The Hearty Bunch

Welcome to our Meet-the-Members' Page.
This is where you can get to know the members of our forum a little better...
A chance to put a face with the names on the forum
and learn more about them.

If you would like to be added, just e-mail Lee at


Judy O

My name is JudyO, I'm from Ohio. I've been blessed with 3 children, Beth, Randy and Scott. I have 7 grandchildren.

Jan 21st 2001, I was taken by life squad to the hospital, I could not breath. I found out I have DMC and was in congestive heart failure. I had a echo and my ejection fraction was around 40%. I had chest pains on April 11 2001. Another echo was ordered, this time it said 25% to 30% and they also now mention Ischemia . I also have mitral value regurgitation and LBBB (left bundle branch block). I also have lupus have had it for 17 years now. Which could of been the start of my problem.

My medications are hydorychloroquine for lupus, for heart, zestril, spironolactone, furosemide and coreg.
I also have a medtronic insync maximo unit. It's designed to provide cardiac resynchronization, and it has pacemaker and defibrillator features


Deb (Picture will follow)

I was diagnosed with myopathy in Aug of 04. Heart disease runs in my family, my dad passed at age 53 of this, and my brother passed at 46 11 months after after a heart transplant. So needless to say, after 3 days in the heart hospital and many tests, when I was told I have myopathy my head started swimming with tons of thoughts. I was thinking oh my God, I'm going to die like my dad and brother. I was put on the meds and saw my cardiologist several times the next few months. My EF was 35-40% at that time, and with getting the meds situated and just calming down, taking one day at a time and praying helped. In Aug of 05 I was sent to have an EPS test and ended up 2 wks later having an ICD implanted. Another echo 10 months ago showed my EF up to low end of 50%.


Abbie's Beautiful Kids: Shelby, Wesley & Alex


Abbie (Coke shirt) & Sis

ABBIE (Sandi)'s BIO Hello Hearties!! My name is Sandi Hunt, better known as "Abbiegaile" on the message boards. I am 29 years old and have a hubby named Dan that is 31 and is in the US Navy. We also have three beautiful kids Shelby-8, and Wesley-6, and Alex-3. Me and hubby were Air Force brats as kids and it seems the military life suits us well. We have lived in CA, WA, GA, IL, MO and FL. I have had heart issues since I was 13 years old. Everything started out as just Tachycardia and Mitral Valve Prolapse. After my second child my Tachycardia started escalating. I had my first Ablation on my heart to help correct my arrhythmia in 2001. The Ablation helped me for a couple of years. In 2003 we were blessed with another surprise and had our 3 child, Alex. In 2004 my Tachycardia progressed and I had another ablation to try and correct the arrhythmia. Unfortunately the ablation did not work. My Electrophysioloist suggested I get a pacemaker to help correct the problem. In Sept. 2004 they did a ablation of my AV node and implanted a St. Judes 2 lead pacer followed about 5 months later by another ablation. In June of 2005 I got diagnosed with Cardiomyopathy, Moderate to severe Mitral valve and Tricupsid valve regurgitation and left ventricle dysfunction after having a Stress Echo. In July I had a Heart Catherization were they ruled out CAD ( contrary artery disease) as the cause of the DCM. In Sept 2005 they realized I also have CHF. My EF was 30% . Not to long after that they did an Echo and realized my LV was enlarging. So I now have SVT, VT, Dilated Cardiomyopathy and CHF and they said I got it from a Viral Infection at sometime in my life. In January 2006 they decided to upgrade my pacemaker to a Biventricular Pacer without an ICD. My EF had gone to 31% so they said if it was 30% or lower I would have qualified for the ICD. Anyway, when they went to do the upgrade the EP doctor had a difficult time getting the 3rd lead in. After 6 hours of trying he called it quits and scheduled me to have it put in by a cardiothoracic surgeon. In Feb 2006 I received the 3rd lead. I have recently changed doctors and medical facility. My past doctors were not very informative at all and we did not feel they were aggressive enough in my treatment. We really feel that my new doctors are so much better. I am currently on 80mg of Diovan once a day and 50mg of Aldactone once a day, 40mg of Lasix as needed, 20MEQ of Potassium once a day, .125mg of Digoxin once a day, 100mg of Zoloft once a day and 10mg of Zrytec and 15mg of Restoril at night. I have yahoo messenger and MSN messenger and AIM. My yahoo ID is and my MSN is and My AIM is Sandi710. Please feel free to send me a message whenever you want. God bless all!!



