Wednesday, October 19

Almost a Clear Bill of Health for My Holy Heart

I'm still trying to get over my lost post. As far as our trip to Los Angeles for me to go to UCLA, it worked out well. I had some test done, met with the doctor and learned what I already suspected. Yes, Praise God, my holy heart is healed! The doctor said after reviewing my cardiac catheterization test, which he received first, he was a bit confused as to why I was referred to him.
It was all in the timing of how he received and saw test results. He said, other than some tricuspid regurgitation, my heart is fine. There is no measurable hole. A few days later he received and was able to review my transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE). He said that with the TEE test results it would appear the hole was there and causing issues.

My TEE was done one month before my cardiac cath. That one month, a key event and special moment was critical. Hundreds of people started praying after we told everyone about my TEE results. After my TEE it seemed pretty evident that I was facing open heart surgery again. Due to all my allergies with general anesthesia and pain medication, I was looking at my possible death and/or extreme pain.

On March 28th, I had the opportunity to attend a Michael W. Smith concert. I spent a great deal of time worshipping the Lord during that concert. Afterwards I got some quiet time in my car waiting for traffic to clear out of the parking lot. In those still quiet moments of reflecting on how moved I was by the concert, I swear to you I heared an audible voice say to me, "You have never asked Me to heal you, so ask Me."  I was shocked, amazed and cried out, "Oh My God, you are so right, I never have." I always trusted that God was with me through everything and that His hand had been with the surgeon in 2002 and other professionals through out the process.  I never asked for a healing. Even after the surgery when they were trying to find something to give me for the pain that I wasn't allergic to, when I cried out in severe pain, I cried, "Jesus, please take me home now, kill me and take the pain away." In that time of excruciating pain I never said, "Please heal me, Jesus."

It wasn't until that moment in my vehicle with His presence there that I realized I should and could ask for a healing. I thought healings were for other people. I'm not in pain so why would I ask for God to heal the hole in my heart?  I finally accepted that I was able to ask and receive His healing. I said, "Lord, clearly I wasn't listening, forgive me my ignorance, and YES, please heal my holy heart." 

The next morning after the concert was my cardiac cath test. The test that contradicted my TEE results.  The test that the UCLA doctor saw first. The results that confused my local cardiologist and led him to refer me for a 2nd opinion. The test results that the UCLA doctor cannot reconcile with my TEE results.

Monday, October 3rd I had a cardiac stress test at UCLA. I ran on a treadmill while hooked up to all kinds of wires. I raised my heart rate to 170 without having any cardiac distress and did pretty darn good according to the UCLA staff and cardiologist. My oxygen levels stayed healthy too. So when I met with the UCLA cardiologist he said that the hole, if there is one, doesn't seem to be presenting any issues. It is only because I have tricuspid regurgitation that my numbers are not exactly 100%, but are within the normal range. Due to the enlargement of my heart after 32 years with a hole, my tricuspid valve is stretched and flappy. It just isn't closing sufficiently to control the flow of blood. So instead of a holy heart, I now have a flappy valve heart. It has a cool swoosh rhythm to it too. Depending on the stress I place on my heart may effect the symptoms I see and feel.  He is having me get a cardiac MRI just to confirm his diagnosis about the hole and valve as well as not releasing me to do any aerobic exercise until after the MRI. Unless the MRI test results are abnormal, he said I have plain old tricuspid regurgitation and I will feel better if I just "Loose some weight, eat healthy, and exercise." He clarified with, "Well with the exercise just wait until after you hear from me about the MRI,"

So, I am scheduled to get my MRI on Monday, Oct. 24. I am looking forward to having this whole process over and done. I am excited to be able to return to walking with some running mixed in there soon. I will be a walking miracle! I am going to look to see if there is a 5k I can sign up and do for Spring 2012 in Tucson, Arizona. Oh, that will be another blog for another day.

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