Where in the world is my Luck!!

Bad LuckGood Evening Dear Followers!

Remember the old Hee Haw song about luck, and that if I didn’t have bad luck, I’d have no luck at all!! This seems to be me lately. I’ve recently run into a few health issues that I would just as soon not deal with. First of all, about a year and a half ago I had to have a pacemaker put in. The fact that we had to postpone the surgery about 3 times because of the severe sciatic pain I was having, should have been a clue things were probably going to go south!! (Oh, I had to have surgery for that too!)

So at the very young age of 56 I had to have a pacemaker put in because of a slow heart rate. No problem. My cardiologist was excellent, did a great job and I went back to work in a few days. After a few tweaks we had it ticking pretty good. Things went pretty well until last summer when I spent 6 weeks with pneumonia…who gets pneumonia in the summer?? People with bad luck I say!! Finally in August I was regaining my energy and feeling better.  Then one day last fall I was sitting on the couch and felt this huge jolt, like something dropping out of my stomach!!! It was the weirdest thing I had experienced. Over the next couple of weeks it kept doing it, only more rapidly. It felt like gigantic hiccups in my abdomen. Literally you could see it jumping. I decided it was time to visit the cardiologist for a check. They did some adjustments, and voila…it was gone…for five days. Too bad, I was on my way to a week in Florida with Christine, Dave and the babies and I wasn’t missing that. It was only on and off and because I knew what was causing it, I was ok.

Now it is a week later, vacation over,  I’m at the airport and I decide that I’m going to get a little exercise and walk to my gate. All of a sudden I was getting jolted repeatedly. The faster I walked the harder it hit. It wasn’t really painful, but you know how it starts to hurt after you hiccup hard for awhile. Well, it had never been this bad before and wouldn’t stop. Of course, my mind was imagining horrible things…was it an aneurysm…was I going to explode?!?! I called my daughter and she suggested calling the cardiologist, surely he had an answering service. Quickly I had a return call from my him. He really didn’t know what was going on. I explained I was ready to board the airplane in Atlanta. He said if it was still doing it when I got home to go to ER. It was and I did. They couldn’t find anything wrong, so next day I’m back to the doctor. He believes the lead was hitting my phrenic nerve (it’s the nerve that runs along the diaphragm…don’t worry, I didn’t know what it was either!!). So once again the tech resets things….the tech has started calling me his “problem child.” He said he has probably put about 10,000 of these things in and only saw in happen a couple of times.  (See the bad luck pattern happening???) Again he adjusts it but tells the doc he is getting out of the safety zone and can’t really do anymore changes…but it stopped…again…for about 5 days…..and this time the doc said the leads will have to be replaced.

Finally the day comes…the surgery went off without a hitch. The hatches were battened down and the surgeon said they weren’t going anywhere. About 10 days later I am feeling pretty good, wondering even if maybe I could go back to work sooner. I was still pretty sore and tired though, and thought another week of rest would be good for me. Then comes last Sunday…do you see it coming??? The bad luck?? Well if you thought I was going to say it was thumping again, that would be wrong. No, this time I’m having chest pains. I think, oh it must be gas and I took a Zantac and a couple of Tylenol and went to lay down. After about an hour I sent a text to nurse daughter asking what I should do. I don’t know how she even had time to read it before my phone was ringing. She was screaming at me to take an aspirin and get to the hospital. She was like…”I mean it, I’m not kidding, get out of that bed and get to ER, right now!” Well yes ma’am! So I walk out, tell my husband, I’m having chest pains and Christine told me to go to ER. At this point he doesn’t even question my wackiness. He puts his shoes on and off we went.  I decided to go the hospital my cardiologist works out of. They run some tests and turns out I have something called cardiac effusion which means fluid around the heart….and they are 99.9% sure that it was from the surgery! What the heck, I have a rare surgery and then a rare side affect! So at the tender age of 57 I had my first ambulance ride ever to the “big hospital!” By this time the IV meds were making me feel pretty good and its pretty much a blur after that.

Ambulance ride

After a couple of echo cardiograms with no changes, they shipped me home. I’m feeling a little better now, but not 100%. My family doctor added a couple of new meds today which he said should help things clear up quicker! So…I’m done….I’m ready to be healthy and back into activity. I will tell you, when I was laying there with chest pains, I sure started giving consideration to how well I have been taking care of my heart and what I need to do in the future. So as soon as I get my pain gone and energy back it’s time to start being heart healthy!! Who’s with me??

Peace, light and stay warm!

Julie

Silent Vigil

Psalm 139:13-18. Praise God for the way He has intricately woven your baby together, first in your womb, and now outside of it. Thank Him for the opportunity to watch His hand at work. Thank Him for forming all of your child’s days in His book, long before they took their first breath! Be comforted that He has a plan for them and is in control.

I have just returned from visiting my daughter and son in law. My daughter gave birth at 34 weeks to preemie twins. It certainly was not what any of us expected. My visit was delayed until they came home from the hospital. I finally traveled to Georgia when my granddaughter came home, leaving her brother still in the NICU; he just wasn’t strong enough to come home yet. I didn’t realize that for almost the 2 weeks I was there, I would be going daily to the hospital to be with my grandson. I quickly found out what an exhausting job this is. I’m sure unless you have been through it, you just can’t understand. I had no idea how hard it would be. It’s quiet in the NICU, as little babies are trying to grow. Parents keep silent vigils, leaning over cribs, talking and praying with their babies. Everyone seemed tense and tired. The nurses were great, for the most part. You really wanted to get to know the nurses you would be intrusting to nurture your baby when you couldn’t be there. Walking out at night and leaving that tiny little guy in that room was hard on me, I cannot imagine what my daughter was going through. He was really doing okay, we were lucky; he just had to get strong enough to eat. There are many preemie babies going through a lot more than and we were grateful his problems were small. Dinner was usually eaten at 8:30 or 9:00 without much energy or enthusiasm. And every day we got up and repeated the day. One day I just placed my hand on that tiny little head and prayed to God to help him get stronger so we could bring him home. And finally he started making progress and at last they declared him ready to go home. What joy and relief.

It is pretty amazing what God can do, but I would strongly encourage all of you to remember these parents of preemies. They are going through a lot and they are exhausted. Remember to let them know you are praying for them; take them a meal or two or three. Your support is more important than you can ever imagine. And I can attest, as the Psalms said, God certainly did intricately create two beautiful little miracles.

Meet Brooks and Elle!

TwinsHave a wonderful week,

Julie

 

Write it Down!

write it downHappy New Year Everyone!

With all of the holiday happenings, weather and travel I’m a bit behind on some of my post idea. As you all may know my mom was in the hospital for a week the first part of November. I want to share a tip with you that our Pastor shared with us when he came to visit. He suggested we get a notebook and take notes on everything that was going on with mom: what meds she was taking, what each doctor, nurse etc. had to say. The notebook would stay with mom and whoever happened to be there could be brought up to speed in a matter of minutes by checking the notebook. That notebook turned out to be invaluable. The doctors and nurses were all very patient as we took notes. I think they were happy to see us write stuff down as I think it cut down on some repeat questions.  We all know how stressful it can be when a loved one is ill, and sometimes all of the information coming in can be overwhelming. This is why the notebook became so important. We could also create a list of questions for the doctor when he came in. Those visits were “short and sweet” (ok…really, they weren’t sweet!!!) and having the questions ready was very helpful. So I suggest if you are caring for a loved one in or out of the hospital, the notebook could be a very useful tool for you too! We even continued to use it for awhile after she was home and took it to her after care visit with questions! Thanks Pastor Matt for a great tip!!

Blessings

Julie