Thursday, September 13, 2012

Jessica and Summer's Adventure to Heart Land

Today was the day.  The day that I had been dreading.

Test day.

I am NOT a good test taker.  I get that dreaded test anxiety.

Especially when it comes to my heart.
I just KNOW I am going to fail SOMETHING.

To make things a bit more enjoyable I asked my good friend (and Sunday School Teacher) Summer if she would be willing to go with me to the cardiologist.  Bless her heart, she put in extra hours at work the past two days so that she could take off ALL DAY on Thursday to be with me.  If it weren't for her moral support I honestly don't think I would have made it through the day.  Typing this out, telling you all about how kind it was of her to work so hard so that she could spend all day at the hospital with me, is making me cry. 

 Seriously, I am crying right now as I type this.  

It is so nice to have such wonderful people in our lives.

God is so good isn't he!?!?!?

Since I have a certain type of congenital heart defect that requires me to see a pediatric cardiologist, my tests have to take place at the Children's Hospital.
Which, honestly, is fine with me!  I love being around cute, bright, happy colors.

they use these, instead of wheelchairs, to transport the kids. I asked, they said I was too big.

Before heading to the hospital we grabbed a quick lunch at our FAVORITE place, 
lynns paradise cafe.  Yes, it was YUMMY!  And yes, I got the same thing I get there every single time.

We scored the table with the electric train running through it!   JACKPOT

The first of MANY tests included breathing in and out of crazy things, crazy ways, while being put into, and pulled out of, a bizarre sci-fi chamber.   

in the sci-fi chamber. nose clips on, holding my cheeks down.  breathing through a small hole in the wall.

I couldn't look at Summer during these tests because they made me feel so incredibly ridiculous.  At one point, after making eye contact with her, I started laughing so hard we had to start the test over again. I closed my eyes as much as possible and left the hysterical laughing until after the tests. 

During the running portion of the test, Summer cheered me on.  "Come on Jessica!  You are almost to the next level.  Go! Go!  You can do it.  Hold on just a little bit more."

We then walked across the street, to the clinic, to continue the tests.
I had to have my pacemaker checked out, my EKG looked at (again), and an Ultra Sound done on my heart.  

It was a long, emotional, day.   
I am so thankful that Summer came along to keep me company (and carry all my stuff and remind me to tell my doctor certain things and help me find the elevator).

In a nut shell, this is what is going on with my heart.
Your heart has two chambers, a top and a bottom. Your natural pacemaker is responsible for keeping those two chambers pumping.   My natural pacemaker is gone, it doesn't work much any longer, I am paced 97% of the time by the manmade pacemaker that has been implanted in me.  That pacemaker has two, what they call, Leads.  Those are connected directly to my heart and lead up to my pacemaker battery.  When I had my pacemaker implanted 12yrs ago, the bottom lead didn't work properly, so they turned it off, leaving only my top chamber lead on.  I didn't much need the bottom lead on because the top chamber was sending information (electrical signals) to the bottom chamber, causing it to pump.  However, the doctor is thinking that all of the symptoms that I have been having lately are due to the electrical signally between the bottom and top chambers.  It seems as if the bottom chamber might not be beating like it is suppose to, leaving me with low blood pressure, less oxygen, and an overall feeling of crumminess.  
Today they turned on the bottom chamber lead, even though it is still broken, and have hooked me up to a halter monitor for 24hrs, with strict orders to DO NOTHING.  Or to quote my nurse, "BE A COUCH POTATO."    Roger has been left to fin for himself.  I feel bad for the guy.

If this turns out to be the issue there is a possibility that I will need to have surgery to replace my bottom lead.  There is also a chance that I might need to have my pacemaker switched out with a pacemaker/defibrillator combo.  I was also given some new heart medicine to add to my already existing heart medicine.  

Yes, this is a bit scary, but I can't express to you how nice it is to have a doctor (and his team) working so hard to figure out what is going on with me.

It is times like these that I am especially thankful for friends, family, and a wonderful church community.  We are so blessed! 

1 comment:

  1. Hope you figure out what is going on! Love these ridiculous pictures. :-)