I just thought I would give a little update of where I’m at with my heart.
I recently ran into someone who I don’t see very often and they said, “Wow Kristin, you look good! Is your heart good now? It all must be okay?”
I wasn’t quite sure how to respond and honestly my heart sank. I so badly wanted to say YES! No more issues! But I responded with, “It’s not great, but it’s okay! It is what it is!”
And that is true. The heart isn’t great, but it’s okay. There isn’t anything I can do about it, but live as healthy of a life as I reasonably can, and leave the rest in God’s hands. I went on to explain my most recent surgery, with having my ICD implanted, and that’s when I realized I should probably give all my faithful readers an update too.
It took a good 4 weeks to recover from the ICD surgery. Outside of having a few twinges here and there and the fact that it sticks out a bit, that whole ordeal really went well. I’m thankful it’s behind me! So where does that put me now?
On March 22, I stopped taking my medication called amiodarone, that is preventing all of those extra beats that they discovered back in September. Basically that medication has been acting as a band-aid since then. The doctors waited to see if the extra beats were causing my low ejection fraction (squeeze rate) and they discovered that the extra beats were NOT causing my low EF and therefore, was a whole separate issue with my heart. Not what we were wanting to hear. We were hoping that they were causing the low EF because then once those extra beats were taken away, then my heart function would increase. But that wasn’t the case.
Therefore, over the past few months, the heart doctors have been addressing that electrical issue with my heart, hence the ICD. I needed that implanted before I was taken off of that med because I am at such a severe risk for a heart attack. Now that I am not taking that medication anymore, I will be getting all of those extra beats back. It takes about 8 weeks for the medication to completely wash out of my body. They said it could be a tough 8 weeks, depending how quickly my body rids itself of the medication.
I have my next procedure/surgery on May 22, where the electrophysiologist will go through my groin and with a catheter, go into the heart and blast away all of those extra beats. It’s supposed to be a less invasive procedure (whew), but a lot more risky because they are working with the actual heart and having to move around it. The risk only increasing, the more extra beats I have. But I am trusting forward that God’s got it all under control, like He always has!
So how is it going so far with the washout? It’s going okay. I have been more tired over the past week and I’m not sure if that’s because of the extra beats coming back or my heart failure. My blood pressures are pretty low again, which to me, causes that fatigue feeling. I do feel extra beats, but not sure if that is normal or because of the extra beats. Hard to know. My exercise tolerance is a little less than it was, but such is life. I’ve been on this roller coaster of feeling good then feeling off so many times that I think my body is on that natural rhythm! But I am able to do what I would like in a day and to me, that is all that matters. I do sleep insanely well at night though, I will say that! The body is definitely tired!
I am thankful that next week is April 22 because I will officially be 4 weeks into being done with that med. It has been 4 weeks of feeling pretty good and for that, I am SO thankful! Even if the next 4 weeks are tough, I can do 4 weeks. I remember before my open heart surgery in October 2017, I felt absolutely terrible a month out. But ya keep going and I’m fully confident that if things go south, I can make it to that date! This girl is determined!
I go in next week to my heart failure doctor, to discuss where I am at from that side of things. So what’s the difference? My heart failure doctor deals with the actual function of the heart – like my low EF and low blood pressures. Where the electrophysiologist deals with the specific PART of the heart that isn’t functioning well. At least that’s how I see it, anyway.
I haven’t had any med changes as of late because of my surgeries and med change they most recently made. And it was a welcomed break. January was a tough month with some changes that were made and I feel I’ve been doing good since then.
Every day Mazy prays, “Thank you for mommy’s heart to get better…” which means “please help my heart to get better” and it just is so beautiful and heart-breaking at the same time. I just pray that as she sees me fight my heart failure, that she sees how powerful and good God is! He truly does answer our prayers, even when the answer isn’t what we were expecting. That God is worth trusting and worth going to with our requests. I just love her little faith and confidence in bringing this to the throne of God. Her faith teaches ME so much. I get weary of praying for the ole ticker, but that girl, multiple times a day, she prays for “mommy’s heart.” It’s faith-inspiring.
So all this to say, we are eager for May 22 and hope to have an AMAZING summer with Kristin feeling good. The past 2 summers I haven’t felt great, the first working up towards an open heart surgery and last summer having to wear my LifeVest all of the time because of those extra beats, but we are praying this summer will be a different story!