Friday, August 29, 2014

Hubby Update 45: Back to the Hospital 10/20/16

By the time you are reading this my husband will be in surgery for a heart attack.  I'm asking everyone to please pray in agreement with me:

1. Pray that my husband will live and God will work a miracle in his heart.
 
2. Pray over the doctors and all involved with the surgery for wisdom, steady hands and guidance from the Holy Spirit.
 
3. Pray for me that I will not fear, but trust completely in God for a good outcome.
 
4. Pray over the finances.
 
Thank you Lord that your favor surrounds us like a shield, and by Jesus stripes my husband is totally healed.
 
Please share this with other believers. I'll keep everyone posted as soon as I can.
 
Love you all .... Blessings

For Latest Update Scroll Down the Page

UPDATE 1:

Sorry for the delay, but my phone quit so I couldn't get anyone details because all my info was on my phone.  Praise God my husband made it through the surgery.  His main artery was blocked 90%. They call what he had the "widow maker." The heart attack actually saved his life.  The doctor didn't tell me how serious it was until after he came to ICU.
 
He has stopped bleeding and his skin has returned to normal color  (he was gray). The numbness is already going away. 

 
I want you to know your prayers did make a difference and it changed the outcome.  However, please don't stop.  His sleep apnea is what caused the heart attack and he needs a machine.  Pray he is able to get one before he comes home.
 
 I'll let everyone know when we know more. Thank you so much. Blessings

UPDATE 2: Weak but Strong 9/1/14

Due to the holiday weekend things have been hectic.  Hubby is feeling weak, but strong in faith. He still isn't able to walk except to the lav.  Not sure if he is having reaction to the meds, but his stomach is in pain.

Feeling a bit discomfort and twinge in his chest, but they said that is normal for the first few days.  His appetite has decreased but he is still eating.

So much to tell you.  Not being home much I don't have access to a computer, but I should be able to post more now.

People have been so kind including the doctor.  His medicines cost $672.80 one being $481.89.  The doctor said that my husband couldn't go without these and live. With the holiday weekend he called Walgreens and got a one time waver of sorts.  Then the health services came into the room and handed me some money saying,  "You have friends."  I only had to come up with $20.00 and was able to get them filled.  Praise God!

The next phase is getting him a breathing machine and a recliner. He has to sleep sitting up, so this is not a luxury.

Would you please continue praying in agreement for these things:

1. Continued wisdom in all the new changes we have to undertake.
2. Hubby's physical and emotional strength to return and no fear in the new challenges.
3. Finances for the bills and immediate needs.
4. Strength and sleep for me so I can care for him. 

We love you and are so thankful for your prayers and support.

"I thank my God every time I think of you." (Phil. 1:3 emphasis mine)

P.S. Pray that I can get a phone. Mine quit ... I'll tell you about that later also.

UPDATE 3: Change of Meds 9/2/14

There is so good and not so good news. Hubby has been extremely weak like I mentioned and the reason could have been the medicines.  Good news is that one of the medicines has been totally dropped and another cut in half.  They were making his blood pressure drop 80/64 and his pulse 60, so this could be a cause of his dizziness and light headedness.

Another thing the doctors are concerned about is that without any water reduction medicines he has lost 20 pounds in a few days.  The pains in his stomach were severe today so he didn't eat anything until about 5 pm.

Good news - one of the clinical nurse specialists is trying to set up a sleep study and access a CPAP machine.  Pray all goes well.

He still needs a recliner for sleeping so keep that in prayer too. It has to be large enough for him to turn.  If he doesn't get the recliner he will have to get an adjustable bed.  This will help his heart not to work as hard and allow him to breath easier.

More blood work and a sleep study to follow.  Believing God for more good news.

A message from hubby:

"I appreciate your prayers very much. It's wonderful to have a direct line to God.  I am so thankful that my heart beats to the rhythm of life. Pray that my heart stays in rhythm and doesn't go back into a-fib."

We love you and thank God for your precious prayers and support.  Blessings

P.S. I was able to get a few hours sleep as well.

Update 4: Two more off the list! 9/4/14

God has been working and hubby is off two more meds.  Yesterday his vital signs were so low that he couldn't move around.  They increased the Warfarin by 2 x's and changed it from afternoon to bedtime.  Now they seem to be coming up some.

I was getting a little anxious (even though I know I'm not supposed to), because he wasn't eating so the medicines weren't being flushed out of his system. The doctor's were concerned about his kidney function and fever.

Today he is still not able to do  much, but praise God he ate three times.  He is eating a few ounces of baby cereal with skim milk, mixed with natural applesauce.  Tonight he was able to eat a small meal.

The severe stomach pains are about a four on a scale of one to ten.  That's good and it has already decreased from about seven yesterday.  I'm still convinced he had a reaction to the medicine.

CPAP Machine

Yesterday we went round for round on trying to get the sleep study and CPAP machine asap, but were told he is on a waiting list for "consideration" some time in mid to late October.  As you know we don't have that kind of time, so keep praying God will cause favor in this area for my husband.

Thank you for praying over my sleep.  Tuesday I was up all night but last night I was able to get a few hours.  I just have to remember to eat.

"...Pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man (or woman) avails much (carries much weight). James 5:16b NKJV

I've been telling hubby about all your emails, posts and continual prayers.  He fills up with tears over how much you have poured out your love on us.

We appreciate all your prayers and support.  Looking forward to getting back to our teaching soon.  It's been some journey together.  Glad you were part of it.

Blessings and love to you all! 

Update 5: Keeping it Down 9/5/14

The message is somewhat mixed today.  Although Hubby is now home he is still experiencing food issues, that is ... it doesn't want to stay down. 

After his morning "rendering" we called the hospital which in turn got hold of his doctors.  They were concerned and again changed his medicines.  Three pills cost $16.00 to get him through the weekend until he could be seen by the doctors.

Now for his sleeping. We're still waiting for a CPAP Machine and for his case to he heard and approved for the sleep study.

Unfortunately he doesn't have a recliner so has to sleep sitting up on the couch without lifting his legs.

Some good news.  It may seem small, but we'll take it.

We were able to get him new socks.  He isn't permitted to wear the ones he normally did because of blood flow. 

He was able to walk a some without a wheelchair or assistance.

I was able to take the phone to AT&T to get it fixed for free. So far it seems to be working.  Yeah!

Finally, although the nausea is still at a high on the 1-10 scale, the stomach pain is gone!

We want to thank all of you for continuing to pray and sticking with us as we see God work His mighty hand. 

May the favor of God surround you as a shield and give you multiple blessings. 

Update 6: A good day of rest 9/7/14 

Your prayers and emails are working, giving us encouragement and emotional support. Today was quiet with no surprised!  Everything hubby ate stayed where it should (LOL), and he had no stomach pain at all.

His fluid intake is still too low, but I was able to get him to drink almost two glasses of water.  Instead of drinking from a glass we are using a water bottle so we can keep tabs on exactly how much he is drinking.  It has worked so far.

The Hubbster was able to go outside for a few minutes today and water some plants. No leg pain when he walked this time.  The doctor's seemed to be really concerned about this.

Hopefully he will be able to sleep more tonight. The past two nights he has been a night owl not being able sleep until the middle of the night.

Monday will be challenging, because I have to take him to physical rehab and to a few places for paperwork.  I'm not clear on where they are yet, but it has to do with the CPAP machine and getting the meds for his nausea. 

Again with the phone ... it seems to be having a temper tantrum. It doesn't want to do anything but play music and use up its energy.  We revisited the AT&T store yesterday and this time the report wasn't what I wanted to hear.  Apparently four years is old for a phone!

My friend Linda sent an email as a reminder of God's goodness expressed in Psalm 103.  It is a promise and prayer we hold on to dearly ..."forget not ALL of His benefits."  This includes healing and renewed youth.  It's a passage I pray everyday for my family and one you should claim over your own.

"Bless the LORD, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His Holy name!
Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: (what are they?)

Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases (even heart disease).
Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,

Who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's." (Psalm 103:1-5 NKJV)

Thank you for remembering us in your prayers.  You are loved! Blessings

Hubby Update 7: No Rehab Yet 9/11/14 

I was going to post last night, but storms came through.  Thanks for your patience.

The past few days have been busy for us trying to schedule appointments, getting new medicine adjustments and meeting with the cardio center rehab clinic.

After hubby's blood work yesterday, it was decided that his blood wasn't thinning like it's supposed to, so the Warfarin has been increased again (which will cut down on this supply.)  His levels didn't change at all.  One reason they suspected is that he has changed his diet dramatically and isn't eating the K veggies like he normally did. This threw off his readings.  Even though you aren't supposed to eat them, if it's something normal to your diet it will make the reading read incorrectly.  So confusing.

