Woke up confused.

2 min read

I have a hard time finding another story quite like mine no matter how hard I look.

I was 26 and pregnant with my second child. It was a planned C section due to my first child's failure to progress and the complications I had faced. I was overweight and my doctor and I closely monitored my weight gain. I had only gained 15lbs. My entire pregnancy was normal. I had no chest pain or no shortness of breath. I even worked until the day before I went to the hospital. The surgery went fine and I was placed into my room after recovery.

None of this is from my own memory. I only have one piece of memory from being in the hospital. In my room, with my husband, best friend, and 5 year old daughter, I was talking and laughing and then flatlined after taking a sip of juice.

Sudden cardiac death.

If my husband wasn't in the room I wouldn't be here. The nurse had just made her rounds and checked my vital. Everything was normal. He pushed the call button and told them they needed to send someone now. A code blue was issued to my room. I was shocked a lot of times. I can't remember the exact number I was told. I was revived after 11 minutes. They were still having trouble stabilizing my heart rhythm ; so they lowered my body temperature with an ice bath and I was placed in a chemical coma. When I was stable enough, I was careflighted to a cardiac specialist hospital. I stayed in a chemical coma for a week. They tried to wake me once but I pulled the line out of my neck and was placed back in a second time.

When I finally awoke, I panicked. I pulled the intubation tube out. I didn't know where I was or why. My dad had placed pictures of my daughter and my son above me on my bed. I had no idea who my son was, but I knew my daughter. When he told me that it was my son, only then did I realize I was no longer pregnant. I had no recollection of going to the hospital for my son's birth.

The doctors told me they had diagnosed me with peripartum cardiomyopathy. I have an ICD implant that saved my life 4 years after the implant when I had an arrhythmia at work and my heart stopped.

Due to the Hypoxic-Anoxic brain injury from 11 minutes without oxygen, I have had a variety of other health issues other than my heart. Short-term memory  loss, decline in executive functions,  difficulty with words, mood disorders, anxiety and severe depression. Just this past March I was admitted to the hospital because I had so much water retention around my heart and lungs I passed out walking around the store.

This whole thing is like a nightmare I can never wake up from. It feels like no one quite understands all the suffering I have gone through. I just want to be normal again, and that will never happen.

My Details

  • Date Diagnosed: 02/12/2008
  • Child: 2
  • Initial EF: 20
  • Current EF: 40

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