Friday, February 3, 2012

Recipe for Congestive Heart Failure at a Young Age

When you get Congestive Heart Failure at a young age you have to review your life and see what you have done to contribute to getting such a disease. So here is a "brutally honest with myself" list of how I have lived my life to get CHF at the age of 44. By the way I'm 49 now. I have outlived both my doctor's and the US government's estimations of how long I would live. This is directly because of the US government determining that I was eligible for disability and the changes I made in my lifestyle. I am light years better than I was 5 years ago even though I will never be 100% again.
The doctors say my CHF is due to sleep apnea. My veins and arteries are fine. My cholesterol levels are good - not perfect, mind you, good.

But what about my life got me to this point with not even a mild case of CHF - it is advanced?

1. Work somewhere between 70 to 90 hours a week. When you get off work party hard and play harder. Get somewhere between 3 to 5 hours a night sleep, to catch up, sleep all day about once a month. Do this for about 20 years.

2. Eat basically only meat and drink Pepsi for your entire adult life.

3. Smoke pot around the clock for 15 to 20 years and dabble in various other drugs. Cocaine and drugs that require needles are not necessary. (I am deathly afraid of needles) Prescription pill abuse is enough. Various pain pills, muscle relaxers and nerve pills will do. A 2 year period of tea and acid around the age of 20 probably contributed. No cigarettes what so ever although I was around a tremendous amount of second hand smoke. So much for pot smoking not hurting you.

4. Have a job you love like training greyhounds. Physical fitness is required. No sleep is also required. If I went more than 6 hours without going to the kennel (day or night) then I missed something I needed to do I was around an extreme amount of dust and dirt in the kennels, as well as pet dander, plenty of fecal matter too. The kennels were clean but I am the one who usually cleaned them.. I loved it though and I wish I could still do it.

5. Sex on average of twice a day for most of your adult life. (Good sex not "let's get it over with sex!") Don't know what this had to do with it but thought I would throw it in there.

6. Quit all these vices cold turkey. Keep eating like your job is physically demanding even though the job is sedentary work 70 to 80 hours per week. This is when I noticed I never slept. People around me noticed it as well. I told my doctors but they always seemed to shrug it off.

7. I personally think this is the biggest factor because I started noticing problems after starting this shot. Go on the Depo-Provera Birth Control Shot. I had an echocardiogram in 1999 that was completely normal. I started this shot in 2001. By 2006 my heart was shot! But if I had it to do over I would take the shot again because life with no periods is heavenly.

8. My divorce. I used to wonder how anyone could survive the pain of the break up of a marriage. I mean the actual physical pain to your heart. I believe a broken heart sometimes can't be fixed.
9. No support from family. They say family support is crucial in life. I wouldn't know because I never had any in my adult life. Let me add that I have had minimal support since being sick. I am not talking about just financial support either.
10. I was always slightly overweight. However I was in better physical shape than most women until my late 30's. I was invincible, I thought.

Do these things and you too can retire at the age of 44 on a measly Social Security check with no hope for the future of getting any better. Be happy to lie in bed all day and watch TV because you are too tired to get up and cook something.

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