January 2, 2007 Hi, I'm Janice. I am 50 years old. I am a divorced mother of 2 children - Laura, 22 years old, and Jeff, 20 years old. I also have 2 golden retrievers, Lucy and Taz. I have been a Registered Nurse for 27 years. I switched careers in 2004 to become a Labour Relations Officer, negotiating nurses' collective agreements and representing them as needed for various issues with their employer. I had only been working at this new job for 11 months when I was diagnosed with Dilated Cardiomyopathy (Grade III - IV) and Left Bundle Branch Block. My ejection fraction (EF) at diagnosis was 20%. I had severe left ventricular dysfunction. I was told that they would try medications but that it was quite likely that I would need a heart transplant. I've been in and out of hospital with Congestive Heart Failure since diagnosis. I also have Fibromyalgia, High Blood Pressure, Asthma, Borderline Glaucoma, High Cholesterol, High Triglycerides, Keratoconus (2 cornea transplants), GERD and Migraines. I've been off work on Long Term Disability since the day I was diagnosed. Thankfully, I am in the 1/3 that improves with medication. My DCM is now Grade I - II and my EF is 42%. My current meds are: Aspirin, Coreg, Nexium, Lasix, Norvasc, Altace, and Lipidil Supra. I will be gradually returning to my job starting on January 23, 2007 and am presently working with a Rehabilitation Consultant from the insurance company to plan my return to work. Finding the Hearty Bunch has helped me tremendously. I've made wonderful friends here.




Bob & Marilou

This is my Bob. He was diagnosed in 2003 with cardiomyopathy. Wehave been together since 1993. Every day feels like a challenge for me. I am the worrier in the family.


Hello , my name is RUTH, I am 54. I have been married for 37 years, and have two beautiful daughters , and one loving husband. Ii also have three grandchildren , Brad, 15 , kristen , 12 , Adam 11. Most of my life was spent with children--I was a foster parent for thirteen years also did day care, and worked in nursing homes. Three years ago I was told I had a genetic form of DCM--this is when life changed . We have had four in our family , now with this disease. I have an ICD ( because of V.T) and am so glad they have these today . My hobbies are , rescuing stray cats. I have brought in five so far , and I love music and my computer . I am glad to have found this group , it has been a blessing . . ~ RUTHY

Carol and Kenneth

Kenneth and I have been married for 34 years. We have two grown children, Ken 32, who is a personal trainer and is married to Celeste, a daughter Beth 26, who is a first year law student. We have 2 cats, Ms. Kitty who is a grey tabby, and Gizmo who is an orange long hair, and a dog Sarah, a black lab who is 16 years old. Ten years ago we left central Kentucky, Muhlenburg County, to come here. We live on a small farm in Western Kentucky, and lease the farmland out to a neighbor who grows popcorn.

In July of 2004, Kenneth was diagnosed with DCM, heart failure and LBBB. He takes several medications, Coreg, Lasix, Lanoxin, Vasotec, Lantus Insulin, Humulin R, Neurontin, Soma, Zocor and Lortab. He has had 5 spinal surgeries and walks with a cane and sometimes uses a wheelchair. In December of 2004, he had a biventricular pacemaker/ICD put in. His cardiologist says that Kenneth may in time need a heart transplant, but for now we are just trying everything we can to avoid that. I am a retired preschool teacher and Kenneth worked as a underground coal miner for 17 years never missing any time before being laid off, then went back to school and became a Biomedical Engineer. He worked in that area for 10 years, never missing a day until he was forced off from work due to his spinal problems.