Meeting with the heart clinic staff they had to go over all the paperwork, meds, etc.  I didn't realize that I needed to bring his meds for this appointment like I do on all the rest.  They had to get permission to go to the doctor and gather the information.  Just when Sharon (I don't really know her title) was doing that her computer crashed!  So, we had to sit and wait. The good thing is that it was raining (yeah) and we were able sup on a beverage while chatting until she got back.  This conference took a few hours.

For the next 4-6 weeks my husband isn't permitted to do any activity but short walks and about five minutes on a treadmill.  Being self-employed I don't see this happening without the hand of God coming to aid.  He isn't used to not working, so this one will be a challenge. We're used to them by now ...

Until the paperwork is straightened out hubby has to see if the senior center will let them use theirs even though he isn't considered a senior.  There is a small walking park near us so I can keep the car close.

We're still battling the nausea issue each day although they upped that medicine as well. Now he takes it every 12 hours. 

Something that we are grateful for is that he has been sleeping with less effort, meaning now he is breathing from his stomach and not his chest.  Once we are able to get him the recliner or hospital bed it should get better and hopefully allow him to sleep uninterrupted.

The follow-up team is still trying to get the sleep study and CPAP machine for him. I thought the study was $300 ... that was incorrect. I left off the last zero!  Big difference.  As for the machine we have had some say they may be able to get their hands on one, but that has yet to happen. 

We haven't found a recliner that is large enough for him to sleep on his side to help blood and air flow.  Keep that in your prayers as well.

I am so grateful for all your emails, prayers and comments. They had been an encouragement knowing that others of like faith are praying with us believing for a complete, speedy recovery.

Love to you all.  Blessings

Hubby Update 8: We Chose Life 9/19/14 
Google Image
Learning to sit and be still when you hear bad news isn’t easy, but I suppose most of you have been there at some point in your life. 

After the first session of the week in follow-up care, my husband wasn’t given a report that was encouraging.  You can read this week’s post for more details.
 

Not dwelling on the negative let me say that my husband’s blood reports are still not in the field where they need to be in thinning so there are no clots.  His INR (protan for blood clot test) level did improve from 1.3 to 1.4, but they need to be between 2-3. (If the technical and spelling term isn't right, sorry.)

Another concern is his blood pressure level and pulse, which is running about 50 and irregular.  The medicines are making it go too low and this drains him of energy.  This is another reason why he needs to eat to gain strength.

He has been having some chest pains but they aren’t lasting long.  The doctor said that sometimes this pre-matural atrium contracts (PAC’s) “post coronary spasm” happens with the kind of surgery he had, but in time should go away totally.

If they can’t get his heart back into rhythm they will have to shock it before it goes into A-fib.

Some good things to give praise to God for: One of the medicines has been reduced to half and he now has his nitro pills.

To his joy, even though his vision has been blurry at times (a side effect of the medicine), he has been able to drive a short distance. He has a temporary handicapped vehicle card that he really didn’t want, but is willing to use it until he’s out of physical therapy.

We also have word that he may be scheduled for a sleep apnea study. The doctor wanted it done before October 2nd but there wasn’t an opening.  Thank you for your continued prayers. Today we were notified of a cancelation so Lord willing it will be on Sunday night.  Plus we have a tentative CPAP machine coming and hope it will be one that he can use. 

The bills are now coming in and we ask for your prayers concerning those matters as well as getting the supply of medicine my husband needs.

God hasn’t forgotten your faithfulness to His children and will reward each accordingly.  We thank God for all of you mentioning you in our prayers.

Love and blessings ...

Hubby Update 9: The Sleep Study 9/25/14 

Praise God my husband was able to have the sleep study done.  Last week you prayed for an opening and God answered.  Due to a sudden cancellation and a VIP call, hubby received favor and was taken in on Sunday night.

He had the staff bring in a cot for me to sleep in the room, with the conditions that we didn't stay up talking. There was no worry of that; I was too tired and fell asleep before he did.  As long as someone else was monitoring him I was going to get some sleep.  (Hope that wasn't selfish.)

I'll share the details of the study when we get the results.  Something else, due to the fact that he did go into obstructive apnea mode early, they were able to administer a CPAP machine by 1 am and monitor it throughout the night.  Hopefully they have enough information so that he doesn't need another one done. 

After he was released Monday morning we decided to test his abilities and pick up a few items at the grocery store. We were only one hour and it exhausted him.  When we got home he needed to take a nap.

Tuesday was a really busy day with appointments.  Another good report is that his INR level has gone up to 1.9.  It's still low, but improving.

He is walking fairly well even though he has a cane, but doesn't need it most of the time.  So far he hasn't gotten chest pains when walking short distances, but we were able to get his nitro prescription filled in case he does.

Short driving distances have been made over the past few days to see how he does with his vision.  The medications are still causing blurriness. A temporary handicap tag for parking has been issued. He has only used it once. 

His nausea medicine was increased to two times a day, but all the rest are the same.  We are so thankful that he was able to get two more filled at a discounted rate because they changed where he was getting them.  For now he was able to get the Warfarin at the hospital pharmacy.  Pray that the Plavix ($500) will be switched before he needs it refilled. He has to be on that for at least a year.

We're still in need of the large recliner or adjustable bed.  As of now he has to sleep sitting up on the couch, and therefore doesn't get much sleep in that position.  Without getting the rest he needs his heart has to work harder.

His weight is starting to stabilize with him only losing a few pounds more this week.  The heart rate is still too low which also causes him to feel weak.

Please continue to pray over the finances. He has been out of work for a month and is trying not to worry with the new bills coming forcing him to go back to work before he is ready.

Through all this we have really been working out our own salvation in trusting God to meet every need like the Bible says.  I believe that each encounter we have faced is leading into new areas that will stretch us even farther for His glory.

We love you. Blessings

Hubby Update 10Not So Fast 10/1/14
 
We'll the time had come for my husband to see what he can really do.  It wasn't a hard task, but walking a little over 1/4th a mile to our friends house.  With his cane in hand he was able to make it, but he did have some twinges in his chest.

When we got there we sat on the steps so he could rest.  He needed almost two hours before we could walk back.  That was the last walking of that nature he had done in a few days.

Monday he tried to put in a few hours at work, but ended up leaving because of all the step climbing.  I also noticed that he forgot his cane! It was propped up in the living room like Santa had left it in the movie Miracle on 34th street.

We were hoping that his INR level would have gone up, but it is still exactly the same yesterday.  Again his medication was increased.  I finally told him that he needs to be talking to his body and commanding it to get in line with our prayers.

He attempted to go to work today, but only got to the driveway and had to come home. All day he has had fluttering in his chest and felt weak. The nausea came back, but he's feeling OK now.

He's supposed to be taking fish oil Omega 3 but can't, so I've been trying to get him to take Flaxseed Omega 3 like I take.  Hopefully it won't make him sick, that is if I can get him to take it.

His weight is steadying and he was pleased that he had to tighten his belt on another notch.  Besides a slight blue coloring in his feet his color from the medicine in the beginning, Papa Smurf is looking really good considering what happened.

On Thursday we meet with the surgeon to see what we are to do next and hopefully get him to sign the papers for my husband to start physical therapy at the heart clinic. Pray that all goes well and that he doesn't have to have his heart shocked back into rhythm.

Some very good news concerning the CPAP machine.  Praise God we have received one and are hoping he can get it fitted by the end of this week.  We still don't have the sleep study results.

We ask you continue to keep the finances and recliner in your prayers. 

I'm so excited to share some other things, but I'll put it in Friday's DF post. 

Thank you for your prayers. Blessings

Hubby Update 11: Not the Right Machine 10/4/14

You've heard the saying one step forward two steps back, we'll that's what has happened concerning some of the matters with my husband this week.

We met with the surgeon on Thursday and had to go 8 places altogether.  It was quite exhausting and took a toll on him these past few days.  Let me share what happened.

The first appointment was at 3:30 pm, but the doctor's office called before 11 am and asked if we could come in right away.  Quickly changing our plans and stopping work we made the appointment.

After some initial questions and looking over the paperwork from Tuesday they did an EKG.  Now the surgeon was ready to tell us what's going on from all the results including the sleep study.

He was pleased with what we're doing, but not for him still getting sick from medicines and being tired.  We've recorded everything daily and that morning his heart rate was 49.

We explained the good news that someone donated a CPAP machine!  That's when things unfolded.  For the past few days he has had pain and fluttering in the chest.  He became upset when he heard the doctor refer to the other blockages that weren't taken care for during surgery.  Then he looked at me and said, "You knew?"

With all he had to deal with I didn't say anything about the other problems, because he didn't remember the conversations in the hospital. His heart wouldn't have taken the rest of the repairs because of all the damage.  The doctor operated on the most pending and we have to keep a watch on the others.

My husband was thinking he was "good to go" and was pushing to get back to work. He couldn't understand why he was still so tired. Right then he sort of shut down emotionally as the doctor explained the rest of the information.

