I'd like to share my news with you and others on the forum.
I've been on CPAP now for 7 weeks, and had an echo done a week ago. The echo shows that my heart is about as good as it was in late 2006. I no longer have a severely dilated left atrium - it's now only moderately dilated. And my right atrium is normal again. My septal hypertrophy has reduced slightly as well. Everything else, in terms of actual cardiac functioning, is now back to normal, including an ejection fraction of 75% (wow!). I'm not aware of having 'felt' any ventricular arrhythmias since about November, and I can't confirm that without a Holter monitor. I'm seeing my cardiologist again on Wednesday, so I'll see what he wants to do about checking the rhythm again. The only symptom I have now is the occasional PVC, usually linked to exercise or allergies - that's how it was for years before everything went pear-shaped last year.
I suspect that if I reduce my systolic blood pressure from around 130 to 120 or less, then any back pressure from the left atrium will also diminish over time. This should also help the hypertrophy a bit, according to research anyway. I'm still not on any drugs, because of my allergies, but there's a chance I'll be put on beta blockers - apparently they can reverse the re-modelling of the cardiac muscle in some people. I have to be cleared for this by my allergy clinic, so I'm not sure about it yet. I don't smoke or drink alcohol. I also exercise regularly - the only problem I'm left with now is that I need to reduce my weight, and that may be affecting my blood pressure a bit.
I realise that I've used a combination of methods by having the CPAP as well, but I've only had that for a very short time. Other people on the forum may benefit from knowing about it, as there's growing research evidence about the frequency of co-occurring sleep disoders and cardiac problems (the links aren't necessarily causal, but the association is clear). It might also help others to know that I had no symptoms of a sleep disorder, and it wasn't at all serious when it was assessed - the only reason I was put on CPAP was because of the cardiomyopathy. My daughter was assessed as having 'severe' sleep apnoea, but had no symptoms until she was hit by a car in 1998 - the sleep problem was discovered 8 years later, because her 'symptoms' had simply been attributed to her cardiomyopathy.
I'm also beginning to understand why my daughter thinks I've been a bit silly by joining Willy's protocol. If she feels as well as I do now, she may not be seeing the need to look after the long term health of her heart through any other means. I certainly intend to continue though. I've been down many roads since June last year, and it's cost me a small fortune - but the end result is that my health is returning to me.
I can't tell you how thankful I am for your support, and the support of others on the forum. I hope others have similar good news in the months and years ahead. All the best for now.
Stay happy - warm regards.