Sunday, July 6, 2014

This is me...


oh yeah, someone's a little lazy this weekend.
that would be me...
I have good news and bad news.
The good news is that I don't have to have surgery...
The bad news is that I won't be having surgery...at least not now.





The main thing I'd been praying for was an accurate confirmed diagnosis from my new doctors, and that we would have communication about what needed to be done. I had the heart cath and angiogram on Wednesday, and learned even more about my health situation. That the aneurysm was still small, that the part of my heart that is dead (non functioning) isn't causing any major risks right now, that I have two main arteries that are not functioning optimally, and another artery has been completely blocked from blood flow because of a previous stent placement. Now I have a picture and a reason for all my chest pain. Poor blood flow to major areas of my chest. One doctor labeled my heart mess as "complicated", the other as "tricky"...

great...




Short and sweet...just not bad enough to risk an open heart surgery, again. Only problem is that I'm still left with the daily pain of angina. I have to admit, when the cardiovascular surgeon realized my problems were not posing any immediate threats, (thank you, Lord) and he felt like the benefit at this time would not justify the risk, I was disappointed. I had hoped that surgery would solve my problems, but the doctor doing the heart cath explained that basically our bodies can only handle two of those major surgeries, and that right now would not be the time.

So I'm back to square one...

How to minimize the pain, and get some strength and stamina back. First thing is trying to find some meds that will accomplish this. There are lot's of heart medications out there, so the new cardiologist is trying to put together a plan that will better open up those vessels and give me the ability back to be more active and productive. Hard to have a life when you're in constant pain. It seems that I have small arteries and that added to the poor condition of them, make for problems.




I'm on a new to me drug that seems to be helping and I'm hoping that it will prove to be a way to take care of some of this without all the trauma of open heart surgery. And trying to be optimistic, I'm going to start cardiac rehab that will work on trying to get some strength back, which also helps regrow smaller arteries and veins for circulation.

So now you know more than you ever wanted to know about me and my wacky heart problems...

And I'm relieved that I don't have to spend the summer recuperating from major surgery. Now, to get the house sold so we're out from under that element of stress.

I feel like I've lost a year of my life because my previous cardiologist didn't have the time or desire to sit down long enough and listen to what I was saying. When doctors don't listen, neglect to tell you what's going on or what they have done, or be willing to look at options, we as patients can find ourselves in a boatload of confusion and poor health. Things could have been radically different if he had just taken the time to "think outside the box" and prescribe some different meds. I'm thankful that I've found a woman cardiologist who puts her patient's well being and future before a beeper and a busy schedule.

'nuff said.

I'm hoping that this is the last of the "woe is me" updates.

Here's to getting my life back...

love you guys, thanks so much for all your prayers and love.


81 comments:

  1. Oh Debra :( I am glad that you are keeping us updated.

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  2. Debra, having been married to a doctor, I can tell you that, although we look at it so different and so personally, they look at it, many of them, as just a job. The female cardiologist sounds like a keeper. I much prefer a woman physician to a man. I don't feel that a man can understand exactly my complaints because he just doesn't have the same equipment. Of course that isn't the case with a heart. I'm glad you don't have to recuperate, but I'm sorry for your pain. I know you're under a lot of stress with that house. I recently got an essential oil diffuser, and you put a few drops of lavender or other soothing oil in water in that and I turn it on at night. It has timer settings. I'm so relaxed in the morning from the soft mist it spreads throughout as a sleep!
    Brenda

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  3. Debra, thank you for letting us know what is going on. I have been thinking about you a lot and praying that your new Dr will have answers for you, and it seems like she does. I feel confident that she is in your corner. With new medication and therapy maybe that will help with your pain and give you new strength. At least she is not a cutter if it's not necessary. Thank God for that. I am sure with your pain reduced and knowing what's going on your stress level will be gone and you will feel so much better.
    Take care of your self and try and enjoy the summer.
    God Bless you,
    Mary

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  4. Will keep you in my prayers - for your health and that you sell your home quickly and for a lot of money. As soon as ours is finished (second floor being done over completely) ours will be on the market too. Retirement is not for sissy's.

