It has been an eventful past few days.
Right when I think we are “cruising” in life, getting geared up for summer, and eager to enjoy the warm weather, life throws us a bit of a twist. I know it’s the devil trying to ease his un-welcomed way into our lives, but this I know – God will use even these unexpected events and times for His glory! He has time and time again, and this will be no different.
On Thursday I had a routine check up, but it was there that we learned my heart was beating abnormally. I had an ECHO performed that day to see if anything more abnormal was showing up, along with an EKG. I received a call Friday afternoon on our answering machine stating that when I got the message to call the U of M heart office and if the receptionist said my nurse wasn’t available, to have her paged. I knew then, something was wrong.
I immediately dialed the number that I have memorized by heart, waiting in anticipation of the news I was going to hear. Of course I was still in a bit of shock from Thursday’s findings about my abnormal rhythms. When I was in cardiac rehab, PVCs (premature ventricular contractions) showed up, but were not consistent. So not that this was necessarily “new” news, just the severity was maybe a bit shocking on Thursday.
Some of the first words my nurse said was that the ECHO did not look great. My heart has only a 20% ejection fraction rate, which means it’s only pumping out 20% of the blood volume in my left ventricle. The normal rate is between 55-70%. Back in December, my EF was 50. One could only hope that after two surgeries, that my EF would only increase, but unfortunately it has significantly decreased. News I was again, shocked to hear. Though, at the same time, telling in the sense of how I’ve been feeling.
I have felt maybe a bit more tired the past few days, but I was assuming it was because Mazy wasn’t sleeping as well due to storms. I have been a little more short of breath, but nothing that alarmed me. Well, needless to say, now I am alarmed. After the nurse told me about the new findings, she said that more testing needs to be done to determine what is causing such a low EF. Is it life threatening? Debatable, but they have ordered a life vest defibrillator that will be used to shock my heart back into rhythm if it gets severely out of sync. A device one should never have to wear. Of course we hope that it never goes off, but I will wear that immediately after I get my holter monitor off, until I have my cardiac MRI done to determine what the next steps are.
I had never heard of a life vest, but I now know it is used to prevent one from going into sudden cardiac arrest. I am thankful for the technology to even be able to have this device on me, but to know it’s for a situation such as this, isn’t really what I had in my plans. And that’s exactly it. This has come completely out of the blue for us.
But like I’ve said before, this doesn’t surprise God and we are trying to not let it surprise us into worry and fear. My nurse said that if I felt any decline in my health to go to the ER right away and sure enough, this morning (Saturday) I woke up fatigued, short of breath, and with a loss of appetite. I am an eater and for me to not want to eat, something is wrong. Thankfully everything checked out “Kristin normal,” but I am having a lot of PVCs, so I could choose to either go to Michigan and have tests done this weekend or go home and change a med up and see how I feel. I chose the med change and if anything worsens, I will be admitted to Michigan. It is also our 12th anniversary today, so this isn’t how we planned to spend part of our day, but it is a representation of how God has worked in our marriage.
Dan has been with me, by my side, through the thick and thin, every step of the way. Dan doesn’t get surprised by these incidences or overwhelmed. He rolls with the punches which is comforting for me. He is my rock when I am crumbling to bits. Thankfully this go around I am at MUCH peace, which is a peace only of God. It’s hard not to think about every little thing I feel, just knowing how sensitive of a situation it is, I do know that as much as we want to be in control of our bodies and lives, we just aren’t. And being able to walk with the most amazing husband, through all of this, just puts me in awe of the man he is. God sure knew what He was doing!
And God’s got every beat of my heart in the palm of His hand. He always has. Even the really funky beats. When I was in the ER, Dan and I watched as the green line was quite “out of line” with a normal heartbeat. Mine is all over the place, but you know what? It’s still beating and that’s all that matters, really. I trust my doctors, their care, and know that my greatest Physician is just one prayer away.
We will be going to Michigan for more testing this week, and our prayer is that they are able to pinpoint exactly what is going on and be able to find a reasonable and fixable solution. With ZERO surgery required (one can only hope). Time will tell. Until then, we pray for an uneventful weekend where we can just celebrate the 12 years God has blessed us with in our marriage. Also for me personally, I celebrate being able to just hug my sweet daughter this Mother’s Day weekend.
Definitely not what we were expecting this May, but God sure expected it and ya know what? Even predicted it. Now that sure gives me a whole lotta peace! We will keep you posted.