Sunday, May 4, 2014

It's What Makes Me Tick

When I sent my son off to the Mexico CCM (MTC) I felt like I had  a piece of my heart ripped out of my chest and put on a plane to Mexico! The crazy thing is that IT REALLY DID MESS WITH MY HEART!!! I came home from the airport in atrial fibrillation (AFib)...heart failure.

Post cardioversion
So, the doctors did what they normally do and shocked me....literally! (cardioversion) That worked great for a couple days....but then...I was back in afib.  So, they scheduled me a lovely week-long stay at the beautiful St.Vincent Resort...LOL! I was started on a new medicine and shocked again! While I was there, I was fortunate enough to be visited by one of the best heart surgeons around, Dr Jeffrey F Swanson. During our visit, he told me that he recommended I have another open-heart surgery.

I should probably tell you that 17 years ago, I had both my aortic and mitral valves replaced due to scar tissue that had formed when I had rheumatic fever as a child. But, that is a story for another day ;)

Amazingly enough, they had an opening the very next week....Friday the 13th...good thing I am not superstitious and neither is Dr S  ;) The other real benefit here was that it forced us to have Christmas ready BEFORE the 24th!!! Wahoooo...there's a first time for everything!!!

After 9 hours of surgery...I now am the proud owner of 2 brand new mechanical valves (aortic and tricuspid) and a spiffed-up mechanical mitral valve. I am pre-wired for a pacemaker and my heart has had new pathways burnt into it so that the electric current will flow just right!

Why am I telling you this??? First, I want you to know that a Mother's love for her children is as much a physical thing as it is emotional!  Second, I want you to know that there are missionary miracles happening every single day in all sort of places...even hospitals!!!

A dear friend sent me an awesome care package (thanks Susan, love ya) filled with all sorts of fun stuff to help make my hospital stay a little more comfortable!  In that package she sent a heart-shaped locket that says "Missionary Mom" on the front! What a great conversation starter!!
I had the opportunity to share parts of my testimony with everyone that came into my room....and there were a lot of people in and outta there at all times of the day and night!!! And that wasn't the last time I got to visit with these people!  Even with the over-haul that they did on my heart, I still was having trouble with afib. I got to have another stay to try out another new medicine.  I was getting a little frustrated! I was whining about it to Susan one night and I said I wished I would hurry up and learn whatever it is that I am supposed to learn so I can get on with my life, and she said...maybe it's not for you.

While I was enjoying yet another wonderful stay at St Vs, I had the pleasure of having a wonderful nurse on a particularly icky day.  Anyhow, we got to talking and she said she liked my positive attitude (that's because she wasn't there back when they pulled those blasted tubes outta me) and how she felt like that is what really helped her brother who was seriously injured in a car accident.  She told me how he asked their family to read the Bible to him and how she thought that was really important! I said yes, that it is such a blessing to know where we came from, why we are here and where we are going... She said she really wished she knew....I asked her if she had a minute because I DID know! I whipped up the quickest Plan of Salvation drawing ever on the dry-erase board in my room. Don't judge.... I'm not an artist!

Next she asked me how I knew these things.  I showed her a verse in the BOM that I had read just that morning.  She told me she would really like to read "that book"! Ahhhh...why didn't I pack an extra!!! BUT, as soon as she left the room, I was able to contact the missionaries in my home ward and tell them about it!

Would you believe about an hour and a half later two elders showed up in my room! WITH a BOM and a Plan of Salvation pamphlet! I wrote my testimony in it and gave it to her.  She was so excited!  She asked me how I got it and I told her about the Missionaries. She asked me for my number, I wrote it in her BOM.  I am still kicking myself for not getting her number!!!  Might be time to visit St Vs  ;)

Sternum side view
So, after one more trip up to the cardiac unit to have a "loose wire" removed (more opportunities to share what I believe) I tick...I tick really loud! A little like a watch....a LOT like a BOM(B) I really love Dr S....but, unless I run into him at Walmart, I really hope I never see him again in this life!

