I have always been a hard worker and I have stayed physically active all my life. I love swimming, hiking, fishing, camping, gardening, creating landscaping, painting, cooking, and designing, and exercising . My favorite things to do are working in my yard, going to the beach, camping, and hanging out with my family. When I was 21 years old I was diagnosed with Asymmetric Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy. Essentially my right heart chamber wall is thickening and causing an outflow obstruction and irregular, even life threatening heart rate and/or rhythms. At that time, I was told it was nothing severe and that I just needed to be followed by a cardiologist with yearly echo cardiographs. My only symptom was heart palpitations. Over the past five years my symptoms have been mild, with pounding heart, some shortness of breath and awaking in the middle of the night gasping. I was put on a medication about 5 years ago to control these symptoms and it helped. I have been monitored each year and things remained within normal tolerances.
about 20 months ago i had my last Echo and it was okay still and approx. 14 months ago was my last visit with the Cardiologist who changed my medication due to side effects but recommended continued monitoring with another Echo a year later.
over the past 14 months i gradually developed more symptoms such as gasping for air while I am sleeping, shortness of breath, dizzy spells, visual disturbances, poor circulation, edema, and a pounding heart beat. I thought it was just stress due to new career or even lack of continued regular working out due to new job. but then i noticed that I couldn't breath well while working out or going on walks. This past December, I felt funny while I was driving and thought I was going to pass out and my nose was tingly and numb. Weeks went by and I started having visual changes and was near fainting at work on a few occasions. this prompted a few doctor visits to figure out what was happening with me. After several trips to the doctor, and getting referred to a doctor that specialized in mysterious cases, He ran blood tests that equated to possible heart failure. this provoked more blood work and a repeat Echo, which then showed my heart condition had drastically worsened and blood flow in and out of the right side of my heart are seriously obstructed. this obstruction is caused by the condition causing additional , fiber like muscle to grow in the Septal wall of the heart making it thicken and bulge inward, reducing the chamber size and shape and causing the heart no longer be able to pump properly. After getting a 2nd opinion with a trusted cardiologist i learned my only option at this point is open heart surgery. the have to go into the heart thru the chest wall and scrape away the thickened tissue inside my right heart chamber. Southern Oregon has the best cardiology dept. in the country, but they do not specialize in my condition. As a matter of fact there are only a handful of cardiologist in the country that even do this surgery and are well versed with this condition. As it is we have already incurred thousands of dollars in medical expenses since January 2013. I have been referred to Stanford Medical Hospital, because they specialize in this disease and the doctor there is the leader in this field and condition. I have no disability insurance and I am going to lose income by being out of work and so will my fiancee as he will be transporting us to and from Stanford and of course will be there for me as I go through this. Health insurance is available but also has implemented a waiting period that is not available to me as the surgery needs to be done soon and ins. company wants to hold off for 6 months. even if insurance pays though, we will still be looking at a minimum of 20% of surgery which in itself is approx. a 25,000 bill and doesn't include all the pre and post operative care and cardiac rehab. we are trying to get help to pay for medical expenses of course but also, traveling expenses(hotel, gas, food), and loss of income(3-4 months worth of mine and 1 to 1.5 months of my fiancee's).my time off will be incurred all at once with the surgery and recovery, my fiancee on the other hand will be taking the time off as needed for the surgery and bringing me home and for additional care and appointments. It is not in Our nature to ask for help, but our biggest worry is that we won't be able to provide for our children and keep our utilities on and rent paid, not to mention feeding everyone. We are under a tremendous amount of stress wondering how we will be able to make it through all of this but we remain strong in our faith and humbly request anyone that has the means, to please, please help us get through this scary life experience.
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