Saturday, February 5, 2011

My little girl turned 7 today.

Happy Birthday to my little ticker!! I always forget her birthday but Mom never forgets to call first thing in the morning every February 5th and wish the little squeezer a happy day! February 5, 2004 seems like a really long time ago. Rewind to about a week before that......

I was at SAU. (I affectionately refer to that place as the butthole of the earth!!) We were about to kick off the meaty part of volleyball offseason. This included miles and miles of running and early mornings of lifting weights. I hadn't really shared with anyone JUST how crappy I'd been feeling. I had a wimpy heart valve (my aorta, to be specific). As long as I could remember, I felt a little shaky and tired when I worked out. I felt like no matter how much I ran or practiced, I could never get in shape. I would shake like a crack whore during workouts. It became pretty normal. This was a lot different though. I woke up feeling like I had run a marathon in my sleep. I had to stop and rest on my way to class and practice was torture. I had headaches every day, all day. I didn't give in until I started having chest pain more often than not. I called mama and cried cause I felt like I was dying, seriously. She booked a flight home to see trusty ole' Dr Rowe. He had been my cardiologist for a long, long time and we trusted that little bald guy (with the exception of one thick, long hair in the middle of his dome) more than anyone else. I think I got home on Monday, surgery was scheduled for the next Thursday. I was SO NERVOUS but more than that I was just ready to feel better.

I met the surgeon, Dr Fox, a few days prior to surgery. He was used to seeing littles b/c he was a pediatric cardiothoracic surgeon. My heart condition was congenital, so I still saw all pediatric doctors. This was actually pretty awesome cause the nurses are much nicer on the purple kangaroo floor! I cracked some jokes (I say jokes, but I was DEAD SERIOUS) asking him to give me a boob job while he had the chest cracked open during surgery. He turned red and laughed uncomfortably...I laughed dissapointedly - those of you who know me are aware that I still have painfully small boobs. My make-a-wish fell through. Anyway...I checked in at Brackenridge Children's Hospital that Thursday morning and all of that day was pretty much a blur. The only thing I remember well was the anesthesiologist coming in with a "margarita" for my IV. It was gooooood.

I woke up surrounded by family. The first couple of days were a blur of Versed and other meds. But by about the beginning of day 3 I was pretty coherent. I felt better. And not better from surgery, but better. I felt better than I could remember feeling, maybe EVER. I didn't feel wimpy or just plain tired anymore. I was a little sore from the chest cracking fiasco but other than that I was good! It's really kinda crazy. After all was said and done, I didn't know just how bad had I felt until I felt better. I kinda wanted to go back and play all those years of volleyball over again - but feeling this way. Mainly so I could show Coach Currier-Schlobohm, whatever the crap her name was, that I wasn't just slacking. She always rode my butt so hard when I couldn't finish a workout. Jerk. After the surgery I was really self conscious for a while about the huge scar running down the middle of my chest. I remember standing in front of the bathroom mirror crying for a good hour the first time I took my shirt off to take a shower. It makes me laugh now, I don't really even notice the scar anymore. (**but if Dr Fox had granted me the boob job then the scar WOULD be hidden in some cleavage, just saying....)

I went back to SAU to finish school a couple of weeks later. Now I can say I'm a member of the MULERIDER alumni. Yeah, I said it. Fighting donkey riders. Hah! I moved in with one of the greatest people I know, Britty. We had a blast that summer and I met the greatest person I know - My Love.

So seven years later my little heart is still ticking away and I wake up refreshed and full of energy. I am such a lucky person. I was reading articles about the surgery I had earlier today for my capstone project; it's called a ROSS procedure. They take your messed up aorta out and hurl it into the garbage (that's how it played out in my head...he shoots - he scores!!! Yayaaaaaa) and then they move your pulmonary valve to where your aorta used to be. Then they put a donor valve on where your pulmonary valve used to be. Hard core stuff, right!? Back to the got me thinking. One article talked about the donors of the heart valves. Sometimes I just plain forget that I actually have a donor valve inside of me. Someone was selfless enough to literally give a piece of him or herself to ME. Pretty amazing, I think. Remember that when you have to check the donor preference on your drivers license. One day you won't need those things anymore, but some tired person just might. I'm really grateful and couldn't thank that person enough!

So to my ticker, Happy 7th birthday. They grow up so fast....tear.

I hope you all enjoy your superbowl sunday. Love you all, family and friends!!! ammendment to my post. My mom reminded me of a fun little detail that I left out!

Five ~or so~ days after surgery, I got to go home. On the way to the house we had to go by Walgreens to pick up my obscene amount of scripts. I also had to get one of those big blue pill dividers to divy them into. (After I got home and filled the thing my sweet cousin Maddie took one look at the container and proudly exclaimed "Oh, my grandma has one of those too!" Ouch.) Good news - those pills dwindled away quickly, now I only take a beta blocker a day for my heart. Anyway - I went into Walgreens with my mom and dad to fills the scripts. I felt good, but my chest was sore from surgery. I had to go to the bathroom. Me and mom went in and it took me forever to pull down the pants, etc. Mom finished and went out of the restroom. I finished my business, washed my hands and proceeded to the door. I pulled as hard as I could and the door wouldn't budge. Ha! I tried again, no luck. Turns out I was barely pulling because my chest and back muscles were so sore that I had the strength of like a 7 month old. So, I just hung out in the bathroom for what felt like forever. Finally, mom got worried and came back to check on me. It was like my own little prison  break - thank the good Lord. If I was by myself at Walgreens I could have very likely spend the entire day trapped in there. Aaah, fun times.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, that story rocks! I remember back in the day, with your lil def required some TLC. I am so glad to hear that the surgery had outstanding results, and plus now you have a mini-child to celebrate every year! Seriously, I think at your 10 year anniversary, you should go back and request that boob job...totally deserved!! haha