Tag Archives: heart failure

The Blog-Where It’s Going and Where The Hell I’ve Been

I started the blog in 2011 and it’s been my baby ever since. I don’t do things half assed and would absolutely panic if I couldn’t monitor the blog and reply to comments even for one day.

Now I don’t even remember the last time I was here and I feel awful about it and want to bring everyone up to date.

I am hesitant to post about it because I know my ex reads the blog and I know he would get great pleasure from hearing I am not doing well. But to hell with him, I really don’t care what he thinks.

New people to the blog probably don’t know about my health issues and well, even my Facebook friends don’t know the full story.

I had my first heart attack in 2011. I felt great afterwards, went straight back to work and didn’t take my meds or follow any doctor’s orders. I had a business to run, bills to pay, a life to put back together. When I left my ex I left with $5, my dog and my truck. That was it.

I ended up living in a holiday trailer with no running water, no sewer and an extension cord for power. The dogs water dish froze inside the trailer and I slept with my parka and boots on. I didn’t have the facilities to cook proper meals and ate fast food and precooked meals, all high in sodium.

My ex had sabotaged my truck to the point I broke myself trying to fix it. I got a job offer and jumped on it. A couple of months after getting the job I went into heart failure. My ex was making anonymous calls to my boss trying to get me fired and the strata where I lived trying to get me evicted. That was 2013.

This time I was told in no uncertain terms to quit work, take my meds and eat properly etc. I had no choice. By the time I had driven myself to the emergency ward I was so far into heart failure I would have been dead in 24 hours, my lungs were filling with fluid and I was literally drowning.

I had worked long enough to qualify for sick benefits for 4-5 months and then got an office job. I got enough time in there to qualify for unemployment benefits when that company went bankrupt. I had put the last of my retirement funds into purchasing a small cabin and lost that when I could no longer work and was denied disability benefits.

From there I lived in my car for awhile, bought a trailer cheap and fixed it up (had another heart attack while fixing that up) and couldn’t even afford the cost of a campsite for the trailer. Back into my car I went.

In 2016 the cardiologist told me I had to get a pacemaker defibrillator implant and he quadrupled my heart med (carvidelol) . The pacemaker was supposed to take 45 minutes to implant. Four hours later and 3 heart surgeons attempts they could not get the pacemaker wire hooked up and had cut one of my ventricles. I was sent home to heal and they would try again.

That was last winter and I was in horrible pain and was horribly sick for over 6 months. No doctor seemed to take me seriously and I just wanted to die.

I have always told the doctors that my quality of life is more important to me than quantity of life.

Struggling to get by on $610 a month welfare, in excruciating pain that was only bareable if I was laying flat on my stomach.

I went to 5 chiropractors trying to find relief for the pain in my ribs and ended up taking pain med that were bad for my heart and they didn’t even work.

I started to research carvidelol on my own and discovered it can be a miracle drug for some and a death sentence for others. If not properly monitored it can actually damage the heart and cause heart failure.

They tried to hook up the pacemaker again and AGAIN it took 3 cardiologists 4 hours and they still didn’t get it hooked up.

I complained to the doctors at VGH where they did the procedure about my pain and horrible side effects and all they said was it couldn’t possibly be due to anything they had done. Yet I had come out of the anesthetic while they were still working on me and the doctor was pushing on my chest so hard and I was in such pain I tried to climb off the table. They gave me another shot and I was out but now knew how rough they treated me.

They said they wouldn’t try to hook up the wire that way again, there was another, more invasive way they would try next time. One where they go through my ribcage and recovery is 4 times longer.

I told them no one was touching me ever again! ! Any mention of another attempt to hook up that wire literally gives me an anxiety attack.

I finally found a chiropractor (thank God!!) Who was able to get rid of pain. It turns out I have an extra rib and in their attempts to hook up the wire they had moved one of my ribs and irritated an old whiplash injury.

Although I was out of pain I still had terrible side effects and decided to cut back on my carvidilol myself. So what of it was “saving my life” it was a life not worth living.

I had to go to VGH to have the defibrillator checked and mentioned to the technician how horrible I had been feeling and the angel went and got the head of the UBC Heart Function Clinic to come talk to me. It was the first time I felt listened to and he spoke with my mom and I for an hour. I left with the first hope I had felt in over a year.

