the last word when it comes to life and death.
(CHF) for me was a learning experience
In the aftermath of getting treated for congestive heart failure, I came to realize a few things that I would like to share with you, my valued followers.
- I realized that "I" need to pay closer attention to my physical life as well as my spiritual life. Both are important to God, so I will give this diet the "old college try" and do my best. As of this writing, I have lost 101 pounds and that makes me very happy.
- For a tasty snack, I used to consume potato chips by the bag. Not anymore. Now I reach for a tasty red apple or maybe an orange. Both are great for the body I have read.
- I am realizing that each day, as well as each breath and heartbeat, are all gifts of God. Not to be taken for granted like I was doing. I cannot afford to take these things and those around me for granted.
- When spring and summer arrive, Pam and I are going to start a walking regiment to further help my heart grow stronger as to add to my life.
- I was given a new beginning with three of my family members who I had some problems with some years ago, but after some honest conversation with them, we are now as close as ever.
- In closing, let me urge, not ask you politely, get a regular physical check up. Exercise regularly and learn to eat healthy foods that are better for you than a bag of chips.
After all, taking good care of ourselves is a matter of life and death.