…Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame
but wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
all other ground is sinking sand.
This was the song that came into my head today, after my heart check up at the University of Michigan.
I didn’t necessarily receive the news I was hoping, but I have learned to not put my hope in circumstances, but in Christ alone, for He’s got my back, He’s on my side, since all other ground is sinking sand!
It was a scheduled appointment, which I was assuming wouldn’t have much “new news,” considering I am only 6 months out from my last surgery. At times it is crazy to think that it was 6 months ago. I am definitely far in my recovery and am honestly feeling GREAT, in comparison to where I was even just 3 months prior, at my last appt. At that time I was still dealing with a painful broken rib and fatigue. Now I feel more like myself, which is amazing. Still have a ways to go, but getting there!
Though, I learned today that my heart is not functioning as it should, even after having two open heart surgeries. It is a bit discouraging to think that after the struggles that accompanied two surgeries, that things still aren’t functioning as they should. I am still retaining fluid which shouldn’t be the case since I had open heart surgery to replace my mitral valve and repair my tricuspid valve. The diuretic I am on is a pretty strong one, granted, but unfortunately I find myself in the restroom often. The goal is to get me OFF the diuretic, but if I have to live my life on that pill, so be it. But…
I also learned that my heart is still beating irregularly. At cardiac rehab, we knew my heart was having PVCs, which are premature ventricular contractions. According to Michigan’s website (btw, Michigan is an international leader in dealing with PVCs…) says: PVCs occur when ventricle contractions beat sooner than the next expected regular heartbeat, often interrupting the normal order of pumping. The extra beat is followed by a stronger heartbeat which creates the feeling of a skipped beat or a flutter. These extra beats are usually less effective in pumping blood throughout the body.
Well, in listening to my heart, the doctor heard a PVC every 4th beat, which is pretty numerous compared to what it was. So, instead of waiting another 3 months til my next ECHO, they ordered one today, since I was there, to try and figure out why I am having so many PVCs. Also, for the next 48 hours, I am wearing a holter monitor, to get a consistent report of truly how often my heart is beating irregularly. Between these two tests, hopefully a more clear answer can be found. This is a MUCH easier holter monitor to wear than my previous ones I’ve had to wear years ago!
As she said, it’s a chicken and egg situation. I obviously still have heart failure. But, are the irregular beats causing the heart failure/fluid retention, or is the fluid retention causing the irregular beats? Hmmm…
I am a little disappointed that something “new” was discovered, but I am at peace. (I say “new” b/c I’ve had them before). Dan and I are realizing more and more that “heart issues” will forever be a part of our life and this is the plan God has for us. And it’s a good one in the sense that it’s not about us, but about God’s glory and the furthering of His name. As Dan reflected on the idea that if it wasn’t for us living in Minnesota, we wouldn’t have been referred to Michigan in the first place! And with Michigan being a world leader in cardiovascular care, I just know we are so where we are meant to be. There is much comfort in that and that God’s timing truly is PERFECT.
So, we don’t know what the future will hold and what answers we will receive, but no matter what happens or what is needed next, we can rest in the hope that CHRIST is our hope, not our circumstances. For they fade, waver, and are uncertain. But Christ is constant, unchanging, and certain.
I have to say, Mazy thinks it’s pretty neat that I have this little “pack” around my neck with wires, which means I have lots of “band-aids” (tape) to hold it in place. Oh to see the world through the eyes of a child! I love it!
Now we pray for answers to be found. We praise God for the persistence of the doctors to get to the bottom of what is going on and to find a solution, to ensure the best life for me. As I was walking down the hallways of the hospital to the cafeteria at Michigan, they have areas where you can write “messages” to those who have passed away. Many of them said…”I miss you Mom…” being close to Mother’s Day, as family’s stood around those messages, grieving.
My eyes welled up with tears. I am alive. I am able to be a mommy. I AM a mommy. I AM a wife. I get to go home to my beautiful daughter and husband. Others have had to say goodbye all too soon. It really brought perspective to the day and humbled my wondering heart.
God has been beyond good to us. He’s been so faithful. We have so much to be thankful for. Even in the uncertainty of my heart, we know Christ is our solid rock!
Side Note: Michigan’s heart department is massive. Hundreds and hundreds, of people walk through those doors. Well, apparently when my name came up on the ECHO list this afternoon, a guy said, “I remember her! I did her ECHO when she was in the ER!” Mind you, that was over 6 months ago. Without even looking at my chart or seeing me in person, he remembered that I couldn’t lay down to have the test done and the symptoms I presented with that day. The ECHO technician I had today, told me what he said, and she too said that I had a very interesting case, having had two surgeries so close together. Granted at Michigan I could be just a number because it’s so huge, but I suppose maybe I stick out a bit more than I thought! I always knew I was a little weird…I suppose this just adds to that list of why!