A Mother’s Care

Happy Summer! I am officially on summer break this week so hopefully you will see a lot more action on this blog!  Jules and I still continue to battle some health issues, her recent being pneumonia and I am four weeks post-surgery for my foot injury.  We thank you for your patience at the sparse posts but we hope to be back with lots of fun and inspiring ideas to share with you!  Just a teaser-Jules has been working on some pretty inspiring fairy gardens so stay tuned for pictures and directions for an enchanting project!

I’m happy to say the surgery for my foot injury is behind me (for more details on the injury click here).  Hopefully I will be done with the walking boot in a couple of weeks and can move on to physical therapy and be as good as new.  I’m trying to see beyond the temporary inconvenience of this injury and look ahead to days of health and healing but it has been hard to be patient.

I have learned many things through this challenge, one of the biggest being how  important encouraging words and acts of care are to someone under the weather.  I think I knew this on some level but until I actually experienced it first hand, I don’t think I really “got” how important and meaningful it is.  The encouraging e-mails, messages, visits and prayers I received before and after my surgery really helped brighten my day, made me smile and brought me so much comfort.

I realize now how much this means and I want to be better about doing this for others.  It only takes a second to send a message or make a phone call and it can really help to offer hope and cheer to someone who is feeling down.

Were you wondering when I was going to get to the point of the title?  Due to circumstances of the Mister’s work, he couldn’t be with me during my surgery.  My brother and Mom were able to be with me and then my Mom stayed to care for me afterward.  We have mentioned before about my Mom’s health issues, so I think she was feeling pretty good that she was on the caring end of things this time.  I was so thankful for Mom being here and the time we spent together.  There is just nothing like a Mother’s care and I was so comforted by her presence and help following my surgery.  She knew what I needed before I even had to ask.  We spent the days of recouperation talking, watching Hallmark movies and just hanging out.  I thank God daily for my Mom and the time we are able to spend together, as I get older, I realize deeply what a blessing this is. Here she is with Little One.  Thanks Mom for all of your help!

IMG_4147

I apologize for this post being a bit rambly!  I hope these words might inspire you to reach out to someone you know who is going through a health issue.  Even if you can’t be a caregiver like my Mom was to me,  taking the time to send a message, card or pick up the phone to say hi will surely brighten their day.

~Blessings,

Jen

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