Saturday, December 29, 2012

Christmas...

has come and gone.  It was a pretty good Christmas.  We missed having mom around to celebrate the holiday, but other than that, we enjoyed our day.  The kids woke us up at 650, and we begged for 10 more minutes of sleep, but they were too excited.  So we got up, and they loved their presents.  We went to David's brother's house for dinner and it was good as well.


I really don't have much to update y'all on about my heart.  I'm still wearing this monitor, and to be honest, I can't remember how many more days I have left to wear it.  When I get rid of it, I'm not going to know how to act without something being attached to me!  I still have so much soreness going on, and I don't know why.  It seems like one day, the soreness just came back for no reason.  I'm still on the same medications, and I've met a lot of customers at work who've had some kind of heart surgery.  They always want to compare notes bc they can't believe a person as young as I am had to have open heart surgery.  What they don't realize is that there are lots of babies that have heart surgery all the time.  Some have it as soon as they are born.  I am lucky to have lived this long before having the surgery, and I couldn't imagine having my babies go through this.  It just goes to show that you can be any age, healthy or unhealthy, and still have some curve ball like this thrown at you.  If I could get rid of this soreness though, it would be great.  I wake up so stiff every morning, and it takes a little while to be able to get up and move around.

Anyway, I will update when I have something :)

Hope everyone had a great Christmas! I'm hoping for a great 2013 since the last 6 months of 2012 pretty much sucked.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

So heartbroken...

I can't help but to mention the tragedy that struck Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown CT yesterday.  A guy (whose name I will not mention bc he doesn't deserve the publicity) killed his mom, went to this elementary school, and shot and killed 20 1st graders, the principal, school therapist, and teacher.  This is the most unfair, cruel, evil thing anyone could ever do.  He took the sissy way out, and killed himself afterwards.  I have no sympathy for him, I can't bring myself to understand why he did this.  I believe that there are psychotic illnesses out there, but there is absolutely NO excuse to go shooting innocent babies.  There are no words to what I feel for their families.  I couldn't imagine losing a child, especially in such a violent way.  Those parents shouldn't have to feel pain like that.  The teachers did what they could, and I commend them for it.  I just know there has to be a special place in hell for him.  All I could do when I heard this, besides cry, is pray.  I wanted to go pick up my kids from school and hug them so tightly.  And after I got them from school, that's what I did.  They thought I was a little nuts, but I told them that I loved them and that I was allowed to hug them as much as I want.  I don't know what I could say to the parents that lost their beautiful children.  I hate so much that someone did this.  It's one of the saddest things I've ever seen or heard of.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Little of this, little of that...

I received my new heart monitor in the mail.  I have to wear it for 30 days.  Oh joy!  Anyway, I have 3 leads I have to attach and wear all the time, with this almost Zach Morris phone looking thing that lets me record an event or read new messages.  At least it's not as bad as the portable defibrillator I was wearing.  It's supposed to be my last "test".  I pass this, I shouldn't need the defib implanted.  Fingers crossed.  Work is going ok, I am glad I was able to start back, but I am a little apprehensive when I'm there.  I've been behaving though, not lifting anything too heavy, but still working hard.  

I had a rough moment today.  I got out of the shower and had to change the batteries in the monitor, and charge the other part of it...then I put on a shirt that wasn't very low cut, just low enough that one could see the straps, wires, leads, and my zipper.  So I was aggravated, and had to put on a tshirt over it.  So self-conscious and aggravating...I sent David a pic and asked him if I was sexy, haha...he said, "yep", lol.  Just that word from him was enough to make me stop crying and feel a little better.  I keep meaning to talk to my doctor about this, but I keep forgetting.  

Well, I'm going to finish this boring little post with a last thought...it's so sad to see that reality shows need subtitles now...for English!  Or whatever they call that...I swear!

And in case anyone either wasn't alive or didn't own a tv "back then", here is a pic of Zach with his phone.  Gotta love Saved by the Bell!

Zack Morris...thanks google images!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Week 1 down...

Week 1 at work is down.  I'm out of my Metoprolol, which wasn't exactly planned...hopefully, it'll be ok until tomorrow.  I've felt some flutters this evening, since getting off work.  I hope everything is ok.  I'm sure it is; probably just tired.

Anyway, there was a write-up in the paper today about my surgeon.  He is pretty awesome, and apparently, smart, haha.  Here it is:

minimally invasive MVR repair

I think this is just one of the many advances in the future for heart surgery.  Less invasive equals a quicker recovery for otherwise healthy people.  Dr. Hunter told me that if my problem had only been MVR (mitral valve regurgitation), then he would have done that surgery on me.  But since I had the ASD to go along with it, there was no choice but to do open heart.

There's also another article about new heart procedures for high-risk patients.  Here is that link:


new procedure for high-risk patients

The coolest thing is that this group of cardiothoracic surgeons are the ones that took care of me.  I never doubted their ability to do what they needed to do for me, I only doubted my body's ability to handle it.  These guys are part of Augusta, GA-basically, home…15 minutes from home for me.  I didn't have to get sent off to Emory or the Cleveland Clinic for a heart transplant.  Dr. Hunter came here from the Cleveland Clinic, and I've been told he's one of the best.  My cardiologist said that he came here to introduce the minimally invasive MVR repair.

Well, it's only 951, but I've got to go to bed.  I'm super tired, but I just needed to boast!  Night!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Busy week

It really has been a very busy week.  It was my first week back at work.  And it was super busy...I can definitely tell that my endurance is still low.  I know it'll get better, but it's taking a while.  The week back at work wasn't too bad.  I am happy I could go back, and I'm happy I got to see the people I work with (even though I shop there all the time), and the customers have been awesome.  A lot of them thought I quit, some asked the employees and they told them I'd had surgery, and some just thought I was on a long vacation.  Some vacation, huh...

Anyway, I haven't gotten that monitor yet, but the company called yesterday to tell me that it will be here Tues.  I'll have to wear it for 30 days.  Thank goodness it's not 3 months, which is what Dr. Lane originally told me.  Sometimes, I get pains or soreness in my chest, and I wonder if something is going on.  I hope this monitor confirms that I'm going to be ok.  I still have thoughts and nightmares that this isn't over.  I am still experiencing anxiety, and I need to let Dr. Lane know.  I keep forgetting to call.  I'm scared something is going to happen.  It's kinda stupid to feel this way, probably.

So this semester is basically over.  I just turned in a big paper.  I've always made As on her papers (this is the 4th class I've had with her), but with all that I've had going on, I don't think I did as well.  In one of my Kinesiology classes, I made an A, and in the 2nd one, I was 8/10 of a point away from an A.  Seriously, an 89.2, ugh!!!!  I just had to get one more question right on my final, and that would have been an A.  I'm kinda bummed about that, as he'd already told us that he wouldn't round up.  I wish I could get credit for finishing the class early.  Anyway, I don't know where I stand in my 3rd class, the one I just wrote a paper for.  This paper is worth 300 points, so it can make you or break you.  I hope that I can get out of there with a B, but we'll see.  It's been a tough semester, trying to keep up, making up stuff.  The other day, we had a pop quiz on our readings.  It's always 2 questions, and they are worth 10 points each.  Guess what I made...a big, fat goose egg.  Guess why...bc I read the 3 articles, but they were the wrong ones.  I apparently jumped a day ahead.  So the readings that were due for that day were skipped over for some reason.  Oh well, thank goodness they aren't worth much.  I'm so ready to be done!!!!

Well, this was a BORING update.  Just thought I'd log in and post something, rather than neglecting this blog.  By the way, a quick prayer for my grandparents would be awesome right now.  Grandpa was in the hospital just over a month ago, and now, Grandma just got out of the hospital.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Quick note...

Dr. Lane called me again tonight...she got my results in from my cardiac MRI.  She said there are no signs of VSD, ASD, ARVD, or anything else that's bad.  Everything is looking great, and I'll still have to get that monitor tomorrow, but that is mainly for hers and my peace of mind.  I was feeling a little anxious today, so I'm glad I got some verification.  I was a little tired this afternoon, and I was laying down.  I wasn't planning on going to sleep, but I dozed off a couple of times.  Well, each time I dozed off, I jerked awake bc I was "dreaming" or something that I was dying...not a good feeling, I'm telling you.  So I sat up...it weirded me out a little (fine, a lot), but hopefully, I'll sleep good tonight since I got the news from Dr. Lane.  Fingers crossed xxxx


Monday, November 26, 2012

Dr. Lane called me this morning!!!

She said that I can go back to work this Thursday!  Which means that I can go back next week, since the schedule is already made out.  But, I've reached another snafu...she hasn't gotten the results back from my cardiac MRI yet, so she is working on that today.  Also, she read my 24 hour holter results from the other week, and most of it looked good, but I did have a little bit of arrythmia.  So, now we have to go with another monitor.  As soon as she calls me back, I'll have to go pick up the monitor and wear it for 3 more months.  Which sucks so bad!!!!!  But, it's better than no answers at all, or worse than that.  She said that this will be the last test.  I don't think I'll have to get that defibrillator put in, I think that's the reason for all these tests, to avoid it if it's unnecessary.  But if I have to have it implanted, I'd like to just get it over with :/

Seriously though, who wants to have this implanted?????

------>> Defib implant

Dr. Lane was worried that I may have ARVD (arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia) and that is why we've been doing so many tests, and why she hasn't let me go back to work yet.  ARVD means that my normal pericardium has been replaced by fibrofatty tissue.  It is usually what causes sudden death in many athletes.  You ever hear of athletes who seem perfectly healthy and fall down and die when no one knew there was a serious condition?  Yeah, that...that is what she was talking about.  But she said that she didn't see any signs of it, so I should be ok.  That totally doesn't make me feel better.  Ever since I found out about this, I've had death in the back of my mind...well, middle of my mind...not near the front, but definitely not far behind.  I'm definitely scared about that.

