Monday, November 19, 2012

As of last week- Thanksgiving is a GO!

A few weeks ago we were unsure if Thanksgiving for my side of the family was going to happen or not. The uncertainty that loomed in the air was a real bummer.

I keep reminding myself that Thanksgiving is just a day and while it's good to have one day to reflect on what we are thankful for, Thanksgiving doesn't have to happen in order to be thankful.

So far- Turkey day is a GO. While there is still uncertainty in the air (isn't there always?), I'm glad my dad is well enough for us to at least plan on having a Thanksgiving dinner together.

I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving this week. Enjoy your loved ones, and give them an extra big hug.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Looking on the bright side...

It wasn't what I wanted to hear.

Dad goes for another test next week, and will have a follow up appointment one month from now.

Basically this means that he has to get worse before he gets better.

Some would think of this as good news (and I'm really trying to be in that mindset), but it breaks my heart to see my dad's quality of life spiral downward with no end in sight (yet).

Philippians 4:7
Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

John 14:27
I am leaving you with a gift--peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world can not give. So don't be troubled or afraid.

I'll be honest. Last night, I went to bed feeling discouraged. But I woke up this morning feeling peace. I'm thankful for a peace that is beyond my understanding. 

Monday, November 12, 2012


These times are trying. The land of the unknown.

Sometimes I feel like I'm trying to balance between the two of these: holding on to hope/not getting my hopes up.

I pray for wisdom over the Dr.'s today as they discuss next steps for my dad and also for peace over my mom and dad.

Friday, November 9, 2012


I can't imagine what it's like for my dad to be so vulnerable in front of us girls, his daughters and wife.

Yesterday I picked my dad up from the hospital after he was discharged we went back to the house. We sat in silence for awhile and I watched my dad sit quietly at the table trying to process everything.

I finally broke the silence and said "What are you thinking?"

It's hard for my dad to share things with us sometimes. He has been our protector for years and he knows we worry about him.

Dad shared with me a scripture verse that keeps coming to him (Psalm 46:10) and we talked about how he is in the best hands possible - God's. We hugged and we cried.

This morning as I reflect on that moment with my dad, I am thankful for our faith.

Yes we trust his team of Dr.'s but ultimately our faith is in God.

"Don't be afraid, for I am with you. Don't be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand." Isaiah 41:10

There is a lot of anxious feelings going around as we wait to find out what happens next. There is still so much unknown. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

It starts here..

Well...technically it started 15 years ago when my dad was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy. One night at work he hurt his back and was sent to the ER by his boss to get checked out. A "routine" ER visit turned into a diagnosis that would change my family's life.

What is cardiomyopathy? According to Web MD:

"Disease of the myocardium. As a disease classification, the term is used in several different senses, but is limited by the World Health Organization to: “Primary disease process of heart muscle in absence of a known underlying etiology” when referring to idiopathic cardiomyopathy."

My dad started seeing cardiologists and going on different medications. As a young girl, I knew things were serious but I didn't really know how serious they really were. I knew he had a heart condition, but our lifestyle at home didn't change too much. My dad always took care of himself, he ate healthy, he worked out, and he took more vitamins and supplements than I thought even existed.

I can remember back to two different moments where I realized that although cardiomyopathy was a "heart condition" it wasn't JUST a heart condition.

The first time was when I was about 19 years old. I started seeing a new family physician and had to give all my medical history as well as my family's medical history. The Dr. reviewed everything I had filled out and when she got to my dad she asked me if my dad was still living. It was that moment where it hit me. Whether or not my Dr. was referring to the cardiomyopathy, I don't know. But she didn't ask this question about anyone else. Maybe I was growing up and realizing that parent's aren't immune from death.

The second time was 6 years ago. We went on a family outing that involved a lot of walking. My dad started slowing down, he had to sit down and rest a few times. The entire night I worried about him. Seeing my strong, very able dad struggle to walk a few miles concerned me. For the first time in my 22 years of life, my dad looked fragile.

Fast forward 1 year, my dad got a pacemaker/defibrillator device implanted. My dad retired, and for awhile things almost seemed "normal." Routine cardiologist visits. Medication adjustments. Things seemed ok.

Our world dramatically turned upside down June of this year. The one call I always dreaded receiving finally came. My mom called to tell me that dad's defibrillator went off and she had to call an ambulance. Since then there's been more ER visits than I can count, many cardiologist appointments, numerous medical tests, some "information" only appointments, and lots of tears.

We know that medication can only sustain his heart for so long. The next step is an LVAD "bridge to transplant". And the final step, a heart transplant.

I want to blog our journey as therapy, and I'm also looking for support. Over the months I've searched the internet for some kind of support, guidance, reassurance that what I feel is normal. Every time I've looked, I come up empty handed. I hope that one day- someone who needs the support I need right now finds this, and doesn't feel so alone. For the privacy of my family, I won't be using names or specific locations. But I urge you to contact me if you have any questions.