Life expectancy: pretty much normal


I went to the cardiologist, Dr. G, today, and she upped my lisinopril and downed my furosemide and agreed that I seem to have lost all the fluid I had been retaining. She listened to my breathing and asked if I had been dizzy or lightheaded to the point of passing out lately (which I have not). Then she said that things seemed to be going really well for me.

Finally I asked her what the plan was in the long term. She said that in cases like mine, if the heart is going to recover, it usually happens within nine months, so around June we’ll do another echo to see if it has. If it hasn’t, at that point we’ll talk about whether or not I should have a defibrillator implanted to protect me against irregular heart rhythms, which can cause instant death. (Sorry, that was abrupt! But I guess the instant death would be, too. Heh.)

She said sometimes the heart recovers, and sometimes it doesn’t recover but the person feels better anyway, and from a quality of life standpoint those two things are essentially the same. In the second scenario you just have to take extra steps.

Then I asked her if my life expectancy would be affected by all this. She essentially said probably not. If my heart recovers in nine months, then I’ll just be normal. If it doesn’t, then all that will be different is that I will have a higher chance than most of the population of having those irregular heart rhythms.

So I should live into old age. This was nice to hear!

Dr. G also told me that exercise is very good for people with CHF, and I should do as much as I can. The things I should avoid are straining myself, like with heavy lifting or with overdoing the exercise, and getting pregnant (I think I can handle that ;P).

Basically, I got the impression that I should be careful, but not treat myself like an invalid. This makes me very pleased. It can be fun having people do things for me, but ultimately I like things done my way, and there isn’t always someone around to help me out. I’m glad to know that I can still do things myself. Not everything, of course, but more than I was thinking I could.

This past weekend I wanted to go to the Canal. I ended up not going, but I wish I had. Maybe next weekend. The issue will be how to get to the path; my regular parking area is way up on a hill, which I can probably get down but would be a pain to get back up. I haven’t walked up a flight of stairs in weeks so I’m not sure how much of a strain it would be. I could go to the other parking area, which is level with the Canal, but that side of town isn’t so great and I’m not sure I want to park my car there. Decisions, decisions.

In any case, I am going to live my life the best I can and do as much as I can, and take care of myself while I enjoy myself.