Tuesday, April 6, 2010


My congestive heart failure diagnoses is pretty serious. My doctor tells me I have even odds at being alive after two years. It's 25% mortality chance for the coming 12 months, 50% for years one and two together, I can't make this work out with basic random probability, so I assume the numbers are based on empirical measurement. I didn't ask about years following. He also mentioned that he has never personally referred a patient for heart transplant surgery. I asked if that could offer me some hope, and he shrugged. He said they wouldn't put me on the list now because I was too healthy. He also said I was between three and four on the four level scale of cardiac disability, with one being normal and four being unable to leave bed. I suppose I have to be all the way into four to be considered for a heart transplant. Some good news in the mix it would seem. He said there are two ways I could die from this. First, ventricular fibrillation could kill me. I'm protected with the defibrillator, but he said the heart might not respond. The device would shock me 10 times or so before the battery went out, then pffft. The other, more likely way would be simply by progression of the CHF. That would involve drowning essentially. I've felt fluid rising in my lungs, so I have a glimmer of what that would be like.

So that stuff has me spinning pretty good. I have been terrified of dying ever since my heart attack, often to the point of morbid obsession. It's a hard slog keeping my mind out of obsessive pathways that have me imagining death from some absurd cause, happening next week sometime. When my depression is bad, I find it impossible to break free of those thoughts. I do better when I'm not depressed, which has been the case for 6 weeks now. Now that I have a concrete threat to my life to consider, I'm not sure how it will play out during the next downturn in my mood.

In some ways, the prognosis takes pressure off me. I can stop worrying as much about small stuff. It even seems like I've found a pool of courage to face some problems that have plagued me most of my life.

I'm lonely. I haven't had a lover in 13 years, since my divorce. I don't have anyone I feel comfortable enough to talk about this stuff with. I find it hard to feel love from my friends. It's possible that's the major problem right there. That, and the belief that love will always go away. I think I can't do it, or that I don't deserve it. It's easier for me to see what bullshit that all is now. But I'm still isolated in my apartment. I don't know where to go to change my luck. I need so much to have a woman's arms around me, a woman's open heart and practical mind.

I'm working on music, and that gives me some joy and satisfaction. But I get no feedback on it. I want approval but I'd settle for criticism. What I have is a big hole. My friends don't seem interested by and large. I post things on Facebook and watch my web server logs. Nothing.

If my insurance will pay, I'll be going to cardiac rehab next week. Perhaps that will give me a chance to make new friends. I can always flirt with the nurses. (I love nurses. :)

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