Wed. Nov 29th, 2023
Shelley Bokum Heart Disease

In 2018, I used to be recognized with a number of sclerosis (MS). I used to be a single mom of two daughters – a 4-year-old and a 3-year-old – and labored full time as a registered nurse.

I’ve a beautiful neurologist who has handled me with compassion and empathy since 2014 once we could not work out the reason for my complications. He made me really feel like I used to be his solely affected person and cared about my psychological well being in addition to my MS.

I had coronavirus in 2021, which was scary as a result of I used to be weak from my MS therapy. I wasn’t bodily in poor health, however I started to lose consciousness steadily, which resulted in accidents.

I could not persuade any of the emergency room medical doctors to order an ultrasound of the extremities and a CT scan of the chest to rule out a blood clot in my lung. In hindsight, realizing my physique in addition to I do, there might have been blood clots in my lungs.

Shelley Baucom heart disease
Shelley Baucom is pictured along with her two daughters.
Shelley Baucom

In December 2021, a month after I first contracted Covid, I developed signs and struggled to breathe once more. My oxygen saturation was 73 % and my lungs had been having a pulmonary embolism.

My legs had been stuffed with clots, however I used to be given blood thinners and discharged as a result of a scarcity of beds. My oxygen saturation is again to 90 %, which is the minimal required for emptying.

By February 2022 I handed out once more and broke my ankle. Round that point, I had an appointment with my neurologist. His first remark, because of the quite a few blood clots in my lungs, was: “How the hell are you continue to alive?”

I used to be nonetheless taking blood thinners, and contracted coronavirus once more within the spring of 2022, however happily it was very gentle. Nonetheless, the next January, it appeared as if all the things had modified for the more severe.

I had an echocardiogram and it was regular, however I had extra pulmonary embolisms, although I used to be on blood thinners. This was the final common take a look at I might take. I used to be slowly gaining weight, however I believed it was perimenopausal “fluff.”

Over the past week of June, I used to be experiencing chest ache and shortness of breath. I used to be despatched to our largest hospital for analysis within the emergency room, and had the misfortune of being handled by a brand new resident whose presence appeared to offer her a variety of freedom.

I used to be discharged after studying the incorrect affected person’s CT scan report. She refused to redo the scan as I requested, and as an alternative discharged me residence although I nonetheless had chest ache and shortness of breath.

I drove an hour residence solely to have the CT end result seem on my chart. It confirmed coronary heart failure. As quickly as I learn the CT scan report, I instantly bought into the automotive and drove to the small native hospital.

The physician working that evening did an entire cardiac examination. This led to the worst complication of coronavirus, cardiomyopathy with an ejection fraction (EF) of 24 %. Regular is 50-70 %.

This error delayed my arrival to the cardiac catheterization lab by roughly per week as a result of unavailability of beds.

My MS and pulmonary embolism have stored me from having a coronary heart transplant, and I will not put my youngsters by it both. I not have main custody of my daughters as a result of my time is spent on too many physician’s appointments to rely.

I’m dropping each main custody and the power to be alone with my ladies.

My youngsters are all the things to me. As an alternative of spending useful time collectively, my coronary heart is perhaps ripped out of my chest. The emotional toll of dealing with cardiomyopathy and the way it impacts their lives will depart irreparable scars.

I attempt to spend as a lot time as potential with my ladies, however post-coronavirus cardiomyopathy is actual and impacts extra individuals than is reported. If one thing does not really feel proper, communicate up and rise up for your self.

Shelley Baucom Registered nurse with a Grasp of Science in Nursing.

All opinions expressed on this article are the writer’s personal.

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