I'm happy with my cardiologist, I still don't like her office staff.  She has different offices, and I suppose I could try those, but her office at the hospital is better equipped AND it's at the heart institute...so since I heard from her, I'll keep going to that office.  For now...

So, I'm happy I can go back to work!!!  She's supposed to be faxing my return to work form today, so fingers crossed they do what they are supposed to do.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Sickies update...

I had to take the kids to the pedi the other day...they weren't getting better despite all that I was doing.  I'm one of those who used to take their child in for any little fever.  I got smarter when I realized that I was wasting money bc they were doing the same thing I was at home.  So before I take them in now, I try to remedy it myself.  Don't get me wrong, I take them when they need it, but not for every little thing.  By Mon though, I felt that there was nothing else I could do.  The pedi said that they had the flu. The CDC had predicted the wrong strain of the flu for this year, and so the vaccines weren't helping.  So she sent the pharmacy some prescriptions for them, and they helped tremendously.  Gage is allergic to penicillin products (as am I), so he had to take Omnicef.  Rianna got Augmentin.  They both got Albuterol for their coughs.  They missed 4 days of school, but finally! they are well again!  David is getting there.  I got the sickies a little later, but they did hit me, and I am trying to keep from going nuts!  I hate congestion the most, and of course, that's what has got me.  I ran a fever for 2 days, but it never went above 101.  I think I'm pretty lucky.  I am just glad everyone is better.  

We took Rianna out to eat for her birthday tonight.  She chose Logan's, though we are not fans like we used to be.  But it was her night, so we went.  This Thurs is Thankgiving.  I am not excited about it.  Mom won't be here.  One thing mom loved was the holidays.  On Thanksgiving, everyone came here (they still will).  Christmas would be awesome also, but this year will suck.  Last year, we spent Christmas in Florida with mom and dad, and it was so awesome!  We spent Christmas Day on the beach, swimming and getting a tan!  We were all supposed to go again this Christmas, but it won't happen.  Mom was ready to book the trip too.  She was so excited.  We talked about how she and I had to recover from our surgeries and be ready to lay out and soak up the rays again.  I miss her more and more every day.  Especially the more I think about things we'd talked about, things that we did together, etc.  So, it's going to be hard, but we will try our best to honor her.  

Anyway, bedtime...don't forget your prayers...

November 17th

This may post as Nov 18, but that's bc it's after midnight.  Today is Rianna's birthday.  She is 9.  I swear, I love everything about that girl!  We always say that the reason she is so headstrong and stubborn is bc of her fight to make it out of the womb.  I was on bed rest for 6 months when pregnant with her.  The doctors were ready to deliver her when I was 16 weeks pregnant to save me, but she held on.  She was only a few ounces at that time, and I begged and promised and prayed that I could finish the pregnancy.  So 24 weeks of bed rest, it was.  I would do it all over again if I had to.  David and I knew then that we had a special little lady.  It's one of the reasons her middle name is Faith.

Rianna was born at 409pm, Nov 17th.  I had no medications with her.  In the 8 hours of labor I experienced with her, I passed out numerous times, talked to everyone on the planet, had an argument with my mother and the anesthesiologist that punked out and wouldn't give me my drugs, watched the Food Network, and held on strong to David's and mom's (Nancy's) hands.  When she was born, she was so adorable, and clean.  Not a blemish on her.  The nurses commented about how smooth and clean she was, not all wrinkly and stuff.  Oh, I love a wrinkly baby too, don't get me wrong, but it was like she was born a perfectionist.  She smiled during her 1st bath in the nursery (David had wheeled me to the nursery to watch), and when they 1st laid her on my chest after she was born, she held her head up.  Seriously lifted her head up!  We knew then that we had our hands full!

It seems like Rianna grew up way too fast.  I think that we all feel that way about our babies.  One reason I think it happened is bc she became a big sister at 2.  So instead of focusing all of our attention on her, we had 2 to divide attention with.  She learned everything so early.  David and Rianna had a specific routine for the evenings.  I used to work the evenings, so they were home together then.  After dinner, he'd give her a bath, they'd brush teeth, get lotioned up and dressed, and then played.  She learned her numbers and how to trace them, her colors, letters and how to trace them, and names of every electronic/appliance in the house!  At bedtime, they would go through the house and name everything.  In the kitchen-"Whirlpool Gold refrigerator", "WG microwave", "lights on/off",  etc...it was a 30-45 min routine, naming everything.  But it was fun.  On nights that I was home, I'd let them go through their routine without bothering them.

One thing we loved was that she was not a cartoon baby.  She loved PTI on ESPN, and golf.  She knew who Tiger Woods was early on, and had her 1st set of golf clubs at a year old.  She has always loved to play golf, and we tell people that our babies were born with golf clubs in their hands.

Rianna loved to be read to, and learned how to read early.  She still loves to read, and that makes me happy.  She is super smart, has won a writing contest for her grade, school, and county!  She's won the spelling bee, she makes straight As, and she has a lot of friends.  She is compassionate, and hates when people bully others.  She does not discriminate against anyone, no matter what.  She adores a little boy at school who is in a wheelchair and can't speak.  She loves animals, and cries every single time she sees an ASPCA commercial.  She donates her birthday gifts to the children's hospital.  No one told her she should do this, she just asked me one year about kids in the hospital.  She does 5k walks for the causes with me.  She is very emotional, and doesn't hold anything in.  Unfortunately, bc mom died 2 months ago, she's had to experience death.  I hate that the kids had to go through that.  We miss mom.  Mom had a special bond with each of her grandkids, a different one with each.

I love my baby girl's heart.  I know we clash sometimes, but I think it's a mother/daughter norm.  I love her with all my heart and I don't know what I'd do without her.  So Happy Birthday, my Rianna, I love you so much, and so does your daddy and brother, and all of your family.

Oh yeah, I'll update about illnesses in the next post.

Monday, November 12, 2012

News!!!!

I'm still taking care of 2 sick kids and a sick husband, while trying to keep myself healthy.  I am not sure what getting sick would be like for me, and I am not ready to find out.  Anyway, so today, I kept the kids and David home, and made them stay in the bed all day.  I didn't want more germs spread around, and I knew that they needed rest in order to get better.  Of course, they were just happy they didn't have to go to school.  I have bottles of hand sanitizer in EVERY room.  You know how you visit someone at the hospital and you have to use it before you go in, and when you leave, as do the nurses and docs?  That was my house.  I went around and Lysoled everything too. 

 I had class at 1, so I told the hubs that he'd be able to take care of things for a couple of hours.  I went to class, and when I got out, I had a message from my cardiologist's nurse.  She said that they had gotten my MRI results back (so soon, so unusual for doctors, lol), and while she didn't know why, Dr. Lane had told her to call me.  I needed to go to the Heart & Vascular center (where I had my surgery), and get a holter monitor.  Ugh...but the good news was that I could get rid of this lifevest!!!!   Yay!!!!  So the deal is this:  I need to wear the holter for 24 hours, and tomorrow, I'll take it back to the hospital, and they will see what it says.  A holter is basically a small monitor with 3 leads on me.  It'll continuously take record of my heart rhythm.  If it goes well and no serious arrythmias or anything, I'll be good to go.  I can go back to work!!!  So I'm hoping, praying, and crossing my fingers for a good outcome.  This has been almost 3 1/2 months in the making.  If the unfortunate happens, I'll have to wear another monitor (called event monitor) for 30 days, and go from there.  I'm so tired of  "going from there", let's just get there already!!!  Mama needs to make a little money, haha.  

So, later on this evening, while I was cooking dinner, I started feeling a little sick...NOOOOOOO!!!  I can't do it, I refuse.  I have a headache, and a bit of muscle soreness, but no fever.  I think I'm ok.  Oh yeah, plus I'm coughing some.  I can do this, I can get through it...I'm still going to sleep in Rianna's room tonight, since she's still in Gage's.  I'm feeling a little under the weather, but hopefully, I don't get what they've had all weekend.  Tomorrow, if they aren't better, we are calling the pedi.  I have just been trying to do what I could here, bc I know that if I go to the doc for basically just a fever, she's going to tell me I'm doing what I'm supposed to do.  But I've done it for the past few days, and it's possible they need antibiotics, so we will play it by ear.

Wish me luck, in getting rid of these germies AND in getting rid of these restrictions!

Missing you, Mom!

The last pics of mom and the kids...this was right before I had surgery.  I'm so glad I captured these, bc she hated taking pictures, and when I took these, she said that they were her favorite!  I love them too.



Mom, we love you a lot, and we miss you so much.  Thanksgiving and Christmas are not going to be the same.  :(

Saturday, November 10, 2012

I decided to share a pic with yall...


Aren't they so adorable?  See why I've been fighting so hard to get better?  

Now, they have a little bit of a cold, so we are spending this weekend, taking care of each other.  We need a relaxing weekend, bc we were so busy last weekend.  



Torture Chamber :/

One of the tests I have to have before getting permission to go back to work is a cardiac MRI. It took over 4 weeks to schedule it, and yesterday was finally the day. I went in at 4pm, they took me right back, and I was pretty nervous. I had to get an IV in my arm, and as usual, it didn't work, so they had to do it again. The IV was for the dye they put in to highlight the organs, or whatever else they need to look at. After I got my IV, I changed into a gown and walked into the MRI room. It was so noisy. They gave me earplugs, but they barely helped. I got more nervous when I saw the machine. It was so narrow!! The tech asked if I was claustrophobic, and I didn't think I was, but...

