I just realized that with all the joy and happiness of my new-found niche in life, I should share this story with you.
This is just part of my memoir.. and a work in progress….. please feel free to comment, I would really appreciate the feedback.
The day was June 6, 2006, or 6/6/06! (I was diagnosed with a heart murmur and COPD in 2004.) After feeling so bloated and thirsty for 3 days, I found myself out of breath and struggling to breathe. My son was at work, my daughter had just left for her friend’s house, I was all alone.
I lived in a small 2 bedroom duplex at the time, while sitting at my desk, in 98° weather, and no air conditioner mind you, I started to feel like I was gonna pass out from pure heat exhaustion. There was no one home next door, no one living in the house across the street either.
Being stuck in a wheelchair because my legs were so swollen I could not walk very far, I found myself completely alone with no one around to help. Desperation and panic soon started to set in, I made my way to the front window looking for someone to help me. No one was around.
I sent up an SOS to my Lord and Savior asking for help, within 15 minutes, my next door neighbor’s son, LJ arrived with a friend. I started screaming and pounding on the window to get his attention, It Worked!
I left a sticky note in yellow highlighter stuck to the monitor in hopes my son would see it.
LJ came running up to the door to see what was the matter, when I asked if his friend would take me to the hospital, he went to ask, running back to me, he replied, “Yes, she will take you, come on.” I asked him if he could get my wheelchair and purse from my room, and he flew across the small living room, making it back to me in a flash, loading me half way into the car, my body couldn’t take the humidity anymore, I couldn’t move at all, it was if my body crashed and I was losing ground in the fight for my life.
Realizing I was losing time, he ran to our friend’s house down the street to call an ambulance, and brought my BFF and his son back with him. Then he ran down the street to get my daughter. At the same time he was headed her way, her friend drove past the commotion, and saw my daughter walking towards the house and told her I was going to the hospital.
When the ambulance arrived, I couldn’t move one of my legs or stand up without help, they convinced me to try again, when I did, they held me so I get up and led me to the gurney. I was refusing the oxygen, because I was scared. Finally Connie the paramedic talked me into it. I was calming down from the oxygen finally able to breathe.
When we got to the hospital, I was admitted promptly, looking at my swollen state, the Dr. ordered an 80 mg lasix drip, I lost 12 pounds of water the first night, 12 pounds the second night and 6 pounds the third. Looking forward to going home, I was feeling a lot better, it was now June 9th.
About 3 hours after I had been unhooked from the IV and other things, I got up to sit on a chair, and my body crashed again. I pushed the button to call the nurse, when the RN saw me, my face had turned gray…. I was dying slowly, they suspected that my aortic valve wasn’t pumping with the pressure it needed to be. They call this pressure Ejection Fraction or EF, normal is above 50%, mine was at 12%…. I was definitely at death’s door. My small town Dr. saved my life that day, he knew I was too far gone for him to save….. so he had me med-flighted 21/2 hours, by car to Oklahoma Heart Hospital.
That was an experience in itself, being in a pimped out helicopter from OU Hospital, I focused on the scenery just to stay awake. I was on oxygen, but with COPD as well, I can’t be on it forever, or it may cause my lungs to stop driving, or shutting themselves down.
Once I got to Oklahoma Heart, they got me in bed and on a medication regimen to keep me alive. Drawing blood daily and running kaboodles of tests, they found the culprit, as suspected, my aortic valve was shutting down rapidly. JD, the cardiac surgeon came in and explained that my odds were 20% living
and 80% dying without the AVR (Aortic Valve Replacement), I looked at my daughter, she was in tears, so I agreed to the surgery, which had to wait for the infections in my legs to go completely away, it was a 10 day process.
The night before the surgery, JD came into my room, with excellent bedside manners, he sat down next to me on the bed asking if I as ready for tomorrow. I said, “As ready as I get.” I already knew the outcome would be up to God, so I just let all the fear go and God take over. The faith of mustard seed can move mountains.