By Kirstie –
Stage 1 heart failure at age 25… that’s something that nobody wants to hear, or even think is a real possibility for themselves. Being told you have not one, not two, but four heart conditions that will end up likely killing you is devastating news to receive at that age, and really at any age.
So, what can you do about it?
There’s honestly not much that you can do yourself. Eat healthier, exercise more, take the many medications that the cardiologists and electrophysiologists will throw at you, and if you’re really unlucky like me, have surgery. The mental acceptance needed to push through is another story.
There are not many things that you cannot see on a person with a heart condition. Most of us will have a heart monitor strapped to their body at some point in time, some might have a pacemaker implanted in their chest, and others will have visible scars on their chest or upper thighs from their surgeries.
But then there’s what you can’t see…
You can’t see the 6 pills a day that I have to take to simply keep living comfortably.
You can’t see how difficult it is to take a hot shower by yourself, because the heat sends your heart on the fritz.
You can’t see how walking up just 6 steps can cause me to be out of breath and almost faint.
You can’t see how I can be sitting there, doing nothing, and my heart rate skyrockets into 170-190 beats per minute for no reason whatsoever other than just: I am alive…
It’s important not to judge anyone until you know their full story. If you know someone with an invisible illness, don’t assume that they are making up their symptoms or faking it for attention. Don’t demand explanations or validation. Instead, be kind and open to their situation, show sympathy and learn about their story.
And to those of you fighting an invisible battle, know this: you can do it. You can overcome whatever stigmas you are facing due to the invisibility of your condition. There are so many people who care about you and want to see you thrive.
You’ve got this; we’ve got this.