So I had to lie down on this narrow table, and I couldn't rest my arms at my side bc of how narrow it was. She put some leads on me to hook up a heart monitor, and gave me a bulb shaped thing that I could press if I needed them during the scan. I clutched that thing for dear life while I was in there. When I started moving into the machine, I had half a mind to scream, "I quit, let me out of here", but I refrained for the time being. That thing was so narrow, I wouldn't have been able to reach up to scratch my nose if I needed to-which is kind of the point, bc you are not supposed to move at all while in there. I was finding out that maybe I was a teeny bit claustrophobic, after all. There were a variety of horrible noises that the machine made the entire hour and a half I was in there. I'd have a voice come on that would ask me to breathe in, breathe out, and hold the breath, or to breathe in, hold, then relax. This happened a lot, I lost count of how many times I was expected to hold my breath, but I probably could have been a candidate for the Navy, haha...ok, no, it wasn't that hard, I'd never make it into the Navy, especially based on holding my breath. Continuously, I felt like screaming for them to get me out of there, but the only thing that made me stay and try to be calm was the fact that if I quit, I'd have to start over, bc I still needed the MRI. The MRI is supposed to be my Get Out Of Jail Free card, I'm ready to go back to work. (PS, I don't mean being home is jail, it's just an expression, don't call me a cold-hearted B)...it's birthdays and Christmas time and I want my babies to have good ones, so I need to help out by going back to work. So, instead of verbally freaking out, I sucked it up, bc there was no way I was going to go through this again.

So a couple of people wanted to know the difference between an MRI and a CT scan. Here is a link that may be helpful:

X-ray vs MRI vs CT scans

Here is another informative link:

MRI of the heart

I had to get in this thing...who wouldn't go crazy in one of these?!?!


photo courtesy of diseasepictures.com

"Looks cozy, right?" said NO ONE EVER!

I feel as though I have indeed survived the torture chamber, and now I have to go take care of my sick girl. Poor thing has a fever, a barking cough, and needs to cuddle with her mama.







Friday, November 9, 2012

Praise The Lord!!!!!!

Gage had his pediatric cardiology appointment today. We have been worried for over a month. We had gone for a wellness check/flu shot, and I told his pedi what had gone on with me. She listened to his heart and heard a murmur. Faint, but there. So we set up this appt just to get him checked out. Dr. Lutin, the pediatric cardiologist checked him out and said that his heart is perfect!! That was the best news. David and I have been so worried.


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Nov 6th

Today (yesterday now) is my birthday. I don't celebrate my birthday, I haven't since my 21st. Ugh, hard to believe that was 10 years ago...anyway, the kids were out of school, and it was Election Day, so we weren't going to spend it at home. Gage and Rianna woke up at 645 (and I thought I'd get to sleep in!), and snuggled up with me and told me 'happy birthday'. We hung out for a little while, then went to my stepdad's house. We ate lunch with them, hung out for a while, and then we left so I could go vote. I put in my vote and then we went grocery shopping. Yep, that is how I spent my birthday. But the most important part was that I was with my kids. That is what was special about this birthday. I'm just so happy I'm here after everything that has happened these last 3 months. It makes it all worth it. I am a happy mama. Tomorrow is Gage's appointment and I have to have FAITH that all will go well. He's my little man, so if y'all will say a prayer that he is perfectly healthy, I would appreciate it. I'll update tomorrow, if we hear anything.




Sunday, November 4, 2012

Get me out of this lifevest!!!!

I swear, if I have to keep enduring this lifevest alarming, I'm going to have a reason for it, bc it's going to give me a heart attack!!! It's after 1 in the morning. I changed the battery in my lifevest like I do every night, walked in the kids' rooms to check on them one last time, and got back to my room, and the freaking alarm went off. I seriously cannot deal with this any longer, my nerves are shot! So, I pressed the buttons and it said that treatment has been delayed-gee thanks, bc I was doing just fine before the shrill of you occurred. Then, it went off again. It shrilled at me, and that nagging voice was calling out, "patient respond, bystanders stand back". What the heck! I'm ok, or at least I was before it scared me half to death! So since I had this thing happen Mon, I knew that since I pressed my buttons, I didn't have to call the doctor yet, just the lifevest people. They can look up my monitor and see why it went off. So I called. He looked at the alarm, and said that my leads were probably sliding. Well, I have my vest as tight as I can get it, and ding, ding, ding...I've lost weight, so my vest needs to be replaced for a smaller one. That should help save my last nerve when my alarm goes off for non-heart related reasons. I asked the doctor when I can go back to work. I mean, I'm married to a teacher. Teachers are so underpaid for what they do, that it's pathetic. Our stinking government cuts education first, all the time. They should cut that last bc kids need their education and teachers need to take care of their families (and themselves). Anyway, that's another post altogether. My point is that Rianna's birthday is coming up, then Christmas, and then Gage's birthday. So I'd like my paychecks again. I don't get disability at all, I get no financial anything at all while I'm out. Since I'm considered part time at work although I work(ed) 32-40 hrs per week, I don't have benefits, hence, no short-term disability. I'm lucky to have such a great husband who's an awesome father to our kids. I think about it all the time, how lucky I am. I see friends and family who don't have the support from a spouse the way I do, or their kids' father (or mother) is not in their lives. It's sad. And I make myself remember to never take it for granted, ever. When I was going through everything, David told me that I'd have to be strong so that I could be here for him and the kids. But I know that he'd be able to handle it if something happened to me, I just don't think I could do it without him. The doctor said I can't go back to work until I get the results from my cardiac MRI. Well, my MRI just got scheduled, FINALLY. It's Friday. So I'm thinking that I'll have the MRI then, and maybe my doctor will decide Monday if I can go back to work. This MRI will determine if I have to have the defibrillator implanted. If not, all should be fine. This should be my last test of my heart to determine if I can go back to work. So fingers crossed!!!!

Oh-and Gage was supposed to have his echo done last week, but the doctor had an emergency and had to reschedule. He goes Wednesday, so here's hoping that it doesn't get cancelled and it comes back normal. I don't want him to go through this. So if y'all can please keep him in your prayers for me, I'd appreciate it. Pins and needles til then...

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Finally!

I finally saw the cardiologist, but...not bc I wanted to. True-I've been trying to get in touch with her, but I didn't intend on having to go to her office. Yesterday morning, I was getting in the car with the kids to take them to school, and I was hooking my seatbelt, when my lifevest alarm went off. Ok, I've experienced the "gong" sound it makes when my leads may be loose and not touching my body. This was not a gong, it was a loud alarm. And it said, "patient respond", and it was on the screen. I admit, I freaked out. I was told this could happen, it's the reason I'm wearing this oh-so-fashionable device. If I am unresponsive, the vest warns people to not touch me, and then it'll shock me. If I press the buttons, it says "treatment has been delayed"...I've never had it go off. I immediately took the battery out (I know, I know, I was not supposed to do that!!!!), but like I said, I freaked out. I got out of the car so the kids wouldn't hear what I had to say when I called my friend Kat. She didn't answer! So I called my friend Codie. She didn't answer either. I called David, but he was doing car duty, so he wasn't going to answer the phone. So I called his office, told the secretary that I needed my husband, and he ran to the phone. I was crying and told him how freaked out I was and what had happened. He said he was on his way home. My friends both called back, and said they were coming over to stay with me and the kids until David got home. They kept the kids calm and let them watch tv, while I called the doctor. David got home, Codie took the kids to school, and we left. We were at the cardiologist's office for 4 1/2 hours. Basically, I was lectured on why I shouldn't have taken the battery out. And they hooked their monitors up to mine and determined that it alarmed bc it detected an arrhythmia, but it wasn't dangerous. Ok, I hate being on pins and needles, wondering if any little movement or emotion is going to trigger this alarm. HATE IT!

Anyway, I got some of my questions answered that I've had, and some, I didn't. I am waiting to hear about the appointment for the cardiac MRI, but until that is done and a decision is made on whether or not I'm getting the defibrillator implanted, I can't even go back to work. I'm thinking that I'll be getting it, but who knows? Anyway, today I didn't have school, rehab, or basically anything, so I rested. All day long...yep. I caught up on a couple of shows, I ate my lunch, I facebooked, I talked on the phone, and I laid on the couch. I think I deserved it after being scared half to death yesterday. Of course, then I picked the kids up, and when I was helping them with homework, my alarm went off again. So, to sum up my current life=I'm still busy as ever as a mom, trying to keep up with school and my house, and living on pins and needles, hoping I'm not going to fall out anytime soon. Everyone tells me not to worry and that I'm probably ok, and that I probably don't need the defibrillator, but it's really hard to listen to that when I listen to other heart patients talk about having multiple surgeries, whether they are old or young. How do they know that I'll never have a problem again? I am trying to be as optimistic as possible, but I think that as far as my own body is concerned, I have every right to be worried.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Almost 3 weeks without updating...SORRY!!!

Not too much is going on, I'm doing ok, still sore. Aggravated at my cardiologist...as much as I love her, she's starting to make me mad. The day that I saw her last (3 weeks ago today), she was supposed to call me that evening to give me the results of my echo and to answer other questions that I had. I haven't heard from her. I've called numerous times, with no call back, and my rehab nurse has called a few times, no response. I have talked to the nurse, and she has said that she will give my message to Dr. Lane, and that she would call me back...no callback. I'm tired of the runaround. I don't want find another cardiologist, but I can't be ignored. Like I told the nurse, they have to understand my point of view. I went 30 years with this issue. An issue that Dr. Lane herself told me that I was lucky to have lived this long with. I could have literally dropped dead at any moment, doing any thing, with my kids, during work, working out, etc. So yes, I'm on edge, I need assurance. I think I deserve it. I need to know what my echo said, I need to know if I'm going to have to get the defibrillator implanted, and I need to know when I can go back to work. I need to know that I'm ok, or that I will be ok. The nurse told me that the doctor hasn't even read my echo yet, so they can't even give me the ol' "no news is good news" thing. I am not trying to sound like a spoiled, everything is about me, brat. I understand that there are other patients that are more of a triage situation than I am. But this isn't about a broken toe (although those hurt like hell!), and I just need a couple minutes to answer my questions. The thing is, that phone call I was supposed to get was to let me know the results, and to set up my next appointment. So I don't even know when I'm supposed to see her again. So I've decided that tomorrow, I'm setting up an appointment. I don't care if it's a waste of $45 copay, I'm tired of being ignored. Ok-sooooo...tomorrow is my last day of rehab!!!! Yay!!!! I've been working so hard (or as hard as a heart patient is supposed to work). Today, I'm 11 weeks post-op, which is another reason I need answers. My heart brochure said that most patients return to work within 6-8 weeks. What's the holdup with me???? Btw, this past weekend, Rianna and I did the breast cancer walk. It went pretty well, and it was super fun! I think next is the Alzheimer's walk. I'll walk that in honor of my Mawmaw. Other than that, and the rehab, my friend Codie and I have been walking, so I'm working on getting my strength and stamina back. Hopefully, I lose this weight that I gained while being partially sedentary these past 11 weeks. Hopefully fast! Well, that's about it. I thought I'd have more to write about, but I guess I forgot what it was.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Little updates...