We enjoy spending time with our family, gardening, crafting, shopping for antiques and going to flea markets. We try to make the most out of every waking day, and Thank God for each one of them.


Lowell & Helen

My wife's name is Helen and of course I am Lowell. We are originally from MN where I began my working life as an electrician and contractor. I followed this with 23 years as an electrical engineer for the 3M Company in St. Paul, MN. This is about ten miles NW of Phoenix, AZ I had a heart attack with quite a bit of damage in 1970 when I was about 43 years old. I am 78 now. Born February 4th 1926. Really an old geezer huh? This year at the end of May we drove to Eau Claire, Wisconsin for our grandson's "twin 18 year old boys" high school graduation. I had a heart attack there in the motel. June 3rd this year I had a five way bypass at the Midelfort Mayo Clinic in Eau Claire. Before the surgery I had an EF of 45 %. During the surgery I had another MI whichleft me with a 25% EF. The MI was of such short duration they say my heart was only stunned and went into hibernation. My EF has gotten better and it was mid 30's when I left WI in July for home. When it was checked here in AZ when I got home it was mid 30's. The trip home was by air.We had the car shipped back. I was afraid of a four day drive and ending up in a hospital in the boonies of New Mexico or similar remote place.

I am currently on 40 mg of lasex, coumadin, potassium, metropolol and one 83 mg aspirin.
I feel good except for the unexplained itch on my back for which I have been trying doxepin capsules and ointment. I also have used every over the counter itch reliever on the market. I'm currently seeeing a dermatologist at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, AZ I still itch especially if I perspire. Hoping for some relief when the heat leaves for awhile. I am back golfing 18 holes and try to walk two miles a day aand exercise with some small weights of about 5 lbs here in our recreation centers.I am attaching a picture of my wife and me taken about a year ago.


Martha & Sean...& Twins...Oliver & Christian

Biography Coming...




My name is Flo, AKA Flozzee, Flodeedoe

I am now 66 years young (in 2004) . I am divorced. I was diagnosed with DCM on May 22, 2001. My EF is 30%. Had a stroke (cerebral thrombosis) when I was 33; brain surgery in 1990; and a TIA on March 18 2001 when a heart murmur was detected which began the tests that led to DCM diagnosis. Have had stress test, echocardiogram, muga scan and heart catheration. My favorite activiites are my Church--I am a born-again Christian, hanging out with the Hearty Bunch. I had to retire in 2003 from my own business "He Careth For You' .... care of the elderly and disabled in their own homes. I have twin daughters Linda and Lynn, 2 great sons-in law and I have five grandchildren. Since my diagnosis my MRI shows more strokes, I also had a couple TIAs that do not show on the MRI, I had a tee-echo and my medications are: Coreg 100mg a day; Pravachol 80mg a day; isorbide 30mg a day; Prinivil 40mg a day; coumadin (often dosage adjusted); prozac 20mg a day; Wellbrutin 150mg a day; lasix 20 or 40mg a day as needed; potassium 20mg with the lasix); women's one-a day Vitamin (no vit K); Co-Q-10 100mg a day; 1200mg a day of calcium. e-mail



I have COPD, Pulmonary Hypertension, HYPTN ,diabetic, have Atrial fib,sleep apnea, and chf. And dropcee of the chest. Meds are Lasix , Trental, Amaryl, Kdur, Ecotrin, NiaspanER, Lipitor, Norvac, Zaroxolyn, Imdur, Parlodel, Accupril, Pacerone, CombiVent, FloVent, Humibid, Zoloft. Ive been off work since Oct 2000, have had heart problems since 1996.



Sarah & Joy, Sarah is on the right

Mike Kolter

My name is Mike Kolter. My wife's name is Jennifer and I have a two year old daughter named Abby. I'm 33 and would be in good health if it wasn't for my heart. I was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy and congestive heart failure in 2001. My ejection fraction was 30% and I had 43,000 very strong PVCs per day. I was 30.

