Category Archives: health

12 Weeks Post Op

There’s that.

Recovery update: 

Still hurts to cough and sneeze, but not as much. Laughing and singing also still hurt, but it’s greatly improved. Yesterday, I became aware of the fact that bumps in the road, when I’m not driving, no longer hurt! Hooray!

House update:

Selling side. We closed yesterday, so we are now officially renters. We are allowed to be here until September 26th.

Buying side. We saw around 20 houses (I probably lost track of the exact count).  House #19 looked really promising, but the night we went to see it, a rain storm knocked out power. Even seeing it in without electricity, we thought it was a strong possibility.

We set up another viewing for the next day along with house #20, that popped up as a new listing. Honestly, house 20 looked just ok online, so we figured might as well take a quick look at it in person before we go back to 19. We recruited my husband’s brother to join us because we wanted his opinion on 19 (and as the carpooling worked out, he saw 20 as well).

To our surprise, 20 was so much better in person than in pictures. It had a great layout and was more move in ready than 19. House 20 was also located in our preferred side town. By the middle of the day, house 20 became our new favorite.

We wasted little time and put together an offer on 20 by the end of the day.

Because of this market, we knew it they would probably get multiple offers. We were told they would be deciding at 7pm on Monday.

We didn’t hear anything yesterday so went to bed thinking “I bet they chose someone else’s offer and we are the ‘break up’ call they are putting off until the morning.”  To our surprise and delight, they accepted our offer!

So here we go… we are in the option period and if all goes well, we hope to close at the end of September, just in time for when we need to be out of our “Rental”.

2016 – the year that God continued to surprise us over and over and over again.

*Bonus Info* it’s a 4 bed, 2.5 bath! Just like I mentioned in my previous post, it’s what we really preferred. A little higher than our goal price, but we stayed in our reasonable range, just shy of our maximum.  And for what it’s worth, our maximum was determined by us, based on how much a month we want to pay/can afford per month for a monthly mortgage, NOT based on how much the banks would let us borrow.

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🔥🔥🔥

We spent almost the entire day out of our house. 

Somewhere around 9-10 showings today with a few more scheduled in the next few days. There is also an open house tomorrow. Hooray!

Please pray for wisdom in accepting the right offer, should any be made.

Please also pray for wisdom as we start looking at homes. 

It’s a sellers market. Easier to sell than buy. We are on both sides of this market.

On a completely different note: I got a complimentary ID card from the company that made my heart valve. It has my doctor’s name and surgery date as well as the serial number of the valve. I’m not sure why, but this cracks me up. I have a serial number inside me! (Hope there is never a recall!)

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9 weeks post op

I’m looking forward to being pain free :-/

I did think the pain would be gone by now but it’s lingering… It’s not terrible, mostly just disappointing.

We also list our house in 3 days. Pretty excited about that.

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Insurance

Wow. Insurance.
We still extremely dislike Obamacare… Cadillac coverage premiums for plans that are only catastrophic. By Cadillac coverage premiums, I mean that our monthly premiums are more than our mortgage. (Worth it this year since we had a “catastrophic” issue I suppose.) However, that’s not what this post is about.
 
Get this… I think everything has gone through without a hitch for my Heart Surgery.
The small exception being Hospital A required a down payment before surgery. But then we met our deductible before we actually had surgery, so we have a credit. We need the credit back in order to pay Hospital B. We owe Hospital B because they are the ones that ran all of the pre-op tests, which was before (what caused us to) met the deductible. But that’s just a timing thing. Not a big deal. Money from Hospital A will pay the bill from Hospital B with a little extra to spare.
PRAISE THE LORD!!!
 
Also — This part is CRAZY to me. Heart surgery is going to cost out of pocket LESS than each of our two kids being born. (Because when you have a child, mommy has an individual deductible, and baby also has an individual deductible.) 

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Freedom!

Today is July 12th. My restrictions are finally lifted! Z was pretty excited to rip up the last piece of paper in our countdown chain.

Some things (like coughing and sneezing) still hurt more than I would like. Some things – like when I was driving the car today and needed to turn the wheel all the way to turn – present new areas of pain. I guess some of my muscles are a little tight and not used to moving in those directions anymore. All of that will come with time.

 

On some sad other notes:

Death seems to be the theme this last week.

JJ’s 93 year old grandma passed away on Saturday. It was not a surprise and since she loved the Lord, we were glad to see her pain cease. She will be missed dearly. JJ and Z headed out of town this morning to see family and attend her funeral. We decided it was a bit to far of a car ride for me and fresh off my restrictions, we aren’t sure how exhausted I will be just getting back up to full steam. (My mom is still in town, helping me transition to being “full time”.)

