Saturday, 26 January 2013

This time next week .....

.... I should be well over the operation part of my hospital stay.  God willing I will be in Intensive Care or High Dependency with most of the tubes removed.  I am looking forward to the surgery being in my past, instead of in my future.  Obviously, I will have a long recovery period but that is planned and I should get plenty of medical support. 

So in no particular order of importance, I give you the lessons that I have learnt:

  • God is good even when I do not understand what the heck is going on.
  • I am not always going to remember that God is good when the worries of life overwhelm me.
  • Christians are very supportive.  I have people praying for me and my family all over the UK and in other parts of the world.
  • Small manageable routines are great for sanity.  eg, write that diary entry every day.  Look for positive comments and quotes.
  • Writing with a fountain pen is therapeutic.
  • Take one day at a time as my human mind is not equipped to deal with so big a wait for any longer than that.  
  • Relaxation therapy is good and some of that music makes me feel so dreamy and (wait for it) relaxed.
  • I am stronger than I thought I was.
  • Hospitals and Drs are not all of the devil, they are there to help.
  • Sedation is a great way to get through really difficult medical tests. I need to take it if I need it and drop the 'tough girl' routine, it does not suit me.  Not all of us are like my mum who can have some dental treatment without anything to numb our gums!!!
  • I am very grateful for modern medical advancement even if it meant I had to swallow a probe the size of a water hose. ;)
  • Stop the guilt.  I was hoping to go through this experience with 'that peace' that people talk about.  I have not always had it.  When I stopped feeling guilty about it and admitted that this is BIG and anxiety etc was normal, I started feeling more positive towards the whole situation.
  • It stinks having a dodgy heart valve that needs replacing.
  • I am not afraid of dying (I know where my future lies) BUT I do not want my daughters to be without me.  They have already lost one mum.
  • I am nervous of complications of surgery going wrong etc.
  • I would love a rest from life's trials.  Please.
  • My fear/anxiety about hospitals etc is part of me and probably will not go away this side of heaven.   I am not abnormal to feel this way.
  • The human mind is an amazing thing and can block out huge things in order to make living possible.
  • Emotions are strong and can come from nowhere.  I do not want to fight them, ignore them or bury them but just use them to live life to the full.
  • People are flippant in tricky times because they do not know what to say.
  • Humour is great even when facing major surgery. 
  • Try not to sweat the small stuff.
  • I love my running and exercise and cannot wait to get back to it.
  • My job is great and a distraction from my own thoughts.  I love it.
  • People are wonderful and caring.  I have had offers of help (in all manner of ways) from people at church, work and other places. 
  • Family is important.
  • My husband can cook real food and may be a contender for the 'best cook in this house' title.
  • There is always someone in a worse situation than you.

I am sure there are lots more things I have learnt along this path.  I will learn a whole other set of them during my period of recovery and recuperation.  I may blog them when they become apparent but let me leave you with this quote that I stumbled across.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Well, I never expected that.

I am glad to say that my Transesophageal echocardiogram (basically a swallowed probe that emitted an ultrasound beam millimetres from my heart to get a clear stuctural picture) is finally over.  I would like to say that I was brave and managed it without sedation, but I was given a number of shots of  'jungle juice' (as the Dr called it) to aid me through the process.  Needless to say some parts of the test are hazy.  I know that it happened but my mind says I was away from the ward for about 30 minutes where in reality I was gone for 2 hours.  So even though it didn't appear on my bucket list it is something else that I can say I have done.
Today, I came across the following video about people doing amazing things.  (   It got me wondering what I could do when I am fixed and maybe, add a few non-medical things to the inventory of achievements I am notching up! 

Sunday, 13 January 2013


I have not made any New Year's resolutions this year.  I do not think it is realistic to do so when I will spend at least 3 months recovering from Surgery and then many more months getting back to my new normal.  I would love to be able to get back to some kind of exercise routine later on this year, and this should be feasible as part of my recuperation is going to Cardiac Rehab.  I also look forward to a time later this year when we can go on a really special family holiday.

So instead of resolutions I have chosen a word (as I did last year).  This year my word is TRUST.  In the light of what I am going through in a few weeks time I thought it was incredibly apt.  I need to learn to trust God a lot more.  I have taken to writing quotes etc in my book again and one of the Hymns I recorded there is the following one:

Simply trusting every day;
Trusting through a stormy way;
Even when my faith is small,
Trusting Jesus, that is all.

Singing if my way be clear,
Praying if the path be drear;
If in danger, for Him call,
Trusting Jesus, that is all.

Trusting Him while life shall last,
Trusting Him till earth is past,
Till His gracious advent call,
Trusting Jesus, that is all.

Trusting as the moments fly,
Trusting as the days go by,
Trusting Him, whate’er befall,
Trusting Jesus, that is all.

I am going to be out of action for some time and part of TRUST will be that I put in other people.  I will have to let people help me.  I will have to allow those close, and those not so, to do the things that I now take for granted until I am able to do them again.   I will need to spend some time during my 'getting better' to work out this issue in my life.  I will need to learn to drop the suspicions I have of some people and believe that some will actually like me.  There is a lot that I need to learn this year and I hope that the time off (not relaxing as some people seem to think.  I can think of much better ways to get 12 weeks off!!! Sorry, I digress) will afford me some time to work through these issues.