My cardiologist thinks that my heart problems may have been brought on the excessive PVCs. I underwent an ablation in 2001 to try to eliminate the PVCs. It was not successful. The doc put me on lisinopril (later changed to Cozaar) and Coreg to help improve my heart function. My EFimproved to 45% as of my last echo. We also tried several drugs (amiodorone, sotolol, flecainide) to control the PVCs, all of which were unsuccessful. We're going to try another ablation in a couple of weeks.

On a personal note, I LOVE being a husband and father!! Hugging and kissing my wife and daughter can make even the worst days good. I enjoy pretty much anything related to computers. I have a couple of siberian huskies. One, believe it or not, is a lap dog. I have a personal website at Feel free to swing by. Take care and God bless!



Nancy & Chuck

Nancy passed into eternal life. Her biography and picture remain on the board in honor of her memory. She brought us much joy and friendship with her winning personality.


My name is Nancy, and have two grown children who have blessed us with 6 grandkids,aged 3, 7, 10, 12, 14 and 15. I have been dealing with heart disease since 1975. That is when I had my first MI. I was 6 weeks short of my 34th birthday, and it was a shocker to everyone. Did ok until 1988 when I had my first triple by-pass. One graft kept closing off and had to have angioplasty, artherectomy (roto-rooter) and eventually 5 stents put in that one by-pass graft on four different procedures between 1995 and 1997. Also had my renal arteries 95% blocked and stented, could have died from renal failure. Had my second MI in 1995 which put me out of work and on SSD. March of 2000 they had to by-pass that stented graft as the stents became clogged. Did not bounce back at all after that by-pass, just kept getting weaker and more short of breath day to day. PUSHED the doc for a cath and in April 2001 was diagnosed with Ischemic Cardiomyopathy, CHF and a leaky mitral valve. Can't have another surgery to repair the valve, so just have to wait and see how long the good Lord gives me. My EF was a 38 ,then went to a 35 and is now 40 - 45. I'm also dealing with Type I Diabetes, high cholesterol, hypertension, allergies, low iron, GERD, hypothyroidism, and panic attacks. Newly diagnosed with depression. May help to mention that this heart disease runs rampant in my family.



Barbara L

I'm 56 yrs. old & have been fighting heart disease now for 4yrs. I had my 1st. stent placement in 4/1997 & 2 more 10/97. Had heart attack & bypass 5/1998. I have panic disorder, & diabetes, GERD. high B/P.. I have had 5 heart caths. done! My meds. are...Humulin L insulin 35 units @ breakfast & 15 units @ bedtime..Glucotrol XL 10 mg. (2) a day....Norvasc 5mg...ASA 80mg...Xanax ....Prilosec 80 mg .....Zorcor 20 mg. Colace 100mg. Mutivitamin ...Nitro 0.4 when needed.........Barbara



Ginger passed into eternal life (much too soon) but her pictures and bio are here to honor her memory and all she did to help each and every one of us. Ginger was the founder of Ginger's son, Chris, and her family are keeping this site as a living memorial to this wonderful woman.

To read her bio please click on her name. If you would like to see pictures of my family please click on the name Family.


Lenore Roush--(Lee)--( I live in northern New Jersey, was born in '39, married to Ron for 47 years, 2 adult children -- Christopher and Amy and one pet pup named Noelle (Nolie). Born and raised in northern New Jersey--schooling included an English major and humanities minor. Have been a secretary, administrative assistant, researcher, and personnel administrator. Retired in 97 due to dilated cardiomyopathy and am happy at home when in my garden or tending my fish pond.