The sleep study revealed he needs another one, because the machine he was tested on the longest was a CPAP.  During the night they switched it to a BiPAP which we didn't know.  A CPAP is used in most cases for severe obstructive sleep apnea, which can be a physical blockage of some sort but not necessarily. 

He has that, but also episodes of central sleep apnea, which is where the brain doesn't tell the body to breathe (heart pump) causing him to literally stop breathing.  Severe sleep apnea starts at the number 30 which is called the AHI (apnea hypopnea index), he is at 59.1 a very dangerous level and why he is still so weak. His body isn't getting enough oxygen and it's affecting the brain.

People that have had a heart attack may not have had central sleep apnea before, but do now.  He averages a "stop" breathing every two minutes, which is one reason I stay up to move him.  I mainly get sleep when he is awake.

The CPAP isn't sufficient for his condition. The BIPAP is a must because it helps the intake of air and the release of it, reducing stress on the heart.  Out of pocket will be around a $4,000 cost for us.

He was also put on another medicine ($200), but weren't able to get it. So he went back on one he already had and it caused him to be sick all last night and he's back to not being able to eat.

Still not having the proper sleeping bed and no machine is putting more stress on his heart.  Being a self-employed contractor he needs to work to pay the bills and get medications. 

One thing that keeps coming to my husband's mind is a song we sing (The Morning Will Come) that has the lyrics, "Don't cast away your confidence based on what you see. Jesus won the battle so you have the victory."

Even through this adverse time, there is hope in God's Words.  We are clinging to that hope and believe God will heal him and give us victory over every situation.

Keep praying in faith and believing.  Blessings


Hubby Update 12: Physical Therapy Has Begun 10/7/14

Today my husband was able to start his physical therapy which will be three times a week.  The goal is to get him to a 40 minute workout period with no pain or stress to his heart.
He was able to do 15 minutes on a treadmill at a very slow pace; I think it was set at one. They were concerned because his heart was in A-Fib so he had to stop. The good news is that he was able to start.
Something else we are thankful for is that his INR level did increase and was 2.2 today, getting closer to the 2.5 where he needs to be.
On the other side, we’re holding on to faith still believing God is going to work this out for our good. Over the past few nights my husband hardly slept at all, because his heart was fluttering and kept going in and out of A-fibrillation. He has had to take a nitro pill.

His brain isn’t sending signals to the body to breathe and has been causing him to stop breathing 59 times an hour.  He is sleeping totally sitting up now. When he needs to lie down on his side to relieve back pain, I sit next to him to monitor his breathing.  I sleep when he is up and moving around.
The main problem still lies in the sleep apnea machine.  We have been blessed and received one like the doctor said.  He told us to get a CPAP machine and so one was donated to us with not that many hours on it.

When we took it to the doctor’s he said it was the wrong machine. How would we know that?  For six weeks all he said was get the CPAP machine, never mentioning a BI-PAP.  We didn't even know they existed.
My husband needs a BI-PAP machine with a smart card in it that records his breathing.  When he stops breathing it will automatically pump oxygen into his body; a regular CPAP doesn't do that.  So if anyone needs one of these machines make sure you ask which one.
We may be able to use parts of the one that was donated, because they have to be purchased separately.

He still hasn’t gotten the last prescription due to the price, but one of the coordinators at the heart clinic thinks it’s the wrong price.  Hopefully that will get straightened out soon.
My husband has been told that he cannot work right now so his body can have the time it needs to heal. Being self-employed that isn’t an option, but he was told what would happen if he didn’t stop working.  It's not just the heart attack, but the brain activity.

I’m not going to give in to those negative words, but listen wisely.  I believe it wasn’t a mistake that we got the CPAP machine and that God can heal my husband’s brain to send signals again and heal him completely. 
Thank you for your prayers regarding healing, finances and favor for open doors for all concerned.  I know there is reason for all this, we pray for strength to endure as God reveals it to us.

When I asked my husband how he felt, he said, “Plum tired, when I get to peach tired I’ll let you know.”  That was his way of saying he’s not giving up and is pressing on in faith. 
Together we believe! Blessings


Hubby Update 13: Another Wall 10/15/14

The devil is trying to get us discouraged in getting the proper equipment for my husband. As you know we were finally told the right equipment that he needed was a BiPAP, after this week’s appointment with another specialist we were given this report. 
Yesterday we were told that my husband is in a time frame they referred to as a “golden window” or critical time.  This means there is a short time left to get him fitted with the correct machine before they can’t stop him from going into A-fib all the time.  Because the brain isn’t telling the body to breathe (CSAS complex sleep apnea syndrome) he needs a special BiPAP Auto SV that now we’re told costs even more.

With a regular BiPap machine they can get his 59 stop breathing times per hour down to about 16 times, but that’s not enough.  The doctor explained that the regular BiPAP machine can cause even more damage and create a bigger problem.  He also told us that my husband is getting zero rem sleep, which is something we didn't know.
The other machine actually acts like a ventilator and will pump air into his lungs at the precise moment when he stops breathing to prevent a sucking movement that causes the stomach to come up into the chest. There is no medication to help him and without the machine I don’t have to tell you the results. Until we get the machine the heart specialist won't even see him and told us, "No need to make an appointment, there's nothing I can do for you." Imagine what this did for my husband emotionally as the doctor left the room.

Good news is that he is doing excellent in his physical rehabilitation and walked a mile on the treadmill today.  He also didn't have to have any changes in his medications.
I know that we are coming up against spiritual walls in this process, but God reminded me that he is the one who brings down those walls that come against us.  Joshua and his men were up against the impossible, but God tore down the wall and they were able to proceed in victory.

Right now legal paperwork for machine availability is creating a wall, plus the finances for the bills.  We are praying God will tear down those walls so we can get this machine right away, and that my husband’s brain will start sending signals to the body.
Please pray that God will put the people in position that can help my husband with the things he needs as his body heals.

Stay in faith with us and be strong believing God will make a way.  Blessings


Hubby Update 14: Still Waiting 10/29/14

Sorry for not updating sooner, but I was hoping to have more news to report.

Stating that this was life threatening, the doctor rush ordered another sleep study with the advanced BiPAP machine, but they couldn't fit him in until November 29th.  They told us this on Friday, October 17th.  We knew that date wasn't acceptable and prayed.  Monday the 20th we received a call that there was an opening for Tuesday night.

The night didn't go well even with the other machine.  My husband said that it was like sleeping with your head out the car window with the wind rushing in your mouth.  He had cramps from the large amounts of air that went into his stomach.

The setting was set at 25 which is the highest and cranked up to #17 which is really bad. With the setting so high there is a risk of blowing out the lungs. As of now we don't know what else can be done.

Now the sleep study test was complete, but there was no one to read it or give instructions so we could get the new machine. There is only one doctor that does this and he was away for the entire week. 

It's been 60 days since my husband had the surgery.  He has a good attitude overall, but his being able to think and speak clearly has been affected dramatically with the lack of oxygen to the brain. 

People seem to think that having the machine is a cure all, but it's not.  His brain needs to work again as God intended and send signals to the body to function.  When the machine is in use, it bypasses the brain and delivers oxygen to the lungs and heart, which is good.  However, it also takes away the function of the brain making the body dependent on the machine. 

Even though my husband needs this breathing machine right now, we are still believing for the Lord to heal him so he can breathe on his own. 

Someone asked today if my husband was sleeping in a recliner yet, and the answer is no.  We still haven't been able to get one.

I am grateful for those who haven't forgotten about us and are praying over our finances for the bills along with my husband's healing.  True, this isn't the best news to date, but we have hope in our Lord for greater things.  Stand with us in faith as we confess the Word of God over this situation. Blessings

Hubby Update 15: Thankful Hearts 11/24/14

I know it’s been some time since I gave an update, but there hasn’t been anything new to report really other than a few medication changes.  The heart doctor was concerned with fluid building around my husband’s heart so he was given two medications for that.
One thing that isn't helpful is that the new medications prevent him from taking any pain meds he needs, because they can cause an interaction. 
Hubby has had another EKG because the last ten days he has had quite a bit of pain in his chest.  The cardio doctor seemed concerned about his lungs and kidneys so we’ll be keeping a watch on those things as well.
Memory issues and speaking the right words are a problem due to the lack of oxygen to the brain.  My husband still doesn’t have a BiPAP machine or recliner, so he isn’t getting much sleep.
On the praise front, the physical therapy has been going so well that today (11/24/14) they had him doing exercises without a heart monitor. It was the first time since August.  He has been losing about three pounds a month instead of the rapid weight loss, so this is also good news.
When we were leaving one doctor’s office we noticed a person coming in with a large plastic bag full of medications.  Even though hubby has quite a few meds to take he is grateful that it isn’t more.  Seeing this gave us an opportunity to pray for that individual and to give thanks to the Lord for all He is doing in our lives. 
My husband has been practicing this week's "Hug Challenge"and it has helped each day in fighting off depression.  I’m even getting some extra hug time from him and that’s always nice.
It’s been almost three months since my husband’s heart attack, and I don’t know why we haven’t been able to get the BiPAP machine and other items he needs yet. However, we believe God will work this out, and that is what keeps us in hope.
We are grateful for your prayers and support.  With thankful hearts we wait. Blessings


Hubby Update 16: We Got It 12/12/14
After three weeks of nothing to report, with joy I can say God has moved on behalf on my husband.  For some time we haven’t gained ground in the medical needs and finances for my husband, but that report has been canceled! 

