As I sit here in a hospital room at the University of Michigan, earbuds in, listening to the song by Zach Williams “Old Church Choir,” it was a sweet touch from God telling me that “Oh ain’t nothing going to steal my joy!” What a vivid and true reminder that despite the uncertainty that lies ahead, I can look out my window over the town of Ann Arbor, knowing that God’s got His hand in ALL of this. Over everything. Over every little detail. Nothing. NOTHING happens out of His eyesight, hearing, and touch. When I take the time to truly ponder that, there is only a God-peace that flows through my bones and the very heart that is not functioning well. It is maybe the oddest feeling, when your body isn’t doing what it’s supposed to do and you can feel it, but on the other hand, I can feel this warm touch from God. A touch that I can only hope that everyone gets to experience. Whether it be through difficulty or triumphs. When Christ lives in you, there is nothing that compares and that is what I’m holding onto.
If you follow me on Instagram of Facebook, some of this will be a repeat, but here’s the story.
On Monday, I woke up quite winded, feeling weak, and heart palpitations. I called my doctor (was supposed to do anyways since I landed in the ER on Saturday). After discussion with even my surgeons from last fall, they decided to admit me. After Dan’s mom picked up Mazy, Dan and I headed to the ER at the University of Michigan (about a 2 1/2 hour drive away). I was immediately put into a room to be monitored. I was so winded by then and was setting off the PVC alarm constantly. At this point we knew my ejection fraction was low at 20 and that I was having numerous irregular beats, so I was just monitored closely. I ended up staying in the ER wing for a day since there were no beds on the cardiac floor. Finally yesterday afternoon a bed opened up, so I was moved to an official cardiac floor.
So what’s the problem now you might ask? Well…we believe my low EF and frequent PVCs have nothing to do with my valves (we hope). So, the problems are “new” in the Kristin book. Yes, I have wondered why more issues as well, but that is not for me to decide. Depending where the pvcs were located, they maybe could have done an ablation (or blasting is what I like to call it) of those areas where there is an “electric issue” but they are all over my heart so that is not possible. So, they are going to try to decrease them with different medications. That would be a GREAT solution, though increasing meds can wreak havoc on the body, so we just pray my body adjusts well. Thankfully I am in the hospital, so as they do this, they can monitor me closely.
As for the low EF. That is puzzling to the doctors, considering my EF should be good after two surgeries. It was thought that maybe a coronary artery was hit or moved with the two surgeries, causing a different blood flow to the heart. It’s a long shot, but apparently there is an area of the heart wall that is a bit weakened and that can be a sign of this I guess. I’m a little foggy on how all this works, but I will have a perfusion test (where they insert a dye via an IV) to check out the arteries. Otherwise, the MRI will be very telling when I have that. We are praying I can get scheduled for that soon…it’s a popular test, but a telling one at that. Hopefully it shows just what it needs to, to help doctors find reasonable solutions that aren’t too invasive. But if invasive needs to happen, then so be and God’s will be done. I’ve done two in a row so I can do them singly with my eyes closed (okay, maybe not that easy…)
It is odd to be sitting in a hospital bed feeling pretty good. I can feel the palpitations, but I don’t feel ill and have no pain. I am getting my appetite back which is huge, and I’m able to walk a bit farther too. I am fully coherent, where in my previous stays, I struggled with all of the above. Like the nurses keep saying…”but she looks so healthy!” That’s kind of been my story though. Outwardly I look pretty “normal” but inwardly my heart just isn’t doing what it’s supposed to do.
Am I a candidate for a heart transplant? A hard question to think about, but as Dan put it well, it’s NOT on the radar, but not necessarily out of the picture. Much more has to not work in my favor for that to even be a word they bring up, though I felt the need to ask. The doctor said, “Let’s put it this way…lets solve this with medication because that can do a LOT.” From there, well, lets just do medication and go from there. So that’s the mind frame I’m going to have too. If it would end up coming to a transplant, it’s an open heart surgery (though getting a whole new heart), but I can do it. With God there is nothing I can’t do! BUT. We aren’t there yet.
So I will be here a few more days, waiting for the MRI, unless I become stable enough to go home and then come back for it later. I think they really want to get it in before I leave to confirm there isn’t something serious going on, which is FINE by me! Sure am missing Mazy, but I know I need to get healthy to be the mama I want to be to her. Oh to hear her say, “Mommy, snuggle?” That time will come and when I come home sweet girl, we are going to have a plan of action so you can have a healthy mommy!
Thank you all for the prayers and texts! Even though I’m in the hospital, I feel a community surrounding us, lifting us up, encouraging us, and asking on our behalf, for God’s will to be done. That at times is mind-boggling and incredibly humbling to think about that God has surrounded us with such a beautiful family of God! We are so thankful for each of you. We read every sentence and are humbled by every prayer!
Here are a few pics from the week so far:
Hanging out in the ER…
See the paper trail I’m leaving? It printed anytime my heart rhythms were way out of whack…it eventually hit the floor and started to roll up!
A sobering moment when I saw AeroMed coming in to land. All those memories came flooding back in, with no tears, but only prayers for that person inside that helicopter. Been there and a place I hope I never have to be again!
Ah…my respiratory “machine” has returned! A staple on the heart floors to prevent pneumonia.
God left me with the most gorgeous sunset. I often tell Mazy, “Let’s see what God painted for us tonight! After a day in the hospital, this sight, the vastness of his glory, was all over the sky!
And this morning, after a great night of sleep! The night before was pretty rough…only got a handful of hours, but despite the vitals and blood taking, this girl got some good zzz’s!
UPDATE: Just received a message that I will have my MRI at 1:00 tomorrow! Woohoo!