My Open Heart Surgery

I just thought I’d put up a basic overview of my situation. I think first time visitors may find all this very confusing. And actually it’s even more confusing the more you know of the situation!

In early November, I had a routine cardiac check-up/testing and it was determined that I need to have my aortic root replaced and my aorta reconstructed (I have a large aneurysm that needs to be fixed.) This is a complex situation. I have Marfan Syndrome and so that complicates he diagnosis even more so.
I was scheduled to have the surgery of the University of MInnesota (Fairview) on January 4th, 2011. Two weeks before surgery, my surgeon called me to tell me they no longer accept my insurance. I was dev-a-stated.
You see – we have some history at the U of M. It was where – at six months old – I was officially diagnosed with Marfan’s. I doctored (and had the majority of my surgeries there) at the U of M for 19 of my 29 years. I found my original surgeon was still there and could do the follow-up heart surgery to the first open heart surgery she performed on me when I was 8.
This has been over a one month long process trying to get the U of M to negotiate/accept my insurance (Medicaid of Montana).
The clock is ticking and I need to have this surgery within the next month.
Please let me know if you have questions in the comments. Much Love!

Roller Coaster

>It’s been almost two weeks since we found out about my need for open heart surgery. Boy, has it been a roller coaster of emotions!

Here’s basically what’s been going on since finding out:
•November 4th – First attempt to get a coronary CT Scan to measure my aorta and to get a crisp image of my heart.
-First attempt was a MAJOR fail. After 2.5 hours of trying to get an IV in my arm – “we” decided to reschedule.
•November 9th – Second attempt to complete the CT = SUCCESSFUL. Thanks to ALL the prayer support.
•4:55pm November 9th – Dr. Mitchell (local cardiologist) called. Immediately I could tell in his voice the news was not good. My aorta had grown to 4.7. (They consider surgery at 4.5) And I had a aneurysm formation. There was such an urgency in his voice. After I hung up the phone, I paced in my room for about 5 minutes until my mom got home from work. My dog thought I was crazy. I knew the time had come to tell more than just immediate family. (In the phone call, Dr. Mitchell took my surgeon’s info and said he’d be back in touch with me the next day.) I switched into robot mode and was on the phone for the next three hours – with little to no emotion – filling friends and family in on the facts. Hello, adrenaline.
•3:30pm November 10th – True to his word, Dr. Mitchell called again. He had a very pleasant conversation with my surgeon (Dr. Shumway) from 21 years ago! He had told her the results over the phone and she was not nearly as panicked as he was. It’s not as urgent as we thought. (It stills needs to happen though.) Dr. Shumway will review the CT Scan and then get back to my doctor asap. I was so relieved to hear that this was not an emergency/urgent surgery. We had all feared that our family Thanksgiving trip to Jackson would be cancelled, but with my doctors okay we are still going! PTL!

thankful for :: doctors

>Hey! Today I woke up thinking about the great doctors that I have here in MT and (hopefully) my surgeon in Minnesota. So thankful to have doctors that have my best interest at heart. Most of them are very willing to listen to everything I have to say, as well. It’s such a great feeling to leave a doctors appointment with a smile on my face instead of discouraged by all the ailments we had just discussed. God has put a few great personalities among my doctors -who get me- and for that I am REALLY thankful. It makes doctoring much easier (and dare I say FUN at times). Thank you Lord for creating these doctors!

My heart is confident in you, O God; my heart is confident. No wonder I can sing your praises! Wake up, my heart! Wake up, O lyre and harp! I will wake the dawn with my song. I will thank you, Lord, among all the people. I will sing your praises among the nations. For your unfailing love is as high as the heavens. Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds. Be exalted, O God, above the highest heavens. May your glory shine over all the earth.” Psalm 57:7-11

thankful for :: family time

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…..our family Thanksgiving in Jackson Hole, WY is still on!! I CAN’T WAIT! Thought we would have to cancel due to my heart issues. Turns out – the trip is still on. God is gooood!

CLINGING to these words today! “God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.” Ephesians 3:20 msg