This past week, I was able to step away from the worries and wonders of what God is doing in my life and heart. Not that I put HIM aside, but the frustrations, disappointments, and heaviness of it all. We were able to go on my family’s vacation up north here in Michigan for a week, and the timing could not have been more perfect. God knew.
Just to recap, at the beginning of August, I went to the U of M hospital for 4 days, where I was put on a new medication, to address the high number of extra beats I was having, called PVCs. Many have PVCs and live a very normal life – in fact, many don’t even know they have them. But for me, they turn into dangerous and severe rhythms that put me at a high risk for a heart attack. Hence the need to address the PVCs.
I came home from that stay and it was hard. Not just a “oh bummer, wish it went a little better,” but an “I can’t keep my eyes open due to fatigue, my blood pressure is dangerously low, and I can’t think straight” – hard. I finally emailed my doctor and told him I wasn’t sure I could live the rest of my life on this med, due to the side effects. I could barely parent. Some hours were better than others, but mornings were tough. After the nurse called me to discuss my symptoms further, it was evident that I could not stay on this med long-term, but what was the other option? This WAS Plan B. The ablations that I had back in May, were supposed to work, but they didn’t. The doctors were certain a medication would help, but even after being on it for almost 2 weeks, I was still having significant PVCs.
So the day before we left for vacation, I received a call that I had to go off of the med completely. Not just lower the dose, but they felt the side effects were too risky and I couldn’t keep going on it. I was thrilled in the sense that I didn’t have to feel so sick while on vacation, but deeply disappointed that I had run into yet another road block. Another failed attempt at bringing back to health, this heart. I firmly believe that God is the ultimate healer and it’s through medicine and doctors that He extends that healing care, but it’s hard not to get down and wonder why? This was supposed to be an “easy” fix in my mind, but it has become quite complicated.
And so we wait to hear what’s next. While talking with my nurse, she said that the team had to meet to discuss my case, to figure out what to do next. That was a week ago, and we still haven’t heard, which makes me wonder. I know my heart can’t take living with this many PVCs. Plus the symptoms I feel from them makes it hard to do my daily tasks. A simple walking up stairs is difficult at times.
But I know it’s in God’s timing. And it’ll be perfect. Just like me coming off of that med, the day before vacation. The only side effect I had coming off of it were cold sores – I’ll take that any day! I felt like a “new” person and felt rejuvenated in a way again. And that’s what this past week was – a week to just rest, relax, enjoy family, be in God’s creation, and set aside the “what could be’s”.
I can’t seem to let go of what my heart failure doctor said to me earlier, that if the ablations didn’t work, that they would have to revisit putting me on the heart transplant list. Well, they didn’t work, but a medication was a hopeful option. But that also has proven not to work. So what’s next? There are 2 other medications out there that can tackle severe heart arrhythmia issues, so I’m hanging onto the hope that maybe they will try those, but I do know that I was put on the strongest of them and it didn’t work. Therefore, the seed of a heart transplant continues to grow in my head.
I was talking with a nurse during my stay at the U of M and she was saying that I would just be the perfect candidate for a transplant. My doctor has also said the same thing. But I have to be “sick” enough to get one, but not too sick, where a successful transplant would be in question. It’s a fine line. She completely got where I was at as she said, “I have this huge cloud over my head, making it hard to plan for anything long-term”. She nailed it. Opportunities that I think in my head would be perfect, are clouded with this inability to be able to commit, knowing my heart isn’t headed in the direction we had all hoped for.
So there’s the real. The raw. The honest. But truly and honestly speaking, I have not lost hope. I have not lost faith. I have not lost sight that God will use this all for His glory. I know so many of you are going through valley experiences. I know others who are going through mountain-top highs. And there are those in the in-between, wondering when the next high or low is going to happen. But in all of those places, OUR GOD IS THE SAME. He is the same in the valley as He is on the mountain tops. And He has proven that to me, time and time again. A mountain top – this past week on vacation. A simple thing, but so needed during a valley experience the week before.
What area of life are you in? The mountain top? The valley? The In-Between? Where do you see God in them? Embrace Him. Embrace YOUR story.