When my doctor told me I had congestive heart failure, I just paused. I don’t even remember whether I cried for a little bit, but I said, “What can we do?” So that started it. My life before CCM, I can explain it like this — you know how somebody sits around all day, and they don’t want to do anything? That’s how I had become. Now that I’ve got my Optimizer, I just want to do everything — everything.

Volunteer | Philadelphia, PA

“Wow. CCM has impacted my life. It’s made it better. When I say that, I mean, I’m better.”

“I’m so glad my doctor and the nurses suggested CCM therapy to me, because I would never know it existed.”


My name is Joann Blakeney. I live in Philadelphia, and I am a student and a volunteer. I’m two and a half years into my master’s degree in public administration.

My favorite things to do are volunteering for the Cancer Society and the Heart Association with Temple Hospital. Because Temple is what I know so well. I used to live a couple blocks from there, so I’ve been going to Temple for, I don’t know how long.

I started having symptoms with my heart, and I have asthma, so I didn’t pay any attention to it. I mean, just walking around the neighborhood or going out shopping, or whatever, I couldn’t breathe. I didn’t pay it any mind, and then it got worse. So, I said, “Let me go to the doctor.”

My doctor put me on additional medications and told me what I could and couldn’t do. Not that I couldn’t do those things, but to be careful with how much I was doing. I don’t like to take drugs, so it was hard for me to take all of my daily pills and get it all correct. I used to take thirteen different prescriptions, including my asthma pump. All that became too much for me to manage, and it was too much to juggle and remember. I used to sit down, cry, and ask myself, Why me? What did I do to deserve all this?”  

Some symptoms that I had included feeling tired, shortness of breath, and I felt like my heart was aching all the time. When I walked up like two or three steps on a stairway, I had to stop. And I said, “Gosh, I can’t breathe.” I thought this was how I’m going to die; I was picturing everything. All of this made me feel like I was old, useless, and without any hope. In the back of my mind, I would say, “Oh, you can’t do that. It would be best if you avoid doing that. You need to take it easy.”

But then the possibility of hope came, and not too soon. My cardiologist told me about CCM and how it can improve my situation, starting with the quality of my life. He called me one day and said, “Joann, I got this new device, and it might be something that could help you.” He explained to me that, in essence, it could help me feel better. I thought long and hard about what my doctor was proposing, and it was an easy decision for me to consider it in the hope of improving my quality of life. And it was then that I asked my doctor, “Are you telling me that during all this time that I’ve been struggling along trying to do things, my heart could eventually fail me without any warning?” That’s when I decided to get the Optimizer — no more waiting.

Wow! CCM has impacted my life. It’s made it better. When I say that, I mean better. I can think now. My grandkids have noticed and what I see is how they look at me. They aren’t afraid to do things with me anymore. I just feel so great. I mean, I feel like I’m a new person. Even when I go to bed at night, when I wake up, when I’m doing things around the house, it may not sound like much, but it is to me — to be able to do things on my own. Oh god, I just feel good good about everything, and it’s real, all of it! 

I quickly learned how to charge my device, a one-hour process each week. My doctor explained to me that it’s like getting gas. That’s what I have to do — fuel up. So, every week, I just fill my gas tank, and my Optimizer keeps doing what it’s supposed to do — making me feel better and so much more energetic!

I’m so glad my doctor and the nurses suggested CCM therapy. If it weren’t for them, I would not have known that this heart failure treatment existed. If you or someone you know is suffering from heart failure while taking medication and still experiencing symptoms, look into CCM therapy. Have that conversation with your cardiologist about it like I did. Believe me. You’ll be so glad you did!

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The first step in finding relief from your heart failure symptoms is reaching out for help. There are physicians located throughout the United States, ready to help you feel better and live better. Hope is here; take advantage of it by finding a doctor today.