On Friday, December 5th, we received a phone call that a possible machine was available, but it didn’t exactly meet the specifications needed for ultimate results. It could only do part of the things that the doctor ordered, but they could adjust it somewhat.  Even though it was new, this particular machine has sat on a shelf for years, because the newer ones worked better.  After listening to all the details my husband opted out of the offer, because he and the doctor didn’t feel it could do the job safely. 

Discouraged that we didn’t have a machine yet, but still trusting God for favor in the situation we again waited.  The “golden window” that the doctor talked of seemed to be closing. If we waited two weeks more he would have to have the sleep study repeated for a third time, and the deadline for all this paperwork having to start over from the beginning was Christmas Day (no kidding!).  

Monday we received another call that a brand new advanced machine had become available.  Tuesday he was approved for the machine by everyone who was involved. 

BiPAP Auto SV Advanced Ventilator System
After 101 days, Wednesday, December 10th he went for the fitting (very weird). The respiratory therapist walked us through the details for the machine which also operates as a ventilator.  Praise God, that night we walked out of the building with a BiPAP Auto SV Advanced System Machine. 

The first night was rough not being used to the high setting. My husband says it’s like holding your head out a window of a car at high speed with your mouth wide open and trying to sleep.  It hurt his chest to talk, gave him a tremendous headache from pressing down on his nose and he said you can’t burp (like I needed to know that). If you do it chokes you.   

He's using the clown pillow case
I made of happy times.
A problem with the seal made his mouth really dry due to the fact that he couldn’t keep it shut.  (OK I could really joke about that one, but I’ll let it go!)
 
The doctor didn’t tell them to give him a chin strap even though he told us he had to have one, so we were trying to figure out ways to tie his mouth closed safely.  He told the coordinator about the problem and she gave him one for free.   

Last night he was more prepared with loads of lip balm, cotton on his nose and the new chin strap.  It takes a while to get it fitted each night, but he’ll get it I’m sure.  His nose still hurt so much he couldn’t keep it on all night.   

Today he’s going to try and find another one.  The place where he got the machine has two versions and he’s already tried them.  The problem is that his nose has been broken (6 times to count) so the mask doesn’t fit properly without pushing it really hard into the face blowing air into the eyes.  At least we now have something to work with to help him find the correct one.  As he progresses I’ll post how he’s doing. 

About the BiPAP machine itself.  It cost $6,370. The first payment was almost $800 which included the humidifier, but from here on will be $490 a month excluding a new face mask, hose, SMART card or filter that may be needed throughout the year.  The SMART card records all the information, time used, heart, breathing, etc.

We give God EVERY PRAISE for moving on the hearts of people and through vast paperwork restrictions in order to supply the special BiPAP machine. 

I’ll update again when he gets his test results back from the lab.  That’s a whole other story. 

With grateful hearts we joyfully report this news of God’s faithfulness.  Christmas Blessings Indeed


Hubby Update 17: Prayer Please 12/31/14
Since my last post my husband has experienced some issues with the mask from his Bi-Pap machine.  In order for it to seal around his cheeks and nose he has to have the strap really tight.  The pressure from the machine is so high that it cut the back of his head and neck, plus bruised his nose.  It also broke the strap.
So they changed the mask.  The new one hasn’t cut him, but it’s still causing problems for the nose area.  He is waiting to be able to get a soft mask in hope that it will seal properly and still do the job.  However, the doctor won’t approve it because there isn’t enough evidence that it will work.  We’ll have to see …
Not getting sufficient sleep has caused his immune system to be low and he is now experiencing high fevers, chills and nausea symptoms that are flu like.  The doctors and care givers have been concerned that this might happen, along with monitoring his kidney function.  He’s not supposed to be outside in weather below 40 degrees, but that’s about impossible with all his appointments.  Sure could use the old house call visits!
My husband hasn’t been to a physical therapy session since December 22nd, but hopefully will be able to resume them soon.
Please be in prayer for his health so that it doesn’t turn into pneumonia and he won’t have to be hospitalized.
Also continue to pray over the hospital, doctor’s bills and medications as they are not all covered by insurances.  We’re close to the 6 figure bracket as it stands from these costs.
On the positive side, after 3 weeks of tries (9+ needles; I lost count after the third visit) they were able to get blood samples that the lab could analyze. 
I know it sounds like there’s a lot going on that should alarm us, but our God is Almighty and has shown us great favor through it all.  My husband and I give thanks for what God has done for us this year, despite what the devil is trying to do.  “God gave me another Christmas” is what my husband said to me, and we are both grateful and praise the Lord for His mercy each day.
We appreciate your prayers so much and words of encouragement.  They have really helped.  Looking forward to hearing from you in the New Year. 
May God’s face shine brightly on each of you as you seek His Will for the coming year.  Blessings



Hubby Update 18: The Fever Broke 1/4/15
Finally after three days my husband’s temperature broken and is down to 99 degrees. He was able to go to the hospital clinic (which is part of the emergency division for odd hours), and the doctor gave him three medications that will not interfere with his other meds.


He didn’t have the flu thankfully, but has a severe sinus infection.  We think it may be due to the BiPap machine’s setting, but not sure.

God moved on his behalf.  While waiting to get his prescriptions filled he learned that they were out of one of the medicines for over a month, and no other place had it either.  He was waiting for the doctor to call in something else when the clerk told him he didn’t have to get it changed, she shouted, “The truck is here!”  She didn’t wait for it to be unloaded, but went and got the medicines he needed herself.

I also wanted to tell you that his eye is clearing up as well. It looked pretty bad after the BiPap machine ruptured it from the high pressure.

Thank you Lord for the people who prayed and getting that truck there at the appointed time! 

Hubby Update 19: Stress Test 2/13/15 

For the past six weeks my husband has had more doctor visits than usual, because of some chest pains that haven't subsided.  He wasn't even permitted to do physical therapy, because they thought he went into AFIB. 

During his last visit to the heart doctor, we were told that the pain is coming from the other blockages.  The reason why he is feeling it now is because the main blockage was so severe it masked the pain to the lesser problems.  Now that the largest blockage is fixed, the others are showing their colors.

They finally scheduled a stress test for him.  It's not the physical one where you have to get on a treadmill, etc., but something that tests the heart itself. 

On Monday he went for the test at the hospital and it took over seven hours.  He wouldn't let me go with him, so I got stressed out wondering what was happening all day.  My main concern is that he wouldn't remember all the instructions or recall what the doctor said.  I really couldn't miss the time working though, but it was hard not being there.  

My husband had appointments four days this week and Thursday he had a procedure done on his foot.  I'd show you the photos of what he had done, but he hasn't given permission for me to do that. I talked through the entire thing to help him stay calm. 

The results from the tests haven't come back yet, and he is schedule to meet with the heart doctor later this month. 

A good report is that his foot feels fantastic now, and he doesn't have any pain.  The doctor said that he will have to keep medicine on it each day the rest of his life, but we can pray and believe for a better report ... right?

Also, last night he was able to sleep several hours with the BiPAP without too much difficulty.  It was the first time I didn't see him take it off and put it on his lap. 

We appreciate your love, prayers and support.  Thank you for continuing in prayer for my husband and the finances.  Blessings 

Hubby Update 20: Doctor Report 2/27/15


I just realized this week that I never shared that my husband has had several heart attacks since 2012, but the last one he ended up having an operation.

Moving on ... as you know my husband had a stress test done a few weeks ago. I was so proud of him on being able to stay in that machine for such a long period of  time. 

The doctor met with him this week to give an update report of why he was having more chest pains. 

He found that the other blockages may becoming too much of an issue and prescribed that he takes Nitrostat daily. My husband didn't want to wear the nitro patch because it gives him really bad headaches, but this seems to be doing the same. 

After a week or so he will report back to the doctor on how he feels.  If there is no change the doctor said he will have to operate again.  Please be in prayer that this isn't necessary and that the blockages are totally gone.  

We've also come up on insurance problems as to whether or not they're going to continue to cover the cost of the BiPAP machine.  The paperwork (or should I say, more paperwork) is on the way and we'll go from there.  If it's not covered it will be over $600 a month for the machines, not including his medicines.

Thank you for keeping us in your faithful prayers as we believe God's Word and the power of healing.

