Ok, so the past six months have been ridiculous for me from a health standpoint. I moved to Corpus Christi, TX at the very end of August and started a new job on Sept. 2 at the local university. I almost immediately began feeling sick, starting with a little cold that kept getting worse and worse till I felt like I couldn't go anymore when I finally went see a doctor. The story on that is my new insurance didn't start until Dec. 1 so I was just waiting for that to start when all this happened. So move to Dec. 3, I go see the doctor because I feel absolutely terrible. He thinks I might have pneumonia so he checks me out, does bloodwork and sends me to get a sleep study and a chest xray done. This was on a Thursday and I get called back into the doctors office on Tuesday. I did not think this was a very good sign and it turns out it wasn't. I had the sleep study done that Friday and I found out I have sleep apnea, but that wasn't the worst of it. On Tuesday, my doctor calls me into his office for a follow-up and he tells me that on my xray, he sees that my heart is enlarged. With the swelling my body was having and the size of my heart and an irregular heartbeat, he tells me that I most likely have congestive heart failure. He refers me to a cardiologist and a pulmonary doctor to get checked out more extensively. The pulmonary doctor tells me the most important thing is that I start losing weight immediately. I am morbidly obese and weigh right at 440 pounds at this point. I have been so big all of my life that I never realized how far it had really gone. Fast forward to the cardiologist the next week. He does an echocardiogram on me and says that my heart is basically a mess. I have very bad arrhythmia and my heart has become damaged from how hard that it was having to work because of how large I was and the increased load when I got sick. I see him on Dec. 17 and he schedules me for a cardiac catheterization on Jan. 6 of this year. He tells me that he was going to check to see if there were any blockages, which he figured there were not, but he has to make sure. Most likely I have cardiomyopathy is what he tells me, which is when the heart muscle becomes damaged due to an infection that reaches the heart, most likely from pneumonia or some other type of chest infection. I have the catheterization done on Jan. 6 and he tells me that I have absolutely no blockages and that cardiomyopathy is now his diagnosis due to no other factors contributing to the cause of the heart damage. My heart ejection fraction is at 20% when he does the test, which is very low. Normal is from 65-75% from what he tells me. He schedules me for a follow-up visit two weeks later to let me know of his plan of treatment for me. At this point, I am scared out of my mind. I have never had any real health issues other than being overweight, now I have a damaged heart and was barely surviving when this started. I see him again on Jan. 20 and he tells me that he strongly reccommends that I have a pacemaker/defibrillator implanted as soon as possible. He tells me that Tuesday and on that Friday, Jan. 23, I have the device implanted. I get shocked by it on Jan. 24, which turns out to be the worst day of my life because of this. When I got shocked, I was so fearful of how life was going to be from that point on, whether I would be constantly stressed out about the device and in turn make it worse on my heart due to the stress. I had to go to the emergency room that night to make sure that my device had not shifted due to it being done just one day earlier and obviously was a risk since the scar tissue had not had a chance to grow around it to hold it in place yet. It turns out that it was fine, and the device was just working exactly how it was supposed to. I got shocked that night because my heart was beating between 270 and 300 bpm when the device had to activate itself. It was terrifying at the time, but my heart rhythm has been quite good from that point on. My cardiologist even called it "beautiful" at one point because it was doing so well. The next big moment in my recovery came at the beginning of April, when I went see my primary care doctor and he had a echocardiogram done once again on me. The results came back from this one and my heart ejection fraction is now at 45%, up from the 20% on Jan. 6 of this year. I am on several medications, which is to be expected, but I have come to accept it as just a normal part of my life now, considering my life depends on it. My current problems are that I am slightly anemic and that I have low testosterone levels, which my doctor says is a common problem in very obese people. This all brings me to my current weight. While still much too large for what I should be, I have gone from 440 on Dec. 3 to now weighing 352.8 as of this morning, or a loss of 87.2 pounds. This is my focus everyday of my life since I found out I was sick, losing the weight to give myself a better chance at living a bit longer life than if I did nothing. I know it is really too late, as I now have heart damage, but I will do everything I can to extend my life as much as I can from now till the end. It is somewhat funny to say, but finding out all of this has been the best thing that has ever happened to me. It has caused me to value my life more than I did when I didn't have to worry about health problems and it has shown me conviction that I never knew I had until my life depended on it. I exercise everyday and keep my calorie intake under 2000 a day, usually trying for 1500, give or take, everyday. I keep my sodium levels as low as possible. I have not used salt since Dec. 3 and stricly use spices now, and it is amazing how good things are even without salt. I never would have known a better way to live if not for all of this happening. My attitude has improved so much from all of this. My doctors have said that I am doing a good job and they are encouraged by it because most people end up going the other way and it just gets worse when they find out things like this. I feel the need to prove to myself that I can do it, regardless of it anyone else notices, I have to do it for me. This is pretty much the only time I have done something that strictly benefits me in my life. I have always been more worried about other people and their happiness than my own. This has been a great experience for me both mentally and physically. My view on the whole situation is that if I can encourage someone to be healthier and improve their life, it has been worth it. I have been feeling the best I have in my entire life, both because of the physical part of it as well as the mental part of it. Sorry for the length of the post, I am sure it will be ignored by most people, but if it helps encourage even just one person to improve their health, then I am fine with that. One of the main reasons I posted is to see if anyone has any suggestions or have been through such a large amount of weight loss and can tell me what I need to do to improve what I do to make the weight loss healthier. Cliffs: I have a bad heart, I used to weigh 440, now weigh 352.8 and counting. Does anyone have any suggestions about how I could better do some things and if I am doing it the right way to lose such a large amount of weight.