1st of all, Grandpa got to go home from the hospital. He's not 100%, but he's ok. I'm going over there next week; I don't want to bother them when they are just getting home, so I'm giving them time. Cardiac rehab is going ok. I worked harder today. I don't know what was wrong with me, but when they told me to get on the treadmill at a speed of 2.5 for 10 min, I kinda flipped out silently. I felt like I was being treated too fragile-like. The nurse came to ask me how hard I was working and I told her that I wasn't really working. She took my blood pressure and said it was the same as before I started working out. I told her it was bc I wasn't doing anything. So she let me do the incline, and it helped. Then I did my usual on the bike and rowing machine. I actually like the rowing machine. I can't stand the bike, it hurts...it's like the bikes you use in spinning classes. Oh well... Class went ok, but I was super tired by then. My class is at 1, and that is about the time I get tired, so it doesn't help at all. I'm ready for a break. Not a put-me-in-the-hospital break, but just a rest. I don't know... I need to call for my echo results tomorrow. I called them and they said they'd call back and they didn't. Hopefully, I can know something tomorrow. That's about it...I'm heading to bed...

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Cardiology appt today...

I was at the doctor from 945 this morning, until 1 this afternoon. That was not the plan. The plan was to go for my 8 weeks post-op appointment, then to school. Since my last appointment with her, I was supposed to have a cardiac MRI and an echo done. I know that she ordered it last time, I saw it on my discharge instructions, but they didn't do it on their part. So she was a little perturbed at the hospital bc I was supposed to get that done before my appointment with her, so that we can discuss the results. Anyway, my pulse was 46bpm, my BP was 96/52, I think, if I remember correctly. I told her that I am always tired. She thinks part of that is my medicine. So we are cutting back again. I can't cut back on my Metoprolol bc I'm taking the lowest dose, so she cut my Amiodorone again. I was taking 2 200mg pills per day, then it was cut back to 1 pill a day, and now, I'm going to take 1/2 a pill per day. Hopefully, it helps with my fatigue. I thought I was going to get rid of this lifevest today, but she said no. She is uncomfortable with me getting rid of it until I have my cardiac MRI. She really thinks that I'm going to get that defibrillator implanted. After the appointment, she sent me for an echo. I went for it and she will call me this evening with the results. After the echo, I went for my bloodwork. See-told ya it wasn't the plan.

When I left the hospital, I called my dad to see what he was up to, and he said that he was at the hospital (a different one) bc my grandpa was in there. He was having trouble breathing. I stopped up there for a few minutes, but he was having tests done and he needed to rest anyway. I'm so worried, I hope he's going to be ok. I've never seen him sick or down before, except for a cold. So, seeing him today in the hospital, hooked up to IVs and monitors, was not so great. Also, Gage has to see a pediatric cardiologist bc we went for his checkup yesterday, and she heard 2 heart murmurs. She checked him out when I told her about my surgery. She said that it could be nothing, so we are having to wait until Oct 31st to find out if anything is wrong. All this is just so much to have to deal with. I feel like I'm on the edge, and that I'm going to fall apart. So hopefully, everything will be ok soon. Anyway, wish us luck and keep us all in your prayers.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Bad day turned good?

I was having a pretty crummy morning today, but it ended better. I just had sad feelings...it started at cardiac rehab. I was looking around although I've seen it before, and all I noticed is that I'm the youngest in there. I already knew that, but it does bring me down. I don't think that other young people should be in my shoes just so that I can relate to someone there, but I still felt sad. And actually, I don't think it was the rehab that was making me sad. I'm thinking it was just how emotional I get these days. It's hard to explain. I am super sad about how scarred up I am. I mean, I have a scar the length of my back from back surgery 12 years ago. And now, I have a zipper. I am very grateful to be here, alive, and mostly well. But as I told David, it bothers me bc it's not just me who has to see this. It's him too. He reassured me that he is not bothered by it, but I can't help the insecure feelings. I know it's silly and vain, but I guess I have some right to feel this way occasionally. This evening, we went to the Mexican restaurant and I saw a couple friends. It's always nice to see them, bc they gave me such love and support through all of this. On a good note, I have an appointment Wed with my cardiologist, Dr. Lane. She should be letting me know if I can get rid of this portable defibrillator. I hope the answer is yes!!!! So I'll update after my appointment. Until then, I'm going to bed. I get tired way and lose energy faster than I used to...

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Cardiac rehab part deux

Today was day 2 of rehab. It was better today. I felt like I did something. First, I had to walk the track for 15 min. Then, I had to get on the treadmill for 15 min, at a speed of 2.4. I'm not used to walking that slow, especially for exercise, but since having this surgery and not being able to do much, it worked me out. After the treadmill, I had to ride the bike for another 15 min. Lastly, I had to cool down on the track for 10 min. The nurse checked my BP after my workout, and it was 80/50, which is way too low. She had me drink water, which I'd already done anyway, and checked again. It was 90/50. She asked if I was dizzy and I wasn't, so she let me go. I am the youngest person in rehab. It's ok though, I'm no better than anyone else. I just think it's funny, strange is more like it. It really puts things into perspective for me. I actually look forward to rehab, just not the amount of money I have to pay. I can't wait until I feel better. I go back to see Dr. Lane on Oct 3rd, and I hope she lets me take off this lifevest. Only if it's safe though! I don't want to do something that is dangerous or questionable. Speaking of heart patients, let's say a prayer for my friend Amanda. She's around my age, and she's a heart patient too. She's been going through a lot, and I hope that she's able to get better really soon. We're rooting for you, Amanda!!! You've gotta come home to those 3 beautiful girls, they need their mommy! Well, I've got to go do a quiz that's due at 830am, so later... Live, laugh, love; life is precious, but short...

Monday, September 17, 2012

Cardiac rehab

I started cardiac rehab today. I'm supposed to do 4 weeks, 2 days a week. I pay $25 each time, which sucks, but what're you going to do? I walked for 6 min during rehab, which kinda sucked. I told them I could do more, I mean, I walk more than that around the store. But bc today was my 1st day, they needed to do vitals, hook me up to the computers, and let the computer make up my workout. So every day that I go, I'll let the nurse or whoever come over and let me know what we are working on. I'm still upset over mom dying, I can't get it out of my head, I don't want to believe it's real, and I want to be able to comfort my husband, but I feel helpless. It is nuts. I want her back. I feel like it is so wrong. Why her? I'm not saying that it should have been someone else, but why mom? She's so special and I love her so much, so why did she have to leave this Earth so early? It's not fair. She probably would have come with me to rehab and then lunch or something today, who knows? Or we could have gone to lunch another day this week. Today, at rehab, they asked me for my emergency contact, and I gave them David's information. Then they asked for my 2nd emergency contact. I nearly broke down, bc mom was my contact. Actually, she was my 1st, and David my 2nd, bc if there were an emergency, she could usually get to me or get in touch with David. I know I keep repeating it, but dammit, I hate it. Hate it, hate it, hate it...it really sucks.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Broken-hearted...

Yesterday evening, my heart got broken. This is not something surgery can fix. My mother-in-law, whom I've called 'mom' for 10 years, passed away. It was very sudden, very unexpected. It's left our whole family in shock. It doesn't really seem real, but unfortunately, I know it is. Although I've had distant relatives die when I was a child, it wasn't too bad for me, bc they weren't close and I didn't know them. It's not that they deserved it, it's just that I didn't have to experience it with a super close relative. My 1st grandma died when I was 17, and although it hurt, I think I handled it better than I would have at 8 or 6 yrs old. My kids are 8 and 6, and now they have to deal with this horrible heartbreak. My heart aches for them. My heart aches for David, and my heart aches for everyone else involved. I am trying to be so strong, but it is really hard. I was very close to her, she was such a good woman...everyone she met liked her. It is so hard to think about life without her. I liked her from the moment I met her, in Sept 2002. She gave us so much. For one, she always looked out for her kids and grand kids (and friends) before she gave herself one single thought. She loved animals, especially dogs, and she was very active in the different dog clubs and dog shows. She took such great care of me when I was on bed rest during my pregnancy with Rianna. She took me to every doctor appointment, then we'd go to lunch. It was our thing. If David had school work or something late, she'd come get me to spend the night with them so that I wouldn't be alone. She bought most of Rianna's baby things. And she held my hand as I gave birth to Rianna. She loved the kids. She took them to Florida, to Lake Oconee, and various other places. She basically bought them whatever they wanted. Rianna had a special bond with her, I think mostly bc of their love for reading. She and Gage had a special bond bc he's the only grandson and he's the youngest. I have friends who tell me all the time how lucky I am that I have a MIL who's as great as she is, bc most people don't like theirs. I agree with them. I am soooooooo lucky that I had her. I am just upset that I (that is, we) couldn't have her longer. She and my FIL have been married for 48 years. People who have a love that long are so lucky too. I know that in time, our wounds will heal some, but the pain will never go away. I don't know who I'm going to call when I want to talk. I used to call her when I wanted to talk about stuff, usually stuff I never talked to my friends about. She was my mom as well as David's, and I miss her so much already. This hurts worse than any kind of heart surgery. We are having her viewing at 6pm on Sat, and her funeral will be Sun at 3pm. It's not fair. We have lost an incredible lady. I love you mom, and I miss you terribly.



