Friday, December 30, 2011

Stuff that makes you stop and think

Im sure everyone by now has heard the story of Ben Breedlove. If not check out these videos and have the tissues ready.

In case you don't know the whole story here is a little background. Ben made these youtube videos on December 18th, just 10 days ago. Ben passed away a week later. He was 18. His funeral was yesterday.

I cannot tell you the emotions his story and video stirs in me. The effect he has had on me is so profound I can hardly comprehend it myself. It reminds me that life is so so short. Make your days count. His near death experiences give me faith and hope. As mentioned before, I have a different belief about heaven... but Ben never mentioned he was in heaven. He only described what death was like. That peace... that brightness... that happiness... it makes me stop and think. Think of the possibilities. It makes me think of Genesis. 

It makes me wonder about her experience. One thing I don't know about Genesis is the moment she died. I was there in the hospital for a total of 5 days trying to get the induction to start. I don't know what day she fell asleep in death. Was it early on? Or right before I started pushing? Ill never know. What's it like to die in your mother's womb? I suppose that would be the place that would bring your baby most comfort. Although naturally the idea that my womb was her tomb does not bring me much comfort. But I just hope she didn't suffer and she felt that same peace and warmth and happiness. 

It makes me wonder about my own life. Thinking about my own death. When will it be? How will it happen? Who will miss me? I know these are dark thoughts but it makes me wonder. I usually don't like to talk about too personal of things on here but I thought this was worth mentioning.

In my early adulthood I would periodically have times where I would just be doing whatever... cooking, watching TV, taking a shower... and then suddenly it felt like my heart skipped a beat. It would make me feel dizzy and I would gasp for air and that seemed to get it back beating regularly. I never really thought much of it. There was a time that while I was working at a particular job a customer would always bring me and the other girls coffee. It was an everyday thing. I was drinking a huge venti coffee from starbucks every single day for who knows how long because he would bring them. As a result I started having chest pains. It hurt SO SO bad. I eventually went to an urgent care one day and they hooked me up to some heart monitor and everything was fine. They did find some sort of inflammation in the connective tissue on my sternum. They told me that when that happens the pain feels like a heart attack. Although my heart seemed to be find, and the inflammation really had nothing to do with the coffee they suggested not drinking coffee. I followed that advice and the pain never returned. 

When I was pregnant with my first rainbow I noticed the skipping heartbeats was happening more. I suppose its sort of expected as your blood volume increases so much when pregnant. I brought it up to my OB several times and she said it was nothing to worry about and totally normal. After he was born it still would occasionally happen. But then a new symptom arose. I started to feel like there were air bubbles or flutters in my heart. It wasn't painful. It was more just uncomfortable. A mild disturbance. This feeling would come in waves and at different levels of intensity but never really bad. These episodes may last for a few minutes or like an hour. But again it wasn't that frequent... maybe a couple times a year. So I didn't really worry. 

Shortly after I had D I found my biological family on my moms side. This was huge for many reasons but one major thing was finally getting information on my family medical history. I had no clue about really anything except that my birth mom was a carrier for Duchenne's Muscular Dystrophy {which I am not a carrier of}. I found that everyone was pretty healthy and lived long lives... except one thing. There was a history of heart problems. There are quite a few aunts and cousins that have problems. My own half sister has heart problems, she's only 25. And here I am 28. When I learned of this it worried me a little. I let it go and we both figured if I hadn't had anything major happen like passing out, then it probably wasn't an issue for me. 

Time went on and I got pregnant with my second rainbow and once again while pregnant it aggravated the symptoms. But it was happening more than when I was pregnant with D. There were times I was standing in the shower and I would get short of breath and I felt like I was going to pass out. And once again after she was born the symptoms eased up but yet they were occurring more frequently than ever before. 

Yesterday scared me. It started in the early afternoon and it was that mild discomfort feeling. Its really a hard feeling to explain. It started with the bubble/flutter feeling in my heart and then that mild pressure. The pressure was where my heart is but the discomfort was felt in my back, not my chest. My back starts feeling stiff like I need to crack it to release pressure but I can't crack it, and nothing relieves that pressure. After maybe an hour or so of that at work it passed. I felt great the rest of the day. Until it was time to put the kids to bed. Around 7 pm that feeling came back. As I laid down in bed to put the kids to bed the pain got worse. It actually got really bad. The worst its ever been. The mild pain was now so bad I had to get out of bed and sit up. My heart was doing the skipping thing again. And what scared me even more was that my left arm was slightly tingling. It felt cold. Nothing I did would make the pain better. I couldn't crack my back, I couldn't lay down. Drinking water didn't help. This episode lasted about an hour and a half. I almost went to the ER. While I was waiting for it to pass sort of scared, all I could think about was Ben and his story. It scared me moreso. 

It eventually did pass and today so far I am feeling fine. If I ever feel pain that bad again I will go to the ER. It scared me so much that today I am going to start making calls to cardiologists. Having these scary episodes makes my mind wander as well... makes me think of the what ifs... the inevitable.

Im not ready to go right now. The kids need me. I need them. They are so young, I am young as well. I have so much more to see and do in life. I want to stick around for a long time. And I am not leaving without a fight. So Im going to get to the bottom of all this. As much as I find comfort that I will be reunited with Genesis when its my time, I also know that that time is not now. There is no need to rush that. When its time, we will have all of eternity to make up for the missed time together. 


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