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Big life changes


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Michael-medic I've been with my domestic partner for 12 years. Ed is a Resident in Plastic Surgery. Find out more about Michael-medic
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  • Big life changes

    I've been out of work on disability since early December. I haven't posted in months. I became ill on vacation in Florida and the night we arrived home our beagle passed away and the next morning I ended up in ED. After a week in hospital with asthma and chf, I was released and it's been a long slow recovery.
    I went to see Dr M. Maron and had another VO2 test. No changes in the last 8 months. I've gone from 24 to 19 . Severe fatigue and angina. We all agree I'm sick but not sick enough to get listed.
    I can't return to my career as a paramedic. It's breaking my heart. I started in emergency services in 1982 first as an EMT, and the last 21 years as a paramedic. I was also a NYPD police officer for three years. I'm a bit of an adrenalin junkie.
    I qualify for permanent long term disability, but fortunately I don't have to just yet, I've worked at my hospital for 25 years and they are really doing a great job accommodating my needs. They found a desk job normally performed by an RN and agreed that with my background I would be a perfect fit.
    I had a meeting today with my director and left there very happy. At the same time I found myself crying while I drove home. I can't believe how much my life has changed since my first symptoms 10 years ago. I don't know what the future holds. It is going to be so hard to return to work and walk into that hospital without my uniform and stethoscope.
    Dx with HCM November 2009
    Myectomy and Mitral Valve Repair @Tuft's March 2010

  • #2
    Re: Big life changes

    Michael....you're right, HCM definitely changes our lives. It's tough to deal with at times but we continue to put trust in our doctors and hope for the very best. I certainly extend my best wishes to you.
    Diagnosed with HCM in 1992
    Myectomy at Johns Hopkins in April 2013


    • #3
      Re: Big life changes

      Michael, I can feel the pain you are going through right now. No matter what people may say or do to try to cheer you up....you may not be ready to "look on the bright side" just yet. We all have to allow ourselves to grieve for the life we had and the life we thought we would have. It is just as painful as losing a person you love. Don't push the grief down or it will haunt you.. I'm glad to hear that you could actually cry out loud.....many men are not very good at that, but crying is a great release. So cry hard, complain to the Universe, get angry if you need to, work through all those stages until you can put it to rest....and know in your heart that a door will open and you still have a great service to offer mankind. HCM may slow you down, but it can't take away the love and compassion you have for humanity that brought you into health care in the first place. I was a cracker jack ICU nurse and Respiratory Specialist....Gradually had to slow down and worked for insurance companies....March 2012 I left on Disability and have had to accept that that part of my life is over......I have worked through my grief and come out on the other side with some plans for my future that don't require so much time and energy.....I may get short of breath when I walk and talk, but so far I don't get short of breath typing!!LOL
      After years of symptoms:
      Officially Diagnosed HOCM 2006
      Myectomy 3/11/13 at non-COE
      Extended Myectomy 7/23/14
      At Mayo with Dr. Joseph Dearani


      • #4
        Re: Big life changes

        Well, I can't imagine I could say anything better than Jill did above. I just wanted to wish you the best in your new career. Hopefully you will find it to be a rewarding experience as well. At least your hospital is willing to accomodate you and seems to be willing to make things work out. That is rare in this day and age.
        Daughter of Father with HCM
        Diagnosed with HCM 1999.
        Full term pregnancy - Son born 11/01
        ICD implanted 2/03; generator replaced 2/2005 and 2/2012
        Myectomy 8/11/06 - Joe Dearani - Mayo Clinic.


        • #5
          Re: Big life changes

          I went through exactly what you're going through now. The loss of self and all the things I loved to do was harder to accept than the HCM itself, I was angry and confused till a certain person here on the board pointed out to me how my anger was really how I was grieving dealing with 'loss'. Jill had kind and good advice that I couldn't give you any better, just wanted let you know (as you probably do) you're not going through it alone as long as you have us to turn to.

          had HCM since birth
          'enlarged heart' identified in 96'
          HOCM dx in 7/08
          Myectomy 8/09
          extended Myectomy 5/10
          'End stage' HCM dx 8/10
          CRT-D implanted 9/10
          evaluated for Transplant 11/10
          Listed for transplant 6/11