Monday, September 10, 2012

I've graduated!!!!!

That's what my surgeon said! I went to my appt and his PA said that my sternum is healing nicely, the bone has basically finished fusing, so I can move around more. I also can drive again, so that's good, bc I can go back to school Wednesday! She said maybe I can go back to work in early November. It's pretty exciting, bc I'm soon going to be past this healing part. I should not have any more problems at all. I'm going to pray for that. I have to call the cardiac rehab center to schedule the workouts I need. Yay!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Oh, forgot to mention...

I'm helping my friend get ready for the annual breast cancer walk. Rianna and I do it every Oct. I'm hoping and praying that I can do the whole 3 miles by then. Something else I'll have to ask the doctor on Mon. Also, I was looking for the annual heart walk we have here to sign up for it, but I didn't see it. Luckily, I don't give up easily and I found out where it'll be. It'll be in North Augusta, SC, which is about 15 min from here. Still in the CSRA. It's on March 9, 2013, and I've already started working on recruiting people to walk with me. I haven't figured out a team name yet, but I've had a couple suggestions. I decided that I'm going to take all the suggestions and have a kinda voting poll on FB near the beginning of the year or so, and maybe figure out a prize for the winning suggestion. Maybe a free t-shirt, or something less lame. Hmmmm, do I need to have a poll for that too?!?!?!? Agh, always something...I wanna do something cool though, so I'm up for the challenge. I have done the heart walk in the past, for my papa, and actually, just bc I usually sign up for all 5k walks for the cause that are in my area. But this is going to be special, I think. I can't wait! Oh, and before I go, my sister, Tammy, in Alabama, is really into pageants, hair, tan, etc (my niece is in the pageants and my sister is awesome at beautifying someone even more than they already are). Anyway, she said that they do charity type things every year, so she is going to see if they can do a heart thing. She's thinking around Feb, and I hope she can do it. I told her I'd come to AL when she sets it up. I'm super happy that we can do good things in this world. Ok, sappiness aside, I'm going to bed.

End in sight???

Slowly, but surely, right? I'm so ready to be healed, or at least, be working on becoming 100%. Tues, Wed, & yesterday, I was extremely sore from the thoracentesis. It was hard to breathe in, hard to cough, sneeze, even hiccup. It was like I went completely backward. I slept like crap too, which means David did as well. Yesterday, I braved the pain, and Umma, mom and I went to lunch at Olive Garden. It was nice to get out of the house. Last night, I actually slept pretty good. David said that he noticed. Ha-probably noticed that he didn't lose as much sleep. Just kidding, I love him for all that he has put up with these past 5 weeks. He could complain as much as I do, and for good reason, but he's been great about it.

Well, tomorrow, Umma heads back to California. I'm gonna miss her so much. Rianna said that she knows she will be crying tomorrow, bc she always cries when she leaves. Gage got very moody quiet tonight, and that is how he reacts to her leaving. I sincerely appreciate everything she has done for us. She's cleaned, cooked some, been my chauffeur when taking the kids to school and picking them up, and she rarely lets me even carry my own plate to the sink. And seriously, she's given me my shower a few times. Has she driven me absolutely crazy with her driving? Yep, she's a little scary behind the wheel sometimes, but she improved every day. It's the little things that count, and I couldn't have done this recovery stuff so well without her. I am so grateful to all of my friends who have been there also, and to my family. Mom makes sure I'm ok, and I know that if I needed anything, she would make sure to take care of it. My dad texts me first, to make sure I'm not sleeping, then I usually call him back. My stepdad and stepmom check in on me too. They are super awesome. I have friends that don't live anywhere near GA, that sent cards, emails, and FB messages to me, friends that live near that have done the same, and I'm appreciative of them too. I never expected the outpour of support that I've had. Actually, not only that I've received, but David and the kids. Some had never met David and helped him out so much that I could never say thank you enough. I have been sooooooooo slack with getting thank you cards out, and I apologize, but I am trying to individualize every single one with a personal message, not just "thanks, see you later"; everyone means so much more to me than that. I saw on a show today that the appropriate timing of thank you notes being sent out is 3 days. I'm hoping that's for gifts and parties, not major surgeries, bc if not, then I fail! Monday morning, I go back to Dr. Hunter, my surgeon, for another checkup. We will discuss cardiac rehab, and whether or not I can drive. Fingers crossed that I can drive!!!! If he lets me drive, then I'm going back to school Wednesday. I only have one class I have to go to school for, and that's on Mondays and Wednesdays, for only an hour fifteen. I can handle that. I'm wondering if I should ask my doctor for a note for a handicap parking pass for a little while. I don't want to seem like I'm special, but it's hard finding parking at school, and I'm scared of walking too far away from people right now, in case I fall out, or my lifevest goes off, etc. The other day, David and I went to the store. He told me to get what I needed, and he'd go for what he needed. I freaked out. I got nervous about not being around someone I knew in case something happened. I need to really work on that. I can't have anxiety like that, bc I'm a grown up, I don't need someone beside me holding my hand 24/7. I'll have to ask Dr. Hunter if that is normal. I'm sure it is. Well, I'm done rambling, I think. I should sleep ok tonight, bc I'm not in much pain at all, and I took my cough medicine, just in case. Night everyone!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Thoracentesis...

I had a thoracentesis done today. OUCH!!! Thora- means chest, -centesis is removal of fluid using a needle. Think amniocentesis that some pregnant women get, but I get stuck in the back. We were told to get there at 2pm, and we were actually on time (my fellow coworkers would be shocked!). We had to wait about 30 min to get the doctor's orders. Um...this was supposed to have been ordered on Fri, what the heck? Anyway, they got me back to radiology, where I sat on a bed for about an hour. Finally, they wheeled me back to where the thoracentesis was going to take place. I sat until 415, and the doctor came in (not mine, just the radiologist doing it). He explained what he was going to do. He said that he was going to clean my back, then give me a shot of Lidocaine, and finally, do the procedure. He said that the needle-stick would feel like a bee sting. That's what every doctor says about every procedure, I swear. But, he was actually right. But then he said that I wouldn't feel anything else. Lying butthole! I felt like the wind was knocked out of me, like how I would imagine a football player feels when hit really hard in the lungs by a 300lb lineman, or whatever they are called. I don't think I'm exaggerating. Anyway, I felt like I was gasping for air, it hurt to breathe, and I was coughing like crazy. (This was due to the extraction of the fluid. I filled up 1600ml of a container). They said that I would cough near the end, so I think the lack of breathing was causing the coughing. I cried like a big ol' baby. After the torture was over, they took me to X-ray, did another one, and then put me back in the "holding room". I laid for about an hour, still in pain, and we were ready to leave. That was horrid. Now, every time I move or breathe in, my front and back hurt. They said it would be about 24 hours until I feel normal again. Oh really, well, I think normal was back before July 30th, when I had the 1st freaking EKG done that determined my faith thereafter. So I don't really remember normal. I can't wait to feel better. I hate complaining, but I hate pain even more. I took a Hydrocodone and it didn't touch the pain. I'm going to try to go to bed, bc my efforts to take a nap earlier didn't really work. Hopefully, I can write some good news tomorrow. Dear Lord, I pray this pain is gone tomorrow.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

3 weeks, 3 days post-op...

--Current mood--good, I'm feeling lots better than yesterday. Yesterday, I was having a "woe is me" kinda day and I felt like no one understood.
--Current Medications--12.5mg Metoprolol twice a day; 200mg Amiodarone once a day (used to be twice); 81mg baby aspirin, Hydrocodone as needed (I usually don't take bc it makes me sleep and gives me weird dreams, so when needed, I take a 1/2 pill); plus 2 different cough medications. One is in pill form, I can take 3 times a day and the other is cough syrup that is a narcotic and I only take that at bedtime.
--Weird fact of the day--I realized how weird, crazy, old, all of this is, when I had to break down and buy a...pillbox. Yep, I spent $5 on a pillbox that has morning and night on there. Yeah... --I've also lost 3lbs in 2 days, so I'm kinda proud of that. Who cares if it's water weight or the swelling going down from all that dang sodium they kept shooting in my IVs. That's not the point.
--Exercise today?--well, we took the kids to Toys R Us bc they wanted to spend their money. Gage was looking for a Loki toy so that he could let it fight the Thor one he already has. Couldn't find it in TRU, and Rianna asked to go to Barnes & Noble, so we did. We have to carve out at least an hour to let Rianna read the backs of almost every book she looks at. She bought 4. Afterwards, Gage still wanted that Loki toy, and told David that it was for sure at Walmart. So we went to Walmart. And...there was his Loki. He was super happy. So I walked around all those places. The doctors had told me that if I needed to walk too much around a store, that I should ride the motorized cart. Um no...did it once and that was enough. I need to walk bc that was part of the physical therapy deal anyway.
--Rest--well, it's 149am, and I'm writing in this blog. I fell asleep last night (Fri) at around 8pm, while watching tv with David in the recliner. He just left me there when he went to bed bc he didn't want to bother me. I woke up at 4am, fell back asleep immediately (still in the chair), and woke at 7. David had made French toast and bacon, so I ate. Then, I went back to my chair and fell asleep til 10. I woke up again, brushed my teeth, fixed my...hold on, "fixed" my hair, and got dressed. As soon as I sat down again, I fell asleep again. I can't even say how much I slept, but I know it was a lot. The cough medicine makes me sleep, so tonight, I took a 1/2 dose. I don't like the out-of-it feeling I had today.
--Zipper--my zipper is healing, but the glue (yep, glue) is starting to come off. I was freaking out yesterday, but Dr. Lane said not to worry, it's supposed to do that. The zipper doesn't look 'that' bad, but it still sucks. I'm buying Mederma as soon as I can put creams on it.
--Football--I watched our team, Florida (Go Gators), almost lose to a "high school" team today. Ugh, they need to tighten up, we have a tough schedule this season. But we pulled the win out of our behinds, and that's what counted today. My stepdad's team, Alabama, won today. Actually, they pretty much spanked Michigan. If I wasn't a Gator, I'd probably root for the Tide. They're a fantastic team. My dad's team, Georgia (blech!!), won today, but they had to, they played a high school team. It would have been an embarrassing loss if they'd have done it.
--My kids--they were crazy today. They make me smile. Their money was burning a hole in their pockets, so we took them out, and they loved paying for their own things. Rianna spent more than Gage (hello, she's a girl!), and Gage got some change back. Rianna complained that she was broke again (ha), so since Gage got the toy he wanted, he gave Rianna his change. That's how he is; if he has what he "needs", he doesn't want the extra money. It's cute. Well, that's about all my randomness for the night...

