Life is changing for us this week, and my brain is working hard to process everything. Let me explain:
Some of you know about my mother’s heart condition, some don’t, so I’ll start at the beginning. She was diagnosed in 2001 with HOCM (Hypertrophic Obstructive Cardiomyopathy). I will let you google that if you want to know more, because I only have so much time. I’ll just say that until recently, it was considered rare simply because not enough was known about it to be properly diagnosed. It is congenital, something you are simply born with, and the amount of work your heart gets throughout life is usually a factor in how it affects you. It used to be known as “Athlete’s Heart” because athletes would simply drop dead of it without ever even being diagnosed. The fact that you are at risk for sudden death is one of the scarier aspects of this condition. Over time, this condition has caused so much stress on my mom’s heart and she has found herself in a place where she is basically homebound, the tiniest tasks exhaust her and cause her to have a really hard time breathing. For years she has visited doctors in Texas trying to find a way to improve her quality of life and now, after MUCH prodding, she is here in Maryland to be treated at Johns Hopkins. We have found a doctor who knows a great deal about her situation and can help. His only recommendation is open heart surgery. For several reasons she is a very high risk surgery patient, but he did not mince words when he said that her risks without this surgery far outweigh the risks she will face in surgery. Her situation has become too dire to do nothing. And our hope is that on the other side of this, my mom with feel better! It still feels like we’re on a long road, even now. She is facing a bronchitis recovery and a dental surgery before we can move on the the heart surgery. She is going to stay with us here in Maryland for this process though, flying is far too strenuous and she needs to be close to her doctor at Hopkins now.
Since she is being held in Maryland (alittle bit against her will :-)), Stuart, my dad, and I have been spending the weekend trying to turn the basement into a comfy apartment for her. So much to consider! My brain is overwhelmed, but it is slowly but surely coming together. We have fashioned a kitchen “annex” in the basement where she will soon have almost everything she needs to prepare meals, coffee, etc. All kinds of storage is being put together and I am tasking Stuart with building a small set of stairs so she can go out the back door without as much effort as getting upthe stairs to the front door. Thank goodness for Ikea, seriously.
As heavy as this responsibility feels, it is such a blessing. My brother and sister would do this in a heartbeat as well, it’s simply that the help is here. I don’t think it’s any coincidence that we live here, so close to this Hopkins HCM Clinic. It’s no coincidence that I’m not working right now, and free to take care of her and that we have amazing friends who are willing to help with Blake. Mom has struggled with this for so many years, so we are simply grateful to be moving in the right direction. God has His hand in this and that relieves me.
It’s hard to be away from home, and your spouse, especially when facing such life-altering situations. But we have to send Dad home, someone has to finance this operation (wink).
Please say a prayer for my mom and the path she faces here in Maryland.
And now, you are officially updated.