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Hi! My name is Caroline Walzel, and I would like to tell you my story.

I got married in Nov. of 99. We found out we were pregnant in early Dec. My pregnancy was fine until April. At that point, I started to really retain alot of fluid, my bp was up, and I started coughing really bad. This kept up until July when my bp was 170/94. I was taken off work at this time.

About the middle of July, I had a problem breathing. My husband rushed me to the hospital, only for them to tell me everything was fine- normal pregnancy symptoms. This happened again 5 days later. My doctor said don't bother going to the ER, there was nothing they could do.

My son was induced Aug. 4 due to low fluid. They gave me an epidural- all without properly diagnosing me. He was born early Aug. 5,2000. Right after he was born( 2 days after), I had a problem breathing and my blood oxygen went down to 78%. At this point I was put on Lasix, and released 2 days later with a diagnosis of pulmonary edema. They had done numerous tests and come up with nothing else.

They told me to come back in a month for another echocardiogram. When I went back, the correct diagnosis was finally made-5 months after my symptoms had started. My EF was at 10-15%. Normal is 60%.

At this point, as of the beginning of April, 2001, my EF is back up to 53%. I still worry about everything, though. My husband tries to be supportive, but at times, I know he thinks I am a hypochondriac. It hurts but the doctor did say they consider me recovered. I still have a few bad days but all in all they are good. Being able to celebrate my son Nicholas's first birthday was a gift.

So you can get " better", but it will always be there. Nicholas was our honeymoon baby, and it hurts to think I may never have another brother or sister for him. If anyone out there wants to talk, please email me.



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