Friday, August 31, 2012

Cardiology appt...

Today was not as bad as I thought. I did not have any tests except for a chest X-ray. Dr. Lane decreased one of my meds, the Amiodarone. So instead of twice a day, I'll do just once. The X-ray showed fluid on my right lung, and the only way to get rid of it is to be admitted back into the hospital to have it drained. She called me this afternoon to tell me that. It's up to me what I do. I can either go into the hospital and be admitted tomorrow or I can go in Tues afternoon. I'm not sure if this is a day procedure or what. The doctor will take a big needle, insert it into my lung and drain whatever fluid is on it. That should get rid of my cough as well. I'm electing to do this Tues, when MY doctors will be there, rather than when the weekend/holiday crowd is there. I'm nervous, as usual. Dr. Lane also said that I need another EKG, but the order didn't go through yet, so it'll be next week sometime. An electrophysiologist is also supposed to do a cardiac MRI on me in about 4 weeks. This will show the electrical activity of my heart. Doing this determines whether or not I can get rid of this lifevest, and whether or not I need a defibrillator put in. I so do not want that. I went from 30 to super old overnight. My bp was 93/52 today. I added 2 prescriptions to my other 4, but those 2 are cough meds. Hopefully, after the procedure Tues, I can stop taking them. I think it's called a thoracentesis. I know -centesis means to drain fluid with a needle, so that's probably what it is. Anyway, I think I'm going to nap, I've had a busy day and I'm exhausted.

The meaning of "scared"...

I'm writing about being scared bc I thought the scariness was over. I don't walk around in life scared. I've had scary instances, but nothing too bad. I was scared when I had back surgery, bc I was 18 & I could have been paralyzed. I was scared when I was 4 months pregnant w Rianna, & had placenta abruption & almost lost her. That was the most scared I'd ever been. When I went into Prompt Care, I was fine. It's when she came back & told me the EKG was bad that I started becoming a nervous wreck. I was scared of the VTACs I was having, scared I was having a heart attack, & scared I was going to crash, esp while David wasn't there. When Dr. Lane told me what the Echo revealed & I had to have surgery, scared became my middle name...well, Scaredy-cat became my middle name. I had the surgery, & although I'm healing nicely & I get more mobile and strong every day, there are still things that scare me. Last week, I went to the surgeon for a post-op check. I was scared of the pain I'd feel when the PA removed those 2 stitches, which turned out to be nothing. Fast forward to today...the reason(s) I'm terrified.

Today, I meet w my cardiologist. I have to have my 1st Echo since surgery. What if it says, "nice try, you fixed the ASD & mitral valve, I have something new for ya"...ok, so I know the machine's not going to talk, & esp in the words I used, but what if my heart is playing a nasty trick on me since it let me live as long as I did before surgery was necessary? Also, what if I can't live comfortably w/o this lifevest? As aggravating as it is to be hooked up to it, I now feel like it's my security blanket, & that I sincerely need it, even if it's to maintain peace of mind. Maybe my main fear is this: the doctors originally did a lot of those tests pre-surgery bc they wanted to see what they were getting into. They didn't want to go in blind, & they didn't want to put me through surgery if what I needed was a heart transplant. They said that if they didn't feel confident doing the surgery, they would have sent me to Emory to get on the transplant list. That was so...well, to use my vocab word of the day...scary. After surgery, Dr. Hunter said that everything went well, but my left ventricle was larger than it should be. He said that it may or may not return to its normal size bc there's no telling how long it's been enlarged. He said that my heart may not know how to act since it spent 30 years like this. So in case you were wondering why I'm such a nervous wreck today, it's bc I'm scared that it's not fixed. I'm scared that I'll eventually need a transplant. I don't want that option. Do you know how long heart transplant lists are? Do you think I really want to go through another thing like this? Bc if I did, how do we know it'll work? So yes, the reason I'm scared of this appt and probably many others in the future is bc I'm scared that my time is more limited now, than before all this happened. I know we all have to die, I know that I'm not more special than other people who die everyday from heart issues, but I can't help but to be scared. I don't want to be at one of my appts and hear that I will live only such & such more time. So, if my appt goes well today, then good. I'll be worry-almost-free...that is, until time for my next checkup, which is Sept 10th...sigh...& now that I've become a nervous wreck, I have to tell the doc my fears, bc they don't want me start going nuts. I don't want antidepressants, which is something they put a lot of open heart patients on. I was on them in the hospital, & said I wouldn't need them when I got out. I'll still hold my ground to that for a certain extent, it's just when I start going completely nuts that I will probably need them. I hate medicine...

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Slept through the night, whoo-hoo!!

I sound like a newborn's parents, but I did, I slept through the night for the 1st time since surgery. I woke at 630. That means David got a good night's sleep too. I hate waking him up, but I can't get up by myself yet. I stack up 4 pillows so that I'm pretty much sitting up in bed. Then I don't need help up. But sometimes during the night, I slip down, and when that happens, FORGET IT. I need help up! So I was happier that my hubby got to get some sleep. I hope I can keep it up, lol. So, my "wounds" from the chest tubes are not healing the way they should be, I don't think. I won't go into details for the faint of heart, but I'm currently not wearing my lifevest for a few hours. I will put it back on soon, so I don't freak myself out about it. Basically, the PA said that I should keep gauze over it, bc my lifevest can rub up against it, and that isn't giving it air to breathe. So I am taking a break from it. No big deal...oh, so I got such a great surprise yesterday. We went out to lunch bc we were all ready to get out of the house. After lunch, I was exhausted, so I laid down in my chair and was drifting off to sleep. I heard a knock at the kitchen door (no one knocks at the kitchen door!) and in walks my friend Katie. I haven't seen her in so long. She wanted to surprise me, and didn't have David's number, so she texted his brother to get it. Then apparently, they were texting back and forth, hatching her plan to come over. It was a great surprise! Today, my friend Judith was supposed to come over, but the kids have a little cold, so I told her I don't want her getting sick, so she's gonna come over tomorrow. Well, until next time...

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Accomplishments!!!

So I'm feeling sort of accomplished today. Here are some of the things I accomplished on my own: I put my own tshirt on this morning. I've been having to wear wide neck shirts or button downs, and so I grabbed one of David's old ones and was able to put it on. I put my hair up today. Not perfect, and it hurt a little, but better than it has been. Most importantly, tonight, I took my shower and shaved my legs all by myself!!! I am so glad I took a pain pill before the shower though, bc I definitely felt it. Monday, I had my post-op appt with the surgeon, Dr. Hunter. Or in my case, I saw his PA. She took my stitches out (only 2, from the chest tubes). It stung, but it was ok. She said I can start doing a little more. I go back in 3 weeks, and we will start cardiac rehab, and possibly, I'll be able to drive again. Which means I can get on campus for my class. I'm looking forward to being back to normal again. Next Friday, I'll be going to see my cardiologist. Hopefully, she can help me with other stuff that I forgot to mention to the PA. Most importantly, this stupid right arm of mine. It feels tired one second, then it's painful, and it's constant. Pain pills do nothing for it. I'm thinking it's either the position they had me in during and after surgery, or maybe the IV team pinched a nerve somehow during the PICC line insertion. I'm not sure, but it's driving me more batty than this incision and sternum pain. Ugh...I'm trying so hard to remain positive, to be thankful that they caught this finally and that they were able to fix it without too much of a problem. I'm grateful to be alive, and relatively healthy. I'm extremely grateful that I have my husband and kids. But dang, I just want this pain to go away, this uncomfortable feeling in my arm, the dependence I have on everyone...can I just be done now?!?!? Anyway, Mon, I got a visit from my friend, Kat, who came to fix my hair for my appt, and today, my friend, Codie, came over with...The Hunger Games!!!! Awesome, right? She's coming tomorrow and I may rent The Lucky One, or some other chick flick on Apple TV. We'll see. I've got some of my thank you cards written and handed out, but I still have a lot more. Ok, so it's bedtime...

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Cardiac Baby...

When I was in the hospital, the nurses called me their Cardiac Baby. I was the youngest person in the cardiac unit. The nurses said they would fight over me, bc they liked the change from a 70 year old. When I'd be walking around the unit, I'd have people staring at me, probably wondering what the heck I was doing there. I am home now, and I'm going to try to blog a little each day, or at least a few days a week. I don't want to be stuck at home, so I do go a few places, I just can't drive for about 5 more weeks. I have to take 3 meds every day. I take Amiodarone 2 times a day, a baby aspirin once a day, and Metaprolol twice a day. Pain meds if needed, but it's Hydrocodone, so I really don't take it much. I may take 1/2 a pill a day, and it's usually at shower time, bc I have to stand up so David can bathe me; it wears me out and makes me hurt a little to get undressed, shower, and get dressed again. I can't wait til I can shower normally again. I can't wait to drive again either. I'm loving being at home with my family. I missed them so much. I miss my nurses too though. I will be going to visit them sometime in the near future. I want to check in with them, and take them a card and a gift. They were all pretty awesome.