I was not dianosed correctly by my GP--he called my rapid heart beats and synscope--anxiety. After being so tired and short of breath and almost passing out a few more times, I changed doctors, and you got it... I have DCM, MVR (+3), PVCs and an EF of 29%. I had a couple of hospital bouts with Atrial Fib but fortunately my heart rhythm returned to sinus. Have an ICD (replaced in April of 2004), & have had no congestion or pain as yet. Have had problems with arrhythmias--and most anti-arrhythmics did not work--so am on Cordarone (amiodarone).
Rx meds are Digoxin, Prinivil, Zebeta, Prozac for depression, and Premarin for those wonderful hot flashes, and Actonel for my bones! My supplements are Multicap, C, & Stress Tab. My Interests: I enjoy reading and love to putter in the garden. We have a perennial garden on the side of our home and it is getting too big! I also incorporate a few herbs and annuals. We feed the birds and squirrels and have put in a pond garden complete with fish. I enjoy all this computer technology but don't always "get it!" I enjoy surfing anyway and keeping in touch with all of you at The Hearty Bunch ( My Philosophy: May today there be peace within you & Bloom where you are planted!


48years young
I found out that I have Cardiomyophy in June of 2001 They have me on the following Drugs: Coreg, coumadin, k-Dur, zaroxolyn, potassium, altrace and lasix At this point of time I am a forman of a house framing crew. As you will see by the pic I have a great tan and that the main reason I moved here, so I could tan year around . All for now .

Nancy and Vincent....Parents of Ryan


Ryan, so young, passed into eternal life but his pictures and his bio remain to honor him. Ryan was a brave and wonderful young man that we all loved very deeply.


Ryan wrote: My name is Ryan. I am 14 years old. I was diagnosed with DCM March 1,2001. My current meds are : 1 baby aspirin a day, Zantac 150mg 2 times a day, Lasix 20mg twice a day,Captopril 25mg 3 times a day, Lanoxin .125mg twice a day, Coreg 3.125mg twice a day, 1 multi vitamin once a day. I am currently on the Heart Transplant list. I am a big Dan Marino fan of The Miami Dolphins. I love to play sports but am not able to do it right now. My favorite past times right now are driving my Mom crazy and riding my ATV.

Ryan....Post Transplant.
This is Ryan after his Heart Transplant with his personally signed autograph football by Dan Marino.

I have 3 children and 2 step-children, ages 13 to 23, and 2 grand children-ages 2 and 1 month, two cats, and 1 dog. My husband, Bill, is retired Air Force and currently works for Dyncorp/Dept of State/Narcotics Division in Bogota, Columbia, South America. After complaining to the doctors about being tired for the past 10 years, I was finally diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy Aug 2001. My EF is 20% and the total left side of my heart is affected. The dr's say my heart is too weak to undergo a valve transplant, so I am being rushed through this whole process and am currently being evaluated for a transplant. Because of this, I am not currently taking any medications for any of this. I also have FMS, IBS, and low BP. I am currently taking Lasix, Lanoxin, and KDurr. I, too, am addicted to my computer. But, I also like to dabble in Genealogy and am currently tracing the branches of my family tree.

Jeanie AFTER her Transplant.


Hi! My name is Skip Moss. I am fifty-one years old. I am a US Marine for life even though I am not on active duty. I served in Vietnam. I have a son who will be sixtenn in January of 2002. I have a laundry list of health problems and I'll to mention some of them in a minute. Fishing is my favorite pastime other then looking for Hiney Stones. It's a long story. Anyway I have a serious case of Crohn's disease and have had my colon, rectum and much of my small bowel removed. I have something called Barrett's Esophagus. Liver is questionable but functioning. I have an ileostomy (pouch on my side). Thanks to a radiologist who forced too much barrium in my ileostomy, I now have a large frontal hernia which only shows when I do a sit up. I've had cataract surgery in both eyes and subsequent laser surgery. I have DCM and have had bouts with CHF. I have a pacemaker/defibrilater. Now I will try to mention most of my meds if not all of them. I won't put the dosages down. I have to rewrite my list so I have it if I need to go to the hospital. Here goes: Amiodarone, B-12, Coreg, Fexofenadine, Furisemide, Imuran, Lisinipril, Metacycloperamide, Nitroglycerine, Fluconazole, Percocet, Prilosec, Potassium, Prednisone, estostosterone(injectibe). I also take Calcium and Balsalazide. I'm so glad we have this board to come to.