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  5. I'm so glad your new cardiologist has come up with a plan to help you feel better, Debra. I hope you improve by leaps and bounds over the summer with your treatment and therapy. Thanks for keeping us posted and take care.

    xo, Vickie

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  6. Will keep you my prayers. My husband and I have been dealing with some major health issues the last few years, and it is very challenging. I'd like to recommend an encouraging book, One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. The following is a condensed description from Amazon:
    'How,' Ann wondered, 'do we find joy in the midst of deadlines, debt, drama, and daily duties? What does the Christ-life really look like when your days are gritty, long--and sometimes even dark? How is God even here?' In One Thousand Gifts, Ann invites you to embrace everyday blessings and embark on the transformative spiritual discipline of chronicling God's gifts. It's only in this expressing of gratitude for the life we already have, we discover the life we've always wanted...a life we can take, give thanks for, and break for others. We come to feel and know the impossible right down in our bones: we are wildly loved--by God. Let Ann's beautiful, heart-aching stories of the everyday give you a way of seeing that opens your eyes to ordinary amazing grace, a way of being present to God that makes you deeply happy, and a way of living that is finally fully alive. Come live the best dare of all!

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  7. Oh my Debra, I'm so sorry to hear all that Well I see the point. Surgery would be not fun, but hopefully woul dhave fixed the problem. So now you are stuck with the problem not being fixed. No fun on your part. Hang in there, praying for you....

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  8. Goodness. It has been over a year since I have read your blog, what a shock to learn of your heart problems. I ask God to give you a wonderful, relaxing summer and that your home sells quickly. I also ask that the new meds to help give you much pain relief.
    blessings, jill

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  9. Hi Debra,

    I'm glad that you are being properly looked after by an honest and caring physician, regardless of the fact that she is a woman. I know you have complete trust in her and so I hope that you will feel better soon with your new meds and be able to enjoy your summer and all that beautiful decorating that you do!

    Take care and have yourself a wonderful weekend!

    Poppy

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  10. Been thinking about you. Keeping you in m y prayers, Hang in there. You got lots of answers and honestly not having surgery is awesome. Hug hugs.

    Now go take a nap with sweet kitty like a good girl............ : - )

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  11. Thank you for the update, Debra. All the best with the cardiac rehab. Praying the new meds work well for you.

    Hoping your home sells quickly and things can settle down for you, in that regard, also!!

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  12. Sounds like good and bad news, but so glad you found a doctor to really listen and care. I know the Lord is in control, so I will keep praying that the new meds help.

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  13. So happy to hear that you found a compassionate doctor and medical staff to explain your heart situation for you. Knowing what's going on is half the battle sometimes. Thinking of you and saying a prayer that they will find the correct combo of meds to give you back some quality of life-health.

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  14. Oh Debra, my prayers are with you. This all must be so frustrating for you. I am so happy to hear that you have found a woman doctor who really listens. I much prefer women doctors overall, although are good and bad ones of both genders. xo Laura

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  15. I'm not certain whether to feel bad that you couldn't have your anticipated surgery, or glad that you have the ability for now to wait for a more ideal time to have it? I'm definitely glad you have a Good Doc who you feel a Peace about the advice of... and who listens and cares... and that you can get the Home sold and relocate without the added stress of a major surgery recovery at the same time. I utilize Eastern Medicine for chronic pain management and perhaps you could balance your Western Medical Treatment with some Eastern Medical Oriental Massages and Accupuncture to ease some of the Chronic Pain? I would do no harm and feels amazing, assisting your body to do what it wants to do Naturally, which is Heal itself. Just a suggestion. Prayers still going up on your behalf my Friend... Blessings from the Arizona Desert... Dawn... The Bohemian

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  16. Thanks for keeping us updated on your progress. It's good that you don't have to have surgery. I'll keep you in my prayers for your pain and for the meds to work for you. Hang in there, and please continue to let us know how you progress. Hugs.

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  17. Well, I'm glad you have some answers, Debra, as I'm sure you are, too. I hope the medication you are on helps because I'm sure you are frustrated at this point with no surgery to fix the problem in your immediate future. I think doctors should explain things to their patients. It can be scary not knowing what is going on with your own body and/or what to do to resolve health issues.

