Monday, September 19, 2011
Be Still, My Foolish Heart
Evidently my heart does not like metal stents very much. A bypass is looming, but hopefully (prayerfully) this stent will be the solution. The first time, I thought, "Whew, dodged a bullet! But now I'm fixed and all's well that end's well." Except it wasn't ended, after all. A few short months later I was back in getting a different kind of stent inside the first one. But the first one was a bare metal stent, and there was a 20% chance of restenosis - my heart had quickly formed extreme scar tissue - so they put in a drug-eluting stent. Only 5% chance of this one ever reblocking. But two months later, it did.
So now I "get it." I have an ongoing problem and they can't just fix it. They did tell me, however, that it was not my fault and that helped some. I have been doing everything I am supposed to. I actually crave vegetables now. Never saw that coming. I fix salads with spinach, radishes, carrots, celery, cucumbers, red cabbage, green cabbage, onions, lettuce, tomatoes, precisely 3 olives and sometimes a bit of chicken. That's probably more veggies in one salad than I used to eat in a year! And I like it. Very much. I don't even think of unhealthy foods as "real" food anymore. I've lost 30 pounds so far.
The exercise is a bit trickier, because every time this happens it sets me back to square one. I had just gotten to where I could exercise 30 minutes daily again. Now they tell me that in a few weeks, I can set the timer for 5 minutes and walk around inside my house, as long as I don't hurt and my heart rate doesn't go too high. Once I can tolerate that, I can add one minute every other day. I thought this was a major over reaction, so I tried it after one week. Turns out they were quite serious. I had chest pain for 3 days afterwards.
The medicines aren't much fun either. The slow release nitro pills gave me an excruciating headache for hours every day. But when I quit taking them I had chest pain. So I'm back on them. I chose headaches over chest pain, but this time the headaches aren't nearly so bad, so maybe I've adjusted, hallelujah!
All of this heart nonsense makes me think of my mortality. As a Christian, God has blessed me with peace, contentment and joy in this life. I love my life! But I have eternal life as well. This life is just the journey. Heaven is the destination, and the reward. I mean, really, even if you are having a great time on the ride, you still aren't sorry to arrive at Disney World, right? I am loving the journey, and I am looking forward to the destination. May God help me bloom where I'm planted, and glorify Him in whatever circumstances I find myself.