Every day, I ride with Umma to take the kids to school and pick them up. I want to be involved as much as possible. I still haven't met their teachers yet, but I emailed them to let them know I'd like to have a meeting here soon. David told them at Open House what was going on, so they are understanding of it. I emailed my 4 professors for this semester, and let them know what is going on, and I requested to work at home for the 1st 4 weeks. One of my professors, for Anthropology, said yes. I've had her for 3 other Anthro classes, so she knows me. 2 of my classes are online, w occasional meetings throughout the semester, so they are ok with it too. I only had to drop my main class, bc it's a science and it's way too hands-on to miss so many weeks. It sucks, but there's always spring. So classes start tomorrow. I have an appt with my cardiothoracic surgeon at 130, then David is taking me to buy my schoolbooks. I will start my work as soon as they give it to me, bc I don't want to get behind. With my 2 online classes, as long as I'm done with all the assignments by the last day of class (in Dec), there's not much of a timeline. But I get bored during the day with the babies at school, so I'm going to do it.

My friend Kat is coming over in the morning to straighten my hair for me. I've had the worst hair day for going on 3 weeks now, and I feel gross. David can wash my hair, but there's no one who can fix it for me. Rianna will brush it and put it in a ponytail, but it's not exactly what I want. But I love that my baby girl takes care of me. She and Gage have been great. They do little things for me and without complaint. They bring my pillows, pull out the recliner, get my phone, etc...the only downside we had so far is when I 1st came home. Gage was really scared of my zipper. He didn't want to see it, talk about it, or anything. He also didn't want to go to school. He said he didn't want to leave me again. It was sad. He's doing well now. David bought him an arc reactor toy (from the movie Iron Man), and I told him that we were alike now. I even had him pose for a pic of our Iron Man chests, lol. It's cute. I haven't decided if I will share it or not. Well, for the most part, I am caught up. There was probably lots that happened in between, but it's kinda monotonous and boring. Anyway, til next time...

Playing catch-up...

I haven't written lately, actually since my surgery, so I need to catch up. On August 8th, I had my surgery. I was terrified!!! They woke me up at 330am to take my sanitizing shower. I fell asleep until they came to get me at 515. My nerves were shot! They took me down on the bed, to a pre-op room. David, my stepdad and his wife, Connie, were there. I cried the whole ride down. Dr. Abercrombie, the anesthesiologist, came in to see if we had any questions, and we didn't. I remember them taking me into the OR, having me scoot from the bed I was on onto the OR table, and then Dr. A was softly talking to me. Then I was out. Before I went in, I told David to call the kids at 730 to tell them I love them. I also had told him that when I was in the PACU recovering, to talk to me and make me wake up, bc not waking up was what I was afraid of. Last year, my papa died during open heart surgery. I know that we had two different circumstances, but I was worried. He went into cardiac arrest twice during surgery and they couldn't finish the surgery. I was so worried. I don't remember much after surgery during my time in the PACU, but David told me. He said that I had this tube down my throat, and since I couldn't talk, I was gesturing to him. I was making my hand show a telephone, and he said I was asking if he called my babies. He said yes, that he did. I don't remember them taking the tube out of my throat, which is probably good. I am not a very good patient. I complain about every little pain or discomfort. When I was working on waking up, David was talking to me. He recorded me, and after coming home and seeing the video, I wanna kick him! I cannot accept responsibility bc I was still coming out of anesthesia, that's my disclaimer. I hope he doesn't show anyone. Anyway, I only had to stay in the PACU for one night. They said it was a good thing. Oh, but I remember the dang chest tubes. When I was 18 and had my back surgery, I had a chest tube. It was in my side. I thought that hurt when they pulled it out. No-pain came when the PA came in to remove the 2 I had in my chest. That was some major pain. By the time I left the PACU, they had taken away most of my IVs. I was taken back upstairs to a new room. They still had problems with my blood pressure. Some of the time, they had to skip my meds bc of my too-low bp. 

Dr. Hunter, my surgeon, told me that the surgery went really well. Before the surgery, he told David that it could take 6 hours before he could come out and tell him what happened. David got 2 phone calls during my surgery. The 1st was the let him know I'd gone on bypass, and the 2nd was to let him know I was off bypass. About the bypass...I wanted to know everything that they were going to do to me. And how...was I going to be on bypass? Yes. Would he take my heart out and repair it, or leave it in? Leave it in. Things like that is what I wanted to know. Oh, and the question they had for me...did I want to be resuscitated if needed? Um, yes! My blood work showed that my platelets counts and WBC counts were low still. I may need transfusions of both during surgery. Afterwards, I learned that no transfusions were needed! Yay!

I came home on August 13th. Longest day ever!!! And it was emotional, well, I was a wreck. I was worried about being at home, bc my nurses weren't going to be there. I was going home to my babies, which I was so happy about. That trumped everything else. But, there was a catch. I needed to wear a lifevest. They want to be extra cautious, and I am having to wear it for 3 months. Ok-in order to go home, there were things that needed to be accomplished. I had to sit up in a chair 3 times that day. Ok-easy-peasy, I did that after day 1, bc I had to change positions a lot. Also, I had to make sure that I could walk about 150 hearts. In the unit I was in, every 25 feet, there were heart stickers on the floor. I had to be able to walk those. I went 2-3 times a day. I wound up doing 220 just on the last day. So I had done my part. What were we waiting for? Well, for one, my insurance company didn't want to cover the cost of the lifevest. At this point, I was just ready to have them bill me for it, and just get home. But, the case manager worked it, and insurance agreed. Finally!!! The lifevest person would be in shortly to fit me for it. Shortly meant 4pm...ugh!!! She came in, fitted me, explained how to work it, and that took an hour. Basically, when I heard about this lifevest, I'm thinking Kevlar type vests. Or vests you use for a boat. But, what it is, is a lot of straps. There's a strap that forms a racer back pattern on my back, and straps like a backpack for my shoulders, and a strap that goes around me under my chest. On the racerback part and the left side, I have rectangular electrodes, and the rest of the straps consist of circular electrodes. If my machine beeps, I need to press these 2 buttons and read the screen to see why it's beeping. It could mean low battery, an electrode isn't touching my skin, etc. But...it could also mean I'm in distress. So I press the buttons, I'm ok. If my heart stops or something, the machine will shock me. She told David that even if he sees this happening, to not touch me. Let it shock me, then get me to the hospital. It's kinda scary, but the doctors only want me to wear it as a precaution. They doubt I need it, but just in case...it's aggravating, but it's ok. After the lifevest rep was in, I only had to wait on the IV team to come remove my PICC line. My nurse went over my discharge instructions, and that's all I was waiting for. 2 1/2 hours later, the IV team (ok, just one person) came in, and literally took 5 seconds to pull the PICC line, measure to make sure that it was the same size as what they'd put in, and that was it!

I got to leave the hospital at 8pm...David and I dropped off my prescriptions, and then I got to see my babies!!!! Best moment ever. I had missed them so much. Yes, we had FaceTime, but it was not the same. I was a happy mama!!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

T-1 day...

I'm a bundle of nerves today. For one, I was supposed to have had surgery this morning, but they came in yesterday and said it would be tomorrow. The reason was bc of the doc's on-call schedule. He wanted to make sure that if I needed him the night that I had my surgery, that he would be the one on-call. Plus, he was on last night and didn't want to do my surgery after being on-call all night. I have to respect that. This morning, at 11, my family and surgeon (along with his PA and NP) met up in my room to discuss every little detail. Risks, outcome percentages, everything that I could both be happy and upset about. This is the real thing. Open heart is major. I know I need the surgery, bc they already said that it's amazing I made it to be 30 years old. When you hear something like that, you think it's an exaggeration. But my doctor was not exaggerating. She said without the surgery, I probably wouldn't live 10 more years. I need longer than that with my husband and kids.

Late yesterday, Ashley came and sat with me. We talked for a long while. We are planning our next concert :) She's great. David gets to spend the night with me tonight, I'm very grateful. He needs strength too, and I've prayed for it. He has been strong, but today, he started losing it a little. But, the good news is, we were by ourselves for awhile today and we got to talk. We haven't really been able to do that, bc I always have visitors. I'm glad I've had such great visitors, but he and I really needed that today. If I ever had any doubts about us, they are gone. I'm gonna aggravate him forever...and ever!!! Bwhahahaha...anyway, the kids had their first day of school today. David took them and he let them call me at 730 this morning to talk to me. He was making their lunches and Rianna was giving me a play by play. I talked to both Rianna and Gage and told them that I love them, I want them to have fun at school, and that I'll be home as soon as possible. That's my goal. David is picking them up this afternoon and they will call me to tell me how their first day went. Actually, we will be Facetiming. I'll get to see their beautiful faces. So visitors today included my stepdad and Connie, mom and dad, and Aunt Debra. Along with David, but he's not a visitor, he's my husband, my better half. My sister, Tammy, told me that in her times of need, she focuses on Psalm 91. I read it, and I will read it over and over. I love that she showed me that. David will be the only one who can see me tomorrow and possible the next day. I sent out a note on FB that basically said that anyone who has been sick, is getting sick, has sick kids, or even feels like they are getting sick, does not need to come here. I catch colds easily when I'm well, so I definitely don't need the chance of getting sick after surgery. I need to be as strong as possible. Well, I may write more later tonight, but for now, I'm going to try to take a nap.

