“He’s got a plan, this is part of it
He’s gonna finish what He started
He’s got a plan, this is part of it
He’s gonna finish what He started
He’s not done
God’s not done writing your story
No, He’s not done
God’s not done with you!”
These are the lyrics from the song, “God’s Not Done With You,” by Tauren Wells, that I have had on replay. And I know this song speaks to the truth of ALL of our lives – how he has a plan and what you’re going through, is a part of it. Even when we don’t understand.
Over the past few weeks, I have been increasingly short of breath, which can be a common sign of increasing heart failure. I was so excited to walk Mazy to school everyday, and at the beginning of September, I could walk the 3 1/2 blocks with ease. Last week, Dan walked with us, and I struggled to make it home. I thought it was nothing and just thought eh, bad heart failure day. Then on Saturday, Mazy wanted to go on a little bike ride, so we headed down a street by us, but I could only make it 1/3 of a block before I was so winded I had to turn around. And then Sunday, while in church, I couldn’t sing and stand during worship time, but only stand and listen to everyone else singing. Which is a beautiful thing…but something was wrong. Why the sudden decrease?
On Monday, I had my yearly physical and I was reminded that all of these experiences and symptoms are not normal for a 35 year old. Headaches, low blood pressure, and extreme fatigue aren’t easy symptoms, that have gone along with the shortness of breath. After speaking with my family doctor, she called my heart doctor, and in turn, I received a personal call from her (which doesn’t happen very often). Definitely made me nervous when I heard her on the other line!
She explained that I could possibly have a clot in my lung, or that my mitral valve replacement was failing. YIKES. To say I was a bit panicked at that moment was an understatement, but we knew if I could make it through 2017, I could do this. So, Dan and I spent some time talking about what this could all mean and I was ready to go. The plan was for me to have a few tests done the next day, to determine exactly what was going on.
Then I went to bed Monday night not feeling well. I only got a few hours of sleep because I was so short of breath and felt some chest pain. I called Michigan in the morning and the sweet nurse said, “Kristin, you know where you have to go.” And I knew. The ER.
To make a long story short, after an ECHO, CT scan, and blood work, it was determined that NOTHING was found to be abnormal. In fact, my ejection fraction had gone UP, which was absolutely shocking, considering I was feeling so off. I would love to say that I was beyond excited, but I was disheartened because no answer was found. Of COURSE I want my heart to get better – but I am feeling worse. Between Michigan and the local ER, I could decide to go home or not, knowing I wasn’t feeling any better, but I decided to give it a go at home. I have a follow-up appointment in Ann Arbor, so hoping to make it to that without being admitted.
Lord-willing, nothing gets worse and if it does, I have to right away go back in and I’m assuming I’ll be hospitalized. If I sit and do nothing, I am okay and feel okay – but any exertion, I feel like I ran a marathon, so Mazy and I have spent lots of time playing Barbies together! She loves games, so she has beaten me a few times in Candy Land, which is her signature move. Don’t try her in Hi-Ho Cherry-O either – I don’t win often. But this is hard on her. She’s confused, doesn’t understand why mommy can’t do certain things, and I think we are ALL ready for God to open our eyes to what is really going on.
We are starting to think my body isn’t responding as well to my new med, amiodarone, and that I’m having a reaction to it. And unfortunately, I’m still having a decent number of PVCs and am even v-taching (not good beats to have – can lead to a heart attack if sustained), which is confusing, considering I responded so so well last fall to this med. We know it’s a toxic med, but it’s a benefits vs. risk battle at the moment.
And right now, it feels like a never-ending battle. It’s confusing as to why nothing new showed up, which befuddles even the doctors. This isn’t a quality of life anyone can keep going with, but the answers have yet to still be found. We are hoping through the next few appointments, that something can be determined and that I can get back to “Kristin normal.”
I go back to the lyrics of the song I posted earlier: He’s got a plan, this is part of it, He’s gonna finish what He started. He’s not done, God’s not done writing your story…
It’s discouraging and frustrating all at the same time, but I KNOW, deep down in this heart of mine, that God knows what He’s doing. My faith is being tested, but for some reason, this round is not easy. I’ve been upset, cried tears of frustration, and can’t help but dream of a day when this is all in the past. But THIS is all part of it. And I’ve gotta keep trusting that God has this perfect idea of how to use, even this.
So we ask if you could please pray that God would open the eyes of the doctors as to why I have been so short of breath, but also that it can be an “easy” fix. I know not many things with heart failure are easy, but we are believing that God can make it an easy fix! We pray that clear answers will be found and that in the end, God’s glory may be shown. Even though we don’t have an answer and want something tangible as an answer, we are thankful that my mitral valve is not proving to be failing because that would bring a whole new slew of issues!
Thank you for continuing to walk this journey with us!