Tuesday, October 02, 2007

A Cardiology Report

Last month I wore a cardiac event monitor under my clothing for 4 weeks as I fasted from caffeine. The purpose was to see how things were going with my heart. The monitor recorded a handful of premature ventricular and atrial contractions (AKA heart skipping beats) each day but those are not really harmful, fairly common and not something you necessarily treat.

The good news is that my cardiologist said I can have caffeine again...the bad news is that meant my thoughts of staying off for good went flying out the window as I left his office obsessed with the thought of a Splenda-sweetened tea over crushed ice from Chic-Fil-A (followed later that afternoon by an ice cold Diet Coke in a glass bottle...YUM!). I am committed to moderation with caffeine and eventually giving it up, but frankly, I am tired and just not willing to do the work necessary to stay off it completely right now.

The really good news is that I also had my annual echocardiogram last week and today received the best report on my heart in three years. My ejection fraction, which was at fatal levels (10-15%) in May of 2004 is completely back to normal. There is no scientific explanation why, but women with cardiomyopathies like mine either die from it (30%), live but never fully regain their heart function (30%) or recover fully (30%). It seems I am in the "fully recovered" category now. Praise God!

The really, really good news is the thing my hubby and my cardiologist were most concerned with lately, my mitral valve prolapse with moderate regurge, looks a lot better as well. This means any talk of maybe having a valve replaced one day is over for now.

I am still on two cardiac medications that I will take for the rest of my life...but compared to all the other possible outcomes, those 3 pills a day are an afterthought.

I have no idea why God chose to not only spare me, but heal me completely while others far "better" than me have different outcomes. I decided a couple of years ago to stop obsessing over that question. It is a moot point. I won't know the answer on this side of heaven. I must simply strive to do what we are ALL called to do (near death experiences or not), which is live a life that glorifies our creator. So today, I will simply praise the one who saved my soul and spared my life on this Earth for now. To God be all the glory and the honor and the praise!

35 comments:

keri said...

that's fantastic news! although i have no idea what all those technical terms mean...i'm so happy you are in the 30% group who recover fully. praising God with you!

HW said...

Praise God, indeed!!
He is so good.

Kelly said...

What an awesome God we serve! He obviously has great plans for you - including being a mother to those 3 precious children you have! (you of all people REALLY need caffiene! ha!)
I feel like you a lot - I wonder why God chooses to bless me sometimes when I certainly don't deserve it while others have to suffer. I just keep remembering that we serve a Holy and Just God. Not a fair God. And he doesn't want us to understand Him - just to trust Him. So I try to do just that every day.
I'm so happy you got such a wonderful report!

Kelly said...

What a wonderful report! Praise God for His mercy and healing touch.

Jenna said...

So glad to hear such a great report! Congrats on all the wonderful news and let's not forget a big halelujah for the Diet Coke :)

Love, Jenna

BooMama said...

Praising with you, sweet J!

The Hiatt Family said...

Wonderful news! I must confess I think of you many days as I enjoy my 'get me through the day Diet Coke.' So thankful you'll be joining me now!

Renee said...

Wonderful news!!!

fAiThFuL cHiCk said...

Praise be to God! Thanks for sharing that!

The Robinson Girls said...

That is great news. I can follow most of those terms, as we have spent much time with cardiologists and cardiothorasic surgeons at the Unviersity of Florida. My 18 month old was at Shands last week and got her first 'good report' and for the first time in her life is off all cardiac meds (digoxin, lasix, etc). I know the feeling all to well- congrats!

Lisa said...

Congratulations on your fantastic news!
I think when the Lord is working, no scientific explanation is necessary.
Enjoy that tea...you've earned it!

Paulette said...

Woo hoo J mom I am so excited for you. God is awesome.
I believe this post ministered to me this evening as I have had to take 2 nitro gliceron pills today, I believe my stent is going bad again, I see my cardiologist first thing in the morning and hopefully I wont need surgery tomorrow!
God is Good no matter what.

Barbie@ Mamaology said...

Yeah, what a wonderful report:):):)

Mary said...

What fantastic news! There is a heart defect that runs in my husband's family and we have dealt with more open hear surgeries than any family should have to so I really do get how wonderful this is! God is so good!

Jennifer said...

So happy to hear you received such a good report! And really, there is nothing like a Diet Coke in a glass bottle. Hope you enjoyed every drop! :)

Emmy : ) said...