Long story short; the UBC Heart Function took on my case, changed my meds and I was feeling pretty good. I tried working and collapsed on night last summer while letting Stella out for a pee. Well actually she had woken me up and I assumed she had to pee but in retrospect I think she sensed something was wrong. My defibrillator shocked me and brought me back.

I lost my drivers license for 6 months because of it. UBC read my defibrillator printout and I had 84 “episodes”, 4 shocks, and 1 major heart attack in 6 months.

I am positive that being on the wrong meds and being in such horrible pain for so long has damaged my heart.

My meds were adjusted and I was hopeful. Tried to keep myself positive.

I found a cheap place to live and been here a year but it is just a basement; no kitchen, no real privacy. The owner snoops whenever I go out, and has made a play for me. He’s 20 years my senior!

I have a hot plate to cook on and a bar size fridge, no kitchen sink, a mattress on the floor and it is located in a really hilly area but they allow Stella and the rent is doable. I can’t walk Stella because of the hills and can’t cook proper meals or buy cheap food in quantities because I don’t have a proper fridge.

I have just applied for disability for the 4th time.

I have a partial plate and just before Christmas a tooth in the front broke off. The dentist said I need to have all my teeth extracted and my gums are all infected. Welfare only pays a portion and I can’t afford to pay the difference. Welfare doesn’t care that it is a strain on my heart to fight the infection.

I got the flu on Dec 27th, 2017 which turned into pneumonia and I was flat out on the couch the whole month of January.

The first week of February I went for a checkup at UBC Heart Function Clinic and was told that they have done all they can for me, my only option is a heart transplant. I refuse a heart transplant because I see no point in prolonging a life not worth living. I really don’t want to sound negative and some people want to live no matter what. But living on welfare, always struggling, always broke, not able to eat properly, rotten teeth, living in substandard conditions; is not a life worth prolonging in my mind.

I am hopeful my application for disability will be approved this time. My heart is functioning at below 20%, according to the Nurse Practitioner, “which is barely enough to keep your organs functioning, how much blood and oxygen do they think is getting to your brain in order for you to hold down a job?”

The Heart clinic is transferring my records close to home because they have done all they can.

So…… that is what I have been doing lately. I had to take time to digest the fact that I am not going to be around much longer. I around not afraid of dying and don’t really have any regrets. I have led a pretty great life over all. I have a fantastic son and grand daughter but it is hard to really accept the facts.

I have made arrangements for Stella because she will be lost without me and I really worry about her. My son is grown but I know he’ll miss his momma.

I turn 60 in April and I just feel it’s all gone by too fast! Realistically I know that no one has any guarantees about how long they will live.

I must admit though that I have spent a lot of time staring into space, awake at night, thinking. As much as I tell myself I need to visit the blog, or wash dishes, or get dressed I can waste a day watching mindless TV or on Facebook.

The only way I can describe how I feel is this;

After 10 years with my ex and 8 years trying to recover (5 of which he stalked me and tried everything he could think of to destroy me). Eight years of doctors not listening to me, welfare not listening, always struggling I feel like I am floating in a huge ocean. The ship has gone down, I am alone and panic but tell myself “You can do this. Hang in there. Someone will come along to rescue you.” So I manage to tread water for awhile. A piece of wood floats by so I hang onto it for awhile and don’t have to swim so hard. But eventually it breaks apart and I am treading water again. I see a ship in the distance but it never comes. I get more and more discouraged and hopeless.

I am tired, but I don’t want to spend what time I have left, just treading water. I am going to make some changes to the format of the blog and start to write my book. More on that to come.

Please keep me and Stella in your prayers and if you can see clear to make a donation I would truly appreciate any help I can get towards my dental work.

Talk to you all soon.

Love and hugs 💞❤💕

Carvidilol – One Way Ticket To Hell

This post isn’t about narcissists, it’s about the worst hell I have ever experienced.

I didn’t think there was a worse hell that what I went through after I left my ex.

