I’m not even sure where to begin! First off, I am still feeling the affects of my anesthesia from my TEE test, so I’m a little out of it to say the least – words are hard to come by, but I will try my hardest to describe the events of the day.
We had to be at Spectrum Health’s heart center at 8:30 this morning, and my nurse said we could do valet parking, so that was a perk of the day :). The doctors were a little behind schedule, so I didn’t get into the procedure room for my TEE til about 10:15ish I think. The nurses were great and encouraging as you can be while I was gargling gel and getting stuff sprayed in the back of my throat to numb my throat/esphogus. That stuff was absolutely disgusting! I just kept thinking of Gogurt to make myself think it tasted good. It worked! Then they started to give me my sleepy meds and I went out. I do remember coming to a few times and gagging on the ultrasound scope that was put down my throat, but Dr. Sherman said she got some good images. Apparently I was in there for like a hour (it seemed like 20 minutes to me) but I came back to the recovery room, with apparently some interesting things to say. I guess I talked about being in the “egg” position in my bed and how much I love the “egg.” And many other wierd things that I can’t remember, but you’ll just have to ask Dan. And on our way to see our new nephew (Zachary (Zach) Thomas Sterk, born to Tom and Kari) who was born the day before at Spectrum, I asked if I had all my clothes on – why I have no idea. Good thing they told me “yes.”
Now to the tough part – and yes it was tough. I first want to say that there were little things that happened yesterday – people telling us they have been praying for years for us – for a miracle. Dan and I also had glimpses of hope that just maybe the doctors would tell us my mitral valve was healing. So we were going into today with hope I guess. I did not remember everything when Dr. Sherman spoke to Dan and my mom (who so graciously came with us today), so they had to tell me later when I was able to comprehend everything. The good news? I do not need open heart surgery yet. That is a huge blessing. I will still probably need it eventually (and I’m starting to think it may be sooner than later, but that is completely unknown) Here is where we lost a little hope: my mitral valve is not getting better – it’s at the moderate stage and it’s taking a step towards the severe stage. It’s not severe, but it’s starting to head that way. NOT what we wanted to hear – it’s even hard to type that just b/c I was really not 100% ready to hear that. I knew that after almost 10 years the probability of it getting better is slim, but I just thought maybe today would be the day they would say it was getting better. Before it was on the moderate/mild side – now it’s moderate, heading towards severe. That was hard to swallow. On the other hand, they did not rule out pregnancy, nor have they given the okay. It sounds like I will never be given the “okay” but a “you can, BUT…” So at the same time we got an answer about the mitral valve, we still really have no answers. NO ANSWERS. That is not what we were hoping. It’s just not God’s timing yet. I now have to go through a stress test (I really dislike those b/c they make you run until you feel like you’re going to have a heart attack and then make you lie completely still on a bed, while you’re sweating your butt off). The stress test will figure out how well my heart responds to stress, to determine a little clearer how it might handle a pregnancy. In my mind, the last thing I want to do is go through another test. Another test just reminds me how I still have issues and each time they get harder to deal with. But Dan said, hopefully it’s just one more step towards the answers we are looking for. Dan prayed today, that God, you know what type of kids we are supposed to have – biological, adopted, or youth group kids, and He knows best. God knows the best way to use us in His kingdom and we just have to accept the life He has given us TODAY.
At the same time, I feel numb. I don’t know what to feel. It came out as tears today. I’m sure it will come out as tears tomorrow. Right now I feel nothing (which may be a good thing.) I feel like I’m back to where I was before – not knowing – wondering why – and with the knowledge that I am not getting better. But then I realize that today it wasn’t a for sure NO for kids. That gives me hope – but I’m getting drained from having hope, then having that hope dissipate. But this afternoon when I was thinking about all this, I’m putting my hope in my earthly body and not in God. God is the ONLY TRUE source of hope. I DREAM for the day that the doctors tell me that I am healed – but that may not be til I go to heaven and receive my perfect body (which makes me cry b/c I long to just be healthy). Having a condition that is internal, reminds me daily how fragile life is and how each day, we don’t know what it’s going to bring. You’d think after 10 years I would come to grips with it – but I haven’t. The next few days and weeks, until I have my stress test, are going to be hard. But I am trying to live in the hope that God gives and not base my life on what I WANT, but what accept the life God has given me today.
So…today is not what we were hoping for – we wanted answers and got few. We were praying for healing of the valve, but heard the opposite. Not what we were thinking. But this is where God wants us and God knew before I was born, that this is what we were going to hear. And so we move on from this, accepting what we cannot understand sometimes, and continue to pray that God gives us direction and the hope that we can only find in Him.
Thank you to everyone who has been praying – we ask that you please continue to as today was hard to accept, but that we would live in the confidence of God’s perfect plan.