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  18. Glad to hear you have found a better doctor, and one that will listen to you - not just one with a "it works for others" type attitude. Hopefully she can get the right med combination and get you some relief. You have had so much to deal with.
    (((hugs)))
    Hope you are having an enjoyable and safe holiday weekend.

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  19. Well I'm glad to hear that you've gotten the proper care you've been needing. I like female doctors too. They are better listeners! Hope that your new meds will give you some normalcy back.

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  20. It's always a plus when you don't have to have surgery. I'm a big believer in physical therapy so maybe that will help you get some strength back. Hang in there and get the house sold and I bet you will feel so much better. Jan

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  21. Debra,
    I can't begin to image your despair at this time, dear friend!!!
    I do believe that gradual progress is a good thing for you.
    Begin slowly to rebuild your strength and energy.
    Prayers for you and your future endeavors as you move forward
    in your health and beginning a new life once your home $ells!!!
    Thank you for keeping us "in the loop" as your take 'one step at a time'.
    Fondly,
    Pat

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  22. Debra - So good to hear from you. So glad you don't have to have open heart surgery right now. God's timing is perfect so we'll just pray for the perfect combination of meds and physical therapy to take care of the problem. Hang in there! Prayers continue for you and your doctors!

    Judy

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  23. Dear Debra... it sounds like your new cardiologist knows what is best and I am so happy she listened to you, and is taking the time to look at all of your options and choose what is best for you now... I am praying that your new meds help and you can get your strength back and be out of pain soon!... I love you sweet friend, and when you are sad or hurt, I am sad or hurt for you... I think your stress will ease some when you sell your house, and that has got to help too... sending ongoing prayers and lots of love, xoxo Julie Marie

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  24. Oh wow. What a bummer to hear the news that you won't be having the surgery to fix the situation. What a bright light to know you have a smart cardiologist who has performed enough of these to know the success rate and timing. I would say, in a small way, that prayers have been answered. We know our timing may not be God's timing, but knowing she will be there when necessary will hopefully be your beacon of light when the time comes. Good luck with the house sale - we're all behind you, Debra. I hope the new meds with rehab cocktail mix is a good one.
    Rita

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  25. Debra,
    I am so sorry to hear you are still dealing with the pain, but am glad to hear at least you have found a doctor who is really hearing you. Take care!

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  26. I hope you and your doctors can find the right medicine to help keep you out of daily pain. That must be horrible.

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  27. So happy to hear from you. I will continue to remember you in my prayers, and hopefully the new meds will work to make you feel much better.

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  28. So glad you finally have some answers, even if they are not what you wanted to hear. Will be praying for you that God gives you the strength and peace for each new day.
    Cindy

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  29. Sometimes the answers that we want don't come...my heart goes out to you and the pain you are suffering through. I am a Realtor, and if at any time you need advice on how to handle selling your home, I will be glad to help you in any way I can. Maybe my years of experience could help. My prayers are with you during this time.
    Blessings, Teresa
    www.foxhollowtales.com

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  30. I'm so sorry Debra. I can understand your frustration, and I'm sorry that a better fix isn't in the works right now. Hopeful on your behalf that these new medications will work and that you will regain some strength and stamina soon. Hang in there, thanks for sharing with us all.

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  31. I am sorry the surgery is not an option for your heart, but glad you will not have to recuperate over the summer. Be good and work hard in cardiac rehab - it helped me a lot. Also look into grain-free diets - my cardiologist has me on a strict one now and it has made a big difference in the way I feel. Get plenty of rest and sleep when you can. You are in the hands of God with prayers surrounding you. Be well, my friend.

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  32. Glad to hear the news is good that maybe with a less evasive start with new meds to see if you can start to feel better would be your Dr.'s first choice. I hope this will work for you. Keeping you in my prayers and good wishes.
    Hugs,
    Kris

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  33. Debra,
    Sounds like your new Dr has a plan.... Good news that you do not have to spend months recovering from major surgery, but can focus on regaining stamina and strength through another way.

    Have a wonderful week...

    Judith

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  34. Father, I pray for Debra that the new medicine will work, the area not working because of the stint will begin to have blood flow, that the pain would cease and that she would have restored stamina and energy! In Jesus' Name. Amen!

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  35. Adding my 'Amen' to that well worded prayer!!! Wow.....such news!!! This doctor is a keeper.....Praise God....

