I knew I was in trouble from the day I was diagnosed with familial hypertriglyceridemia. With an abnormal increase of triglyceride levels in my blood, I was told to make some serious lifestyle changes if I wanted a chance of survival. I changed my diet to one that was low in processed food, made sure I always stayed active, and took any medications prescribed to me faithfully. But even with all these changes, the most I could do was slow the progression of the disease – I was still going to get worse.
I had been living with this diagnosis for a few years now, and I was slowly but surely losing my strength and my ability to live a normal life. I was unable to partake in many of the activities I used to enjoy and the thought of growing weaker frightened me. I was especially worried about what the future would hold for me. But nothing could have prepared me for the worst.
One night, my family and I were all gathered for dinner when suddenly I started to struggle for breath. My breathing became more labored with every passing second and I was unable to draw in any air. I was quickly rushed to the hospital where after hours of testing, the doctors determined that it was severe heart failure caused by my hypertriglyceridemia.
My life had been taken away from me in a flash. I could no longer be the husband, father and friend I once was, and I was devastated. I wanted to spend every moment of every day with my family, but instead I spent them drowning in a sea of loneliness and grief. I was surrounded by the people I love, but I was never going to be able to fully feel their love again.
My morbid illness had robbed me of what little time I had left, and the pain and sadness of losing my life was unbearable. I take solace in knowing that I did the best I could in the time I was given, but I will always regret not being able to be the man I wanted to be for my family. Familial hypertriglyceridemia took away my life too soon – and for that, I am truly sorry.