Hubby Update 21: Another Surgery 4/9/15

As you know from past posts, my husband is still experiencing major pain in his chest causing difficulty in all his activity, including work.  The heart doctor has been monitoring him to see how things would progress without going back in to operate. 
Yesterday during his doctor’s visit, it was determined that he needed to have another surgery as soon as possible.  The doctor is working out the details and told us that he would let us know by Friday.  He is hoping to do the procedure by next Wednesday if not sooner.
What we are looking at is another 60% blockage that was behind the other artery. It isn’t easy to get to, but he hopes that all he will have to do is put in another stent.  The problem is that it’s too close to the other one and he said that can cause other issues. Usually they don’t put them so close together.
This still leaves one more blockage, but the doctor said there isn’t anything that can be done with that one. (We know God can change what man cannot.)
If he finds that he cannot put the stent in without added stress to the heart he will have to do a by-pass.  For the first operation he used two wires to thread through the arteries to poke holes in them for passage, so he could get them to open for the stent.  He doesn’t know if he will have to do the same thing until he is actually operating.
On new concern is the Bi-PAP machine.  The company where we first got the machine has new insurance policy changes. They determined that his sleep apnea is non-existent and he doesn’t need it, therefore won’t cover it.
Now we can look at this in two ways, one that they don’t have a clue of how to read doctor’s reports. OR … we can believe God is healing him like we’ve been praying.  Until it is determined for sure that apnea is not present, he needs to use the machine.  Policy changes don’t heal, only God does.
Please keep our finances in your prayers.  After the surgery my husband won’t be able to return to work for some time.  He is still doing physical therapy 3 x’s a week as prescribed from the last surgery and will have to start all over.  He is self-employed and when he doesn’t work there is no income.  My income isn’t enough to cover the expenses. 
The policies only cover a portion of his medicines so we need to keep that in prayer also. God has worked things out before, He will do it again if we stay in belief.
He is eating more vegetarian meals (not vegan) and taking natural supplements so he can get off all meds.  He will have to remain on the heart medicines Plavix and Warfarin for one year or until his heart accepts the stents. 
His potassium levels are a concern of the doctor, but we believe organic Noni juice will help remedy that along with some natural herbal smooties.
My husband is in good spirits and we are continuing to believe he will be healed.  Let us gather at the gates of Heaven with prayer and thanksgiving as we believe in Jehovah Rapha, the God who heals and Jehovah Jireh, the God who provides.
We love you and thank God for your love, support and sacrificial prayers.

Hubby Update 22: Some Details Pending 4/16/15

Things are moving quickly for the details leading to Hubby's second surgery.  Thank God the Bi-PAP was approved. He will take it to the hospital so monitoring can remain on his machine for insurance reasons, however we are still waiting a doctor's signature.  It records all that's happening while he sleeps so he really cannot use another machine.

The temporary handicapped tags were reapproved.  What a mess that was. 

We have been boosting his immune system with natural foods so he will be stronger going in this time.  He has been really good about this.

Monday he has to have several tests done to determine where everything stands for surgery.  We'll keep posting as we find out more.

Thank you for all your kind messages and prayers.  Blessings

Hubby Update 23: Heart Surgery Tomorrow

We spend over three hours at the hospital today getting tests done ahead of time so all would be in order for Hubby's operation.

Surgery is set for the morning of Tuesday, April 21st.  The doctor is planning on opening another blockage by putting in another stent.  He won't know until he gets inside as to whether or not he will have to do a by-pass.

Please begin praying now over the doctor's and all who will be involved with the operation.  I'll keep everyone posted as soon as I can. 

We love you and are so thankful for each one of you!  Blessings

Hubby Update 24: Set-Back 4/21/15

Arrived at the hospital as scheduled but there were some complications that prevented the operation from taking place today. 

During the office visit to the doctor's on April 8th when it was decided to operate again, they failed to inform us of something.  Five days before surgery my husband was to stop taking certain medications, but they never told him. 

They postponed the surgery today because the doctor said it was too dangerous to operate. With my husband's blood being too thin the doctor said he would bleed out on the table and then used the "D" word to the success of the patient  making it through the procedure.  The doctor said that it would cause bleeding into the brain and stomach.

Even though it will only be three days, they are planning to go ahead with it on Thursday.  There is more to share, but I'll let everyone know as details unfold.

I know that this doesn't sound good, but we believe God's hand is in the situation from all that has happened over the past few days.  It's time to step up on our prayers.

Your notes and messages have been so helpful and encouraging, especially with all that has happened this week.  We'd appreciate you continuing in prayer over all involved with the surgery and for us. 

 More in a few days.  Blessings


Hubby Update 25: Two Surgeries 4/24/15
Thursday morning we were at the hospital at 7 AM as instructed.  By 8:20 AM my husband was already in surgery.  An hour into the operation the OR tech came out to tell me how things were going.  It was ten of ten when he returned saying they were having difficulty, but they would keep at it.
Within the next hour the surgeon came out to tell me that he could only get the wire that carries the balloon and stent to open the artery in a few inches because of its positioning.  He said that he could be more aggressive with pushing the wire, but it might cause damage and is too dangerous.
He collaborated in the operating room with two other surgeons and they all agreed to stop where they were and move forward to a triple by-pass.  We already knew that he had two blockages, but now there were six. The stent was already failing not due to what the doctor did, but the new blockage positions were causing the problem.  The stent had begun to re-stenosis started blocking off again. This is unusual that it happens so early after placement.
A new specialist came in and said he would be taking over to do the by-pass first thing Friday morning.  The rest of the day he was being prepared for the second surgery. Dozens of people were in and out of his room that I can’t even comprehend all we needed to know and do in such a short time.
It was around 6:30 PM when the first doctor came back to make sure we had been briefed and understood what was about to happen.  He then asked another golden question.  Does the surgeon know you took Plavix this morning?  We assumed he did because several nurses were already told this that day.
The doctor said that he was going to inform him. It was near 8 PM when we were informed the surgery couldn’t be done until Monday.  He was to stop taking several of his medications five days in advance, but with this kind of problem they couldn’t risk it.  Instead he is having injections into the stomach to replace the Plavix until after surgery.
So the second operation is scheduled for Monday as of now.  He will have two teams, the operating room team has twelve people and the ICU team (where there is actually two teams).  He will have two Surgical nurses assigned to him for 24 hours where he is their only patient. They won’t leave the room.  The breathing tube and drain won’t be removed for a day. They will wake him up and put him back to sleep. 
There is so much more they have informed us that will happen, but I’ll share that later.  We have positive things to look forward to and cannot focus on what happened. On a funny note, something we kept hearing was “He has nice legs … good large veins.”  (They will be taking veins from his legs for the heart operation.)
Please continue to pray for total success and healing for my husband both physically and emotionally.  Pray for wisdom on our part and all involved. Pray over all who will come in contact with hubby and that God guides their hands and thinking.
I also ask that you pray for me physically and for emotional strength. Also that I have wisdom concerning all the financial matters we are occurring.
Whenever I can get to a computer to update I will.  Hubby’s phone doesn’t work well in the hospital so I can’t always get word out as soon as needed.
There is no way to tell you how much we appreciate your continual prayers before the Lord. My husband is non-stop telling everyone he meets about all of you and that he knows your prayers are working. It is an extreme comfort to us.
“We thank God upon every remembrance of you, always making mention of you in our prayers.” (Philippians 1:3)
Blessings and Honor to Christ Jesus our Savior, Healer and Deliverer!

Hubby Update 26: Surgery 4/27/15

Just a quick update.  My husband went into surgery a little after 6 AM this morning and returned to the ICU at 3 PM.  He did extremely well and the operation was under 8 hours. (although it seemed a lot longer).  I was given updates every hour on how he was doing.  At this time he is still on a breathing machine.  He is a tough bird though and has already been a bit wild, fighting to take "that thing" out of his mouth even while still under sedation.

Over the next 12 hours or so they will be trying to take him off so he can breath on his own.  They will automatically put him on his Bi-PAP machine.

I'm not sure of all the details, but they stapled something off to stop blood clots from bleeding through.  The triple by-pass went well and they were able to use vessels from his chest and one leg.

He has too many tubes to count in him still.  Several in his neck, 4 in his chest, two in his stomach, a few in each arm and bladder.  His color is wonderful and hardly any swelling.  They will be putting pumps on his legs for circulation.

I'm doing OK, but really tired.  Someone bought me lunch, well she tried.  I ate French Fries and1/2 a piece of pie (she insisted I get a dessert for later. I didn't want to argue ... like I would have over pie).  The hospital cafĂ© didn't have much for a vegetarian except salad and I didn't think that was too smart at the moment. Just not hungry really. Although I have been drinking my green smoothies.

The surgeon said that they will be taking the tubes out slowly and hopefully by Thursday they will all be removed.

A word of thanks and praise to all who have continually prayed for us.  We are blessed to have so many people caring for us and we make mention of you in our prayers.  God make sure that there was people with me almost the entire day.  I am so grateful for that.  When there wasn't anyone that I knew, I was able to minister to other families and answer the phone in the waiting room all day.  It helped pass time.

