Saturday, June 18, 2011

being real

You all are just the best; the sweetest, most loving and thoughtful people that any person could ask for as friends. I literally had tears fall as I read all your comments from my last post. Thank you so much for your concern and prayers. Time to share what's been going on in my life for the last 8 years. I'll try to "make a long story short"-er.

My dad had cardiovascular disease and died from it ten years ago. I had my first heart attack when I was 49 years old; three in fact, in one weekend. I hadn't had any discernible symptoms beforehand. I had what I thought was a pinched nerve in my right arm. I never imagined you could have pain like that. It felt like my arm was being ripped off. Three of these episodes starting on a Friday afternoon, and ending with me in the ER on a Monday morning at 6:30 am.

Here's my backstory.
One thing you may or may not know about me is that I have a deep "call" from God for ministry. I have since I was a teenager, and then again as an adult in my early 40's. I've worked with women's ministries, teaching and writing Bible Studies. I call them, "not your mother's Bible Studies", but down to earth, real life, nitty gritty. Where women can talk about "whatever" and "everything" without feeling judged. I've worked with everyday moms and housewives to addicts of all kinds...and everyone in between.

So, after three major heart attacks, I was pronounced to be lucky that I was alive, but had a huge aneurysm that was inoperable. My doctor told me that I could sneeze and die.
great news to hear.

this was 8 and 1/2 years ago.

I had a stent put in and was being readied to be sent home to wait for the inevitable. My response to the doctor was that I appreciated the information, but I was going to stand in my conviction that God was in charge of my life and I had a gut knowing that I didn't have to worry; God would heal me.

The end of that week in the hospital, they did more tests and the aneurysm wasn't to be found.
this was documented,
on the record.
in my chart.
My doctor shook his head and agreed it could only be God.

But by the end of the month the stent had failed and my artery had collapsed. I spent a week in the hospital while I waited for open heart surgery. A triple bypass... at 49... 115 lbs., non-smoker, good diet...but lot's of stress and a family tree that was flawed.

My dear brother died at age 44, with a heart attack in the exact same spot, just one year after my first heart attack.

Fast forward six years,
more stress,
and another near heart attack, with another stent.

And in the last two years I've had constant chest pain. They call it stable angina, because it's non life-threatening...just constant pain. not debilitating, but troublesome and noticeable, like a bad headache or a toothache.

sometimes hard to focus on other things.

Nothing "stable" about it.

It messes with your head, your emotions, your relationships, and it can try to mess with your faith.
That one has been the toughest part.

I've had to juggle multiple medications, add, subtract, try something new.
be sick.
be mad.
be humbled.
be fearful.

All while trusting God,
believing God,
having faith in God.
loving God.
waiting for God...

It's gotten worse since Mother's Day weekend, when I had a bad dizzy spell and woke up to pain twice as bad and resistant to medication than before. We've been trying increased medication, but the doctor finally decided that it was time to do another heart cathaterization (angiogram) to find out if there was a blockage or not.
not a fun procedure.

nothing had changed.

no blockage...which is good.
but I'm still left with pain that is basically not going away.

there are times I'd like to just give all my junk away and walk away from it.
but I enjoy that part of my life.
I'm working on paring down, and to get my life where it needs to be.

so, here I am...
still loving life.
and determined not to be labeled or "defined" by this situation.

I love blogging,
and I'll do it as long as God has a purpose for it.
I've made deep friendships; ones that I pray go beyond the computer and a pretty picture.
You all enrich my life.
I hope I bring something of value to each of you.

I may not be able to respond one on one to each of you,
but just know,
I know who you are,
I know what you've said,
and I love you.

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