Enjoy Your Menopause!

November 20, 2008

Living with Congestive Heart Failure

One week ago today, I was diagnosed with congestive heart failure.  It was discovered during an echocardiogram ordered by my regular doctor during a routine physical. 

I must admit, it came as a shock to me because five years ago I was given a clean bill of health after suffering from cardiomyopathy and hyperthyroid for nearly 10 years.  My cardiologist, Dr. Elizabeth Henke, didn’t pull any punches.  She laid it right out there.  She said I need to change my eating and drinking habits and spend much LESS time on the computer in exchange for some vigorous exercise.

My options are

1.  Heart catheterization:  This is a procedure to examine blood flow to the heart and test how well the heart is pumping. A doctor inserts a thin plastic tube (catheter) (KATH’eh-ter) into an artery or vein in the arm or leg. From there it can be advanced into the chambers of the heart or into the coronary arteries.

2.  Nuclear Imaging:  Your body goes through a scanner.  It shows not only the anatomy (structure) of an organ or body part, but the function of the organ as well. This functional information can show if the organ is working properly. This is due to the fact that the radionuclides (low-level radioactive chemicals used in nuclear medicine studies) are absorbed by or taken up at varying rates (or in different concentrations) by different tissue types.

They both sound scary but I chose Option 2.  The appointment has not yet been scheduled.

This is what I’ve learned from this part of my journey:

It’s important to have an annual physical exam.

Be honest with your doctor.  Tell all of your dirty, little secrets–you know those bad eating and drinking habits you may have and WHATEVER! else you might do.  If your doctor has this information, they can treat you better.  Otherwise, you may be setting yourself up for even more medical problems down the road.

Check your family history.  My dad died of heart failure at the age of 52.  My mother is still alive at 86 with no heart problems.  What does that mean for me?     

Menopause and Congestive Heart Failure…Whew!


  1. My prayers are with you and thank you for sharing your journey with us. Your transparency in sharing will be a big help to others.

    Comment by Marlo — November 20, 2008 @ 1:55 am | Reply

  2. Beverly, I am rooting for you! I know you’ll take good care of yourself, trust your faith, and help us all learn about illness as teacher. I know what it is to worry about a health condition, and I appreciate your sharing so any of us that have–or will–have these kinds of issues can learn with you.

    Comment by Joyce Mason — November 20, 2008 @ 2:40 am | Reply

  3. Hello Beverly,
    I am praying for you and you are a trooper. I know that God is walking with you and your family on this journey.

    Comment by Tally — November 22, 2008 @ 12:06 am | Reply

  4. Beverly,
    Thanks for sharing, you are not alone in this and by sharing, other’s lives will be blessed.

    Comment by Heidi Caswell — November 22, 2008 @ 3:44 am | Reply

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