Issues Of The Heart(The Pump Of Life)
"CALL AN AMBULANCE, I'M HAVING A HEART ATTACK!"
It was Thursday January 7th and at about 5:15 i am awakened by the voice of my beautiful wife, who is eight (8) years my elder but to look at her you would never know it, as she is taken for someone much younger. "I am having terrible chest pain!"
Her voice was pensive and agitated as i was trying to shake the sleepiness from my head. i had been ill with a sinus cold for two days and was a bit extra groggy. "I think you better call for an ambulance", she said, I'm having a heart attack! These are foreign words for her to utter, as she is one of the toughest people i know, and one of superior endurance. I was coming awake very quickly now and looked intently at her, placing my hand on her chest and whispering a prayer.
We met in the fall of .05, and these words i remember very well as she put herself in the hospital just before Christmas of that year. i was living about 2 hours west of here then and she called me on my cell phone... "I am on my way over to the hospital", i hear her voice and then she says, "I am walking there, I'm having a heart attack." i am in shock. One, she is having a heart attack! Two, she has packed herself a bag and is walking there! The hospital is about two blocks by the street to walk or from the parking lot of our apartment cut across the park and you are there.
i'm awake now... "i will drive you, it will be faster!", i say as i get up and get the car keys, pressing the remote starter button, and throw on some clothes. She has hurriedly clothed herself and gone out the door ahead of me.
We live in an old early 1900's building with no elevator. Top floor of a three floor walk up. i find her sitting at the bottom of the stairs waiting for me. Within a minute or two we are at the hospital and enter the ER. It is quite empty, thank goodness. The triage nurse takes her to a room and i do the paperwork. They find her file and get on it right away with blood work and give her something for the pain. The day goes long and the acute care section fills and spills over with people very quickly. There are no secrets here, as only a curtain separates you from the next unfortunate individual with their life issue. To our right is an 84 year old man, who's accent i'm trying to recognize. Sounds Ukrainian or Polish, he is slurring his words and his wife quite upset is talking with great fear and emotion in her voice. He has a very large hernia they discover. He has had it for a long time apparently and dealing with the discomfort until the pain caused him to pass out and fall off a stool.
The nurses are caring for us and once the blood work came back positive showing her heart under stress with elevated enzyme levels, then their mission was zero pain. They came with a shot of morphine right away. The nurse says, "You're going to feel a head rush", as he injects the drug. "i tell my wife to enjoy the ride and let it totally relax you." The pain begins to subside somewhat for now.
A number of hours go by and the bed to our left was empty until a woman, who is quite pregnant comes in with husband and little girl in hand. They had just come from Toronto where they had seen a specialist, because she has a condition called antiphospholipid syndrome.The Dr. they have just seen had taken her off of a drug to help her condition, but on the way home she has a serious physical occurrence which happens with this illness that show up in your eyesight and a sudden rapidly escalating headache. So they make a detour to this hospital before going home.
My wife's daughter in law has the same condition, as we hear her tell her story to the attending Dr. As i said only a curtain separates you, so there are no secrets. We listen to her tell him that this is her 14 th pregnancy of which the little one with her now being the only one to survive. This condition can cause, either stillbirth, or multiple miscarriages. i remark to my wife about how brave she is to have persisted in wanting to have children where most of us would have given up. The attending Dr. is knowledgeable about this disorder and he educates the nurses on duty that morning with a brief explanation, since they had never heard of this condition before. They whisk her off to maternity and we say a little prayer for them.
Our male nurse, "Dave", is fantastic. They continue checking on my sweetie taking blood every three hours and throughout the long day give her a few more shots for the pain. Critical Care ward is full and so we remain in ER until a bed becomes available. Two of my wife's children come to visit and get the rundown. They have been here before with her, and want to do everything they can. We talk about the last time, comparing the pain levels and differences in how it came and so on. It is now getting late into the evening and they assume that she will have a bed up stairs in ICU, sometime during the night. She sends me home, where i phone and email a few friends for prayer and call her employers giving them the update. She works as a professional nanny for a terrific couple, attending to a young girl who will be four in February. She has been with them for almost all of that time.
i find out in the the next afternoon after going through a maze. (The hospital is in the process of renovation) The new ICU is security monitored and you have to be buzzed in. i reach her room with my hands full of necessary items for her hopefully short stay and find out that the heart pain peaked about 11:30 PM according to her blood work. They had taken her early in the morning to another hospital in Scarborough (Toronto, a 30 min. ambulance ride) where they have specialists to do an angiogram. As before they find no blockage of any kind, and cannot positively say what has caused her heart to do what it is doing? They took her in the early morning and she doesn' t return until mid afternoon. She looks very weary and tired from a long day of little real rest, but she is now almost completely pain free and in good spirits. She explains the examination to me and all that it entailed. She had an awesome nurse that went from the ICU at our hospital to be with her during that time. It is so great to have the experience of receiving God's favour on our lives. i had a presence of peace knowing that there is nothing i can do. We live our lives to trust God's goodness, kindness, mercy and overshadowing presence. To walk in a relationship of knowing Him as sustainer and supplier of every need, and we needed His peace at this immediate time.
My head had been hurting with this sinus cold for three and half days now. i had not been able to sleep well and was taking the appropriate medication to help, but with little relief, so his peace and presence were a tangible and awesome comfort. i had no worry over my buddie's condition and as the day went on i could see that she was recovering quickly. They would soon move her out of ICU and onto the cardio floor where by Saturday she is now on a portable monitor, and her heart, blood pressure and blood work is checking out as coming back to normal. She is looking like nothing had happened to her by Sunday and is ready to go home. But the Dr. counting on his fingers says, no, Monday morning will be ok, and take a few weeks off from work.
The Dr's are baffled, the nurses call her mystery woman, as they can not say with any exactness what had caused again this system of events around Thursdays episode? The echo cardiogram showed that she did not suffer a heart attack. So my mystery woman comes home and other than feeling like she has ran a marathon, is doing fantastic... Thank you Father God. But we want to understand the mystery, and are going to examine stress levels in our lives since this past year, (not only for us but for many of you out there) has been very trying. i suffered an injury at work in Dec.08 and have been unable to work because of it, removing 30K from our income. We suffered the loss in Jan.09 of a grandchild who was stillborn. The mother has the pre-mentioned condition and is pregnant again, with many complications. The husband, my wife's son is suffering with Muscular Dystrophy, and this will present a whole new set of challenges for them. We are trusting God for a small miracle to arrive unscathed. We are wanting to find a way for our debt load which has increased due to an inability to keep ahead of it, get some resolve. Job issues, dysfunctional family issues, all these things need to have a lessened affect upon our peace of mind, and lower the stress levels we can so easily succomb to.
But through it all we have managed to keep up with our tithe and even, if only in a small way, bless others from what little we had to share. We count our blessings and awaken with smiles on our faces and hope in our hearts. We rejoice in God who loves us unconditionally and remain steadfast in our unshakable faith in the face of uncertain times. We live in a country of beauty and freedom and are surrounded with great friends and an awesome church who are pressing into God. As leaders we share our hearts and pray and intercede for others wanting to see their lives fulfilled in the Spirit of God.
So we enter His gates with thanksgiving in our hearts and we enter His courts with praise, and we say :"this is the day that the Lord has made, we will rejoice for He has made us glad!" (emphasis mine, adapted from Ps.100)