A Heart Failing Without Knowing
When most people think about heart failure they think of heart attacks or a hospital setting. However, that is not how a lot of heart failure scenarios begin. In my attempt to try and retell my story about going through heart failure, and artificial heart, and eventually a heart transplant, I am beginning with the story of when I first experienced heart failure and I did not even know it.
The Summer of 2013
This occurred in the Summer of 2013, approximately towards the end of July. We had planned to visit my grandmother, aunts, uncles, and cousins in California. It was a long trip but we were all excited to go especially because my mother hadn’t seen my grandmother for 10 years. We were all excited to get to see my mother reunited with my grandmother after not seeing each other for a long time, except for through video and pictures.
We packed the day before and we had out stuff already in the car. We slept and woke up a couple of hours later, at around 1 am. Everyone was ready and waiting in the car when I realized that I did not feel very good. It felt like a fever- I was out of energy, had a cough and a cold, and the temperature felt off. We all decided that this was just a cold and so I took some tylenol and we hit the road.
The Drive to California
We decided to drive through Nevada instead of through Utah, Arizona, and Nevada. About two hours into the drive I felt very ill and so I asked my mother if she could drive for at least an hour. She agreed and I instantly fell asleep on the passenger seat. It wasn’t even 30 minutes later when I suddenly fell very ill and I asked my mother to pull over so I could throw up. I threw up and realized that this was worse than we originally thought- but it was not alarming so we continued.
I spent most of the time sleeping but I took the wheel back when we arrived to Las Vegas because my mother doesn’t feel comfortable driving through the insane traffic in Las Vegas. We arrived at an uncle’s house and where we stayed for two days. I spent both days sleeping, throwing up, and going to the restroom several times, probably two or three times per hour.
After resting for two days in my uncle’s house in Las Vegas, he offered to come with us to California. We agreed and we headed to California. Through the drive I noticed that I felt normal again. I didn’t feel like throwing up, I didn’t feel like going to the bathroom, I had a lot of energy!
We spent a week with my grandmother in California and we had a great time. I spent a lot of time with my cousin exploring Los Angeles: we ate at several restaurants, French, Italian, and even American such as in-n-out. At this point in time I had no idea that this small illness that I just experienced would turn out to be so much bigger and serious than I could ever imagine.