My ‘Pneumonia’ Signs Have been Truly Pointing to Coronary heart Failure

Glenda Sexauer, 59, was recognized with heart failure when she was 46. Nevertheless it took practically a yr—all whereas her coronary heart well being was steadily declining—for medical doctors to understand what was flawed.

She had a number of signs, together with relentless fatigue, bloating, nausea, and weight achieve she couldn’t clarify. Initially, she was recognized with an autoimmune situation and pneumonia earlier than her physician referred her to a heart specialist. She was hospitalized for a number of weeks and had a pacemaker and defibrillator positioned in her chest. Her street to restoration took a number of years—she nonetheless takes a number of drugs every day and depends on her pacemaker—however she credit her lively life-style for getting her by way of all of it.

Coronary heart failure impacts about 3.6 million girls in the USA—however there’s a big disparity in analysis between women and men with coronary heart failure. Practically 50% of individuals admitted to the hospital with coronary heart failure are girls,1 but solely 25% of girls are concerned in coronary heart failure research.2

After her expertise, Sexauer grew to become a group educator with WomenHeart, a nonprofit group that educates girls with coronary heart illness in regards to the signs of heart failure. Right here’s her story, as instructed to author Erica Sweeney.

I’ve at all times been lively. I exercised repeatedly, ran marathons, and as soon as did a 2-day, 150-mile bike trip. However, once I was 46, I seen that I wasn’t feeling like myself anymore. I had gained some weight and was tired all the time. I slept loads and felt bloated. I simply knew one thing wasn’t proper. I went to my gynecologist first, pondering my signs may very well be pointing to menopause, however my hormone testing dominated that out. Then I researched my signs on-line and thought it is perhaps my thyroid performing up. My physician recognized me with the autoimmune illness Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, an autoimmune situation that may trigger signs like fatigue, weight achieve, and muscle weak spot. I assumed, “OK, that’s what it’s.”

I continued feeling drained on a regular basis, although, regardless of taking remedy for Hashimoto’s. I had loads happening in my life then too. My son had simply gone away to varsity and my mother-in-law was residing with us. I used to be working as a vp of a monetary companies firm. My mother was additionally actually sick; she had Alzheimer’s and was nearing the ultimate part of her life. So I assumed possibly I used to be simply experiencing anxiety.

Then I began feeling a funny sensation in my chest when mendacity down. It was form of like I may hear my coronary heart gurgle. A few nights I needed to sit as much as sleep. After my mom handed away, one thing else gave me pause. I used to be at her funeral once I coughed up some stuff that didn’t look proper. I noticed my main care physician and instructed him I assumed I had pneumonia. He confirmed I had a bit little bit of fluid in my lungs and prescribed remedy. I by no means had a fever, which, wanting again now, was a giant trace that I didn’t have pneumonia. Nobody ever thought I had heart disease.

Then, I lastly obtained a coronary heart failure prognosis.

To rejoice our twenty fifth marriage ceremony anniversary, my husband and I deliberate a visit to Hawaii. We determined to go, despite the fact that I wasn’t feeling nice. I couldn’t eat a lot and felt nauseated. Once we obtained there, I slept so a lot. I needed to sit and relaxation after strolling up simply two steps. We had all these actions deliberate and needed to hold canceling as a result of I simply couldn’t do them—and that’s not like me. On the day we got here dwelling, I put all of my signs right into a well being checker on-line and it instructed I had a coronary heart downside. On the time, we laughed as a result of I used to be actually fairly wholesome.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.