Episode 5 - Life with an LVAD while waiting for a heart transplant
Manage episode 333330435 series 2925704
Heart disease can change our physical health, but how often do we address the impact heart disease has on our identity? Part of our heart health journey is about rebuilding. We change our view of our identity and the role we play in the lives of our loved ones. Our talk today features stories about managing the physical and mental challenges of heart disease.
Welcome to Living with Heart Disease, a Heart of a Giant production. Is it possible to live a longer quality of life after a heart disease diagnosis? Listen to the patients, support systems, and care providers who have resolved to become healthier. Join host Somaneh Bouba as we share the challenges and triumphs. Discover what it really means to survive and thrive with a heart condition.
Today’s main guest is Mel Field (who based in London, UK with her lovely family). She was diagnosed with a heart condition at 28 around the time she first discovered the news of her pregnancy. Mel’s doctors shared that she was experiencing dilated cardiomyopathy, but they were not sure if it was simply happening with the pregnancy. After a year, Mel still felt symptoms, and it was clear to her that she would need to manage her heart health going forward. Mel is here to share her story and lessons learned from her years of living with heart disease.
Mel is someone who brings fun and laughs to conversations, and today she is bringing her light to a vulnerable topic. She opens up about balancing the physical and emotional challenges of managing her heart health. Health changes can mean that a person must reimagine their identity. Mel remembers how she got through the earliest part of learning to work with her body to continue enjoying life. She also explores how her heart health might impact her family.
Mel’s support system shares what changes happened in their life after Mel’s diagnosis. She reveals her habit of wanting the best for the family, and not wanting to be a burden on her loved ones. Her family thinks she is far from being a burden, and they get the chance to share their thoughts with Mel directly. The discussion becomes a therapeutic session that’s all about how we can rely on each other.
Mel is persevering in her journey alongside her amazing support system. Listen as we talk about not being alone while we constantly evolve as people dealing with heart disease. Enjoy this conversation that is both lighthearted and vulnerable.
[02:32] - Mel Field describes how she found out about her heart issue.
[05:26] - Mel recalls what went through her head while raising kids and managing heart disease at the same time.
[09:47] - When your health changes so drastically, it can cause you to rethink your identity. How do Mel and Bouba deal with relearning who they are?
[16:34] - How can life be adjusted to managing heart disease? How can your support system be included in these adjustments?
[26:42] - Mel talks about her experience reentering the real world after her diagnosis. She talks about what’s different in her daily routines, grocery trips, and interactions with friends.
[35:26] - Mel says she learned about the LVAD from the Instagram community mainly. She also speaks about realizing the need for individualized healthcare for heart disease.
[40:37] - Mel and Bouba discuss what they learned about their individual health experiences, and how they listen to their bodies.
[42:46] - Did Mel see any life improvement after getting the LVAD?
[47:33] - Mel shares her thoughts on persevering in her journey, and wanting the best for herself and her family.
[56:00] - Mel’s support system gives a response for how their lives changed after her heart disease.
[01:02:53] - Do physical challenges outweigh the mental challenges of a heart disease journey?
[01:11:03] - Listen to these stories of having an ICD (implantable cardioverter-defibrillator). What can someone expect?
[01:19:16] - Being vulnerable can give others the courage to also express their experiences.
[01:25:35] - Mel shares friendly photos and memories of living with heart disease.
Mel Field Instagram (@MEL.FIELD.988)
Heart of a Giant Foundation (HGF)