Donna H.

Hi, my name is Donna H. I am 37 years old and was diagnosed with DCM in March of 2001. My EF was at 25% at the time, but has slightly gone up since then, which I am very grateful for. I am married with two teenagers; 18 year old daughter and a 17 year old son. And of course, I have 2 dogs; Shadow (lab mix) and Bailey (shih tzu), and one cat, Casper.

John M.

HI, I am John. I am 40 and married with two sons aged 15 and 13 I have been living with HCM all my life. aged ten I had episodes of faints, from there the problems eased until i was 21 when i emigrated to South Africa then the real problems started. Blackouts again so I was sent back to cold Scotland as S A was not good for me. In 1990 I collapsed at work, I am a Blacksmith (very heavy job) i now know that was a bad choice. however I was told my septum had more than doubled in size and was obstructing the flow of blood out through the out flow tract. an operation was called for they said i would not survive two years without it. Well, of I went to have this MYOTOMY MYECTOMY SURGERY the first two years were fine, then it was all down hill. Echo's showed a re- growth of the muscle removed and back came the crushing chest pain, I am sure many of you will know all about that. Now it is CHF and HCM and stacks of meds 13 different pills a day the latest to the equation is Lisinipril. I no longer work full time but i do a little iron work from my small workshop at home. Just to keep active and sane. Well, not much more to tell you hobbies are (short wave listening , PC ,fishing ,Radio control model boats, with my youngster).

Andrea An Kids

My story is as follows..... I am 27 years old and have been battling CDM and CHF since 7/1997. I was sadly misdiagnosed for the first 2 years and 9 months of that. Officially I have idiopathic cardiomyopathy , but my cardio and I feel it was most likely peripartum , but since I wasn't treated promptly for it , the cardiomegaly (enlargement) and scarring had gotten out of control. By the time I was finally diagnosed (in April 2000) my EF was 8-10 % and my heart was over 80 mm in size. They immediately started talking about transplant.... But here I am , with an EF of 20% (as of 9/5/01) . I've had an ablation for AVNRENT (9/5/01) , and a cath. (1/91) plus all the other battery of tests and procedures. :) I am now concentrating on losing weight , not only to feel better now , but to qualify for transplant (if necessary) and spending time with my family. I am on disability , since 10/2000. I last worked in November of 1999. I had to quit when I was too sick to drive or be dependable at my job. Long before my diagnosis was finally made. I was a nurse. :) My meds now are ... Lasix 80mg/day ; Toprol 100 mg/day and Cozaar 50 mg/day. I am, of course, on a low fat , low sodium diet and try to walk every day, at least.

Dee and Steve

Their Kids..Timmy, Tabetha, Joey & Adam

Steve was diagnosed in December 2001 with CHF, dilated cardiomapathy, and irregular Arrhythmias. Steve got heart failure from a virus; he is on beta blockers, calcium channel blockers, 2 different duretics, Ace inhibitors, aspirin & warfarin. He is awaiting to be evaluated for a heart transplant & is to recieve a cardioversion soon as his blood is thin enough.

Dee was diagnosed in 1999 with lupus, and lupus has already attacked both kidneys, joints & muscles & is now on meds to control the high tryglycerides count, along with the lupus meds . I had bad sezuires as a child, now I just get mild sezuires. We always thought that I was going to retire first, due to the lupus. Steve has his disability now, & I work part time. Life throws you a jungle, you just have to figure the way through the trees of life sometimes, and that is what Steve & I are doing now, swinging from branch to branch. Kids in picture are from left to right, Timmy, Tabetha, Joey & Adam. Only Joey & Adam have succeeded in making us grandparents so far!!!




I am a sixty-seven year old woman, and married to my bestfriend for 48 years, we have four children and five grandchildren scattered over North America. I was diagnosed with breast cancer 1994 and had a lumpectomy, radiation and Tamoxifen. So far so good!