****THE GOSPEL IS TRUE****
                         ~Heidi

Staples  - Heart Pillow  - Room with a View - Locket - Backman (Hubby) - My Heart




31 comments:

  1. WOW!!! You are Really Amazing! Thanks for sharing your story.

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  2. Heidi ,
    Thanks for sharing this. While my mom was visiting from California after my first son was born in 1989 in Logan Utah she had her first major heart attack. She was life flighted to LDS and stayed there for 10 days. While there she said she could literally hear the prayers of friends and family. She made it through that and served many callings plus a mission in Kentucky with my dad. In October of 2001 she had her first open heart surgery. She too had her Aortic and mitral valves done. Her Aortic was replaced by a mechanical valve and the mitral valve repaired. It was a long journey for her. In April of last year almost 12 years later they wanted to do another surgery for her. I don't think she was too thrilled about it because she did not make it. When she heard the words that they were going to have to ship her to Stanford hospital she knew it was time for her to leave us. My mom never complained or said an unkind think to anyone. She and my dad worked in the Fresno for 10 years or so. She took care of my dad at home through kidney dialysis and shed many tears. Like my son she is my hero. She was the true act of service as you are. Thanks for being such a good example! Love you!

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  3. Heidi ,
    Thanks for sharing this. While my mom was visiting from California after my first son was born in 1989 in Logan Utah she had her first major heart attack. She was life flighted to LDS and stayed there for 10 days. While there she said she could literally hear the prayers of friends and family. She made it through that and served many callings plus a mission in Kentucky with my dad. In October of 2001 she had her first open heart surgery. She too had her Aortic and mitral valves done. Her Aortic was replaced by a mechanical valve and the mitral valve repaired. It was a long journey for her. In April of last year almost 12 years later they wanted to do another surgery for her. I don't think she was too thrilled about it because she did not make it. When she heard the words that they were going to have to ship her to Stanford hospital she knew it was time for her to leave us. My mom never complained or said an unkind think to anyone. She and my dad worked in the Fresno for 10 years or so. She took care of my dad at home through kidney dialysis and shed many tears. Like my son she is my hero. She was the true act of service as you are. Thanks for being such a good example! Love you!

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  4. What a testimony builder! Thank you so much for sharing your journey. (I hope you don't have to see them again, too)

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  5. I can't believe you have pictures of your heart! You really do have a beautiful heart! Keep on ticking!
    Love you!

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  6. No wonder you are an amazing person.

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  7. No wonder your an amazing person!!

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  8. You truly are an amazing missionary thanks for sharing your story !!

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  9. That is such an amazing story! Love that the missionaries came right away! I love how the gospel can be shared in all places and at all times in life.

    We are told to have a broken heart and a contrite spirit...you sure have both of those down :)

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  10. I loved this post! I'm a nursing student so I also liked seeing the photos of your heart surgery. Best wishes for a great recovery.!

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  11. I loved your post! I am a nursing student and also liked seeing the pictures of your heart surgery. Best wishes for a quick recovery!

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  12. Gives me chills to read this. Thank you for being an amazing example to me.... to us all.
    ♡♡♡♡♡♡

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  13. Amazing! Thanks for sharing your story.

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  14. ♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡
    Thank you for being such a wonderful example of enduring to the end.

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  15. I thought you were amazing and special before...but now I KNOW you are! Awesome story!

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  16. You are a beautiful lady with a amazing story. :)

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  17. What an inspiration you are!

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  18. I like that comment "maybe it's not for you" (the lesson to learn). This is the latest post on the blog so I'm leaving my comment here for the drawing. I'd love a shirt for a conversation starter about my son's mission and the gospel.

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  19. OH WOW! What a story you had to tell! I am so glad you are healthy and on your way to a long life!! We need you here with us!

    Anna bannana ;)

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  20. Wow!! What an amazing story!! I can't believe you were doing missionary work while trying to stay alive. You Rock!

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  21. Wow! What an amazing story! I can't believe you were doing missionary work while trying to stay alive. You ROCK!!!

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  22. What an incredible story you have to share. Thank you!

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  23. You have a full heart! :)
    Love you girl!

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  24. it said to leave a comment on this blog re this prize. thanks. i guess i am MG..missionary grandma as my granddaughter is out, God bless us all.

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  25. Wow what an amazing story. I know that Heavenly father loves his children and his plan for us is so complex at times. That his plan for you is to have this trial but in the midst of that trial be the way of offering salvation to someone else.

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  26. What an inspiration! I can't even imagine having to deal with this plus sending my missionary off all at the exact same time! Thank you so much for sharing your story and your testimony :)

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  27. Your heart is defiantly in the right place Heidi, and you share it with us each and every day. I have had my little hospital stay..and i can honestly say..they are no fun. I was just getting back into the church when i had my stay. I was so bummed. The couple missionary's that were signed to my floor had to quit visiting me due to the face i contracted RSV while in the hospital and was quarantined. I wanted to visit with them, but so glad that i did not get anyone sick!!
    Thank you for being such a blessing to all of us MM's. I love that we can come here and laugh, cry, vent or throw a tantrum and still be friends the next day!!
    Love you with all my Heart!!

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