This Time Last Year

Yesterday my family hosted our annual Winter Party for heart kids and kids with special needs. With the help of several volunteers, Santa and snow brought into our backyard - our house was transformed into a winter wonderland for many. This party was extra special to me because last year at this time, I had to be flown up to Lucille Packard Children's Hospital to receive emergency medical care for the arrhythmias I started to have. 
The day before the party I had a doctor appointment where they did an EKG and discovered that I was in a-flutter. The concern was that if I was in it for more than 48 hours, I would develop blood clots. From the doctor's office they sent me to the ER where they would try to pace me out of it - unsuccessfully. "But I have a party tomorrow..." I kept repeating to them, which at first made us all chuckle. But as I laid there in the hospital bed and Dr. Stock explained to me that if it didn't stop, we'd have to go into the cath lab and shock me out of it - I came to the terrifying realization that I could die. 

I spent several weeks in the hospital up in California healing. The doctors were able to pace me out of the a-flutter and I was beyond relieved that I didn't need to be shocked. I was able to go home a day before Christmas Eve and spend the Holidays with my family - something I had been so worried I wouldn't get to do that year. 

It's been a whole year since then and I can honestly say I feel 100 times better now than I did back then. I had a lot of health problems that winter and ended up flying to California twice for a-flutter. But since Mother's Day, I haven't had a single problem with my ahrythmias. I want to keep it that way for as long as possible. 

This Winter Party was so special to me because I had missed it last year and I knew how close I was to missing it for forever if I hadn't made it. It had been two years since I had seen some of my heart friends and families, since I hadn't been able to make it to last year's party so this year was spent with lots of hugs and laughter - soaking it all in and being grateful for all of them and their support throughout these years. There were several times I'd stop, look around and smile to myself. This was home for me. Among friends and families who understood just what it was like to live with CHD and health problems. Who knew that every day was a gift and I was so grateful to have the gift of being healthy for this party so I could see them again. 

Hope and Love,


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My Life As A Chronically
Ill Young Adult
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