Friday, March 16, 2012

Heart Patient Husband

**This is meant to give a little perspective.**  
**Lots of people have heart murmurs or PE and live normal lives.** 
**I will NOT post comments such as "Well I have ____ and I'm fine, doctors are quacks!" that's just ignorant.**

My husband has an extreme case of Pectus Excavatum AKA "Hollowed Chest Syndrome".  It's so severe his heart is squished out of it's natural place.  If a kind soul ever needed to perform CPR on him they would have to really figure out where his heart is first.  It's so severe, that he was ruled out of the almost routine stint surgery to pop it out.  The surgery could also damage his already limited lung capacity and weaken his caged heart.  Lucky him, (sarcasm intended) he was also born with a heart murmur...some regulate as people age, some just get worse.  Some people don't even know they have one until a stressful situation lands sends them to the hospital.  Writing only a paragraph on my blog would never go into the day to day affects of these two conditions (and neither will I try to do it justice).

He's never let that hold him back.  He's always been really athletic.  Loves to snowboard.  His forearms are literally bigger round than my calves.  By anyone's standards he was in great health.

Two summers ago, I got a knock on my door.  It was a few of my husband's co-workers.  "Joe had some severe chest pain...He's at the hospital now...".  After lots of freaking out on my part, myself & our 3 month old daughter meet him in the hospital.  The paramedics had given him the max amount of  Nitroglycerin you can get before you see a real doctor.  He looked so bad, his color was gone from his cheeks & lips.  There were so many tests...EKG, ECG,  ultrasounds of his chest, over night stays, the treadmill test.  Throughout all of this he had to have more Nitro.

Things get real when the doctor sits you both down and says "Based on these results, because of the damage done to your heart, I would think I was looking at a 68 year old's chart.".  He was 29 at the time.

Yes, I cried after I wrote those sentences...and after editing them.

There's been lot's of doctors orders he's complied with.  Changing his job, eating better and attempting not to get stressed are some of them.  His heart doesn't pump as well and because of the limited lung function the blood has less oxygen saturation.  Near daily he still experiences chest pain.  With lots of prayer and faith he is doing better.  If I blog about living non-toxic or about avoiding sugar (or whatever) this is part of it.

We are firm believers on trying as hard as you can.  Anything less would be like driving to wal-mart for band aids....while you're purposely hitting yourself with a hammer.

1 comment:

Twocans said...

I pray for him frequently, and I think it's awesome that he doesn't let it interfere with "living!" Some would use that as an excuse to also not be in ministry saying it is too taxing, but that doesn't stop him either. What an encouragement.