As a nurse for 35 years, I am pretty adept at telling other people what to do when it relates to their health. However, when I began having edema in both lower extremities and shortness of breath, I chalked it up to too much flying for work and my allergies/asthma. After all, it was gone in the mornings. However, I began to notice that it suddenly did not go away in the morning and was also in my hands. A trip to the PCP revealed a Left Bundle Branch Block and heart enlargement on a CXR. An ECHO revealed an ejection fraction between 20-25. Yeah, no CHF. But wait, lets do a cath to see what is causing it and hopefully correct it. No cause found and diagnose was Idiopathic Dilated Cardiomyopathy. After trying to correct it with beta blockers, diuretics, and calcium channel blockers for 18 months, the EF remained at 20-25 and low BP did not allow for much increase in the meds. Decision was made to place a Biventricular ICD so that the meds could be increased. Just completed my 4 month follow up ECHO and yahoo, the EF has increased to 30-35 with the device alone. They are now increasing the beta blockers and hopefully I can soon reach the 50% the cardiologist says he will be happy with. Since I am adopted, it is unknown if this was familial. My concern now if for my children who may have inherited the gene for this. My daughter is hitting it head on with a complete lifestyle change with a 65 lb current weight loss and a regimented exercise program. She has put together her team for the Bay Area Heart Walk in October, the Cardiac Cajuns. A nod to my home state of Louisiana. I am hoping to be able to participate in the walk with them, but if not will definitely be there to cheer them on.