Tuesday, May 30, 2023
HomeHealth & FitnessHow Technology Changed My Life With Heart Failure

How Technology Changed My Life With Heart Failure

by Brittany Clayborne, as Sonya Collins said

I was 26 years old in perfect health in 2010 when I gave birth to my first child. I picked him up on Sunday and I was home on Tuesday. But on Friday I went back to the hospital because I couldn’t breathe. The first hospital I went to told me I was having a panic attack and to go home. The second hospital told me I had a heart attack sometime in the last week. That’s how I found out I had heart failure – peripartum cardiomyopathy.

Since then, technology has saved my life.

Implants saved me six times

The first tech I ever had was an implant Implanted pacemaker and defibrillator, I got it 2 years after diagnosis when dizziness and lightheadedness started. My heart is struggling to keep up with its daily duties.

Once it’s implanted, they’ll give you what it looks like connected to home Wi-Fi vintage answering machine. Every night before bed, whenever you start to feel your heart rhythm is out of whack, you push a little button and it starts recording your heart rate and sends the information to your doctor.

even when When I travel, I have to carry that little box with me so it can download information from my pacemaker and send it to the doctor every night.

Then the doctor can say: “Hey, your heart rhythm is not good at 3:30 in the afternoon, then What were you doing?” If I told him I was boxing, he’d probably say, “Stop boxing.” Another nice thing about this device is that whenever I have to go to the hospital, they already have all the these messages.

From 2012 to 2016, while I had that device, I went into cardiac arrest and died , and six defibrillations were performed. This technique has saved my life six times.

My Robot Heart Let Me Live Again

once when I went to the hospital for the sixth time , they told me I needed a heart transplant. They said if I waited in the hospital, I would get the heart faster. I was in the hospital for 9 months and the new heart never arrived.

At this time, my son is growing up in the hospital room, come Visiting me there, celebrating birthdays and events there, that’s not what I want. So I asked the doctor what else we could do and they recommended a LVAD – a left ventricular assist device. It’s a pump that they plug in and connect to the left side of my heart. Then a wire came out of my stomach. It has to be plugged into batteries or the wall since the pump is battery powered. If for some reason it’s not plugged into the battery or the wall, I die.

This is a major heart operation. After that, your heart stops beating. Machines can. So I don’t have a pulse. But my LVAD is finally pumping out 6 liters of blood per minute, whereas before my body could only pump 2 liters. My son calls it my robotic heart.

When using LVAD, I must Be extra careful near water. I have to shower a certain way. I can’t vacuum. I have had to stay away from certain TVs that generate a lot of static. I can’t do laundry or pump air because of the static.

But I can’t even explain the huge difference in quality of life after getting LVAD.

I went from seeing my son in the hospital for 30 minutes to 9 months being able to put him to bed and attend his School event, sit down and play Uno with him. If they had offered me the LVAD 9 months earlier, I would have taken it instead of waiting for a heart in the hospital, because that’s 9 months of play dates, birthday parties, and swimming lessons I wouldn’t have missed. I don’t want another mother or father to miss this.

finally got a new heart

I started from 2016 Had LVAD since 2018 until January 2018 when I had a heart transplant. They shipped the heart from New Mexico to Dallas, and I had surgery that night and my heart has been doing fine.

I am so grateful for all of this technology, I am so grateful for the power it has given me to live. As a heart failure community, we need to embrace the advances and advances in science and technology that will allow us to live longer, better, healthier, and fuller lives.



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