Monday, November 9, 2015

Emotions and Fear

Several months ago someone close to us told me that I have no emotions.  That I am a straight line.  I don't get mad when my kids do bad things, and I don't get overly happy, at say Disney World.  They said this wasn't normal and that I should get my medication checked. (I had been on an antidepressant ever since Preslie died).  This REALLY bothered me.  In fact, I began to question if there was something really wrong with me.  I was hurt that someone felt that they needed to tell me all the faults that they saw in me.

Fast forward to a few months ago...After I had my 2 hour SVT attack and had my heart restarted, my anxiety was terrible.  The worst I have had ever.  I never slept, I was scared to go anywhere or do anything.  I looked up all the side effects on my medication, and I saw that anxiety was one of them.  I decided to go off of it.  I was nervous since I had been on something for almost 7 years.  Much to my surprise, I didn't go crazy.  My emotions stayed exactly the same, and I have had minimal anxiety.

I reflected back on the conversation I had several months ago, about how I have no emotion.  I do have emotions, lots of them.  I just don't overract to things that aren't important.  If something gets broken, we fix it.  If a drink spills, we clean it up.  If my kids have a tantrum, we try our best to handle it.  As far as happiness goes.  I will never be carefree like I was 7 years ago.  I will tread through life cautiously.  Until you have experienced the loss of a child, you could never comprehend the different emotions that I go through.  I have a lot of happy moments, I'm just not an extremist.

The movie "Inside Out" had my really think about emotions, and what emotions drive our consoles.  I think "Fear" drives me a lot of the time.  Last weekend my heart started acting up.  I went to the Cardiologist and we decided it was time to have me go on a Beta Blocker. This medication blocks adrenaline from entering the heart.  It slows your heart down and lowers your blood pressure.  This also slows the baby's growth rate and heart too.  I felt incredibly guilty.  The "What ifs" started to enter my brain... "What if the baby dies?  It would be my fault."  "What if there are complications because I took this medication?"  The questions went on and on.

A friend and OBGYN told me that I am thinking about this in all the wrong way.  By helping myself, I am helping the baby.  It's amazing what rethinking can do for you.  My fear filled brain, began to relax and I trusted in my doctors and what they felt was best for me and for our baby.

I've noticed my heart doing better since I have been on the medication. (It's been a week)  I do however tire out much more quickly, and I have to be careful to keep hydrated and watch if my BP drops too low.  Baby boy is still moving like crazy, and loves to try to keep my up all night by moving around.  I start non-stress tests next week to monitor baby, as well as an ultrasound.  I've also had an echo cardiogram to see what is going on in my ticker. I'll get those results next week as well.

I am confident that whatever lemon gets thrown at me, I can handle it.  There have been a lot of lemons lately. While I have times of woe, I know that God hasn't left me to go through these trials on my own.  My faith has become stronger since my restart in August, and I know that someday i'll look back on all this and have learned something from it.

What emotion drives your console?

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Kindergarten Fears

Tonight Arista had her Kindergarten open house. I have been waiting all summer for school to start. Arista missed the deadline last year since her birthday is in November. She is ready, I'm ready, or so I thought...

We pulled into the school and I immediately started crying. My pregnancy hormones have really been beasts this pregnancy. That and I haven't slept at night since my heart episode last week. I pulled myself together and held back tears walking in. I could feel my body starting to cry the entire open house. When Arista went in line for a pretend school lunch, I sat there and couldn't believe that my miracle baby was old enough for school. Why was I wishing the time away? Why does time go so fast? Why can't I keep her forever and ever?

I reflected over the past 7 years, and couldn't help but feel the loss of not being able to send Preslie to school. Had it really been 7 years? 

The thing I love about Arista is she has no fear of new things, no fear of changes and no fear of the unknown.  How can I get that mentality? Ever since I can remember I have been scared of life. I let fear hold me back from a lot. I've been so afraid of dying, that I haven't taken full advantage of living. How can I train my brain to think differently after 28 years of thinking one way? 

