Tuesday morning, I awoke to Thomas dragging me out of bed, telling me I must get up to go to the hospital. I cannot remember another night prior to big tests and procedures that I slept so deep and sound. I awoke only wanting sleep, not concerned with the testing. I was completely and 100% at peace.
I slowly got ready and could not help but be overwhelmed with the peace that consumed my entire body and presence. I knew that no matter the outcome today, that the doctors would be guided by our Savior and ultimately he was in charge. I was not worried about the risks or side effects or even the possibility of death that had been placed ever so presently at the center of this testing.
As we arrived at the hospital, the peace continued.
I was taken and given an echo cardiogram where not only did the tech do a fabulous job but also gave me the name of a doctor for Hayden to see. We spoke of the different types of stress tests, as I was still unsure at how Thomas and I were to proceed but knew the answers would come as I needed to make decisions.
Dr. Shah came out and talked to Thomas and I about the testing, what tests were going to be run and what her feelings were on the different tests. She assured us she would be right with us and take all necessary precautions to do her best at keeping me safe.
The stress test was next. Different testing methods were on the table depending on my level of response to medications and breathing. EKG's were run. IV's started. Still unsure as to what testing I should do, I was relying heavily and completely on when I had to chose that the Lord would guide me, as I was promised. I recalled President Smith's words, when talking of my condition and testing. He said that I would be guided by the Savior but I may have to walk in faith right until the decision had to be made. Thomas was asked to leave and I was left alone with me and a team of seven doctors and nurses to go through this testing alone.
After the EKG was looked at by the doctors, another EKG was ran and then another. I then overheard the doctor call her office and ask her staff to make sure they had faxed the correct EKG for me. When that was re-faxed, the latest EKG ran at the hospital was pulled up. Another EKG was ran on me. I overheard my doctor tell another one present, I don't know what has happened and with anyone else besides her, I wouldn't believe it but she has escaped death many times and accredited all to her God. So, I guess her God has stepped in again and healed her. My abnormal EKG's had improved, which is medically impossible.
At that precise moment, I knew I could do the stress test and I would be given the strength necessary to walk the treadmill. Once attached, there was so big burly guy that held onto me to help me stand. The test was fast, as my heart rate jumps so quickly these days and it hit 153 in 2 minutes. The nuclear medicine was given and I was able to finish the stress test. A miracle in and of itself.
When done, the doctor scheduled more tests which required nuclear medicine and pictures of the heart in increments of an hour then wait then again. At one point during the test, I had one minute to go and then it felt like forever. The doctor ordered more pictures while inside. My heart swell and I knew she was being guided to answers.
Dr. Shah walked in and said she thought she might have figured out the problem and better yet had an idea of how to fix it. Her staff was in awe! Telling me later that they have never heard her make such a promise.
Now bottom line of my understanding: I have taken approximately 10 major blood clots to the brain resulting in 10 strokes in the past year and a half (rough guess possibly many more). I have taken blood clots to the heart damaging the heart. I have taken them to the lungs. Blood clots have messed up my kidneys, liver, etc. etc. I was told that the next six months plus were going to be intense and filled with all kinds of treatment. I would have long term damage from so many strokes. But, she thought that with intense therapies, she could help me live again.
I know the road ahead is going to be a climb and I will have to fight to get there.
But, I am so grateful that I get this chance to fight. To get to live again.
On the way home, I looked over at Thomas. He was smiling. I asked what he was thinking and feeling. He summed up our lives best as he said, "I feel like a thousand pounds has been lifted off my shoulders. And, I feel like I can dream again."
As we talked, we both realized that we have lived the last year in survival mode. Living from minute to minute or hour to hour and rarely day to day. We have tried to sustain life. Now, we get to go fight with all we have and conquer this illness. Then, we will be able to dream again. Do all the things on our bucket list. Grow old together and raise our son. Serve a mission together and testify of the greatness of our Savior. Our dreams are big. The ability to dream is priceless.
I go to the doctor next week to get a game plan. Whatever the plan, whatever is required, we are willing to do it. We know the Savior will walk with us, hand in hand, carrying me if he needs to and will help us on our journey. Once again, my heart is singing the song, I know that my Redeemer lives. As the words proclaim, Oh the joy this sentence gives. I know that my Redeemer lives! He lives! I too, testify of the divinity and reality of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. As you invite him into your home and lives he will bless you and guide you and take the impossibilities and make them very real. I love my Savior and I know he loves me. The peace this brings is without measure.