In 1999 was treated for ventricle arrhythmias, various drugs none of which stopped the bigeminy. An ablation in 2000, did not work. Started Amiodarone 200 mgs. A miracle drug for me! After an echo and thallium stress test in 2001, I was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy. EF 45% then 35% and holding now. I am taking Amiodarone 200mgs; Diovan 80mgs; Synthroid 0.1 mgs; Lipitor 20.mgs; Fosomax 70 mgs weekly. Only problem at the moment is major fatigue with arm and leg discomfort up stairs and hills but have learned to pace myself. (My 8 year old granddaughter took this photo six months ago.)

My name is Denise and I was diagnosed with DCM on April 4th 2002. At the time I led a very busy life style with work, gardening, travel (especially cruises) and all sorts of community committees. I have an online retirement investment group with over 130 members. Needless to say it was quite a shock when I had a near blackout spell at work one day. I am a registered nurse and have worked at my hospital for over 20 years. I was fortunate to have many experienced nurses witness my episode and urge me to get checked out in the ER. Within 12 hours and a battery of tests the diagnosis was confirmed.

I have since been referred to a CHF specialist in Chicago and then to an EP group where I have recently joined so many of the members here having a Guidant Ventak Prizm model 1861 ICD implanted. It was wonderful getting so much support from the participants here!

My medications include Accupril, Toprol XL, Ecotrin and Zantac. I have modified my life a bit since the diagnosis but I hope to make a few adjustments and still participate in many of my previous involvements always keeping in mind that I do have limitations.

I am married and have 3 children. My eldest son is working outside of Boston as an engineer and our middle son is working north of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Our active daughter will be a senior in high school in the fall of 2002. She lives at home with us.

I can be reached at


Rick & Rhonda

(Rick's Bio:)
I actually had a heart attack in 1987 at age 39 and the doctor told me then I had an enlarged heart. All he did at that time was put me on some type of medication for about six months. It made me a little sluggish, so he took me off of it. I also attempted to quit smoking and changed my diet some by no longer using salt, trying to minimize the amount of fried foods I ate, etc. I did fairly well with the diet even though I changed careers and started to drive semi's for a living. The smoking was a lost cause. I started up again about five or six months after the MI, but finally succeeded in 1995 when the cardiologist said he thought that I had had a silent heart attack. That scared me enough to go to a hypnotist and I have been smoke free since! (Rhonda, too!)

In 1998, I wanted to change jobs and needed the approval of a cardiologist in order to satisfy the requirement of the trucking company doctor. (I had been driving for over 6 years with no problems.) When I told him that I had some mild angina attacks, he requested I take an echocardiogram. After that, it was all "downhill"! He told me that my heart was enlarged and said that I was a candidate for a heart transplant! After consulting with another cardiologist, he decided that bypass surgery was in order. I had a quadruple bypass in May, 1998. The doctor said I was able to do some type of work, but not driving trucks! I started working toward a college degree, but in the summer of 1999, I had more problems and was told at that time that I had CHF. My ejection rate was about 18% at that time and the last echo that was done showed some improvement to about 21%. I also had surgery done to my left carotid artery to unblock it as it was 75% blocked.

My current meds are: Simvastatin, Lisinopril, Carvedilol, Potassium,Furosemide, Digoxin,and Coumadin.


Sandra D. -Picture Coming...........

(2004) Hello! I'm Sandra D., I am 32, married with a new baby (Matthew: born 5-8-03). I have been having problems with my weight, being tired all of the time, and swelling for the past six years. My doctors told me I wasn't eating right and exercising enough and that I should go to Weight Watchers. After years of hearing the same thing I started to believe them and felt fat and lazy. Last year when I became pregnate with Matthew my problems became much worse. I was vomiting morning, noon, and night for the first six months. My swelling got to the point where my feet didn't fit into my shoes. I didn't even look like the same person in my face. My OB doc told me to just deal with it; these were just normal things that go along with being pregnate. My PCP doc said the same thing; even when I went into her office one day after coughing for 2 months and having crackleling sounds in my lungs.