For the last 6 months I have been spiralling into a black hole of depression I couldn’t claw my way out of. It started when I went to my cardiologist and he wanted to admit me to the hospital immediately and told me I could drop dead any minute. I didn’t feel he was listening to me, my mother was with me and she felt we were both pressured by the doctor. If I didn’t get a pacemaker immediately I was going to drop dead.

At that appointment he quadrupled my carvidilol dosage from 3.125 to 12.5 ml, he showed me stats that showed people who took larger doses lived longer. He said nothing about monitoring me closely or raising the dose gradually.

The pacemaker implant happened pretty quickly so when I started to feel so lousy I assumed it was from the failed attempt at implanting the pacemaker.

I have told every single doctor I speak to that I am more concerned with quality of life than quantity. I don’t think I am being negative, I am being realistic. I see no point in living a life with no enjoyment in it. I have no savings, it is impossible to live on the $610 the government expects me to live on and with them refusing to approve my disability designation, which leaves me starving, living in some low rent hell hole and well …….. I am not doing it. I was promised that with a pacemaker my quality of life would improve greatly, so I agreed. Prior to the procedure I was able to walk Stella, had some hope for some sort of future, part time work? I had a life.

But since the procedure my health, both physical and emotional; steadily spiralled down. I was having nightmares, I woke up crying every morning, I got more and more out of breath and less and less energy. My joints ached and I developed a pain in my back under my shoulder blade that took my breath away, the only relief I got was if I laid flat on my stomach, but if I laid down I couldn’t breath. I lost all motivation to do anything, I went days without showering because it just wasn’t worth the effort. My house was filthy, blogging became impossible because not only had I lost all and any of my creativity, if I sat for more than a few minutes the pain in my back became unbearable.

In October I was at my brother’s for Thanksgiving and could walk to the cabin without too much effort, a few months later at Christmas, by the time I got to the cabin or from the cabin to the house I felt like I had run a marathon; my legs were weak, I felt nauseous, dizzy and I would have to stop several times on the way. A few days ago my brother asked me to check on his boat. A year and a half ago I easily walked up and down the ramp, even moved on and off the boat but last week I had to stop 1/2 way up the ramp and didn’t think I would make it. I parked the car in the no parking space at the top of the ramp because I couldn’t make it to the car after having to climb the ramp.

It was becoming so hard to breath, last week I actually left my door unlocked at night for fear I would have to call 911 and they would need to get in. I stopped sleeping in bed because I had to prop myself up with pillows to sleep. I would take Stella to the dog park and barely make it from the car to the gate without passing out. Last week I sat on a bench and when I left I forgot her collar, leash and my reading glasses. One of the women told me everyone was saying I just wasn’t myself.

The depression was drowning me, I went to the doctor and he prescribed anti-depressants. I took them one night and they made me so nauseous I had to take a Gravol and I was still up all night thinking I was going to throw up.

On top of all that I was losing my hair by the handfuls, had chronic diarrhea to the point of not being able to leave the house for days, heart palpitations, episodes of my heart feeling like it was going to pound right out of my chest for no reason, my blood pressure dropped drastically and my heart rate went up, headaches, and depression, always a thick fog of depression hanging over me. But who wouldn’t be depressed? The doctors weren’t listening to me, and the one that did prescribed more drugs.

I felt totally alone, my son is living a 3 hour drive away and I could never have driven that distance with the back pain I was suffering and I honestly felt I could die any minute. At Christmas I truly thought it could be my last and I wanted so desperately to spend it with my son and granddaughter. He has his own life and problems without me laying my health concerns on him, yet I was feeling that time was running out. How do you explain something invisible to the eye, I stopped talking about it because I felt everyone thought I was exaggerating or a hypochondriac. I got paranoid. I sat for days on the couch, blindly watching TV (I never used to watch TV). I just hoped the next time they did my pacemaker it worked.

The second pacemaker attempt failed and I felt as if I was in some Twilight Zone episode, the doctors didn’t seem the least bit concerned when I told them I was barely hanging on physically, mentally or financially, that I had no quality of life. I can’t tell you how many times I said, “I am not concerned with the quantity of my life, I am only concerned with the quality of my life. I don’t want to live this way.” Nothing! I tried to get ahold of the doctor from the UBC Heart Team and just got the run-a-round and told they were booking in April to test my defibrillator and discuss the next steps with the pacemaker issue. My worst nightmare, be given a drug that stole all my pleasure in life, unable to get the pacemaker that would improve my life and yet stuck with a defibrillator that will keep me alive. That is like the cruelest thing you can do to a person.