I know we will be covered in prayer as we go through this experience.  May Christ be praised.  We love you and pray God's favor on each of you.  Blessings.


Hubby Update: ICU 4/29/15
 
Well overall his heart is happy said the doctor, but it’s being naughty. Tuesday was a day of progress.  There were about 13 monitors at first but they were able to remove 6 of them already.  As for all the tubes and lines, there are still a lot, but not nearly as much as before.  Let’s just say there’s enough that no matter where you come close to his bed you step on at least one.
The “Swan” line that was in his neck artery did come out (thank you Lord), but he still has others there. Yesterday he even walked a short distance and began to eat a little.
However, last night he went back into AFIF and hasn’t come out of it yet. Today he wasn’t permitted to do any activity (like walk) or even talk (when he does it’s a whisper). 
We were hoping all of the lines would be out by Thursday, but that doesn’t look likely.  They did remove one more from his neck and wrist (both were to the heart).
He is experiencing numbness on the back of his head/neck and is swelling still.  The pain runs about a ten with it being the worst on a 1-10 scale.  Thankfully medication brings it down to a 7 for a while.
I’m not sure how long he will be in the ICU (Intensive Care Unit), but it looks like he’ll be there a few more days than we thought.
Last night I was able to get a couple hours sleep, but my diet seriously has to improve. I thought French Fries and pie was bad.  Yesterday my menu consisted of Doritos.  Today was better; I added ½ a baked potato and some carrots. 
I know that it may seem like a setback, but I think he is making great progress.  Even though he didn’t walk today, he sat up in a chair for 8 hours and moved his legs. 
Thank you for keeping us in your prayers.  May the Lord bless richly you for your faithfulness.  Blessings 

Hubby Update 28: Out of ICU 5/4/15
After nine days praise the Lord, Hubby is out of ICU and was moved to the medical surgical floor this afternoon.  Today he also had the last tube taken out of the artery in his neck.  The only thing he is on now is IV and a heart monitor. 
He is keeping food down better but has lost nine pounds.  Sometimes it's hard for him to comprehend why he is so weak., I remind him it's because he has been operated on twice within four days of one another, so he won't always feel like eating or moving much.  
The numbness on the back of the head is still there, but not as bad.  We noticed the "rash" on his back has spread down his back.  I say rash, but it really isn't but looks like sores that are healing.  Very strange.
Also the gash on the back of his neck from the respirator in surgery is finally starting to heal.   
Now I ask that you pray for me as I prepare for him to come home, that the Lord gives me wisdom and strength to do what I need to in setting things up for his safety and comfort.  He isn't allowed to use his arms at all. I've been telling everyone that I'm going to Velcro them to his chest along with that big pillow!   
We are so thankful for everyone who has assisted us in so many ways and interceded in prayer.  There's nothing more I can say, but my husband has a message for you.
 
Thank you with all my heart!
Hubby Update 29:  AFIB 5/6/15

Not long after my husband was moved out of ICU he went back into AFIF for most of the day.  We convinced him to take pain medicine to calm his body so he would relax.  By bedtime his heart was back into rhythm but a bit high. 

Today we figured out why it was reverting back and seem to have it under control.  He was trying to do to much to fast and needs to remind himself that this is all going to take time.  Creeping up on two weeks in the hospital, he's anxious to come home.

If he continues to progress it will be within the next few days he can go home, so the specialists are preparing him on how to do things.  Tomorrow we'll be talking to home health care nurses and trying to get things set up for him along with therapists.  That means I have to clean the house... ugh! LOL

Looking forward to reporting more good news. Blessings

Hubby Update 30: He's Home 5/14/15

Praise God that my husband is now at home.  Although his journey is far from over, we are so thankful that God has answered prayers and has brought him safely home. 

He has had so many appointments already it's hard to keep up with them all.  The evening he was released from the hospital we had to truck all over town to find the special bandages he needed for his wounds. 

At 9 P.M. that night the health home care came to set him up with oxygen.  He has one main tank, an emergency one in case the electric goes out for some reason, and a travel tank he uses when we have to leave the house.  Right now he cannot use his BiPAP machine for very long because it is too powerful for his lungs and is painful.  As he heals he won't need the oxygen any longer. They think it will be less than 30 days he will need it, because his oxygen levels are really good.

Three hours later we still didn't find the bandages, but God showed us favor.  We needed to get specific items for him like a wedge pillow, Betadine and tank tops to cover his chest.  While checking out at Walmart our vet spotted us in another line.  Through him we were able get the island bandages and picked them up yesterday at his cost of $65.00.  He needs to change them every day for 14 days.

Tuesday the last of his stitches came out on his chest and today most of the bruising is gone from his right leg. The feeling still hasn't returned to the back of his head or lower leg yet, so please remember to keep that in prayer. 

Another concern is that he still doesn't feel like eating and isn't remembering things, but I think it's due to the eleven new medications he is on right now which also gives him nightmares.  Other than the extreme tiredness, he is doing well when he is awake. 

Each day I hope to get him out of the house for a little time so he is in the sunshine. The doctor's said that's important to get him back on schedule. 

Would you please continue to pray over his mental state as well as physical.  He is feeling guilty that he isn't able to do things as usual (like the car, yard, pets, lifting, etc.), but we continue to remind him that he is still in the healing process and it will come in time. 

I am so thankful for all of you.  Your faithfulness has been a tower of strength to me and I pray the Lord grants you blessings, favor and mercy one hundred fold. 
 

Hubby Update 31: 12 Weeks 6/4/15

It’s been a few weeks since my husband was released from the hospital.  Not being able to do anything for the most part (for twelve more weeks), is getting rather bothersome for him.  He wants to drive, but turning the steering wheel can be difficult.  For now I’m enjoying being his chauffer.
I felt so bad for him the other day … he sneezed and let out this terribly funny sound.  Of course, it was because it hurt and he was trying to hold it back. It was his first sneeze since the surgery.
You will be pleased however to learn that he has been taken off of a few medications.  The side effects were really awful so he asked if he could stop taking the AFIB and Lopressor meds.  His tests came back good so the doctors agreed.
The Percocet pain medication was causing a lot of side effects also.  He is off that now and only taking a muscle relaxer (Flexeril), which has its own issues but he is only on it for a seven day period.
We are wondering what else he needs to be doing to help him physically regain his strength.  A home health care nurse was supposed to come the second day he was home, but no one has yet.  I don’t know why.
The numbness is still in his right leg and a few fingers, but the doctor said it will return to normal in time. However, the numbness on the back of his head is still a concern.  During his examination this week the doctor explained that there may be a blood clot in the brain that is causing the problem.  So please keep praying that the feeling will return to his head and the clot dissolves harmlessly.
He is continuing to losing weight.  Since his first doctor’s appointment two weeks ago he has lost another 17 pounds.  We are concerned because he isn’t eating and may be falling into depression.  His excuse it that nothing tastes good and he has no appetite.  I think part of it is because he sees all that has to be done and it’s hard watching me do the heavy stuff.
The prescription was for him to take a vacation to build his moral.   So we are trying to schedule a few local things to get him out of the house more.  He can’t take a long drive yet, but is doing well with his oxygen tank for short distances and his pillow to cover his chest.

On Wednesday (June 3rd) he was able to return to cardio physical rehab and worked out 20 minutes with his legs.  That’s about all he could do, but it was still good that he tried.  His blood pressure was perfect (120/80) for the first time since the operation.
We are so very grateful God sent someone to mow the lawn.  It was getting rather nasty.  Our mower broke just before he went into the hospital and he hasn’t been able to fix it.
Although things have been trying at times, God has provided and He will supply all our needs according to His riches in glory through Christ Jesus.  We believe! 

Hubby Update 32: Hospital 6/26/15 

It's been a few weeks since I've posted here, but that's because I wanted to get more information on how my husband's recovery has been progressing over a longer period of time. 

For the most part he has been doing much better emotionally because he was taken off that AFIB medicine since he had 2 EKG's that were good.  His energy was returning and he has been feeling pretty good, even though he's not able to do much physical work. 

If you read today's blog post you would have known that he was back in the hospital over the weekend.  They didn't keep him, but we've been going to the hospital practically everyday for new tests and blood work.  His heart went back into AFIB last Saturday and didn't come out of it until today. 

He's off the medicine that was giving him the bad dreams and side effects, but now is on Digoxin to help keep sinus rhythm.  They increased the Lopressor (the Beta blocker) as well.  Hopefully it won't effect his appetite; he's finally eating one entire meal a day.

His INR levels are down to 1.2 so the Warfarin has been increased back up to 6 and a half.  After the operation they never put it back to that dose because he was doing well at the lower level. When the heart is in AFIB it can throw off blood clots so they want to make sure his blood is thinner.

The feeling in his lower right leg and ankle hasn't returned, but he has been getting some tingling sensation in it.  However, the numbness on the back of his head and right ear remains. 

