June 2010 Update & lessons

June has been a tough month physically & a good month spiritually. I got the chance to visit my sister in Alexandria, Va. The trip was long & I started to retain water. Had a great Friday night – we got to go out for mani/pedi away from kids time.  Saturday was a really busy, fun day. My neice had her ballet recital for the end of the term & it was special. Saturday night my dad went over Psalm 23 with Chloe & how Jesus is our shepherd. I had to live it the next day.  I had the WORST bed I have ever had in a hotel or hospital or anything. Woke up with strep throat. Sick, sick, sick. Came home during Sat night – without A/C in the minivan.

Got to the internist & confirmed strep throat, put me on augmentin that messed up my GI track until 2 days ago. I gained a total of 7 pounds this month in fluid…more “when are you expecting?” questions, my standard answer is “expecting what??

I stayed at my mom & dad’s house for 3 days, so not to pass it on to Jack or Joel (Chloe had already been exposed, but thankfully not sick).  Good lab work one week, poor lab work the next week. Trying new meds to help pressures in the heart & lung & blood vessels, so that I won’t retain fluid; can have more energy; can continue to heal 🙂

We are going back to Dr. B. on Friday at Emory University to review meds, check blood, & have her examine me. 

So….spiritually…I have been in the Word more, been praying through our church directory, working on gifts for birthdays & baby showers early.  Praying & giving to others takes my mind off of myself & keep me from thinking I have the worst life ever.  Even with my poor health, God has given me so many blessings & shown how much He loves me.

Mixed Results, Mixed Feelings, & Reviewing Who my God is

Joel & I went to Emory on Wed, June 9, for a monthly visit to Dr. B, 6 month checkup to Dr. S (head of all GI at Emory) & lab work – can’t forget those vampires!

Got mixed results from all:
Good News –Dr. S, said that the liver has regenerated from a lot of the damage I had last year & is the proper size. Bad news – the kidneys are starting to fail as a result of all the diuretics & my weight is way too low (it”s hovering around 112 – 114; went into surgery at 135). Protein & fat need to be added.  But I have little interest in food or the smell of it.  The trick is to find the good fat that is low sodium – olive oil is my friend. Return in one month.

From cardiologist Dr. B., – my cardio meds are not working & creating pressure in my heart (enlarging it), making all of the vessels leaving the heart in high pressure. My left lung still has fluid – has not been clear since my surgery, so my lungs are building high pressure.  The pressure continues to build, increasing my need for even more diuretics, making kidney failure, making me weaker, tired, etc.  So we are slowly trying new meds for the heart & lungs, increasing potassium, protein, resting sleeping more. 

She has hope that we have a lot of rounds of meds to try & she is still carefully studying my case.  At the end of the summer, I will have a heart cath – it’s the only way to see the blood vessels & measure precisely how high or low the pressure are. If this round of meds doesn’t work, we will try until we’ve exhausted all possibilities.  If no meds work, we will talk about a heart transplant sooner, rather than later.  This has up to a 75% chance of survival rate.   Return in 2 weeks. LabCorp every week.

So…. was this surgery worth it? It turned our family upside down for a year – and now we have more of a journey. I am weaker, more stressed, need more sleep. I really feel I put my faith in God, maybe in the docs a lot, too.  The only thing I can do is follow their orders & the biggest thing I van do is return to Who my God is.  I feel depressed, trying to focus on the good news & hope – medically, but much more on The Good News of the Gospel, & the Hope I have in Jesus Christ.

Please pray as much as you can for all of my family – Joel & the kids, my parents, & my sisters & brother.