What the heck is PPCM? Part 4 

You can read Part 1Part 2 and Part 3 here.

So after a visit from the baby I was feeling very low. I really wanted to get home ASAP. It was Thursday night and I was hopefully the doctor would let me go home Friday. At this point I was on very low oxygen and feeling a lot better. The next day my doctor came early to meet with me. I’m not sure he was thrilled with the idea of me going home but I had been monitored over night and he wasn’t seeing anything concerning. He said I could leave as long as my Oyygen levels didn’t drop to much while going for a walk. I remember slowly walking around the unit with a nurse helping me. It all felt kind of funny because I felt fine but I understand why they were concerned. I did fine and was ok’d to go home. My husband asked if there was anything I could do to help improve my condition. The doctor was very honest and said unfortunately not much. Of course keep my salt intake low and lose weight as soon as possible. But non of that could guarantee my heart would recover any faster or at all.  That’s still something I struggle with. I want and hope that my life style changes will help. But truthfully since there is no exact cause, the only thing PPCM patients can do is take their medicine and lead a healthy lifestyle. 

Before I left, the doctor wanted to make sure they had my exact weight. Obesity is thought to be a possible factor in PPCM but is not present in all patients. But with any heart condition and for good health in general, it’s important to be a healthy weight. I was not. I entered the hospital at 317. A lot of that was fluid, and of course 9 lbs of awesomeness lol. I weighed in at 279 when I left the hospital. Which was only about 9 pounds heavier then when I got pregnant. Obviously I knew what I had to do. 

I was sent home with 6 new meds and told to follow up in a few weeks.  That was it. It’s kind of a surreal thing to be in the ICU and two days later just go home. I mean of course I wanted to but the scary reality was, there wasn’t much else they could do for me. 

I finally got to go home to my parent’s . For the first week I wasn’t able to carry the baby up and down the steps and I limited my trips up stairs to once a day when I could.  I continued to lose weight quickly( probably more excess fluid). My mom kept me on a low salt diet and I adjusted to my meds and life as a new mom. I had terrible anxiety about sleeping and thinking I wouldn’t wake up. Thankfully newborns sleep a lot so I got plenty of rest and when I slept I had help with her.  We took some short walks. I remember my first trip out of the house to clothes shop for my mom. I lasted about 20 minutes before I was exhausted. I often forgot I was also recovering from a c section. My scar was having some trouble healing so I was at the doctor several times. 

After a week I wanted to head home. I felt better and wanted to start being a mom on my own. I know my family was sad the baby was leaving lol. But it was important I move on
Today

As of today I have lost 60 pounds since I left the hospital. I’m still on all of my medicine. I have had a follow up echocardiogram in January and my EF had improved from about 30% to 40%. It was disappointing to my doctor and to myself that it had not improved further since I have been symptom free since leaving the hospital. I have another follow up appointment in August and will have another echo in January again. I’m hoping with continued weight loss and the exercise I have been getting that my number will improve. I still deal with the anxiety of having a heart condition. Even though I had a stress test and was cleared to work out, I still get nervous. I also still retain excess fluid easily which could mean my heart is still not working as well as it should. I forgot to take my meds one day and gained 6 lbs in one day. It was scary. 

Emotionally I have been through so much since my diagnoses. I am still in therapy and it helps along with anxiety meds. I am now separated and living with my daughter with my parents. I work 32 hours a week instead of 40 and I do feel it has helped my stress level. 

I wish I could say I’m a strong person but I don’t always feel that way. I often wonder why this happened to me. I admire those dealing with on going illness who don’t do that. I hope and pray to have more children some day. But it’s difficult knowing the risks. It’s something I admit I obsess over to much.  Anytime I see someone having their second or third child I get a little pain. I’m so thankful for my daughter. I went through years of trying to have her. It’s hard to explain to people why I would ever risk having more. I’m not sure I even understand my feelings at this point. But again, it’s an issue I recognize and I’m working on.

Thank you all so much for reading my story. It’s still on going. I will blog with updates as I have them. For now please follow my weight loss journey on Instagram

  

My Peanut and I. She is worth it all and if I was given the chance to do it all over again, I would in a heartbeat ❤️
DISCLAIMER: I am not a medical professional or doctor. I am just writing about my experience and what happened to me and how my doctors decided to treat me. Everyone is different. Listen to your body and don’t be afraid to speak up if you feel something is wrong. It saved my life! 

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