    Glad the new meds are starting to take effect......glad there is no operation for now........glad you will be doing rehab, its worth it!! Please don't think you are a 'woe is me' gal.......we are so grateful you are comfortable with sharing with us.

    My sister has had strokes, the most recent during an operation to remove a portion of intestine. Her heart is operating at a 35% because of blockages, no operations in sight for her........the meds are helping her.....BUT....the biggest part is the rehab she is going through.....she did not want to do this, hemmed and hawed for a long time.......finally she agreed........going 3x a week now, loves it.....AND......all of a sudden is feeling so much better.....AND.....has energy!!! Imagine that??? She just started picking up some of her old hobbies and feels so much better about herself.........light at the end of the tunnel. You can do this, we are all praying for you.....hugs.....

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  36. It sounds like your in very good, qualified hands now. Until recently I didn't realize there are so many different medications for the heart. I felt awful on one they out me on. I thought oh well I guess this is how it's going to be. The dr. quickly told me NO we can try different ones until we find the right fit, WOW, what a difference that made! I pray your home sells fast. That's adding a real burden to your life right now too. Eliminate anything from your life that's adding stress....as much as possible at least. Your in my prayers. This may sound minor but include drinking a lot of water all day. I know I was surprised how much that helped. Take care ❤️

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  37. Debra--Thanks so much for the update. I have been thinking of you!

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  38. Now you are in better hands. Thanks for sharing this with us. Hopefully your new meds will relieve some of that pain for you.

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  39. So happy that you have found a great doctor that communicates and that you are comfortable with. I pray that the new medicine regime works. All the best.

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  40. Dear Debra:
    I'm so happy to see you blogging! I know you are a little disappointed (a lot maybe :) not having surgery, but you found answers and a doc that is willing to help/work with you. I hope you can become even stronger and pain free and have a wonderful summer. Looking foward to reading more lovely posts from you!
    xo
    Roselle

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  41. Thanks for updating us all on your heart situation Debra! I'm so glad your new doctor is listening and definitely more proactive than your old one. I'll be praying that the new meds will result in less pain for you and you can enjoy a restful summer...just like little kitty there :)

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  42. Praying for your heart to miraculously regenerate, for blood flow to increase, for freedom from pain, for comfort and peace.

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  43. Debra, I'm so sorry to hear you've been suffering. But I'm glad you've found a doctor who is working effectively with you and getting to a solution. I hope the new medication works wonders and your pain will dissipate. Finding the right doctor can be critical and it sounds like you're on the right path. Kitty is adorable! :) Good luck on the house sale!

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  44. Glad to hear you finally have some answers! Will keep you in my prayers that they find a medication regimen that works for you! Try to keep positive and luv on that cute little kitty!!!~~Angela

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  45. well maybe this is the simple answer you have been looking for--some relief to the pain without surgery and it sounds like you are finding that with this new medication and a dr who is listening!
    Had to chuckle at the end when you said no more woe is me updates, --just glad you did share. I am like you, I would rather share the happy and creative parts of my life. But sometimes you just have to, you have lots of bloggie friends who care :)

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  46. Oh, Debra. I haven't been in touch for awhile and really didn't realize the extent of what you are going through. I'm so sorry for your pain but glad you finally were able to get some solid answers. I have a woman doc and am so much happier with her. I'm glad you have faith in her as that alone is a step to recovery. I'm glad the new meds are working better for you and try to relax and enjoy the summer. Easier said than done, sometimes..Take care, Judy

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  47. Debra,
    It's so good to hear from you. Hoping that the new meds will make you feel better soon. Glad that your new doc is hearing what you are telling her.

    Blessings,
    Linda

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  48. Happy you have some clarification and that you found a doctor you like. Praying for you sweet friend...
    Blessings,
    Cindy

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  49. Just so you know, I don't consider any of your health related posts to be 'woe as me.' Ever. I'm sorry you didn't the kind of answer you hoped for but I'll be sending positive prayers for your cardio rehab and your new medication. And thank goodness for your woman specialist, I'm so glad you're in good hands now.
    xo
    Leslei

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  50. Hoping this new med plan works out for you. I feel it will! Take care of yourself. Praying for you.

