In Take Heart Adrienne shares her story about living with heart failure and the complexities of the rare condition that is cardiomyopathy. She uses her talents as an award winning author to create a book that clearly shares her experiences. She explains, in captivating detail, what it is like to feel acute shortness of breath in the middle of the night, be a passenger in an air ambulance emergency flight and holder of unfortunate genes. Adrienne provides a structured account of her patient experience that clearly demonstrate that she has made a determined effort to ensure that medical facts, interventions and procedures are well documented to provide knowledge for both health professionals and people who are experiencing their own cardiac journey.
Adrienne does keep good humour in the book focusing on the value of keeping social and positive however possible…It’s not everyone’s taste to visit a person having a blood transfusion, but when my granddaughter phoned I said, ‘Granny’s got a tube going into her arm and blood is being fed through a bag,’ and she said, ‘Cool’ . The tough adjustment people diagnosed with cardiomyopathy need to make is highlighted through the stories of a number of other people who share how they have learned to make the most of each day as it presents itself and to not be afraid to enjoy life as much as their heart’s health will allow them. It is easy to admire the effort Adrienne has made to adapt her life: ‘OK, India, Africa, gliding and boogie boarding were on my wish list, but now that my wings are clipped I’m perfecting the art of vicarious living, thanks to family and friends’.
Adrienne highlights the value of being referred to a medical psychologist. Adrienne changed her psychologist’s job title to Fairy Godmother given that she helped her develop coping strategies to overcome the traumatic experiences such as her septal ablation and heart block before ‘moving onto coping strategies such as breathing patterns, relaxation and visualisation’.
The book’s appendix by Dr Gillian Whalley Torckler provides a clear synopsis of the cardiac facts in the book creating a title that provides an important perspective on cardiomyopathy.
Published by Mary Egan Publishing
RRP: $30.00 50% of sales from this book will be donated to the Nelson Tasman Hospice building fund.