Bide your time!

Having a Congenital Heart Defect affects your entire life. You would be surprised at the number of normal, ordinary things that have to be done differently because of it.

Next Monday, I have to call the pacemaker lab for a telephone check. The technology has gotten better; I used to have to put two bracelets on my wrists, connect wires to the bracelets, and then lay the telephone handset in a special cradle that communicated with the lab. Now all I have to do is connect a small box to the telephone line and place a handheld monitor over the pacemaker. The box places the call automatically, and let’s me know if it is not getting a good signal from the pacer.

You have to watch your diet all the time. You can eat anything you want on the Congestive Heart Failure diet – as long as you don’t exceed 2000 milligrams of sodium and 2000 milliliters of liquid per day. 2000…? Well, perhaps I can’t eat anything I want! Most processed meats are out, and most seafood. Bummer!

Gotta watch the Vitamin K intake when you’re on Anticoagulation therapy, too. So ease up on the leafy green veggies.

“Simple” medical procedures suddenly aren’t so simple any more. My dentist didn’t pull my wisdom teeth, but rather sent me over to an Oral Surgeon… just in case. The Oral Surgeon didn’t pull my teeth in his office, like he normally would have. The procedure took place in an operating room at the hospital … just in case.

And playing on my mind today is my hernia. It’s acting up… and has been acting up a lot lately. It used to be pretty sedate, but it is looking more and more as if I’ll have to have it repaired, and soon.

Hernias are easy to fix, you’re thinking, and you are right. But I have low blood oxygen. I’m not going to do anything without talking it over with my Cardiologist first. I am NOT Standard Hernia Repair #195,034, I’m rather unusual.

So what do you do when you have to constantly make your life fit around a bum heart? Well, there’s the simple way – just give up. Sorry, but that is not an option here.

If I give up, my heart defect wins. And I don’t like to lose.

So what do you do? You follow the rules. You reign yourself in. You eventually learn to change the rules and turn your disadvantage into an asset. I can’t tell you how – everyone has to find their own path – but where there is a will, there’s a way!

And you wait – wait for all this medical technology that’s being developed, better medicines, better operations, because some of that will peel your limitations away. And one day we’ll beat Heart Defects, once and for all.

Until then, “I do what I do to defeat the evil inside of me.”

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One Response to “Bide your time!”

  1. carolyn compton Says:

    i heard the other day of doctors and researchers in India using nano technology to work out a way for diabetics to swallow a pill rather than have injections. the problem in the past has been that the stomach acid would break it down. it works on the nano technology only breaking down when the medication is in the correct ph level…ie not in your stomach but in your blood. clever! it would make a diabetic’s life much less of an invasion on daily routines. it is perhaps 5-10 years away, but they have it working in rats…..

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