Skip to main content

Living in Fear

I was diagnosed with congestive heart failure in 1999 at the age of 42. My father died of heart disease in 1983 at the age of 52.

In January of 2009, I started living in fear---fear that I would not live to see the age of 53---just like my dad.

Before being diagnosed with congestive heart failure, I assumed my symptoms were the result of menopause. I started experiencing peri-menopausal symptoms in my early 40s and went into full-blown menopause at 50. I’m writing this to tell you, DO NOT MAKE THAT ASSUMPTION. If you experience any of the following symptoms, you may be experiencing heart failure in addition to menopause:

•Shortness of breath during physical activity or even while lying in bed
•a sudden weight gain ( I chalked this up to a slow down in metabolism)
•swollen feet, ankles or legs
•fatigue or weakness
•confusion or decreased alertness (I was calling this “meno-moments.”
•nausea or loss of apetite
•rapid or irregular heartbeat
•the need to urinate more often during the night
•waking up due to shortness of breath
•frequent cough or wheezing
•swollen neck veins (I thought this was solely related to my thyroid disorder)

When your heart isn’t pumping properly, blood from the lungs or from the rest of the body backs up—similar to the way traffic backs up at rush hour. So get out of your traffic jam, visit your doctor and get your heart checked. You owe it to yourself to get to the heart of the matter.

I'm happy to report that I made it past 52 this year but I'm not taking anything for granted.


Anonymous said…
Thanks Bev for Real Talk. Many of us don't know or shrug off symptoms of a life threatening disorder. There's no need to attempt self diagnosis when our doctors have studied years to more accurately determine a condition, as well as offer life sustaining methods.
Anonymous said…
That is a great point Beverly. A lot of Boomers, specifically those facing or living with chronic medical conditions spend an enormous amount of time living in fear. My mom was the same way and it affected the types of activities she participated in or where she decided to travel.

One way to reduce the fear associated with health related issues is to prepare for a medical emergency by carrying some form of Medical ID.

This might provide some peace of mind. There is a company called miCARD - - that provides a medical ID card which contains your medical conditions,medications, allergies, surgical history,emergency contacts, etc. You can create the card online - it was designed by an ER Physician. It also stores her medical information online which was great because I could update her online med record even though we dont live in the same city. It was something I could do for my mom that allowed her to feel more comfortable living with her fear.

Popular posts from this blog

This Survey Stinks for Baby Boomers

The majority of baby boomers do not wash their underwear enough!  That's what an online survey by Mulberry Cleaners revealed recently.  The results were published in Reader's Digest.

I have to admit I was very surprised to read the results, which indicated 16 percent of middle-aged folks reported NEVER washing their underwear.  Now, 16 percent may not sound like a large number but that's still 16 percent too many, in comparison to 85 percent of millennials who said they toss their undergarments in the laundry after one or two wears.  Only 10.3 percent of millennial women said they never washed theirs, which might make sense if these young women had parents who were enablers and never taught them to do much of anything, especially how to wash clothes.

When it comes to washing bed sheets, 43 percent of women said they wash them every week, compared to seven percent of men who said they had washed their sheets only once in six months.  But even worse than that is the fact th…

Survey says Christmas is about the Experience not the Gifts

If there's a survey out somewhere, you can believe I'll find it and share it----like this one on what Americans say they want for Christmas.

E-X-P-E-R-I-E-N-C-E!  Yes, according to a report released by IfOnly, an overwhelming 81 percent of respondents said they preferred an "experience" over any other type of gift.  

Okay, so the next question is, what kind of experience?  

39 percent said go on a helicopter tour
32 percent said go on a private tour of a museum
27 percent said pet a panda at the zoo

But get this:  36 percent of those who took the survey said they would rather spend the holiday with a wild animal than with their in-laws.

75 percent of Millennials said they would do anything in exchange for an incredible experience while nearly half of those surveyed said they would give up an hour of sleep for the entire holiday season to have an incredible experience instead of receiving a gift certificate.

And for those of you who have been complaining about lack of intimac…

There's a Survey for Thanksgiving

Another survey has come out and this one is just in time for Thanksgiving.  Delta Dental has come out with its Third Annual Thanksgiving pie survey.

The number one pie enjoyed by families across America is pumpkin once again.  Thirty-six percent of those surveyed favored it over pecan pie, which came in a distant second at 17 percent. 

In other survey results,pumpkin pie is enjoyed most in the West and least in the South.  That's not a surprising statistic because Southerners love their sweet potato pies loaded with lots and lots of sugar.  A dentist's dream.

Apple pie came in third with 14 percent, followed by sweet potato at 10 percent, chocolate 9 percent, lemon meringue 4 percent, blueberry and cherry tied at 3 percent and strawberry at 2 percent.

Of course, while this survey may or may not be relevant, Delta Dental's message is that whatever pie you eat this holiday season that you "remember to take the time to brush and floss away the sugary remnants."