Then I Google “side effects of Carvidilol” and this is what I found.

Patients should be closely monitored when prescribed this medication or when increasing the dosage.

The patient should contact the physician immediately if they experience any of these Side Effects:

chest – pain, discomfort, tightness or heaviness
Dizziness, lightheadedness, fainting
Hair loss
Heart Failure (I love this one! seeing as they prescribed it because I have heart failure)
Shortness of breath, difficulty breathing
low heartbeat, fast or irregular heart beat
Loss of appetite, weight gain
Anxiety, depression
back pain on right side, arm, jaw pain
Coma, confusion, convulsions, loss of sight, inability to speak
Knee, ankle, joint pain
increased blood pressure, large amount of cholesterol in blood (I haven’t checked mine, but I would imagine had a doctor been monitoring my condition my blood would have been checked)
mental depression (yes it is mentioned more than once)
nervousness, nightmares,
noisy rattling breathing, ears pounding, rapid breathing (at the time that I Googled it I was struggling to get enough oxygen and that is why I was not able to sleep, because I had to labor to breath)
Hypoglycemia
Sudden and severe inability to speak
Weakness in arms and legs
Sores, ulcers, white spots, in mouth, loosening of teeth. (I have had sores in my mouth and now I have literally lost a chunk of my gum)

Then I found a site called “Askapatient” and found hundreds of comments saying “Do not take this drug” “This drug has ruined my life” Far too many to put here.

So in light of everything I have cut back on the dosage back to about 3.125 and it has been 4 days and I am already feeling SO much better. The pain in my back was gone the first day, I haven’t cried in 4 days, my breathing is better and I am able to sleep. I went to my brother’s boat and made it up the ramp without stopping.

I am hopeful that the longer I am off it the better I am going to feel and if I drop dead of a heart attack because I stopped taking it, so be it. Like I said, I am not worried about quantity, give me quality of life.!

I have been approached by another website that wants to feature my writing, I know I could write a book, everyone has suggestions on how I could make money but it has been a big enough struggle to just make it through the day. I have never experienced anything like it in my life. I was depressed after I left my ex but I was able to work and I just forced myself to get out there and work. I had horrible days of sitting, reminding myself to breath, wishing I would die, but still able to support myself and pull myself out of the black hole I was in. This………. this has been something way worse. I can’t adequately describe what it has been like.

I am feeling so much better and I am hoping soon I will find my motivation again. I have to be patient seeing as I was on the stronger dose of carvidilol for 6 months, it is not going to be an instant recovery from the effects.

I am going to try to be around more and I apologize to those of you who have reached out for help and I was unable to be there for you and I want to say a big thank you to all the people who have kept the blog going with your love and support of each other.

 

 

 

If You Were Told You Could Keel Over Dead Any Minute

If you were told you could keel over dead at any minute would you waste your time worrying about what the narcissist is doing? Would you want to spend your last breaths dealing with the chaos and drama of the narcissist? I can’t imagine being with a narcissist and knowing I might die any minute and have him throwing some stupid temper tantrum because you aren’t worried about how it is affecting HIM! Can’t you just see it?

You come home from the doctor’s, after being told you should be in the hospital and could die any minute, tell the narcissist and ask for a hug. He looks up from texting someone on his phone with a look of total boredom, and rolls his eyes, as if to say, “Here we go again!” You try to hold back the tears because you know how he hates it when you cry and you don’t want to start a fight. Maybe you should have waited to say something, maybe you could have said it differently, you don’t want to sound like you are looking for sympathy or feel sorry for yourself; you just really need to know he loves you and to feel his arms around you.

But, like every other time you have needed him to be there for you; he isn’t. In fact, he starts a fight, tells you how selfish you are to walk in and lay that on him; don’t you ever think about other people’s feelings? He storms out of the house and you are left standing there, alone, again.

