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Heart to Heart

After surviving a rare coronary artery dissection and massive heart attack while nine months pregnant, Nefertari has devoted her life to uplifting other heart patients and promoting heart health awareness.

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Congestive Heart Failure and The Common Cold

As a heart patient I am very aware of my surroundings, especially during cold and flu season.

To the average healthy person the common cold is a seasonal annoyance, and sometimes even troublesome enough to cause people to miss days from work or school. For me, a cold or the flu could mean a complete and total wipe out for days or even weeks.

Not long ago I walked into my doctors office and the cutest little girl was there with her grandmother. They were playing and looking at magazines, but the little girl decides I looked more interesting (possibly because I was the only other patient in the waiting area). She came over to join me, and that was when I saw the green mucus dripping down from her cute little nose.

I wanted to run to the other side of the office and spray every inch of myself with hand sanitizer, but she was so cute. How could I hurt her little feelings by removing myself after she came all the way over to say spread her "joy"?

So I sat there. She smiled, waved, and sneezed at me several times before my name was finally called.

It didn't happen immediately. I came home and had a normal evening with the kids, and went to bed feeling pretty average...but when I woke up the next morning, I could barely talk. It was as if had a porcupine caught in my throat and his needles were on fire! I was congested and my head was pounding. I had a cold.  Now, normally I would blame this lovely gift on one of my own five children, but they were all fine and had been for a while.

I knew who the culprit was...little miss cutie pie from the doctors office. I thought about her as I laid in my bed, completely out of commission for the next three days, full of fluid because any type of cold seems to set off my CHF. 

As far as cold remedies go, my options are very limited -- the ingredients in several popular brands are not recommended for those who are taking certain heart medicines. I also must be very careful because having an infection can lead to other issues. Specifically,  I am prone to flash pulmonary edema. This is a medical emergency that occurs when the lungs fill with fluid suddenly (which makes me feel like I am drowning). I've noticed that I tend to have that happen more often when I am suffering from a cold, therefore I must be very careful and keep a close eye out for fluid retention -- for me the signs are bloated abdomen, swollen feet and hands, and excessive coughing. My doctor has me on diuretics which helps to control this problem.

I thought about my little visitor from the doctors office. I admit that I love cute little girls --  I have four of my own. I enjoyed her little wave, her cute little smile, but she could have kept her (not so cute) cold!

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Tags: Learning Limitations

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About the Author

After surviving a heart attack, Nefertari has devoted her life to promoting heart health awareness.

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