marilyns story

3 min read

I was having problems with my pregnancy,I had pre eclampsia and high blood pressure, headaches and protein in my urine.For the last few month of my pregnancy I was on bed rest,and was spending life in hopital being monitored an then home for a few days.I reached week 37 and had a natural birth to start with then an emergency causeriun after the baby became in distress.My son was my second baby,My daughter having arrived 7 years earlier, nd tht was a traumatic birth,I ended up having a blood transfusion.Both children came about after I had started investigations into why I wasnt becoming pregnantso both I lass as my miracle children.

Anyway I had my son, and when I was in hospital the following few days, I developed a cough.This i was told was from my general anaesthetic.Of course it was no such thing,my heart was begining to fail and lungs filling up with water causing the cough.But what did I know, I was in hospital for the second birth,never been seriously ill and super fit before pregnancy.I was 37.

Anyway after staying in hospital for a few days due to my son having an eye infection,I was sent home, and seen by the community mid wife.My bloodpressure had one back to normal finally after having the baby.

9days after his birth I was rushed too hospital and couldnt breathe.The doctors didnt know what the problem was Gave  fusemide (water tablet) and I was put on a general ward on oxygen.I then was told I had pneumonia.I had my daughter having pneumonia a few years previously and I didnt think I had it,but they pumped me full of antibiotics and sent me home for another 4 weeks until I was rushed in again, not breathing properly,and then taken to general ward.

The lady in the next bed to me told her consultant to read my notes, and he had been to a conference in London and it was about women getting rare things in childbirth.He thought I may have cardiomyopathy,He arranged for me to have an MRI scan and it showed my hart problem.I was then given the option of land or air ambulance.I chose land.I wanted to die with my feet on the round and was scared to death of flying.So I got a police escort 60 miles to Cambridge,to Papworth hospital, where I was rushed into the intendsive care.

I was given the weekend to either respind to drugs or face a heart transplant.Luckily I responded to the drugs.I was in hospitalin cambridge for 12 weeks.They diagnosed me with postpartum dilated cardiomyopathy,supposedly caused by the pregnancy and the coxsackie virus(they did a biopsy on my heart and lung).I was told 1 in 100,000 pregnancies ended like this.

I was transferred to my local hospital for rehab.For 3 years I was in a wheelchair as I had lost the know how to walk very far.ith months and months of rehabilitation I ot back walking.I then suffered post traumatic stress nd depression over what i had gone through.

Eventually I started to feel my more normal self, I had to let my husband do most of the caring for my son, and my daughter suffered as a result of meebeing so sick, she began self harming.My husband then returned to work leaving me to cope with two kids, and the housework and it was a struggle.

Eventually life got back to normal, but i have had to take a cocktail of drugs and unfortuntely my pancrias failed when my heart did so I am left a type 2 diabetic on insulin and tablets.My son who is now 16 and has special needs and now is fairly independant considering and attends college.My daughter she went on to go to uni.

My husband left me after I recovered and that is something I struggle to cope  with.I now live with my son, in a relatively normal life,but am unable to work due to my lack of stamina ,depression.I hink having ppdcm has made me a stronger person.I no longer take life for granted and count each day as a blessing that I thought i never would have.I ow take 7 tablets a day,do 4 insulin inections, and have regular check ups, once yearly I attend the hospital that i count as saving my life,and without their treatment I wouldnt be here.

My Details

  • Date Diagnosed: 05/01/1998
  • Child: 1
  • Initial EF: 25
  • Current EF: 60

Story By Marilyn Watson

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