As for his physical therapy. He was excited to have returned to it, but last week they "threw him out" he said.  What really happened was that the wonderful cardio nurses made him sit down and notified the doctor about his heart rate.  He wasn't permitted to work out because of the AFIB. 

All week the nurses have kept up with what has been happening and even came to see him in the hospital during his lab work.  They're on top of this and keeping him out of trouble when I'm not with him.  Love them! 

Even though we have spent loads of time in the hospital this week, things are good for the most part.  It feels like the week blew past us and even skipped Tuesday.  I've been dealing with some poison ivy patches from the yard work and took a Benadryl tablet Monday night.  It puts me out of commission and makes me sleep.  Next thing I remembered it was Wednesday!  Don't like weeks like that when they leave days out (LOL).

Hubby gets overheated fast with the meds, so our little side drives haven't been much.  The car A/C isn't working so we can't go far.  Today he mentioned that he wants to spend some time in the library and relax in that atmosphere.  It's a great library with big puffy chairs and the room temperature is nice, and is only a few miles away so he should be able to drive there. 

We don't know how much longer he'll be on the oxygen, but the good news is that he is mainly using it at night and hasn't had to in the daytime lately. 

Looking forward to hearing better reports from the doctor's to share with you as we believe for a full recovery.  Love and blessings to you all.

Hubby Update 33: BiPap Recall? 8/5/15

We received a letter recently that told us that those who are using the BiPap ASV Advanced machine are at risk for fatality.  The death rate has risen 30% since it has been in use.

So, we made another appointment to see the pulmonologist.  His recommendations were to stop using the machine until a new ECHO test is taken. Not a problem since hubby hasn't been able to use it since the heart operation. The pressure setting was too high so he is still on oxygen. 

The doctor gave the orders for the settings to be changed, and the test is set for the 14th of August.  After that I don't know how long we have to wait for the results.  I'll keep you posted as to what is happening. 

On the home front, hubby is having re-growing pains!  Sounds funny, but all the veins and such that were cut are reconnecting and he says it's painful. Sometimes he gives a shout out and I can't help but giggle from his yelping.  He asks me if this is how it felt when I had my surgery; I can relate.

I'm pleased to relay that he has had a progressive week and even mowed the lawn (yes, he fixed the mower too).  He hasn't weed wacked though.  Although I'm not too thrilled with his lifting yet, he is doing more.

Please keep our finances in your prayers. Just received another $13,000 bill and the a/c is still out in the car.  We believe God is faithful and will provide.  Looking forward to sharing with you just how He did it! 

Love and Blessings


Hubby Update 34: Urgent Care 10/14/15

It’s been some time since I’ve shared what’s going on with my husband, so I thought I better give a brief update.  I am thankful to report that his heart is doing OK even though it keeps going into AFIB.  The medicine prevents it most of the time, but not always.
He is going to cardio physical rehabilitation but hasn’t been able to go three times a week like he is scheduled to do.  The leg that was harvested from is causing him severe pain and he still has no feeling in his ankle area.  I keep reminding him that the pain is everything reconnecting and if he feels it, that’s a good sign.
As for the numbness in the back of his head, he will have to visit with a neurologist to see what is preventing the feeling from returning.  We’re not sure if it is the cause for his problem with speaking and cognitive thinking.
Something that you are aware of is the list of medications that prevents him from being very active.  They make him dizzy, sleepy; give him stomach pains and a list of other side effects.  What has concerned us is that his immune system is vulnerable so his interaction with people is limited for the time being. 
For the past few weeks he has felt really under the weather and didn’t understand why. On Friday, October 9th hubby had to go to the hospital emergency care unit. It is the emergency room without the surgery section.  He had been experiencing abdominal pain with large masses of blood and pus in his urine. The doctor’s put him on 2,000 mgs of cephalexin a day.
On Wednesday, October 14, 2015 he returned to the urgent care facility and they changed his prescription to ciprofloxacin (500 mg day), because the other didn’t do anything.  
The problem with this new medication is that it interferes with the warfarin medication.  He has to stop taking it for a few days but has to keep the heart doctor informed with his INR numbers.  The warfarin prevents blood clots, which is dangerous for a person with AFIB.
Thankfully blood tests won’t be a problem since they issued him a home monitor so he can do it himself.  In the meantime they took some cultures to be sent off for diagnosis.
His heart doctor referred him to the urologist, because the urinary tract infection he has - Cystitis hematuria (bleeding) - is extremely rare in men. We’ll keep you posted when we learn more.
As for the BiPAP machine, he is using it when he can.  They did reset it but it isn't high enough.  However his tests showed he was in the narrow safety range for using the machine. When he can't he is still using the oxygen.
Both of us want to thank all of you who have been so faithful in your prayers and kind words of encouragement.  We continue to believe God for a complete healing and good reports every time we visit the doctor’s.
With much love ...

 

Hubby Update 35: Pass that Stone 11/2/15

Since my last update hubby is still experiencing kidney problems.  For almost a month he has had considerable bleeding and pus in his urine.  Three weeks ago he had x-rays to see what was causing the bleeding, and the urologist believes it is from several kidney stones. 

Two weeks ago he had a cat scan to see exactly where the stones were located.  One stone in the left kidney seems to be the one that’s causing the pain and bleeding.  The others don't aren't an issue at this time.

Today my husband had four appointments between the hospital, two doctors and PT session, so he’s pretty tired.  After he finished at the hospital this morning he had to meet with the urologist, where the second x-ray revealed that the stone hardly moved.  The good news is that his kidneys are healthy and the stone could stay in there for some time if he wasn’t in too much discomfort. 

Late this afternoon we met with his heart doctor who agrees the pain is causing excessive strain and stress on his heart.  Here is the situation.

The operation itself isn’t that difficult. It would normally take under an hour and is usually an outpatient deal. However, because my husband is an AFIB patient it changes the entire process.  Five days before the operation he has to be taken off his blood thinners and start daily Lovenox injections to his stomach.  This is a rather serious move, but not doing it could cause him to bleed out during surgery.

He can’t have them blasted, because it might cause excessive bleeding in the kidneys.  So … he will have to have the old fashioned procedure, which is most uncomfortable (we’ve been told).

After the operation he will have to stay in the hospital on IV meds to help his heart go back into rhythm.  This could take several days the doctor said, but sometimes it goes back within a few hours.  Something we’re pleased but is most unusual is that the heart doctor/surgeon says he will “shadow” the other surgeon during the procedure. 

My husband is apprehensive about the surgery and really doesn’t want to have it.  As things stand the surgery will take place within the next two weeks, possibly as early as Monday.  The doctors have to work out their schedules.

Now I’ve made a deal with hubby.  He’s given me lots of ring gem stones over the years, but I don’t have a kidney stone. I told him if he passes it he can even put it in a setting for me.  It would be a really cool conversation piece for segueing into the faithfulness of God, don’t you think?  OK it’s strange, but it’s better than the alternative.

God says that we can move mountains with only a grain of faith.  This stone is somewhere in the middle of those sizes, so it's doable!  Will you stand in faith with me and believe?

The only way surgery can be avoided is if he passes that stone!  So this is what I’m asking you to pray fervently as in James 5:16 – PASS THAT STONE!

With love...

Hubby Update 36: Surgery Set 11/5/15 

Since we last met with the doctor's on Monday, surgery has been set for the beginning of next week.  Tomorrow my husband has to go into the hospital for pre-surgery stuff, plus meet with the anesthesiologist. 

He has been off Warfarin (blood thinners) for two days and his blood is still to thin.  This is another reason he has to meet with the doctors on Friday.

Even though these things are being put into motion, we are still believing that the surgery will not be necessary and hubby will pass the kidney stone(s).  Don't stop praying, but believe along with us. 

With love ...

Hubby Update 37: Surgery Over 11/11/15

Surgery News ...On Monday (November 9th) my husband had surgery to remove a kidney stone that was too large to pass “normally”.  Due to his blood being too thick (1.2 INR could cause a blood clot) and heart being in AFIB, the surgeon couldn’t blast or laser the stone. 
Hubby had to be intubated again, which he really didn’t want to happen.  The machine did the breathing for him so it would be less stressful on his system. Thankfully they were able to pull it out before he woke this time without any complications.
Praise God all went well and he is now home resting.  Medications for kidney spasms/ pain have been prescribed and he is doing a lot of sleeping.   
He lost another five pounds because the nausea kept him from eating.  One of the new medications is supposed to help with that; hopefully he’ll be able to go off it in ten days.
I’m not sure when we’ll hear from the hospital regarding the results of the surgery, but imagine it will be next week.  We are praying and believing that this was the cause of the bleeding and that there isn’t anything else wrong.
Today (Wednesday, November 11, 2015) he had another doctor’s appointment in which an upper GI has been scheduled. More on that later.
As far as his right lower leg (the one they harvested for the heart surgery), he still has no feeling in it.  Something I’m thankful to report is that he has had slight feeling in the back of his head on the right side, so we continue to pray over this situation as well.
We’re appreciative of those who have messaged us and are praying.  It means more than you can know. 

