Friday, September 19, 2008

The Results are In...The Good & Bad

Some of you may know in the past month I have been going through some tests for my heart. My current doctor found what he thought was a heart murmur. This was followed by an EKG which showed abnormal rhythm of my heart. They then sent me for an echo-cardiogram. The results of the echo are good and bad.

All four of my heart valves leak. I think I'm still in shock over this and have not talked about it much to anyone. They are concerned mostly about the left side of my heart which includes the aortic valve. They have diagnosed me with Mild Aortic Regurgitation Disease.

There is nothing I can do for my heart at this time. I'm to live my life as I have been living. The doctor put me on no restrictions. Every two years I have to go back for an echo cardiogram and see if there have been any changes. If it worsens in two years, I will have to go on medication to slow the degeneration down and have an echo ever year thereafter. If at anytime I feel very winded and tired after going up and down the steps for example...there is a problem....if I feel faint or lightheaded when I stand from sitting or laying down....there is a problem...if I get an unexplained cough and my ankles start to swell....there is a problem and I will have to go in sooner rather than later for the echo. That is the good news. The bad news....down the road I am looking at a valve replacement. When, we don't know. In some people this progresses quickly in others it could be years.

I am at peace with everything and I praise God the doctor found the problem and I believe in two years a miracle will happen and I will be heart made whole. Thank you Jesus!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Who leads? Who follows?

I awoke in the middle of the night to a twitch or more like a muscle spasm in my left bicep muscle. It was very annoying causing me to lift my other hand and put pressure on the point of irritation to stop the nuisance. When I was confident the twitch had stopped, I released the grip of my hand but soon the muscle was having fits again. I couldn't sleep and as usual when I am awakened during the night I began to pray small utterances. The more I prayed, the more I craved more alone time with my Jesus. So not wanting to rouse my husband from his sleep, I grabbed my pillow and went to the couch downstairs and spent a marvelous time in conversation with my best friend Immanuel. I spilled my guts talking to him about my troubles, my kids, and my husband. Some points of contention within my own heart brought my eyes to tears and I sobbed and cried some more. After several minutes, the tears stopped and a peaceful calm rested upon my shoulders enveloping every ounce of my being. My troubled heart settled and joy did abound once again. The annoying twitch had ceased.

How wonderful our Father is to us. He longs to hear from us, but so often we get so busy with our "to do" list we often leave him in the dust behind us. If only we would get it through our thick heads...He must lead and we must follow! In John 15:9-10, Jesus himself talks about how to make our joy complete...REMAIN IN HIS LOVE AND OBEY HIS COMMANDS!

I plead with all of you today; if you feel you've lost your joy and troubled waters have flooded the chambers of your heart, take some time to sit in the lap of Jesus and talk awhile and be rejuvenated with grace and love of our Abba! He will calm the storm and the flood waters will recede and be no more.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

My Prayer

Lord I pray you take me to the garden this day. Please hold my hand and lead the way to where you placed the ashes of my life. Show me right where you dug the whole and laid the ash to rest. Lead me to where you covered the cinereous with the dirt from which I came and from which I shall return. Let me breathe deeply when we reach the garden so I may smell the fragrance of the lily which has grown over the very spot you placed the ashes. Remind me my Jesus of the beautiful woman you have made me despite my downfalls and faults. I know I still have buds which have not yet opened and still need to bloom.

Pull me into your lap sweetly and sit awhile and comfort me my Prince of Peace. Sing to me Jesus…sing to me…I want to hear you lullaby this night. Rock me in your arms and tenderly lift your nail pierced hand and brush the hair away from my face so I might clearly see your eyes. I need to see your eyes. Let my soul then sing back quietly and the reflection of the cross be etched in my eyes for others to see. O, Lord let them ask what is different and in return let me boldly reply…

“It is Christ in me the hope of glory!”


"Provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor." Isaiah 61:2-4

Cholesterol Results

Willow's a green color with a little bit of brown...I picked it this morning along with some mocha glaze to put over top using a brush technique. I have some other things in mind to go along with these two colors and was buzzing with excitement as I walked through the back door. I was going to have lunch, turkey spinach multi grain wrap with low fat mayo and carrots, and then get to painting.

The phone rang interrupting the first bite of my lunch. It was my doctor informing me of the results of my blood work which I had drawn on Friday. It wasn't good. My overall cholesterol 273. My bad cholesterol(LDL), which should be 100 or lower, is 185. My good cholesterol(HDL), which should be 50 or better, is only 42. My doctor said,"Sorry I know this is not what you wanted to hear, but your best choice is medication." He is going to wait until after next Tuesday, pending the results of my echo cardiogram to prescribe the necessary meds. I did not expect these numbers to be good, but they are worse numbers than the blood test 7 months ago.

It is hard I will admit. The "what if" syndrome creeps into my mind causing emotions to flow freely, but I must quickly douse the fire of fear knowing one thing has not changed. My Jesus is still the same yesterday, today, and forever. He is the one person who will not disappoint or fail me. He is my Prince of Peace. I will put my hand in the hand of the man who stilled the water and raised Lazarus from the dead. He is my Immanuel!

Monday, September 1, 2008

The white batter poured from the large measuring cup and hit the hot griddle with a sizzle. I quickly grabbed a few chocolate chips to sprinkle on top of the batter of the fluffy pancake.As the hot cake cooked, the sausage patties sputtered and crackled in rhythm while my sense of smell was heightened by the minced pork and made my mouth water and desire a taste.

When your doctor says your heart may have a problem and you know you already have high cholesterol due to heredity, you look at your three young children and know you have to make some changes. Please understand, I'm not an obese person. I have gained some weight over the past three years due to the stress of so much moving. I hadn't been eating as healthy as I should and fast food was a quick and easy alternative when a house showing was on the agenda. My love to cook and bake does not help my heart health situation either.

So, while I truly enjoyed making my children, niece, and nephew breakfast this Labor Day, I settled for some oat bran cereal and a cup of coffee. I have also purchased a book called,"The New 8-Week Cholesterol Cure" by Robert E. Kowalski to grasp a better understanding on reversing my current heart health. I have also purchased some vitamin supplement to gain more vitamin C which aids in the protection the lining of my artery walls, vitamin E, and selenium. Selenium is a powerful antioxidant. I also found the beta-carotene is also great for my heart. So if I start getting an orange tint to my's because of the!

I had my blood drawn on Friday to see where my cholesterol stands (it was nearly 300 with a high amount of harmful LDL 7 months ago) and the doctor also wanted to test me for Diabetes. I'll keep you all updated on the results of this blood test. My echo-cardiogram is scheduled for September 9th.

In the mean time I will, "Trust in the Lord with all thine might and lean not into thine own understanding, but in all thy ways acknowledge him and he shall make thy paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6