Hi! I developed PPCM when I had my
3rd son April 1994. I was 25. Almost 2 years later (March 1996) I gave
birth to a daughter. My family was finally complete and I had my tubes
tied. (I still can't believe believe I had another child after
My heart rate was 150 during the delivery of my son. The next day I
received cardiac care (EKG) which landed me in ICU. My EF% was about
10-15. I was able to get that number up to 40.
2000, I was not in good shape. I was separated from my ex husband (not a
bad thing ) and wasn't taking care of myself. I had stopped taking my
one little pill a day. I was convinced I didn't need it since I had a
baby after this happened. If I only knew then what I know now.
That one pill I wasn't taking has turned into 6 that I need to save my
life. My EF dropped to 25. Then to 20. Even on all that medication! I
had pneumonia, congestive heart failure and was also diagnosed with a
blood clot. FUN! Well, the next echo didn't show any clots. The tech was
curious to know why Coreg was not improving my function; he said my EF
was still 20. He thought maybe I had a hole in my heart. So I did one of
those TEE or whatever (tube down your throat) and it didn't show
anything. I was told the numbers were a little better than what I was
telling them, but that was it. (I told them my EF was 20%.)
Year later, I was getting ready for another echo. I was very, very upset
because I had lost almost 40 pounds, took my medicine pretty regularly
and was jealous and full of self pity because "everyone" improves on
Coreg. Everyone BUT me! Well, I was so stressed and just wanted to get
into the car and drive away. I went to my echo and was so nervous. An EF
below 20% (if I regress) meant it's time to join the transplant list.
Well, I was able to sigh a sigh of relieve because I was told it was
35-40, just like the results I received from the TEE. WHAT?!?!?! You
tell me, almost DOUBLING an EF of 20 is just a little better??? I blew
off that entire year and gained all my weight back. Figured if it wasn't
going to improve my life, why bother??? I had pretty much resolved the
fact I was going to need a new heart. My cardiologist has the attitude
of, "If you feel you are improving, you won't work at it. If you are at
the bottom, you won't want to be there." UM, not ME!!! I had worked my
butt off and was pretty proud of myself. Felt like I had no control over
my health if the numbers didn't improve. If I had known, I would have
stuck to it. Here it is another year and it's almost time for another
echo. My cardiologist knew I gained a lot of my weight back, but not all
of it and then some. I don't want to hear it. (Mind you, he is really an
awesome doctor, great bedside manner, he means well, but he doesn't know
what makes ME tick!!!) I don't want to disappoint him. I already have
I want to leave you with a story that inspired me to lose all that
weight. I had lost a bit prior to this, but it really got me motivated.
An Arizona Pitcher was interviewed after winning World's Series a couple
years back. Said he had cancer from chewing. (Throat? Tongue? Can't
remember.) Also said that his wife had a rare skin cancer. She was in
remission and pregnant with their 4th. WOW! Well, he had quit chewing
and one day his friend asked him what one time was going to hurt. Well,
he got hooked on the stuff yet again. He's chancing cancer and could
leave four children fatherless.
Then it hit me. What a hyprocrite I am! I am making bad food and (lack
of) exercise decisions that affect my heart and could leave my four kids
motherless. I'm not better!
On a positive note, I lost 40 pounds with little or no exercising and my
heart did improve. I have faith I'll lose those pounds and then some.
Would be so wonderful if my EF improved to more than 40% (a number I'm
sure I haven't "seen" in 11 years.) If you're overweight, you didn't
gain it in one day so you're not going to lose it in one day either. I
am going to focus on EXERCISE too! I did one of those fat measuring
things and my body fat is not really any different after gaining 20-30
pounds. I attribute that to loosing some muscle the last time around.
Need lots of protein and to build muscle mass, not lose it!!!
I started a business in 2002. (Initally bounce house rentals, we brought
them inside and now we're going to focus on helping others open their
own facility.) I hope to use some of those funds to start a foundation.
My goal is to print brochures and deliver them to area OBs (and possibly
cardiologists) so if their patients ever have any symptoms, they'd be
able to identify them earlier. (Would want the moms to see the brochures
and learn about it and have information on where to go to seek support
and information.) SO discouraging that the American Heart Association
doesn't already educate women about this. Will keep you updated on all
My email is email@example.com (I'm moving end of '05 and may not be
able to continue with comcast. My hotmail is firstname.lastname@example.org,
but my spam filter is pretty high and I don't check it regularly.) My
AIM is donNcatherine