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Maggie Woods’s Story

Cardiomyopathy Survivor

Gives and receives support

Maggie' Story

Two years ago, at 63 I had an “event”. I was cleaning my house when I suddenly felt heartburn in the middle of my chest, within minutes the pain had moved to my back, between my shoulder blades and to my upper right jaw. It felt like I was having a heart attack. I lived by myself and had no medical insurance so I made it to the kitchen, found SJ aspirin and chewed 6, took a Valium that I had leftover from an MRI test and then took some pain killers, left over from another illness. I sat on the floor for a good 30 minutes praying that the pain would subside. It finally did.

Jump to 3 weeks ago, end of May 2013. I am now 65, living with my stepmother and now have medicare. I thought I was having a bad nightmare where I couldn’t breathe. It woke me up. The pressure on my sternum was preventing me from catching my breath. I woke my step mom and she drove me to my Dr’s office 10 min away. Once there the PA listened to my heart and summoned an ambulance.

At the hospital I was given an echo cardiogram, then a nuclear strees test (due to my having LBBB) and then I had a cardiac catherization. Results showed damage to my heart indicating that I had had a heart attack 2 years ago, a leaking mitral valve,and an ejection fraction of 25%. The first echo I had two weeks ago showed EF of 45%. All indicators point to cardiomyopothy. I left the hospital 2 days ago and will see my cardiologist in 7 days. The hospital put me on a beta blocker, and an Ace inhibitor, very low dosage. My blood pressure is very low. 90/62 during the day and 72/55 at night. I am very breathless and am not able to hold a conversation more then 5 min. I am very frightened and still have not had anyone really explain much to me at all. What am I facing? Is this thing terminal? I would like to be in contact with someone else who has this. What questions should I ask my cardio when we meet? Thank you for any help and God Bless all of you in your individual journey.

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Maggie is interested in giving and receiving support from other women with heart disease. Contact her if you'd like to give and receive support.

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