Several days ago I posted a short post which I had titled, “A Poem, A Prayer.” That was exactly what it was. Prayers for my husband. He had open heart surgery the end of January. It was a four-way bypass. It failed. On Friday last week he was taken to the ER by ambulance. I prayed, our family prayed, our friends prayed. He has a twenty-six year history with Heart Disease. He’s had the same cardiologist that entire time. He’s also had somewhere in the neighborhood of six angiograms, five angioplasties, and he’s up to nine stents in his heart and one in his groin. Now we can add the bypass and the bypass failure to that. We were told, “He’s running out of options.” by the doctors. However, for now, once again he’s back in good repair. Thank God. The Doctor’s went back in doing a double cath. One in each groin. The upper portion of the bypass is what had failed. During the time that he spent, recuperating from it, some of the medications he had been required to take, helped clear out some of the arteries that had been blocked.. The Doctors decided to bypass the bypass. By putting in three stents they were able to use one of these arteries to go around the back of the heart, joining into the lower portion of the bypass which was still working. They also opened up another artery that had previously been completely blocked. It was a long surgery, over four hours. but that had been expected. Not expected was the complications afterward. Immediately following, the cath site on the left wouldn’t stop bleeding. Applying a pressure bandage seemed to be helping, so they decide to leave it on a while. Steve got visitors. Some of his buddies from the plant that he used to work at. They talked, going over numerous old stories about when they had worked together, fishing trips and riding their motorcycles, Steve’s blood pressure was slowly, gradually, climbing. I don’t know if it was from the fun and the stories or just what. The nurse came in to check vitals. Blood pressure was up, and he was running a fever. Then she checked his cath sites. Now, he was bleeding on the right side, a lot. There was a sudden flurry of action and soon six nurses were surrounding and working on him. They were able to stop the bleeding and avoided another emergency. Ahhh, we could relax again. The rest of that evening went well. The morning though, brought forth other problems. New medications presented new reactions. Reactions indicating an allergic response. Ants, he was seeing ants. Crawling up the walls, all around him, up his legs and across his bed. Tubes, huge tubes were threatening to fall upon him. His sheets had ever-changing colors and textures. Thankfully, he was aware enough to know he was experiencing hallucinations. Another medication was administered to counteract the first one. Finally, all was well. He was stable. Now the problem was me. I had hit the stage of total exhaustion. I had been on my way back to the hospital. Overwhelming tiredness came over me and I simply could not drive. I called my daughter. She came from work to take me the rest of the way. We waited with Steve for answers most of the afternoon and had been there much longer than we expected we would be, with all the complications. She had to get home.I still didn’t feel safe to drive. They still didn’t want to let Steve go. He needed to be watched longer. We made arrangements with his friend, Johnny, to come get him after John got off work. That allowed me to leave with our daughter. I went home, called Steve to check in, and crashed. Six thirty p.m. rolled around and Steve was walking in the door. That’s what woke me. What a day. What a week. I thank God it’s over. I thank God for the end results. Steve is good. We are both getting rested. All is well and will soon be back to normal. Well, as normal as it ever gets around here. Our life has always been anything but normal but the Lord has watched over us well, getting us through the difficult and the even more difficult times. We have learned to keep a sense of humor. We have learned about survival. We have learned true, absolute love. Together we can handle anything and we will. Me and Steve and God. Our faith in each other and God is what keeps us going.
Why have I shared this story with all of you? Because it’s real. It’s real feelings, real emotions, real happenings. It’s the un-ordinary part of an ordinary life. Also to share with you the miracles that are being made in the medical world. Every time something has happened with Steve’s heart, we hear about new methods, new findings in heart care, new medicines. And every day we are witnessing miracles being granted by God. Through his help and the doctors we have once again moved forward, gotten through a really difficult procedure and an extremely stressful event. It’s something that many of you may have been through and many more of you might have yet to go through. It’s just a brief description of how a problem was laid upon us and how we dealt with it. How about you. How would you cope? How would a face, “You’re running out of options?” We choose faith. Faith in each other. Faith in God. Faith in prayer and faith in our friends. Sometimes getting through something like this is just knowing that someone else has been there before you. I, as I had been many times before this, was filled with fear. Fear of loosing him. Our life together, I felt, was not near over yet. He promised me, twenty-four years ago that, if I would marry him, he’d give me forever. Forever, is still, a long way off. I pushed the fear away with prayer. Relief came. I knew, deep in my heart, I knew, all would be fine. Still, I prayed more, our family and friends prayed with me. I hope you have taken a moment to think about what you would do in an emergency situation. How would you handle a health set back. Do you have options set in place to handle emergencies. I know we need to recoup now. We need to get funds set aside again for health affairs. We need to plan what kind of spiritual needs we will call upon if there is a next time. We need to have plans in place so that we are not taken by surprise. I hope you all are planning your own defense for a bad situation, no matter what it may be. To be prepared is to be in control. Take that control now and prepare. Remember too, to include God in your preparations. No one can help you more than he.