I ruptured at 27 weeks (3 months early) and was afraid we were going to lose the baby. We found out that the girl we thought we were going to have was really a boy. I was pushed full of fluids and turn onto my head. Fourteen hours later I was in full blown respertairy distress. It took all night to get my breathing under control. I had a chest x-ray the next morning and then three echos back to back. I didn't see my OB doctor all day. That afternoon a cardiogist came in and told me that I was in CHF and that I had cardiomyopathy. He then told me that the hospital I was at was not able to take care of my heart condition or for my baby if labor started again. He also told me he didn't know where to send me. The next morning I was told an ambulance was going to take me to Emory Crawford-Long Hospital in Atlanta. My sister and I started to get me ready to go. Before I knew it I was being rushed off to downtown Atlanta. I was shipped into CICU and had wires and tubes all over me. Know one had told me anything about my condition. My husband wouldn't stay in my room very long and he would rush out. I could tell that everyone had been crying.

The next day I was moved to a perinatle room with my very own crash cart. It was then that a new cardio. doc took on my case. He had specificly asked for me. It seems that his wife had been through this when she was pregnate with their last child. He took time with me each day and talked to me in a manner of a father comforting his child. He found out what types of books I like to read and brought them to me. I was in a teaching hospital so I always had a stream of doctors strolling in to see the young womanl who is so sick. They would all walk in and go into shock when they saw me sitting up in bed alert. I had an EF of 10%. The diameter of my LV was at 7.4mm. Of course none of this meant anything to me at the time.

Matthew was able to wait another two weeks before he was born. It was enough time for his lungs to finish developing. He weighed 3lb 4oz and spent five weeks in the NICU. He is doing great now with only a few physical developmental delays. I tried going back to work (elementary teacher) this past fall. It was to much on me so I am back on medical leave. I am now trying to get SSdis. I had a Bivent. ICD implanted in November. My EF is around 30% and my diameter is 5.6. I still can't pass the stress test. This last time I went 2.1 min. and then had to be stopped because of a 3 beat run of VT.

I will soon be working with a CHF specialist to see what he can help me with. I take it a day at a time and enjoy every moment I can with my son and husband.



Sharon & Her Family - Bio Coming

Judy Wis - Picture Coming

I came on board about 3 years ago when my husband, Shorty (Jim) was diagnosed with end-stage CHF. He had had CHF for almost 10 years at that time, also COPD, rheumetoid arthritis, and a history of strokes. This board got me through some very difficult times. Shorty died on Sept. 18, 2002 at age 74, peacefully here at home as he wished... with our youngest daughter (Becky), his brother & sil, my sister & bil and me here. Transplant was never talked about due to his other problems until near the very end but he said no that is for younger people who still have a life to live. He had lived his and enjoyed it so let a heart help someone else. We both lived with that decision.

About me - well, I am 66 years old, a former teacher/principal who is now working the tax season and part-time for a publishing company. Yes, I am an admitted workaholic. Shorty had a son and two daughters from a former marriage who (I thought) were very close to us until his death. Seems I died then too. Oh well! Becky and her brother Jim were adopted by my first husband and and later by Shorty after our marriage (my first husband, Jim, was killed 14 years ago by high voltage electricity). Becky has 3 daughters and a son who died at 5 1/2 months from two strokes. She also has 3 granddaughters and a grandson. Oh yes, to the board, our greatgrandson, Brandon, needs to see a brain surgeon on March 4. Please pray for him. Seems his skull is closing faster on one part than the rest.
I was the healthy member of this family until Shorty's death and about 5 months later I was diagnosed with breast cancer, a month after Becky had a stroke. We are both doing great today. Of course, after that I learned that stress can cause arthritis. This and high blood pressure are my major ills now. The blood pressure is under good control, now if I could get rid of the arthritis I'd be happy.

Hugs and peace,
Oh yes, I live in southwest Wisconsin about 1 1/2 hours north of Sammy.

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Last Modified on February 17, 2007