Your Experience

In My Experience

“In My Experience” is a page where you can tell your own story of how some experience altered the course of your life, hopefully but not necessarily bettering your life in some way. I’ll give my own to start off.

In my experience heart failure is not a life sentence. In my experience, sixteen years of my loving Katie and full compliance with everything the docs said — no alcohol, no caffeine, no salt, take the meds faithfully by the clock, exercise every day possible, eat healthy — returned me from a possible candidate for heart transplant to a man with a normal heart (well, nearly normal, as long as I continue compliant).

I’m living proof that one can come back, not from a heart attack, necessarily, or stroke, but from the nasty surprise of being diagnosed with heart failure, in my case cardiomyopathy, enlarged heart, diminished function, atrial fibrillation. Sixteen years later the heart size is back to nearly normal, the function level is safely normal and the atrial still fibrillates.

When I saw my new cardiologist yesterday and told him my story, he said that such stories are increasingly common. He added that transplants are way down because these therapies I’m enjoying are working just as effectively for many other patients. And when we talked about my implanted pacemaker/defibrillator he speculated that maybe the defib function would not be summoned into action again in my future, that the threat of stroke from my Afib has come down with my improved function. I hope I heard him right on this point because the experience of “therapy” when that defibrillator kicks in is not something I would wish on anybody. I can live a long happy life thinking that I’ll never have to go through that again.

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