He has left his laptop sitting there open on his email so you decided to snoop and sure enough, you are not surprised to see he has a personal ad on POF again and has been talking to women. That’s probably where he is now.

Is that the way you want to live your life? dying slowly from heart ache before you finally leave this earth. Does he deserve any more of your precious time?

No matter how long you have been with him, he does not deserve another minute of your precious life.

Time flies by, not just when you are having fun, it flies by when you live in hell too. When you are always stressed over someone like the narcissist who thrives on trauma and drama time flies by and before you know it another year has slipped by. Then one day you realize you have been living like the movie Groundhog Day, repeating history over and over again, never resolving anything, walking on egg shells and 10 or 20 years have slipped by. You haven’t been living, sure you breath, you eat, you function; but have you been living? Your every waking moment has been consumed with thinking about the narcissist in some form or another. Either you are feeling guilty, snooping, begging, fighting, leaving him or going back to him, forgiving him, planning how you are going to talk to him in order to avoid a fight, cajoling him, placating him, making excuses for him, or trying to put the puzzle pieces together. When was the last time you just relaxed? laughed easily without watching for his reaction. When was the last time you asked for help doing something without carefully plotting out how you would approach the conversation and choosing your words, checking your body language and tone of voice?

This is not happy, this is not love, this is dysfunctional and it is killing you slowly.

I was moving boxes into my suite the other day and a section of one of my journals fell out on the floor, it was from 2009, only a few months after my ex had begged back into my life and told me I was the only woman he would ever love and all the woman he would ever need, when he promised me total honesty and I was writing about finding a personal ad, him refusing to admit any wrong doing, twisting the facts, blaming me……..I could look in any one of my journals spanning 10 years and I would have written the same things. What we fought about in year one was the same as what we fought about in year 10 only the abuse had gotten worse over the years and he didn’t hide his infidelity as well or come up with even believable lies. I had stopped hoping, praying for fidelity or honesty and had started praying he would at least come up with a good enough lie I could keep lying to myself.

I maintain that I would not change the past even if I could because of the inner growth and peace I have found in the process of healing myself but I am glad that I am not having to deal with him at this time of my life.

I had an appointment with my cardiologist today to hear the results of the tests I did last month. He said, “It’s not good.” and wanted to admit me to the hospital again. I hate hospitals and I see no point in going to the hospital unless I have had a heart attack again or they have plans to do surgery. I agreed to go to another specialist who will be the one who would put a pacemaker in or whatever other mechanism they decide I need. The doctor asked me if I knew my heart is working at less than 20%, I said I had a pretty good idea because all the technicians who tested me seemed surprised I was functioning at all, like walking, breathing, let alone able to go up stairs. The doctor nodded his head in agreement and said I shouldn’t be functioning near as well as I am and I could keel over dead at any minute. THAT was reassuring! I said but you haven’t seen what I can do, I can walk miles, I can landscape, I have had to move every few months the last couple of years and do it all by myself. He just shook his head and said again, “And you could drop dead at any time.”

I don’t know what to say about being told I could die any minute, any of us could die tomorrow crossing the street, we can’t live in bubble out of fear. I certainly don’t want to die, I have so much I want to do yet, I haven’t been able to get to know my grand daughter as I would have wanted simply because I haven’t had the money to get to her. I want to be around for my boy, I don’t want anyone to be sad, I don’t want Stella to wonder where I am and I sure the hell don’t want my ex pretending to cry.

What do I hope you all take away from this?

That life is short, far too short to waste it on the likes of a narcissist, you don’t know when your day will come. You think you can’t live without the N, you may think your heart is breaking and you will never find happiness again, you may think that you have all the time in the world to make it up to your kids that you spend all day in bed obsessing about the N. It took me 2 full years to even start to feel like I was healing and there was life after a Narcissist; but that is largely due to the fact that I didn’t go no contact for almost a year after we split.
I tell myself that anyone can go at any minute but being told, to your face that you should be dead and could be dead tomorrow really makes you think about how you want your last days on earth to be, what memory do you want your loved ones to have of you? you last words to be, your last actions to be?

I know you can’t rush healing, it takes time; but you do have a lot of control over how you heal and I am going to go over those steps again in my upcoming posts.