April 30, 2013
The Heart of the Matter
While I was in college, I blacked out in the middle of a chemistry lab. While I couldn't have timed it any more perfectly if I had tried, it wasn't as simple as falling asleep in class. I woke up to my professor and several of my classmates bending over me and a heart that was racing at the speed of a toddler on caffeine. That incident led to a four-day stint in the hospital which ended when a team of doctors shocked my heart with the paddles (not nearly as cool as it looks on TV, believe me) and sent me home with a ticker that was keeping perfect time once again.
Over the course of those several days laying in a hospital bed, I saw a team of specialists that slapped a name on this condition and did their best to explain why a perfectly healthy twenty-year-old was the youngest admitee in the cardiac ward. After a nice jolt of electricity and a several months of medication, I was fine.
Over the last six years, I've been aware of this underlying issue and throughout each of my pregnancies, my doctors and I watched it like a hawk with regular blood draws and tests. Mercifully, I was able to carry both of my children without a relapse and for that, I was so grateful.
Fast forward to a couple months ago and I noticed that things weren't exactly working the way that they should be with my body. Here and there things were going wrong, nothing that would wave a huge red flag, but just small things that were easily written off to stress or too much ice cream. After a few months of no improvement, I finally bit the bullet and went to see the only medical professional that I actually trust- my midwife.
Since this wonderful lady specializes not just in babies and delivery but in the entirety of female care, I knew that I was in good hands. So when I explained the laundry list of things that were wrong, she quickly ordered some blood work. And when I got a call from the clinic several hours later, I knew I was in trouble.
Since my last test nine months ago, the indicator levels in my blood for this issue had doubled, putting me dangerously close to where I had been when I blacked out with no warning that day next to the bunsen burners. Hearing the nurse on the other end of the phone tell me that I was going back on medication was almost music to my ears as my thoughts went to my kids. What if I had blacked out when they were around? When I was driving? What could have happened?
That night as I prayed before bed, I thanked God that we had caught this in time. That no one had been injured. And that I didn't have to worry about spending time in the hospital again instead of taking care of my kids. Several weeks later, that feeling of relief is still lingering but now with the confidence of seeing my troublesome symptoms disappearing and knowing that the medication is once again doing its job and restoring me to health.
So for those of you wondering why things have been quieter than normal here on the blog, this is part of the reason. I've been taking it easy (or as easy as I can while packing an entire house) and keeping tabs on my body to be sure that I would be sticking around a good, long while for the wee ones. The good news is that I'm much, much better. The bad news? I still have packing to do... but even that has a silver lining.
I'm not in the hospital. I'm up on my feet. So I can pack. Thank God.