Praise God! YEAH!!!!!!!! Awesome! I am SO glad because you will never know what a blessing you are to me! I am THANKFUL! : )

Courtney said...

that is really great! I know God uses you to bless so many, so thanks for being that vessle. That is so wonderful to hear!!!

A Place For Ministry Wives said...

Praise God! And I love your honesty about wanting to return to "caff" drinks and how you're feeeling about the "work" involved to stay off of them. That's REAL and your honesty is ADMIRABLE.

Katy said...

That is so wonderful! God has a plan and purpose for you! I am so glad things are OK and doing well!

Lauren said...

We haven't met, but I love your blog. I am larning much from your parenting wisdom, honesty and ability to be honest with your struggles. Thank you.
I am extremely thankful for your great reports from your Doctor. Praise the Lord!!!

Katie said...

Praise God!! I'm so glad for you. And to think, great news and diet coke in the same day. I have to admit my body physically relaxed at the sound of opening a coke while my children we little.

wendymom said...

Praise the Lord. God is so good. The explanation why is obvious. A miracle of God's almighty Hand!!! He needs you here for a long time serving His precious people on earth!!!

Keri Ann said...

Praise God for this terrific news! How wonderful to know you are healed!

And enjoy those (occasional) Diet Cokes! :-) :-) :-)

Mindy said...

Praise God for your news!!!!!
And I'm so glad to see that your Mytral Value Prolapse got better.....I didn't know it could do that and it is encouraging for me. Did you do anything specific to make it better?
My mytral value doesn't prolapse but I do have the regurge (family members of course do have the prolapse) so it is encouraging to read that your has improved.
I had really wondered why your cardiologist wanted you off of the caffiene - and am glad to see it wasn't for the prolapse? =)
I love my coffee.....although I have cut down to 1/2 caf. and usually at the most 2 cups a day.
If you have anything specific about the regurge, feel free to email me!
Blessings!
IN HIM -
Mindy

Mindy said...

Praise God for your news!!!!!
And I'm so glad to see that your Mytral Value Prolapse got better.....I didn't know it could do that and it is encouraging for me. Did you do anything specific to make it better?
My mytral value doesn't prolapse but I do have the regurge (family members of course do have the prolapse) so it is encouraging to read that your has improved.
I had really wondered why your cardiologist wanted you off of the caffiene - and am glad to see it wasn't for the prolapse? =)
I love my coffee.....although I have cut down to 1/2 caf. and usually at the most 2 cups a day.
If you have anything specific about the regurge, feel free to email me!
Blessings!
IN HIM -
Mindy

Ashley said...

Since I work in the cardiac field I understand all that you talked about: Ejection Fraction etc! All I can say in Praise be to God b/c those first EF were scary to read, but knowing that God has restored your physical heart is an ultimate testimony to his healing. He is in control all the time and your message is a great reminder. I am glad for you that your life was spared partly b/c I am selfish and love reading your blog, it encourages and lifts me up. Again the Lord is using you and those 3 little angels are so blessed to have you as mommmy! They too lift my spirits when I get sad or lonely! Blessing to you and glad you are doing so well! Ashley

the good, the bad & the ugly said...

Praise the Lord!! Great news! And you get to be reunited with caffeine! :)

Embracing my cup said...

Wonderful news!! Praising Him with you!!

Anna said...

Rejoicing with you! That's awesome!

Anna
http://sincerelyanna.wordpress.com

Peach said...

Rejoicing here, too. How wonderful is our God! May His name be praised.

Thanks so much for the update.

Drop by my site. I gave you a well-deserved award today. : )

Jen4 @ Amazing Trips said...

This is good news to read, what a wonderful relief.

Hallelujah, Praise God indeed!!

Kim said...

I'm so thankful for the good report! That is great!!!

nicole said...

Praise God for all of that good news! You are exactly right, the sufferings AND blessings He gives each of us are the ones He intended for us, and no one else. It is not for us to know why, but to trust that His ways are perfect.

Nancy said...

What wonderful news. I'm so happy for you!!! My dream is to hear the same words you did at my next echo. I had been having PVC's as well, but didn't know what to call then or even how to describe them. At my last appointment, I had several in his office, so they were able to tell me what they were and that they are basically harmless. It was such a relief. They suggested I cut down on caffeine, but I had already planned to do that...tomorrow. I always say....tomorrow! LOL! Hey, you have to cope with life, right? And sometimes you just have to have it! :) So glad for your good news...I've been thinking about you and wondering how it all went! Have a blessed day!

Room for Grace said...

What wonderful news!