Monday, August 6, 2012

8/5

Nothing too *medically* to report about Sunday, but it was a good day. My Sam came to visit today, along with other awesome visitors! Sam is soooooo sweet, I love her. She used to live next door to me with her husband and beautiful babies, but they live near Atlanta now. She drove all that way to visit me. I love her and her family so much, so it was so nice to see her.

My babies brought their new school clothes to show me, and they wanted me to pick out what they should wear the 1st day. It was so funny, I told Gage to wear one thing, but he wanted to wear something else, so he kept repeating it. So I picked the one he wanted to wear, and made it like it was my idea. He's so adorable that it doesn't matter what he wears! Rianna too! My girl is growing so fast!!! Tomorrow is the last day they will see me for almost a week. It was recommended that they not come up after surgery (obviously they can't while I'm in PACU), but even when I'm in a regular room again, they should stay home. Mainly, bc I will look different, trying to recover, but bc they will be back in school, sharing germs with the world once again. You know how kids are-it's hard to get them to share their toys or play area, but germs are a sure thing.

 My other visitors today were my dad, stepdad, mom and dad (David's parents), and someone super special, Uncle Lynn. I'll tell you about Uncle Lynn. He and my stepdad have been friends since they were 17. That's almost 50 years!!!! So when we were growing up, Uncle Lynn would take each of us kids somewhere for our birthdays, whatever restaurant we chose. He and I had a special bond. He took me to my 1st concert (Bonnie Raitt and Lyle Lovett), took me to the Abbeville Opera House many times to see plays, and a new restaurant each time. The kind of restaurant you should dress up for. My sisters and brother would choose places like McDonalds or something, but we went to unique places! Oh, and the only college football game I've ever been to-Wake Forrest @ GA Tech. His team is Tech, and they lost...but it was so much fun. And it was freezing cold!!! So, I was so excited to see him, bc it's been years! 

Mrs. Cole-Marshall, a teacher and great friend at David's school, also came to see me. She has been here 3 times, and she was the only one with me when I found out that I was going to have surgery. And boy, am I glad she was here. David had gone back home to feed the kids and get my phone charger bc it had died, and the doctor delivered the news. She was quick to jump up and call him to tell him to get his butt back here. She's a sweet, sweet person, and she adores David like no other. She gives him hell, which is good, he needs it sometimes, lol. Oh, and I got a call from the principal who used to be at David's school. It's amazing the support I have and I am so very lucky to have such special people in my life. Even my friends who can't be here now are precious to me, calling me or facebooking me (I know, FB just became a verb!). I was so happy to see mom too! She is in a lot of pain though (she has to have surgery next month), and I feel so bad for her. The kids went home with them tonight, and for that, I'm grateful, bc they can play with their cousin Elizabeth and get their minds off of me. Well, night!!!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Since I'm awake at 530am...

I thought I would get a few definitions down...

1. VTACs (ventricular tachycardia)-a very fast heart rhythm that originates in the ventricles of the heart.

2. ASD (atrial septum defect)-congenital heart problem that results in a hole in the wall bw the atria...my heart is having to work harder than necessary bc the venous blood is mixing with the arterial blood (deoxygenated vs oxygenated, respectively)

3. EKG (electrocardiogram)-a test to show the electrical activity of the heart

4. Echocardiogram- a sonogram of the heart

5. TEE (transesophageal echocardiogram)-basically, an echo from the inside. Luckily, all I remember from this procedure is the yucky tasting spray that numbs the back of my throat. I go in, lie down, they hook up the vitals stuff, give me oxygen, spray the throat spray and make me swallow Lidocaine 2-3 times, and then, I'm guessing, I swallow the probe that will show the images. I'm kinda foggy on that part, bc I'm usually knocked out by then :) I usually stay foggy for a couple hours after. I've also had a 3D one done, same procedure, different views, like a 3D ultrasound when pregnant.

6. Heart catheterization-a procedure that includes inserting a catheter through from the groin. The catheter then travels to the heart. I luckily don't remember that either, except the getting sick afterward. When I was in "recovery", I vaguely remember them waking me and I was trying to turn on my side. They were yelling at me and holding me down, saying that I needed to lie still. I said that I was about to be sick, and I turned back over just in time. After that, the good patient in me came out and I laid how I was supposed to :)

7. PICC line (peripherally inserted central cath)-A long slender tube (think coffee stirrer, lol) that is inserted into a peripheral vein in the upper arm. The whole setup was so crazy to watch! So, the IV team (so it's really just one person on the IV team) comes in, puts a sign on the door that lets people know that a sterile environment is being set up and that no one is to enter my room. Then, he has to sterilize my table, as that is the table he uses to set out all the "equipment". It is very intricate, and very sterile. He changed gloves 6 times. He laid a sheet out over my entire body, left open the part of my arm where he needed to go, sterilized my arm, used an ultrasound to find the vein he would use, put this remote looking thing on my chest, very painfully inserted this cath (yes, he put Lidocaine on it, but I felt the pain of the pressure), and that was about it. Well, then he used the ultrasound to make sure the cath was in the right place. The PICC line is useful bc I was stuck over 8 times, just for blood draws and IVs (not counting the shots I get in the belly), and the PICC has 2 tubes hanging from it, one for drawing blood and one for giving meds. I won't get stuck anymore and it'll stay in me until I get ready to leave. You may be wondering if getting stuck is really that bad to need this, and the answer is, heck yes! I have a huge bruise from every single stick...my whole right arm on the inside is almost one huge bruise. Plus, I couldn't really move my arms or hands with those IVs in them.

8. Sleep-that thing they always tell you to get, but refuse to let you have, bc they interrupt a lot. :)

9. Love-my husband...who is the best ever. Sorry, gals, he's mine, all mine...lol, he's so strong, and he's been my rock. When I've felt like going nuts over all this, he's helped calm me down. He makes me want to fight, along with the kids. He makes me feel safe, and he's really useful at vacuuming the house, cooking, and everything else around the house :D No, seriously, he's awesome and he cleaned even before this.

10. Love-my children. They are being so brave! Their innocence just reels me in. They are so lovable!!! And adorable!

11. Friendship-wow! I have the most amazing friends. They have visited, checked in with David, even those that have never met him, offered everything up to us except their 1st born, it's been amazing, and I could never thank them all enough for the support! I love them. Speaking of friends, 2 others that visited me on Sat were Helen and Tabitha. I left their names out of the post for Sat, and I apologize, as it was a great visit and they had me laughing like crazy!!

I think that is all for now. I'm finally sleepy again. It's 626, so I'm sure the shift changes will wake me up at 7ish.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Sat, 8/4

Today was a pretty good day...let me start with this morning, around 2am. I was woke up by a visitor. Guess who? It was Calvin, my hero from the ER! He was on his lunch break and walked over to see how I was doing. I hugged him, thanked him for everything, and we talked for a few minutes. He said that he is bringing his wife by to meet me this weekend. See why he will make the finest nurse? He doesn't work in Heart & Vascular. He works in the ER, or most times, as an EMT. Basically, once I leave the ER, he doesn't have to worry about my case anymore. He says that I impacted him...but I'm sure he's got it backward. He is a great man. So, today was the day for visitors!!! And since it's a weekend and nothing new was really happening besides vitals, I could wear my own clothes. I just had to wear a necklace thing to hold my heart monitor. David brought my fave yoga pants and a tee shirt that has a boatneck so that the on-call docs and nurses could easily access my leads and check my heart.


So...who visited today? My babies and husband, of course. My stepdad, who took the kids for a few hours so David could get some things done; my dad, grandma, grandpa, and Aunt Joanie...let me pause here. I've never seen such worry on my grandpa's face. It made me sad. I love him so much. I was his early morning buddy when my sister and I would spend the night there as kids. My grandma, sister and aunt would sleep late, but grandpa and I would get up at 5 and have breakfast and either read the newspaper or watch the birds. It was nice, and definitely something I'll never forget. He had tears in his eyes today, and he hugged and kissed me and squeezed my hand. I'm so glad they came to visit, but I hate seeing him upset.

Who else visited? Holy cow, um, Jennifer, Judith (who gave me such a great massage that I seriously calmed down), my sister, Ashley, Kat, and I think that was it. If I left your name off, I'm sorry!!! Needless to say, I didn't get a nap today, so I'm super tired. So besides the vitals, the stinking shots of Lovenox to the belly, and some other meds, I'm feeling ok and I'm glad I have so many people around me who care. Tomorrow, mom and dad will be back home, and my bestie Sam is coming to visit me from Atlanta. Also, my friend Judith is meeting with David at 9 in the morning to help him shop for the kids' new school clothes. I have great friends. Everything has to go ok, bc I've got some serious paying it forwards to do!!

Fri, 8/3

After this blog post, I'll be all caught up. Today, I had to have another chest X-ray, bc I'm having surgery...every person having surgery gets an X-ray. The X-ray wasn't bad. The surgeon decided he wanted a 3D TEE done, so we did that. It was the same as the one I had on Wed, all I remember is the nasty spray and Lidocaine. The doctor was very pleased with the results, bc it told him that there is nothing else wrong with my heart, only the mitral valve leak and ASD...ha, only...I had some visitors today. My 2 dads (my stepdad and bio dad) (they are awesome and they get along really well), my husband and kids of course!!!!, my aunt Jennifer, my friend Ashley, and I think that's about it! I have such support coming from everywhere, and I'm so grateful for it. This evening was my kids' open house at school. I didn't get to go, and it felt like crap! I never miss out on those things. But...this surgery is so that I never miss another one. They came up afterwards to tell me who their teachers are, what friends they saw, and everything else. Tonight, after everyone left, I was feeling bad. I am scared, and I'm allowed to cry. However, I am not allowed to give up. I have to be strong for my husband and children. My husband and I were texting tonight around 11ish, and I told him how scared I am. I woke up at 2am, with the best text message from him that I've ever received. I'm totally not sharing on here :) Til tomorrow...