To provide a website to support people living with cardiomyopathy and to inform people about the impact that Cardiomyopathy has on health, lifestyle and longevity.
I was diagnosed with Dilated Cardiomyopathy on January 7, 2000- one week after my 18th birthday. I was working as a bus boy at a restaurant and started feeling very dizzy, the next week I saw my doctor who took an EKG and read an abnormality in my heart rhythm. I was recommended to go to a cardiologist who took tests and found the Cardiomyopathy. When I found out that I had this disease I didn't know what to expect, because I did not know anything about it. Once my family and I became educated about the disease they were very upset and thought that I would need a heart transplant. I found myself more angry than upset and also in a deep state of denial. When your that young you feel invincible, especially being in high school you would think that the likelihood of being diagnosed with a heart condition is very slim. I started taking medication right away and tried to maintain my normal lifestyle. I lived like a normal kid my age would, I partied, went to school, and went to work. The truth was that I could not continue down that path, I was partying way too much, getting carried away with drinking, not eating right and had put on some extra weight-I did not have a healthy lifestyle.
This past year I realized how important it was too improve my condition-my ejection fraction-the measure of the pumping function of the heart had dropped dramatically which had put me in the range for receiving a defibrillator. I realized that I need to be proactive if I want to avoid the possibility of ever needing a heart transplant.
I am a very optimistic person, I feel very fortunate and lucky to have found this disease before something bad occurred. Cardiomyopathy is a very hard disease to diagnose, so a lot of people that have the disease may not even know they have it.
Most people I talked to were and still are uneducated about Cardiomyopathy like I was when I was diagnosed. I believe that people need to get educated about Cardiomyopathy and if you have some of the symptoms listed on this site-go see your doctor and get a recommendation to see a cardiologist. If you do have the disease it is much better to get it diagnosed sooner than later.
Feel free to email me anytime if you have any questions or if there is ever anything I can do to help.