Real Housewives of Orange County husband Eddie Judge is preparing for another heart surgery after confirming last year that he was diagnosed with AFib. It's been a difficult journey for him and wife Tamra Judge as they've coped with his diagnosis of atrial fibrillation, an irregular and often rapid heart rate, which the couple spoke of candidly to PopCulture.com as part of September's atrial fibrillation (AFib) Awareness Month.
Eddie revealed that while he's about a year out from his final ablation, he still has to undergo a procedure on his left atrial appendage (LAA), adding, "We still haven’t set aside a date."
As that procedure looms, Eddie is building his physical fitness regimen slowly and surely, riding his bike 100 miles and running between six and 10 miles. He doesn't push himself like he used to, Eddie told PopCulture, back when he felt "invincible."
"I'm a little bit more vulnerable and a little bit afraid to go pushing myself like I used to," he admitted. "It's made me realize as a person I'm not invincible.”
Through it all, Tamra has stood by her husband, whom he called his "biggest supporter," even when he was really going through a difficult time with the diagnosis.
"We struggled a lot last year when I was going through it," he recalled. "I was very irritable and not fun to be around. Looking back, I might have been an a—hole."
Tamra chimed in, "For the most part for me, I was afraid, and I was afraid to let him see me afraid.”
“It was draining for me," she added, "but I wanted to keep an upbeat attitude to him, because I didn't want him to be worried about me as well.”
Eddie encouraged people recently diagnosed with AFib or experiencing any irregular heartbeat symptoms to advocate for their own health, even if it means going to specialists or getting a second opinion. And regardless of the diagnosis, he assured people on their health journey that there's always hope.
"I would recommend every AFib patient get well-informed and figure out all their options," he said. "Don't give up! Keep going until you reach success.”
For more information about AFib Awareness Month, visit GetSmartAboutAFib.com.0comments
The Real Housewives of Orange County airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on Bravo.
Photo credit: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for Feld Entertainment