I recently experienced an extreme “health scare” involving my heart. Being in a new city, new job and having a new church family made things even more difficult as I was unsure when it happened who I should even call. My lungs had filled up with fluid (coughing up blood) and my heart was not performing as it should (not pumping the volume out). For you science types my heart’s ejection fraction (EF) was ringing in at 40% per the test. They checked me in through ER and there I sat feeling very alone and afraid.
I’d like to say I felt peace or some sort of calm but really until I had made contact with some people it was very unsettling. A cardiac issue came as a shock of course (I am 41 years old). My friends and new direct boss at work Michael Buckingham was the first on the scene and got to see me at my low point. So thankful for his ministry and friendship.
I have done many tests since then (Stress Test, CT with contrast, multiple EKG’s, etc…). They have concluded that my official diagnosis per the Dr. is Dilated Non-Ischemic Cardiomyopathy. This was not caused by a heart attack or a clot or some weird artery issues like some heart problems. The cause is more nefarious. Could have been a virus, could have been drug interactions, etc… Many of the cases with this specific kind of cardiomyopathy are idiopathic (the cause can’t be identified).
My current ejection fraction is still at 40% and my heart really needs to be strengthened. Going in for a follow-up soon. We need the EF to move closer to 50%. The current prescription is meds, exercise and a low-sodium diet. I share all of this to help communicate with everyone what’s up and to solicit your prayers for a strong rebound of heart function. When this all happened initially I just kept thinking about the kids and my need and strong desire to be there for them and be in their lives for much longer. It’s amazing how “sobering” the sense of death can be.
I am feeling much better and optimistic, but need the continued grace / strength to see this through. I find myself fighting anxiety at times. The need is for me to follow a regimen and stay on course with the prescribed remedy. I want to move forward daily!
Here is a quick video explaining ejection fraction. Interesting and well done.