Wednesday, March 26, 2014

My broken heart

“You’re only 33 years old. This can’t possibly be right!” Doesn’t sound too positive, eh? How about when this blow is delivered to you by a genuinely perplexed cardiologist, and the “this” is images of your recent heart stress test.  As some of you may know, I have been seen for low blood pressure, and they have been monitoring it for several months now. What most of you do not know, though, is that I have been having some symptoms that, when combined, are apparently indicative of a potential heart attack. Who knew, right? I’m at an ideal weight, we eat healthy, mostly organic foods, I largely steer clear of fatty, greasy foods, and, though I have been told I can’t exercise until they figure out what, exactly, is going on, I chase kids all day and walk on the treadmill as often as possible.

So, in light of that, about 2 weeks ago I underwent a cardiac stress test. During the test, I had some complications, and, while running on the treadmill, it was noted that my heart was, indeed, very stressed. But, I was told that unless there was a problem, I would just be seen at my regularly scheduled follow up on April 18. Well, no news was good news, or so I thought.
Until today. Last night I had the same barrage of symptoms-nausea, dizziness, tightness/clenching in my chest, unable to take a deep breath, and a feeling of complete exhaustion when it was over-so I called my cardiologist’s office this morning. They worked me in this morning, and that is where I found out just how “not right” things really were.

My doctor was asking questions and entering things in to the computer when he confirmed we had already done a stress test. He looked through my chart, read his notes, then turned the page to the radiographic images of my heart taken during the stress test. The look on his face convinced me he had not read nor seen the results until that very moment-a fact that will be dealt with once I find out exactly what kind of hurdles I may be facing. Had I not called them because of my symptoms last night, I would not have found out ANYTHING until April 18. A month after the test was done. But, anger will get me nowhere right now, and I have bigger things to worry about. Way bigger.

Long, complicated story short: something is wrong. Either there is a blockage of some sort or I was born with a congenital anomalous coronary artery. He immediately texted the cardiologist on Lejeune because apparently they have some sort of super high tech imaging machine. In less than 3 minutes, I got a call from the Cardiology dept at the Naval Hospital telling me to come in. Right now. So I did. But not before dragging the worst case scenario out of my cardiologist. I’m not even going down that road again right now, though, because my eyes filled with tears when he told me, and I was left with these words, “for your sake, I really do hope our tests were wrong.” He really was sincere about that. 

I wish that I could tell you that I immediately cried out to God in prayer and that I was overcome with peace and comfort. I didn’t.  I couldn’t. I wasn’t. I really did try to pray. I just didn’t even know where to start.  I instead saw myself recovering from open heart surgery. Not a pretty picture. I got to Naval Hospital, and the cardiologist there was a little more hopeful. I will have more tests done tomorrow morning, and I should have the results by tomorrow afternoon. I allowed myself to feel a little bit of relief.

On the way home, I, once again, tried to pray. I just couldn’t find the words. I know I have a God who is bigger than this little heart he created and placed inside of me, but I just couldn’t voice my fears. That would make them even more real. So, I did what I could do. I turned up the radio. And that’s when God spoke to me. Through Mandisa telling me,

You're an overcomer
Stay in the fight ‘til the final roundYou're not going under‘Cause God is holding you right now”

“You might be down for a momentFeeling like it's hopelessThat's when He reminds YouThat you're an overcomerYou're an overcomer”

"The one who overcame death
Is living inside of You
So just hold tight, fix your eyes
On the one who holds your life
There's nothing He can't do” 

I don’t believe in coincidences, and I love a good word play, so the next song got me too.  My heart may be broken, both figuratively and possibly literally, but God still has my heart in his hands.

“Lord, I know I let You down
But somehow, I will make You proud
I'll turn this sinking ship around
And make it back to You”

“(‘Cause) All You've ever wanted, all You've ever wanted
All You've ever wanted was my heart
Freedom's arms are open, my chains have all been broken
Relentless love has called me from the start
And all You wanted was my heart”

“So I'll stop living off of how I feel
And start standing on Your truth revealed
Jesus is my strength, my shield
And He will never fail me”

Just this morning, a very good friend of mine who is facing some battles of her own posted about how certain songs, played during a very anxiety filled test, broke through her fear and further built up her faith. I had just commented this.very.morning. on how awesome it is when God speaks to us through music. Coincidence? No such thing.