Life is challenging right now. There's change brewing and a lot of unknowns. I pray that I can have the courage of Arista and face my fears. I pray I can have patience for the future unknown. I pray I can be a beacon of strength in my children's lives. I pray I can give my fear to God, and live the rest of my life without anxiety.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Last Night I Died.

I figured I needed to write this out quickly, so that I can get it all out and move forward.  Yesterday I laid down with the girls for an afternoon nap.  I woke up at 4:30 with my heart racing and beating out of my chest.  I have had episodes like this in the past, and have been able to slow it down and get it to regulate on its own.  After trying all the maneuvers to stop heart palpitations, I decided that I would wait it out.  Around the 2 hour mark I was drenched in sweat, my chest was burning and I couldn't catch my breath.  I had Chris drop me off at the ER and take the kids home.  I figured they would probably just have me sit on a monitor until my heart slowed down.  They immediately did an EKG, and the nurse had panic written all over his face.  He asked if I could feel my heart racing and then yelled 3 times for another nurse.  "Her heart is 188! We need to get her back now!"  I quickly grabbed my phone and called Chris to tell him it was an emergency and he needed to get there right away.

They threw me in a wheelchair and raced me back to a room where people were waiting for me.  They quickly got me on the bed and hooked me up to oxygen and different heart monitors.  They gave me a straw and told me to try blowing through it. (This is one maneuver to try to get your heart rate down)  They had me try several more with no luck.  The doctor then told me that they needed to inject me with something that will reset my heart.  He explained that there was danger to the baby, but that they needed to think of me. I told them I couldn't lose another baby, and asked if this would stop the baby's heart.  No one would look me in the eyes, and no one would answer my question.  The Doctor just kept saying that they needed to do this.  I pleaded for them to wait for Chris, but they said that they needed to do it now.  The doctor called Chris and told him that they needed to do this and that I was worried about the baby, but they needed to save me.  Chris agreed.  I held the doctors hand as they started the injection.  I could hear the heart monitor go crazy, and then I felt intense pain in my arm.  It didn't work.  My vein blew out.  I kept trying the maneuvers thinking that this was a sign that they shouldn't stop my heart. After 5 blown out veins they finally got one to hold.  Chris walked in right when they were about to inject the medicine.  He held my hand and they counted to ten.  I heard the monitors go crazy, I closed my eyes and all of a sudden it felt like I was under a semi truck on fire.  I gasped for air, and my heart started beating normally.

Chris said he has never seen anything scarier.  That my heart was flat lined for about 5 seconds.  I gasped for air as my last breath.

They did an ultrasound after and the baby was alive and completely normal.  Miracle!  I thought for sure that the baby wouldn't make it.  After that they ran blood and urine tests and filled me up for bags of fluids.  I threw up most of the morning and was dehydrated, so that could have been a factor, but we don't know for sure.  I was diagnosed with SVT, which is were your heart can have episodes of beating faster than 120.  Typically they start you immediately on a Beta Blocker which keeps adrenaline for going into your heart, but there is a high risk of it making babies in utero become mentally challenged.  The Doctor agreed that this wasn't a smart move now, but if I continue to have episodes, then its' something that we may have to consider.  I was released last night, and my anxiety was off the charts.  I have been a wreck ever since worrying that it will happen again.  The Doctor said that this is VERY common in people of my age, which surprised me.  And, even more common in women who are pregnant.

I can't tell you how grateful I am to be home with my family, and to have a healthy baby still growing inside of me.  I am super emotional and get super freaked out thinking about all that happened last night.  I know that angels were looking out for me, and that my journey isn't over.  This has been a huge wake up call to me, that I can't take things for granted.  That I need to spend more time with my kids and tell them I love them more.  I need to appreciate the blessings I have in life, and not focus on the things I don't have.  I am grateful for modern medicine, and the nurses and doctors who know what they are doing.  I am grateful for a husband who loves me despite all my craziness. I am grateful to all our friends and family who have prayed for us and continue to pray for us.  I am most importantly grateful to God, for giving me a chance to do better.  I am alive because of him.

I don't know what the future will bring.  It's difficult for me to not worry about all the "what ifs".  I pray that through this experience I will be able to concur my fears and overcome my anxiety.

Love to you all!