In February Emma started taking swimming lessons at local swimming school aquabliss. Every Saturday morning we’d had off to the heated pool for her lesson. At first it was difficult, often ending in tears. Emma didn’t like to get her head wet, and definitely didn’t want to go underwater. By the end of the year she was putting her head under water no problems. The confidence has really improved. She still can’t swim enough to be independant in the pool, but she has progresses so far from the beginning of the year.
Emma has also been continuing her ballet lessons. She likes going to the class but I don’t feel like she has progressed that much this year. It doesn’t really matter as we go to the class for fun. I’m not sure if we’ll continue next year.
On the 26 May 2018 we went to the Vivid lights at zoo. This time we decided to stay in a hotel in the city for the weekend. On the Friday night we wanted to look at the city lights, and then Saturday night go to the zoo lights. The Friday city lights was not a fun experience. The organisers had done a terrible job with signage and directing the way that people had to walk. We walked for well over an hour and practically saw nothing. The zoo lights were much better. Although many of the light exhibits were the same as we’d seen the previous year. I think this is a good experience to do every few years, not every year.
Next year Emma is starting school. So this year we had to go through a preparation routine with the school that she is enrolled in. We went to four sessions called Kindilinks, which were on every Tuesday for the month in November. Emma went from 9.30am – 11.00am. The sessions were to get the kids used to being in a class, with a teacher. Emma has been going to daycare so I dont think it was that different for her. We’ve got her uniforms organised. Now we wait until February 2019 when it schoool starts.
In April 2018 I applied for, and was approved for a promotion of Development Lead at my work.
I’d been to see a GP about a nagging cough in December, and arranged to have some X-Rays done. The X-Rays didn’t show anything. The cough continued to get worse and by February I was having extreme coughing fits overnight. Fine during the day. I was also getting out of breath easily; just climbing a single set of steps, or getting dressed, would leave me short of breath.
I saw a few doctors, none of which was any good. The last GP suggested it was anxiety, but after I insisted on more tests, agreed to have tests done. On 6th March 2018 I was getting my heart checked as part of the tests and staff were concerned so arranged for me to be taken by ambulance to the ER Dept in hospital with heart failure. I wasn’t concerned at the time, as I was feeling ok. But they insisted on the ambulance. I had the car, so had to call Julia to come and pick it up. I also had Emma with me, so she got her first ride in an ambulance.
I had a heap of tests in hospital and they finally advised me that my heart was failing. A normal heart beat pumps 56%-78%, mine is pumping 23%. The doctors were acting like I was about to die, but when I asked if I way, they said there was treatments. I was admitted into hospital to start medication.
Two days later, while in hospital, I had a blood clot which went into a kidney and stopped 1/3 of that kidney functioning (not reversible). That was extremely painful. It was about 10.00pm at night when I started getting really bad stomach pain. Overnight I asked for a doctor and the following morning they did tests which showed the blood clot. That afternoon it was extremely painful. They finally gave me pain medication, which I had a button I could press to dispense it myself.
I had a transoesophageal echocardiogram (TOE), which is an ultrasound of your heart using a special probe that scans the heart from inside. First they tried to do it without knocking me out, but apparently I fought them off when they tried to put the tube in my throat. So they did it again two days later under sedation. No holes were found in my heart, or any other blood clots.
Over the 11 days in hospital my cardiologist adjusted my medications. It’s believed the heart failure was caused by a virus which damaged the heart. A lack of any other reasons, seems to be, its a virus.
On the 1st June 2018 I saw my cardiologist. My heart function has improved a little; from 23% to 30% in the last 3 months. Still well below the 56%-78% normal range, so still classified as heart failure. We discussed, and I agreed, to have a pacemaker installed next month. There is no guarantee that will improve things but doctor says it’s worth trying.
On the 11th July 2018 I went into hospital to get my pacemaker installed. I went into hospital about 11.00am. I completed some paperwork and was taken to a patient waiting room. I had to put on the hospital gown and had one side of my chest shaved. About 1.00pm I was taking to the operating room by the doctor and the procedure started. I was completely sedated. The next thing I was waking up in the recovery ward. The procedure had taken about 45 minutes. I was very woozy from the sedation and that took a while to wear off. I had a large foam cube bandaged to my chest to keep pressure on the wound. That hurt a little bit, made it uncomfortable, as whenever I moved it pressed on my chest. Overnight I had a slight fever but they just gave me panadol for that. The next morning they removed the pressure dressing which felt a lot better. I was able to get up and go to the bathroom. By lunch time I was checked out of hospital and allowed to go home. My mum had stayed with me in hospital and helped me to get home. Once at home I rested. For the next two weeks we basically watched TV and didn’t do too much. I wasn’t allowed to drive for two weeks, or lift my arm above my head. After the first week we started going for little walks around the block. I had a very sore throat for the first few days, probably from the sedation tubes. But I ate iceblocks which helped and the pain went away in a few days.
At first I didn’t notice any real improvement. Once I got to about 3 weeks after the procedure i noticed an improvement. I wasn’t getting out of breath when walking anymore. After 2 weeks off I returned to work. It was hard the first few days, but then it felt like being back in a routine.
Its now almost been 6 months since I had the pacemaker installed. I’m definitely feeling better than I was at the beginning of 2018. I’m no longer out of breath just walking or doing minor things. I still get out of breath if I do too much activity. I’m still taking a lot of pills each day, and likely will for the rest of my life. I go back to my cardiologist in February to for a test to see how my heart is functioning.