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  51. I am glad you have a more concerned doctor now and hope you find the right meds.

    I wish for the house to sell quickly because selling a house is stressful at any time, much less when your health isn't good.

    Thinking of you!

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  52. Hang in there, Debra. You have many people praying for you.

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  53. Thank you for taking the time to share your health info with us. It must be hard to sit down and write it all out, but we do care and we do want to know how you are feeling. In our crazy health system, we really have to be our own advocates, which is soooo hard to do when one doesn't feel well or is in pain. Glad to hear you are going to cardiac rehab, I wish they had some kind of program for those of us with chronic pain from other causes. They say that having a positive attitude helps, so keep up the good job in that department!

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  54. I never though your sharing with us about your concerns were ever a "woe is me". As friends we want to know and be educated about what is happening to you. I hope your home sell fast, and I believe this load off your back will help greatly. I'm happy you do not have to have surgery, I also hoping you new medicine will get helping you feel better and so will your cardiac therapy! Please share with us and never worrry, we are hear for you.

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  55. Thank the universe for your new doctor who listens!! I've taken care of far too many whose doctors didn't...
    I'm glad she wasn't ready to rush in and "heal with steel", as too many do.
    Sending you thoughts for improved medicine treatment ~

    bobbie

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  56. I am so happy that you won't be undergoing such delicate surgery, Debra. And happy that you are feeling that at least you've gotten some answers to the questions you've been asking. I will keep praying that your cardiac rehab will help give you the quality of life that you certainly deserve. Keep the faith, sweetie. God is helping you along this path.

    xoxo laurie

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  57. Debra, I'm glad you gave us an update. I've been thinking about you. Hang in there and continue to take care. All the best to you.

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  58. So happy that you did get some good answers, even though not what you were thinking. A compassionate, attentive doctor is such an answer to prayer. I can't imagine how frustrating it must have been to feel like your doc wasn't taking good care of you. Praying the rights meds will be figured out quickly, and the cardiac rehab will have you feeling stronger and more in control of things. I know it will be a relief to be finished with the house business, too!

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  59. It sounds like you finally found a competent doctor who listens, Debra. Hopefully the new medicine will help and you get rid of the pain soon and can enjoy life again. Take good care of yourself. I'll be thinking of you.
    Hugs,
    Julia

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  60. Thanks for the update and stopped this morning after reading your post and prayed for you! Hugs and blessings, Cindy

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  61. Oh Debra, I'm sorry you have to be going through this trial - and quite a trial it is. On the one hand, it is a relief that you don't need major open heart surgery, but on the other hand you quite understandably want these heart complications FIXED. You shouldn't have to live with constant pain and low stamina. I'm glad to hear you found a more compassionate doctor, who's willing to try what it takes to relieve your discomfort and talk things through. I'll pray that your new meds help you and that you have a better summer. You are a strong woman!
    Lots of love,
    Susan

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  62. I hope and pray you get relief from your pain and it is nice to know that the doctors are not jumping into surgery...Sounds like your cardiologist is looking after you in a great manner....Thoughts and prayers to you Debra!

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  63. We are on the road, but I was so happy to see your post pop up! Nice to have an update. I'm glad you have some answers and a direction to go. Love the pictures you shared too!

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  64. Sweet Debra, it's always good to know what id happening in your life! So sorry that the news might not be what you wanted to hear... but very happy that you have a cardiologist you can trust and is helping your problem with new meds.
    I have you in my prayer journal and will continue to pray for you. I pray that your will be pain free! Lots of love and prayers.

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  65. Thank you too for the update! Cardiac rehab is great, new medicine is good, you are on the way to a better life style just be patient:) Praying for you the best, and keeping you in my thoughts!

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  66. Oh, I hope and pray everything goes really well for you, Debra, with the new meds and the rehab! It's so easy to feel intimidated by "Dr.s" because of their training and perceived skills, but we should all remember that we are the ones paying and they are essentially working for us. If we don't feel comfortable with the work they are doing, then we should just move on. I've had to do that a few times and it's pretty empowering. So again I say, good luck to you!

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  67. It is like putting a puzzle together and it sounds like you found a good doctor to help you:) Hope you get your life back and feel better and better every day! Sending hugs and prayers your way!

