Life can change in an instant…
Sunday, August 8, 2021
Don and I were busy working on upgrading our cabinets in the ½ bath, laundry room and kitchen island; learning the tricks of the trade before deciding on whether we were up to tackling the full kitchen.
We were also seriously browsing the shelter, rescue and humane society online sites to perhaps soon to welcome a new pup to our family. So I put in a questionnaire on a litter of puppies, but soon they appeared online as adoption pending/or/having been adopted to families.
We saw the cutest almost 4 month old pup and fell in love with him; a boxer mix, with tail, pensive eyes, floppy ears and a white crest on his chest. He was adorable. This was the first pup Don was really interested in taking a look at, so I had to move fast!
I put in another questionnaire and said a little prayer
that if we shouldn’t get this pup, please intervene.
It wasn’t but an half an hour later when I saw he had been adopted as well.
I was a little depressed, but thought; I guess we are not meant to get a pup or it was just not the right timing for it.
We had already decided to go ahead with our kitchen painting project, and it wouldn’t be easy to add a puppy to our mess right now. I put it out of my mind and continued painting.
Around 1:00 pm, I was coming up the step from our sunken family room to the kitchen level, wiping the sweat from my face with a napkin, shielding my view. I thought my foot was on the step up but it wasn’t and I was catapulted forward towards our laundry room door crashing into the jam with the left side of my chest extremely hard. I heard a pop, and immediately fell to the floor screaming and grasping my chest thinking I probably broke one to three ribs.
One minute I was happily updating our home and the next, fully expecting I may need the Emergency Room for x-rays, meds for pain or worse. Being the girl who has “white coat syndrome”, I decided to take it easy the rest of the week (instead of going to the ED), added Tylenol and applied ice. It wasn’t feeling too bad.
In the meantime, sporadically, I was experiencing a slow pulse and some fibrillation. Not pain, some shortness of breath while getting to the top of the steps, but nothing that kept me down. In fact I felt better when I was up exercising getting my steps in and riding the incumbent bike for 6 miles.
Friday, August 13, 2021
By Friday, it was getting annoying with the slow pulse and heart “flipping” feeling and I was so tired; enough to take long daily naps. I discussed it with Don and he thought I should still go to the doctor to see if indeed I had done some damage that needed attention.
I mentioned at the doctor’s office not only the ribs and fall, but that I was concerned about my slow pulse which was reading about 30-40 bpm.
My doctor was off that day, but the nurse practitioner examined my ribs and since I wasn’t wincing, she felt that I did not have any fractures or breaks, but she was more concerned about the low pulse. She advised getting an EKG to see what was going on.
This is when my life changed in a big way
After reading my EKG, the NP says to me, “I don’t want to startle you, but I’m sending you over to the Emergency Department (connected to the doctor’s office) and they are going to possibly give you a temporary pacemaker”.
Well, you don’t hear those words every day!
I immediately teared up and freaked out as they put me in a wheelchair and I was whisked away to the ED. They called Don, who was waiting for me in the parking lot, to meet us there.
It wasn’t long until I was getting a second EKG in the ED, numerous blood tests and a chest x-ray for my ribs from the fall. No bruising on the outside of my chest, no broken bones from the hard hit into the door jam but my left side was super tender and tough to get a deep breath.
Between the doctor’s office appointment at noon Friday (the 13th), to the our local medical center ED at noon, to the ED of a full service hospital downtown until around 6:00 ish, I felt like I had seen 20+ various medical practitioners! I think I had total around 4-5 EKG’s before I was finally admitted to a room on the sixth floor in the full service hospital at 11:30 pm, Friday 13, 2021.
The weekend was spent hooked up to wires to monitor my heart, blood pressure and pulse, blood draws, cat scan, heart ultrasound.
They cautioned I may need a heart cath before my pacemaker procedure if any issues showed up on my cat scan, but later said it wasn’t needed after all. Such good news.
Monday, August 16, 2021 – permanent pacemaker scheduled for 1:00 pm
But here’s the thing…
The cardio doc said the heart is like a house. There’s the structure (muscle), plumbing (pipes) and wiring (electricity). My structure is good, no damage to the muscle, my plumbing is good, no blocked valves or veins, but I did have an electrical issue where my heart’s connection from the top couldn’t communicate with the bottom, so I was unable to complete but one beat out of three or four. Had I not known this, I could have passed out, had a stroke, or heart attack while driving or doing anything else.
Now my heart is beating normally with the pacemaker. The pacemaker device RN said it works with my heart only when I need it. It doesn’t push my heart it just learns my patterns and helps out. I’m thinking sort of an artificial intelligence??!!?? lol
Don and I are super grateful for the following reasons:
- Had we adopted a pup on that Sunday, I may or may not have fallen.
- Had I not fallen to push me to go to the doctor to get checked out, I would not have known anything was seriously wrong with my low pulse. In fact, I was thinking “Hey, I’m in pretty good shape, my heart doesn’t have to work so hard!” – WRONG! 30-40 is way too low!
- My symptoms undetected could have increased in a short period of time causing a major stroke or heart attack, endangering myself as well as others.
- I was “a-symptomatic” with no chest pain, dizziness, shortness of breath that most experience when having heart issues.
We are convinced that God choreographed this whole thing to get me to seek medical attention before things got worse. He brought me to a place where I had to let go of any control. This was a serious situation, with potentially dire consequences.
Today’s culture screams,
“I can do anything I put my mind to…
I have the power!”
when in reality, God is the omnipotent (all-powerful) One.
There was nothing I could do to help myself in that hospital bed but to surrender to the medical team God led me to and let them do their job. I had my preferences of what hospital to be transported to. My least favorite was the only one with any available beds. As it turns out, I was met with an outstanding medical team. I couldn’t ask for any more competent and knowledgeable professionals for my care! I put my trust in them and said, “Do what you have to do.”
They responded with the facts of my condition, took their time to do the necessary tests to determine a correct diagnosis with kindness and compassion. Even though at times, the words they uttered were unsettling, but deep down, I found peace and trust in God and as well as those He placed to my care.
So, that’s my story. This is my new normal. I trust only the Lord with my life and every aspect of it.
If you haven’t come to the place where the Creator God is first in your life, I invite you to get to know Him.
With God, I can trust Him to supply all my needs.
We may put our highest trust in those we believe
to be the best in this world
“We are suffering from big views of ourselves
and small views of God.”
~ Alistair Begg