Amidst all of the health issues I’ve had to deal with in my life, I never thought I’d have to deal with one this potentially serious.
I’ve been diagnosed with something called “Heart Failure with preserved Ejection Fraction,” or HFpEF for short. I learned of this at a consultation with a cardiologist today, in which we followed up on an echocardiogram I’d had run earlier this month. That test showed I had the signs of HFpEF, one of which was an enlarged left atrium. The cardiologist said HFpEF is a form of heart failure where the heart “stiffens” while building up fluid, if my memory is correct.
Have I had a heart attack? Not that I know of. Most likely not. I have had chest discomfort and shortness of breath lasting several hours. Recently, I had some stinging sensations coming from the left side of my chest. I’m confused as to how to interpret them.
What lies ahead? Well, first up is a nuclear chemical stress test to see more clearly what’s going on. I’ll get that in a week or so, then I’ll have another follow-up with the cardiologist. I’m also going to have some more blood tests to check on my kidney functions and other things.
Some of this is, incidentally, leading up to another medical situation: the long-awaited repair surgery of the tear of my right shoulder’s rotator cuff. I’ve got to have cardiac and medical clearance in order to have the surgery done. Said surgery, tentatively scheduled for January 19th, is going to be tough, and is going to be hell from which to recover. Estimated physical therapy/recovery time is around a year, at least. Still, anything’s got to be better than sleeping upright in a chair and taking massive doses of painkillers every 4 hours. I really hope this surgery works. I really do.