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  68. Just a short note of thanks for taking the time to update us all on your ongoing health issues. I've thought of you every time I saw a Pin from you! I always offered a prayer for you too. Hang in there and let us know if there is anything we can do to help you.

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  69. Debra, This is my first time checking out your blog. Just want you to know that I am praying for you. Praying that whether God uses the doctors and medical science or a flat out miracle, you will totally recover and be restored from the heart condition. August 1994 I suffered a brain aneurysm and through God's hand and the hands of a skilled surgeon who just "happened" to be at the hospital where they took me, my life was spared and without any after effects. I give Him all the glory! Be encouraged, God is faithful. Sending you hugs of encouragement and peace, Veronica

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  70. Thanks for the update Debra. I'm sorry to hear about the pain you are going through but glad to hear no surgery although I know in a way you had hoped for this but only if it would fix things. I am sending positive thoughts to you and once again if you ever need any help I'm not that far away. I truly hope you feel better soon. Your new doctor sounds like she really cares enough to find the right solution for you.

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  71. Hello sweet Debra...so sorry for what you are going through. I've been unplugged for a while and missed this but you are in my thoughts and prayers and am sending you a hug.

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  72. Well, at least you can rest in the thought that you know exactly what is going on and that there is a logical, definite plan in place. I trust you mind is more at ease now about this and that you can progress and, yes,...improve! Enjoy your summer now that you don't have a major surgery hanging over your head.
    Prayers, Michele

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  73. Yay!! That is good news! If you and your dear heart can be strengthened without surgery that is super wonderful. God is answering our prayers. Now...we will pray that you can be relieved of the pain and for your house gets sold. What a relief that will be for you. I love the photos of your kitty in the chair. Mine had to go to kitty heaven. Give yours an extra cuddle for me.

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  74. Debra, been a crazy summer and I haven't made it over in a while. Was thinking about you and was hoping you were feeling better. So sorry to hear that you still have pain, but you take it easy and we will all be praying that this new medication works for you. Sounds like you have a wonderful Dr. that knows what she is talking about. You are an amazing woman and in my prayers often!
    hugs,
    Jann

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  75. I am so glad you finally got more answers. I know for me, and my breast cancer diagnosis this year, the waiting for answers, for results, was always way worse then the pain of treatment. I am glad you have a good doctor, don't have to have surgery at this time, and can start moving forward. Sending lots of love your way.

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  76. Wow, it seems you have really been on a roller coaster with this, I hope you can find some meds to help with the pain so you don't have to deal with it all the time. I will keep you in my prayers Debra!

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  77. Debra ~ I am putting you on my extra prayers needed prayer list. Have you tried CoQ10? Ask your doctor if it would be safe for you. It is a supplement but is an naturally occurring element in our bodies that diminishes with age. From what I understand it makes the blood vessels more elastic. My Mom used to use it. She had congestive heart failure and her cardiologist thought it was a good addition to her meds. She told me that the moment she started taking it she felt better. You are in my thoughts and prayers sweetie. I want you to feel well enough to continue blogging for many more years to come.

    Big Texas Hugs,
    Susan and Bentley

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  78. Hi Sweetie,
    God works in strange ways sometimes, doesn't He? Praying His peace, strength, joy, and healing for you. It was so great to share a few laughs!! I know He has you in the palms of His mighty hands, and there is truly no better place to be. You are such a trooper!! You go girl!! He is continuing to work on your behalf, and your are a testimony to His goodness and grace!
    Love and Hugs,
    Becky

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  79. So sorry to read about your heart problems... I pray for you to get your strength back and to feel at peace with it all... especially the waiting. Selling a house can be stressful so praying it all transitions smoothly for you!
    Have a lovely weekend, your cat on that chair is just perfect!

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  80. Dear Debra,

    It seems you have been on quite the journey with your health. I'm glad you found a new and caring physician and one that has your best interests in hand. I Wish surgery was an option especially if it would fix your everyday pain and issues with your arteries so you would be more comfortable. We will continue to keep you in our prayers. We know from all the surgeries my Dad has endured these past 6 years what it's like to have health issues ... Take Care and know that so many people are praying for you and care about you !

    Blessings Sara and Abbey

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