One early Sunday morning, my seven day old son saved my life. While up with him, I noticed my breathing was strained and I felt out of sorts. Myles, my little son, was my third child..joining his then nine and seven year old sisters. I was anxiety ridden and thought that I was simply fighting off the post-partum depression that had become common for me after childbirth.
Later that morning, I was admitted into the intensive care unit after a diagnosis of pneumonia and peri-partum cardiomyopathy. I spent ten days in the intensive care unit. My heart function was at about fourteen percent. When I told the hospital staff that I needed to go home to take care of my new baby and children, I was told that if they disconnected my breathing tubes I would die in the parking lot. I experienced great sadness after my diagnoses and opted to pretend that this was not a potentially life threatening condition. My rehabilitation was pretty quick..or so I thought.
I had never heard of this condition, and I frankly have not taken it as seriously as I should have. Now, it's two and half years later, and a recent ekg has noted that problems still exist. I was scheduled for a non-invasive surgical procedure. Thankfully, I expressed concern over being anesthesized to my orthopedic surgeon. Pre-op testing confirmed that I have lingering heart weakness. This journey is not over, and I am now faced with the reality that I have had a catastrophic heart issue, and I have to face it full on..going to war with knowledge so that I can preserve my life.