Last Thursday night after carrying my 41 lb 2 year old up the stairs to bed…my neck started giving me a fit. It was so painful I couldn’t get comfortable on my pillow to lay my head to sleep. The scariest part of it all…it was the right side of my neck…the side that has the vertebral artery dissection, the VAD that caused the stroke 2 months ago. Needless to say I not only could not go to sleep due to the pain but also due to the fear. The fear that God had already delivered me from.
I got up the next morning and took some Tylenol before going to work and it really helped, so I started trying to convince myself everything was ok. Maybe it was a pulled muscle. I had not had a headache with this neck pain and the last time I had a terrible headache. So I keep praying it will be fine and trying to calm my fears. By Sunday, the pain had got worse and I really could not function…after church, I just sat on the couch the rest of the day putting an ice pack on the area. My husband had committed to helping a family member fix his well so they could have water, so I had to have my parents come and help me with the boys.
Monday morning I had an appointment at The Coumadin Clinic where I have my blood checked every week or so. I told the Pharmacist about my pain and she suggested I see my neurologist. I told her I had already called them that morning and that they didn’t have an opening until March!! (Sometimes you really wonder how to go about getting help). She said that was ridiculous and gave them a call herself. She talked to a nurse there and by the time I had left the clinic, the nurse called me and told me that the DR said I should go to the ER and be checked so they could run test ASAP.
So I go and eat at the Olive Garden with my coworkers for our late Christmas get together. I have to go thru the ER to go to the Coumadin Clinic and they were VERY BUSY, so I knew I needed to eat good before I went b/c I was going to be there for a while. Thankfully the favor of God was on me and they took me back rather quickly once they understood my case. I had a CT with contrast and it seemed like it took forever to get the results back. I’ll be honest, I truly thought they would come back and say…”everything looks great” you’ve just got a pulled muscle, but that is not what I heard. The DR comes in and says…”we don’t know what is going on with you…you have a large VAD on your left side”. I was in total disbelief!! I know he did not tell me I was dying but it felt like it. Things like this in my age is just not normal and the Dr’s were stumped!! He told me they would be admitting me and running more test and studies to try and find out what was going on. I just leaned on my Mom and held on to her in fear. We just prayed and agreed that God was going to take care of me and he knows what's going on even when the Dr’s don’t! Chris arrived shortly after I found out the news and we just cried together too…knowing that God was bringing us thru this b/c there is about to be a BREAKTHROUGH!! You never go thru a storm unless God is getting ready to take you to the next level!!!
The next morning they took me down to have my MRI done…they wanted to make sure that I had not had any more strokes due to the left vertebral artery dissection. It seemed like an eternity before the neurologist finally came in that day to see me and give me some news. Thankfully, I had not had another stroke, but he still had no answers as to why I had another VAD. He told me he was going to get his head together with the Radiologist and a Vascular Surgeon and see what they could come up with. Meanwhile, my nerves are shot and the fear was taking over. I had many precious friends calling and giving me spiritual words of encouragement…even though I was in total agreement with everything they were telling me…I could not find PEACE!! I knew that God is in control and he’s got me but I just couldn’t take hold of the peace that passes all understanding.
It was around 5:00 on Tuesday and the phlebotomist had come in to take a LOT of blood. After she finished, I just had a melt down. The overwhelmingness of the whole situation was just eating at me. I went into the bathroom just to let it all out, Chris came in and prayed with me. When he went back into the room he had a text from our Pastor that said, “the intercessory prayer group is calling out her name right now”.Isn’t that just like God…in the moment of our weakness, he reminds us he will never leave us or forsake us. I stayed in the bathroom (prayer closet) and just began to cry out to God. God…I am your child….you are the only one who can bring me Peace and Comfort during this time….I have great friends and family and I am so thankful for them but nothing they say or do can give me the Peace that only comes from you. I submit to you completely lord. Whatever it is you are trying to teach me from this…I’m listening Lord. Just please heal my body! I raised my hands to heaven and grabbed on to his hand. Just as I did that I heard someone come into my room…it was the vascular surgeon..and he brought GOOD NEWS!! I wiped my eyes and went into the room, he began to tell me his explanation for what is going on with me. He totally feels that the VAD’s happened at the same time and the left one was just not that bad the first time. They looked back on my MRI from before and he said there was a little webbed area that could def been the start of another dissection. He felt that the reason I was having the VAD’s is a post partum thing. When your pregnant, you hormones cause everything in your body to soften, including your arteries. Basically he feels that all the physical activity(mud run) I was doing so soon after having my baby caused the soft arteries to tear. He said that nothing could be done other than what was already being done…the Coumadin, and that he seen no need to keep me in the hospital for any further testing. He doesn’t feel that I have any kind of connective tissue disorder or other disease. PRAISE THE LORD!!! When I heard all this news..guess what came over me….PEACE!!! God sent that surgeon in with that news at the same time I had just prayed and cried out for God to give me peace. God is so Great!! He hears our prayers!!
I was discharged today before lunch and am now back at home with my sweet boys who I missed so much. I’m still nursing a stiff sore neck and praying that God will continue to heal that and my VAD’s.
I declare I am going to live a LONG healthy life! I am going to be here to see my children grow and will die in my sleep as an OLD woman. Unless God decides to come sooner and take us all home together…and that will be fine too!
Once again, I am so thankful for my husband, family and friends who are always here for me! I am truly blessed beyond measure!