I am creating this page at the request of my dear wife Carrie. While I know this is a great way to communicate, right now I am just trying to save my wife's hand from typing everyone about what is going on. I have to admit though, I have had a couple family members and a couple friends use CaringBridge, and it has been a great way to stay informed about their journeys. I guess I never thought I would be one to have a story to share.
As most of you know, in September of 2016 I was diagnosed with heart failure. I fainted while walking into a football game, busted up my face pretty bad and went to get some stitches. Fortunately, the doctor who was going to stitch me up recently went through a similar situation with her husband and sent me downtown to the hospital. I was admitted for an abnormal EKG and for my heart going into v-tach. (Lower portion of the heart beats faster than the top.) Basically, my heart was not contracting as much as it should. About a week later I was heading home with an implanted defibrillator, a handful of medications and many upcoming doctor appointments.
The following year I was taken off blood thinners. This is common practice, but for me it caused me to have a stroke. After returning from the hospital and doing some therapy, I was back at it. But my heart continued to deteriorate. My ejection fraction was bouncing around 30% or half of what a healthy heart contracts. This past May while I was lifting weights, my defibrillator went off. Six times! It felt like a major league baseball player hit me across the chest with a bat. I literally sat there absorbing the shocks thinking I was going to meet God and see my friends and relatives who are already in their eternal home. But after another hospital stay, change in medications and a new defibrillator I was back home. Since then, my body has been compensating considerably less. Now I find myself in the hospital in an ICU room waiting for a new heart.
It is amazing how much the Lord has watched over me through all of this though. Not much more than a decade ago, the only way I would have been diagnosed was through an autopsy. From the first doctor I saw and the experience she had with her husband, to all the great doctors and medical staff I have seen, the Lord has been very present. I am so blessed to live in a town with a great hospital that does heart transplants and has phenomenal cardiac care.