With love ...

Hubby Update 38: New Concerns 12/8/15

A few things have transpired since I last updated. As you know my husband was supposed to have an Upper GI done on his throat, but kidney stone surgery bumped that procedure (it was scheduled for the same day).  He is rescheduled to have it done some time next week.

Another issue has emerged, but the doctor’s not sure it has to do with his kidneys.  Last week blood (and clots) began showing in his urine again, so today he was to have another X-ray and examination.  Something traumatic has happened that caused the test to be postponed (Lord willing I’ll share this with you on Friday’s post).  Unfortunately, there isn’t another opening until the end of the month, but the doctor wants him to get to the hospital asap. 

Please keep his health in your prayers and that the Lord grants favor in opening closed doors. I’d also like to ask for your prayers for both of us as well concerning emotional, physical and spiritual strength. We’re so very grateful to be able to call on the Body of Christ to join us as we lift our requests before the Lord. 

Praise You Lord for Your grace and mercy that endures forever.

With love ... 

Hubby Update 39: One Month Down! 2/9/16

I have to apologize for not updating this page. It was brought to my attention by one of my students, so I am thankful to her for reminding me.

The main part of 2015 we spent in the hospital ... 4 operations, several procedures, over 50 hospital visits (outside the surgeries) and who knows how many doctor's visits.  It's been some haul to say the least, but God is so good!

Besides a blood vessel breaking in his eye (again) from the bi-pap machine this morning, we have good news to report.  For the first time in about 18 months, my husband has been one month without hospital or doctor visits!  He is even down to five medications (sometimes 7 depending on what's happening).  A few he takes twice a day, but it's still great compared to what he was taking.

There have been some re-growing pains in the way of things knitting together in his body, along with the numbness in his leg and head. His main issue is in his chest with the muscles and learning to use them without over doing it.

He will be having more tests to keep track on how his kidneys are working and has had some pain in the other side now, but nothing much. 

After working with the pulmonologist he is now sleeping better with the bi-pap machine on the lower setting.  I haven't been able to keep him from taking it off at night, but at least he's keeping it on longer. Another thing we're pleased about is that he is sleeping for longer periods of time, which is helping his speech and memory.

When the weather is good and between 40-80 degrees he still goes to cardio rehabilitation sessions three times a week. At times he does have to stop because his heart goes into A-FIB, but for the most part he is doing well in that area.

Something to be mindful in pray is that we are dealing with the huge medical bills and medication expenses, but are standing in faith that God will show us His grace and favor concerning the situation.

I could list all those who have faithfully supported and prayed for us in my husband's journey to recovery, but instead let me lift you up in prayer for God's favor on your lives.  We love and appreciate all of you so very much!

Looking forward to reporting the good news of Jesus' healing ministry as it continues through His people.   Blessings

Hubby Update 40: Hospital & Procedure 8/30/16 

To update, hubby was admitted to the hospital on Friday at 2 am.  He had severe stomach pains which caused his heart to go into AFib.  Intense episodes of diarrhea led the doctors to believe that it was bacterial or viral.  Those tests came back negative and there was no fever.  Nothing conclusive was found.  Meds have helped with the pain and nausea, however the diarrhea persists.
He was released from the hospital (under doctor supervision) yesterday to set up appointments with specialists for tests that will be done off site of the hospital.  He will meet  with one doctor on Thursday and is scheduled to have two procedures done next Tuesday, September 6th.  
Hubby has already been taken off of his blood thinners for the surgery even though he is still in AFib.  This is not a good thing but necessary so his blood isn't too thin.
A CT scan was taken and they were concerned about some of the things that they found.  Since they don’t know why this stuff is happening, the other tests will help in their evaluation.
Please pray in agreement with us that every organ, system and cell in his body is healed and made whole in the name of Jesus.
Thank you for keeping me in your prayers as well. 
With love and blessings …

Hubby Update 41: Procedures Set 9/1/16 

On September 1st most of the day was spent meeting with doctors, hospital staff, etc. setting up the two procedures (Endoscopy & Colonoscopy) hubby is to have done next Tuesday, based on the findings from the CT scan that was done in the hospital.  The doctor’s also want to do an MRI but they cannot do it due to the stent and staples from his heart surgeries, so we don’t know what’s happening with this.
In one week my husband has lost about 13 pounds from dehydration.  His appetite isn’t that great since being on the new medications, but he is eating some solid foods.  He knows to eat to get back his strength, but keeping it down and in him is a different story.
Every report that has come back has been negative.  Contrary to how that sounds, being negative means they found nothing wrong.  That is a good thing and we believe in God to receive the same results for everything else.  By faith we proclaim that whatever it tried or tries to be is washed away by the blood of Jesus, therefore it cannot harm him in any way.
Also the surgeon that examined him on Thursday said that the hernia isn’t pushing through the stomach wall, but that it’s his “six pack” which has moved.  Somehow the muscles have joined together while mending after his heart surgery.
There are a few days before the procedures so we hope to get some rest this weekend.  Please agree with us in prayer as we trust God for total healing, restored health, peace and wellness.
With love and blessings ...


Hubby Update 42: Procedure Results 9/8/16 
It’s been a busy week with the appointments and the two procedures (Endoscopy & Colonoscopy) hubby had done.  Praise God the doctor didn’t find anything “abnormal” except for two polyps on the colon.  They were removed and sent out for diagnosis.
When my husband was in the hospital they found a mass on his right kidney, but weren’t sure what it was.  On Thursday, September 08, 2016 another doctor’s appointment was set up to schedule a PET scan to determine what the 2cm. (3/4 inch) mass might be.  We don’t know, but the doctor said it should be done as soon as possible.  He will set it up and let us know when it is scheduled.
Hubby is still experiencing the abdominal pain so the PET scan should be able to determine the source of it.  In faith, pray believing with us for a complete healing and that the mass is gone. 
With love ...


Hubby Update 43: CAT Scan 9/20/16 

It was an interesting day …
Just a quick note to let you know that my husband had another CAT Scan (making this #3) today instead of the PET Scan that we thought he was going to have.  He also had some blood work done which was ordered by the doctor.  Even though there was some confusion at first at the hospital, things worked out okay.
Thank you for continuing to believe with us that the 2cm. (3/4 inch) found on his right kidney is gone and the polyps that were sent to the lab from the colon test are also negative.
With love ...


Hubby Update 44: Results 9/28/16
 
Much has been going on over the past week with tests and doctor appointments.  I’m sorry if this sounds a bit rammy, but I’m trying to remember everything that has been happening so I can keep you informed.
Yesterday we met with my husband’s regular doctor concerning the diagnosis on the latest CAT scan and blood tests.  God has heard our prayers and the results for the mass on his kidney and the polyps on the colon were negative.
What we learned is that the mass has been there but we weren’t told about it in November, plus the new CAT scan revealed it isn’t a mass at all but a cyst. Praise God that it hasn’t grown and like the doctor explained it doesn’t have “legs” which means it’s not attaching itself to anything.
He has had pain and bleeding from the kidney stones because they have been moving so they’ll keep a check on that.
They still don’t know why he ended up in the hospital one month ago (August 27th) and why he has lost another 20 pounds in 30 days.  The doctor doesn’t think the issues are related.  Since then his heart is still in AFIB.
We did find out more results that we didn’t expect.  The doctor has scheduled him to see a neurosurgeon because they found a pinched nerve in his back, which could be causing the nausea and stomach pain.  He’s pushing for him to have surgery, but we’re not sure that is the best way to go.
He was diagnosed with spinal stenosis at L2-L5 and Scoliosis of the spine.  We knew about these but they are saying this is what’s causing the stomach pain.
My husband asks that you pray in agreement that the Lord grants us wisdom in knowing what to do.  Also let us rejoice together for the good reports that the Lord has given!

With love & thankfulness ... 

Hubby Update 45: 10/20/16 

I know it's been several weeks since I update here, but we haven't had much progress with getting results.  Since I last posted, my husband has been through some extensive tests/blood work in and out of the hospital.  (Read about it here.)

We are pleased to report that they have ruled out a problem with his gull bladder, but still don't know why he is bleeding.  In the meanwhile, he has been placed on more medications to help with the pain. 

The medication for the nausea reduces his appetite and makes his sleepy. Although he has lost about 25 pounds in the course of six weeks, it looks like his weight loss has slowed down. 

Part of the problem is getting medications and procedures done. (One 2.5 oz. cream can cost up to $100.00 our price.) They are expensive and insurance doesn't cover some of it, and they are baulking wanting to have some things repeated. (Doesn't make sense to me.)  We'll keep you informed as I know he is in your thoughts and prayers.

You are such a blessing to us, and I thank God for each one of you who faithfully uplift us before the Lord in prayer! 

By faith ... good news to come!