And if you’ve seen the news, you know what happened on Thursday here in Dallas. While we did not know any of the officers personally, Sargent Michael Smith was a member of our church. He served almost every Sunday keeping an eye out at our children’s building. We know God’s plans are greater than our plans – but it is still a difficult time for my church body and our city.

 

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5 weeks

Yesterday was five weeks since surgery.

I’m down to just taking a children’s aspirin once a day. This will be for the rest of my life so I’m glad they are chewable and cherry flavored. My only other medicine is pre-antiboitics anytime I need dental care. But that’s like 2000mgs an hour before an appointment, so not something I need to worry about on a daily basis.

I had my last surgery follow up today with my cardiologist. Everything looks great! She said I’m the “poster child” for how they want it all to go.

“Next up” is my regularly scheduled appointment with her and the proceeding MRI. Because I had my last “typical/annual cardiology” visit with her last fall, I’m already on the books to see her end of October. 

From here on out (for hopefully the next 10-15, maybe 20, years), I’ll be back to seeing her once a year with a corresponding MRI or Echo.

As far as my restrictions, I’m less than a week away from having those lifted (July 12th). My mom will be here a few more days after that as I transition back to doing everything.

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Positive Thinking, it’s not what you Think

I’ve been thinking about this post for about 2-3 weeks now and with tomorrow being 4 weeks since my surgery, I thought I should probably write it.

Where do I begin?

I guess I will briefly mention that heart surgery is my fourth major surgery since 2002. The first three (gall bladder removal and 2 c-sections) were not the best experiences (UNDERSTATEMENT!) and I’ve been dreading heart surgery ever since. Not the actual surgery – but the recovery.

I tend to over think, over analyze, over plan, worry, get anxious, and spend all together too much time anticipating negative things.

Because of this, Philippians is one of my favorite books of the Bible. Why? Because generally speaking it’s all about Joy.

Paul is writing from chains and he can’t “shut up” about being thankful and full of joy. He is excited about all of the things God is doing in spite of (or rather because of) Paul’s difficult circumstances.

The book as a whole is the antithesis of my negative normal.

Looking at specifics, Philippians has many powerful verses that remind me God is good and he commands me to rejoice. He commands me to not be anxious. He commands me that “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable” I should think on such things (Phil 4: 8).

When I was in college, I wrote the following, in large print, on paper:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6 & 7

And then I stuck it on the ceiling over my bed. It was a very helpful reminder and many nights I stared up at it, repeating the words in my head, letting the peace of God calm my anxious heart.

I’m not bragging here. I’m telling you I have a REALLY hard time being positive and joyful. And I’m constantly challenged by God’s best for me, as spelled out in Philippians. He doesn’t give any exemptions or qualifiers. He just says “rejoice”!

What I don’t mean

At the same time, this joy, not being anxious, often also seen as “positive attitude” or “positive thinking” is NOT in the same as when people say things like “I’m sending you positive thoughts (or vibes or whatever)”.  There is not positive energy that exists in the universe as some type of currency we can pass around to each other.

This “rejoice” God commands is also NOT some type of guarantee that things will go well, here on earth. It’s not a magic formula. Think positive and you will have a wonderful life. Paul, writer of Philippians, is an example of that as he was probably killed for the faith. (See more here)

So what does all this mean in relation to heart surgery?

I am extremely grateful for the timing of how everything went. I’m thankful for the support network surrounding me. I’m thankful for the circumstances and the results.

I don’t specifically think I automatically am having a good recovery because I’m more joyful. At the same time I also don’t discount that perhaps God commands us to rejoice because he knows he built our bodies to respond better (scientifically speaking) when we are positive.

God loves us more than anyone can even wrap their mind around. He loves me more than my parents love me. He loves me more than my boys, or than JJ, love me. His commandments are an out flowing of that love. Because he is the definition of love and everything that is good, because he is all powerful and all knowing, because he wants the absolute best for me – he commands me in ways that are sometimes very confusing and backwards looking to me. Yet, I trust that he is who he says he is.

He wants the best for me. And in Philippians, he commands me to rejoice in all things and in all circumstances.

In summary – Positive thinking is not what you think. It’s not because I want things to go well. It’s not because things are going well. It’s because He loves me and he commands me to rejoice. And – in opposition to my negative normal – it is Christ in me, from which the Joy overflows.

To His Glory, forever. Amen.

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