Sunday, July 15, 2007

Prayer Request, etc.

Someone new commented on my blog recently and, being the polite person that I am, I decided to visit her blog. She's young. Young enough to be my daughter, technically speaking. She's also been battling a heart condition most of her short life. To read more about Kaylee's story, click here.)

Now, I know about heart conditions. Dear Hubby was blessed with poor genetics from both sides of his family tree. His father's side is prone to massive, fatal first heart attacks. His mother's side has micro-vascular disorder (i.e. very narrow arteries). So in Dear Hubby's case, a little bit of plaque blockage can cause a lot of damage.

Dear Hubby was 34 years old when he had his first episode (slight chest pain/arm numbness while jogging). Fortunately, I found a cardiologist who was willing to take this seriously, and he had his first angioplasty and first stent a week later. Son #1 was 7, Son #2 was 5, and Son #3 was 6 months old. I was alone, breastfeeding Son #3 and trying to entertain Sons #1 and 2 in the waiting room because, as fate would have it, Dear Hubby's sister had a massive coronary "event" earlier in the day was in critical conditional in a different hospital. She had four stents put in a week earlier. Not exactly a confidence builder.

A year later, Dear Hubby had 3 more stents put in. At this point, we were in "maintenance mode." As in: okay, the docs know what's causing this (microvascular disease, C-reactive protein, unusually high cholesterol levels despite a healthy diet).

Six months later, we were hoping (and working - wink wink) for Son #4. Fate has an interesting way of kicking you in the face. Six months after the 3 stents, and so called "promotion" at work (i.e. the offer one can't refuse - even if one wishes to), it was decided that Dear Hubby would have to have triple bypass surgery.

Good bye, Son #4. Seriously. I felt the energy just drain from my body and at that point, I decided that if I would be a single mother, I'd rather be a single mother of 3 than a single mother of 4. Not to mention that Dear Hubby was 36 and I was - ahem - older. The surgery sucked a lot of energy from me.

The surgeon was very interesting. Dear Hubby is a runner and his surgeon is one of the pioneers of a new technique that involves using grafts from the radial arteries in the arm to replace arteries in the heart (versus using veins in the legs). He was happily running 12 weeks later. Surgeon told me that all went well considering that he considered Coronary Artery Disease to be a "terminal illness". Silly me. I had been thinking of it as a manageable condition.

The truth is this. You never know what life is going to deal you. There are plenty of distractions. Money, alcohol, fun, sickness. The trick is to thank God for what time you have, find a way to honor Him. Live each day as if you may not have the chance at a "do over" tomorrow, but don't obsess over your mistakes. Each day is a gift. Learn from the past and let it go. Live and love today. Look forward to the tomorrow that may or may not come.

To Kaylee, know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. Don't lose focus that you serve a real purpose in this world. Fulfill it. No matter how large or small it may seem. Hugs to you.


KAYLEE said...

AWWW VERY GOOD POST and thank you very much:)I know how your hubby felt:D

Elle*Bee said...

I bet you do know, certainly better than I do. I only see it on the outside looking in (which is scary enough thank-you-very-much). I did go back and look at the posts to which you referred me. I think anytime one mentions "heart" condition, it feels like a kick in the heart to those who love you (and in my case, Dear Hubby). Nevertheless, it's good to get it out there. To talk about it.

When is your surgery? Is it your first? Feel free to ignore my questions if I'm being overly nosy.

I like your blog very much. Don't feel pressured to keep it light. I think honesty is the best gift we sometimes have to offer. You know. The days we want to laugh and the days we want to cry. I guess I'm an all or nothin' kind of gal. :-)

KAYLEE said...

Its on the 10th of August its my second actually!Thanks I always express my feelings.You are not too nosy!:P

KAYLEE said...

Ihopw its okay that I Added you too my links list????????

Shionge said...

Thank you for sharing your story with us too Elle :D

Paul Champagne said...

Please make sure you have the kids checked early and often for coronary disease. Thanks for sharing.

Paul Champagne said...

Please make sure you have the kids checked early and often for coronary disease. Thanks for sharing.

Nadine said...

Wow I had no idea. What a great way to look at life. How is your hubby doing now? I will keep you both in prayer.

Keshi said...

Kaylee is always in my prayers. Wonderful post indeed!

Im glad ur hubby is ok too.

yes be thankful for what we have...ALWAYS. Cos alot hv it worse than us.


KAYLEE said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
KAYLEE said...

sorry if you get new readers but I posted something on my blog for you that directed them here.hope you dont mind?

Jeya Anand said...

that was a great post!!
Myocardial infarction is the greatest killer in the world..People Beware..keep fit..each day is a gift...:)

soul&body said...

waw, I have no words, I came here because of kaylee's blog ( it was when I discovered your blog). Its in these situations when a person thinks " how life is so short, so precisous"
people whom are " healthy" have no idea about this. When a person has some problem is when they know how precious is.
Fortunly I am "healthy" I never had big problems, but my mother got a problem in these last months, they discoevred a little tumor in her breast, there I was fear to lose her, she had to do radiotherapy, it wasnt a good time, but now she looks ok. I discovered how much i love her.
yes life is short, in spite of the diseases, I think we should try everyday like a miracle, a new oportunity of life, its a bendiction. thank you for share your story, when I read I felt a bit to say... how many things that happen....And how the others cybers readers said, plse check your kids regulary!!!! Give a lot of love to them ;)

Elle*Bee said...

No, Kaylee, I don't mind the extra traffic. Aug. 10 is when my kids return to school so I'll be saying some extra prayers that day - including those for you.

you're welcome, shionge.

Yes, Paul, we already have already started monitoring Son #1's cholesterol level this year when he turned 12. Thankfully it's fine right now, but puberty can really wreak havoc on the body in more ways that I ever realized. Re: the microvascular condition (very narrow arteries), there's not real way to test for that other than an angiogram which is warranted at this time. Thanks for commenting.

nadine, Dear Hubby is doing fine now. He calls it "better living through chemistry" because he's on a number of medications, but they seem to be working. He visits the cardiologist every 3-4 months for bloodwork and some type of scan. We always knew we'd have to deal with it someday, but I sort of imagined it would be when we were older. It's always in the back of my mind, though.

Elle*Bee said...

Welcome to my blog, keshi. That's the challenge: to appreciate what one has before there's a risk of losing it.

You're right jen and welcome! It's especially under-diagnosed in women because they exhibit different symptoms than men do. We lost my father when he was 54 to a mycardio infarc.

welcome soul. So few of us have the gift of a second chance. I'm glad you did with your mom.

KAYLEE said...


Tracey said...

My Brother in law has serious heart issues as well. My sister said goodbye to the dream of baby #3 after he had quadruple bypass surgery at 35. She, like you, decided that single motherhood would be easier with fewer children. He is doing well, thankfully, but it IS scary to know that further surgeries lie ahead. You DO have to enjoy each day. You never know what lies ahead...

John said...

elle-elle- elle

At it again! Making people feel loved and cared for!! LOL

You know this hits close to home for me too! That's why I am choosing you as one of my recepients to receive a Blog Award. Please go to my site for details- I hope to have it all up and running by this evening.

I can only think of a couple of other people who so welcomed me to the Blogosphere and encouragewd me along the way. You ARE what this award is about!

Enjoy and chat with ya soon. It may be tonight before all is posted!

Oh- It's called the Reflective Blogger Award- and it's cool!!