Header Ads Widget

Responsive Advertisement

A Day in the Life of My Heart Failure Aimee Rodriguez Zepeda National Heart Failure Ambassador, American Heart Association

 By Aimee Rodriguez Zepeda, as told by Danny Bonvissuto


I did not have a general feeling that people described, such as difficulty breathing. Instead, I was tired. I was 39 years old and had two children in high school and two in high school. The feeling of running downhill seemed normal for women like me.


I went to my primary care physician. I thought I would tell her I was tired and ask her if she could raise a good B12 vitamin.

Aimee Rodriguez Zepeda, National Heart Failure Ambassador, American Heart Association
Aimee Rodriguez Zepeda, National Heart Failure Ambassador, American Heart Association


Instead, he listened to my heart and said, "I don't like what I'm hearing." He referred me to a cardiologist and said I needed to go for a day or two.

I thought, "I'm fine. It's nothing. A little. They'll just tell me I'm growing up and I need to lose weight. All things normal."


A few days later, I had an echocardiogram. After that, the cardiologist came in, sat down, and in a straight line, said, “You got a heart trouble. Your heart works at 20%. ”


I was saying, "Wait. What?"


He did it again, and then he handed me a box of tissues.


I have developed cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, and systolic heart failure. That means my heart is enlarged and not pumping well enough.


For a while I lived there and was not sure what to say. Then I said, “How do we fix this? What did we do? ”


He said, “Heart failure is not something you fix - it's something you have. We will angrily attack this right now to make your work a success, but this is a lifelong commitment. ”


Before I was diagnosed, I did what I wanted to do. I ate what I wanted, and I didn't really think about what I was eating, even if all the women in my family, including my elderly mother, had a heart attack. My doctor believes that my problem is a genetic predisposition to the side effects of cervical cancer treatment I had received 7 years earlier.


Big Changes Soon

At that moment, I changed my eating habits. I like my adobo spice, but I had to get rid of the salt. I quickly realized that I was craving something I could no longer eat. I've never dreamed of such a Mac Mac in my life, even though I've never been a McDonald's so much fanatic. I had to ask myself, is it worth it?


Another thing I had to learn to deal with quickly was depression. Depression is our enemy. That's what I'm still working on, honestly.


Daily Challenges

Every day is different. Some days I get up and feel like I can take the world. Some days, not so much. I am a government contractor, pursuing my PhD in public policy and administration, and caring for my mother, who lives with me. I had to learn to listen to my body. When your body tells you you are tired, you are tired. Take a break.


Bathing is a challenge. The heat from the shower, as well as the energy needed to wash my hair, makes me dizzy. I have to sit and rest after that.


I also have to give my time to clean the house. Something that could take me a few hours back in the day is taking me all day now.


I still do a lot of the same things I did before I was diagnosed with heart disease; it takes me a long time to do it. Heart failure has given me a different perspective on life: It is not always necessary to do everything in one day. Prior to my diagnosis, that would be insane.


The best part? It slowed me down. The bad part? It slowed me down.

A Day in the Life of My Heart Failure

A Day in the Life of My Heart Failure



Treatment Today

I am on a variety of medications: heart medications, stomach, vitamins, and acid reflux medications. Years ago, after my chemo treatment, I began to have seizures, or periodic bouts. So now I'm taking a coma, too.


My doctors regularly prescribed and modified my medication to suit my body's needs.


Diet and exercise

In the morning I will have eggs and fruit. In the afternoon, maybe a sandwich with grilled chicken and baked potatoes. For dinner, I might have chicken or seafood with green beans, maybe a little rice and a side salad.


To exercise, walk or use the Stirmirmaster in my bedroom. I aim for 30 minutes anyway, three times a week. It’s hard in summer because of the heat, but I can do a lot in winter.


I have a very good support system. My kids have their moments, like all kids, but they care a lot. If they see that I am not feeling well and need something, they will help me down the stairs, or sit on a sofa next to me. They do small things, but it shows me that they understand if I don’t feel good that day.


I still do a lot of the same things I did before I was diagnosed with heart failure; it just takes me longer to do them. Heart failure gave me a different perspective on life: It’s not always important to get everything done in one day. AIMEE RODRIGUEZ ZEPEDA

Forgive yourself

I always tell people not to look for common signs. You never know how your body will react. My kidneys cannot properly remove fluids from my body, and my heart has trouble pumping everything to the right places. I store fluids in my stomach, face and arms, and when it reaches my legs and feet, I know I am overweight. The fluid puts stress on your heart and can send you to cardiac arrest.


If you don't feel well, check it out. Even if your doctor says no, check it. It is easier to fix a problem before it becomes a problem than to fix a problem if it is a problem




Post a Comment

0 Comments