27 December 2011

After Christmas

Ahh the holidays are past, the kids were blessed with way too much. My husband blessed me as well. It was wonderful to be together as a family.

This year I really tried to get the little kids to understand what Christmas is really about. That it is even more then being about Jesus as a baby but that his birth was not what he came to Earth for! It was to become a man and give his life as a scrafice for our sins. Christmas would be pointless without Easter.

07 December 2011

My life growing up with TOF (Part 2)

My year to year living with TOF was pretty calm. I had doctor appointments for my heart yearly. One of the things that I clearly remember is having to sit on a table for 5- 10 minutes for an EKG. These days that test is much faster. As a 8 year old kid though I hated it. I hated having to just lay there. I also hated going through having an echo. That was another of the just lay there kinda tests. Even today though that is still a long test. I have caught myself many times falling asleep just laying there.

When I was 7 I had my valve replaced. I do remember some of the time spent in the hospital. It was over Christmas vacation. One of my favorite things I remember was ripping up paper with my room mate to throw over the nurses on New Years. I also remember that I didn't even stay awake for New Years.

When my valve was replaced my Dad was told that it would need to be replaced in 7- 10 years. My valve ended up lasting much longer than was expected.

Most of my childhood was lived without medical limits. I was allowed to do what I could without being told not to do this or that. The biggest issues I had to deal with was protecting my heart from infection. The biggest health concern was strep throat. It was an infection that I got several times a year. I was one infection away from having my tonsils removed at one point. When my sister would get a strep throat they often would put me on antibiotics as well.

I had a cardiac catheterization when I was a freshman in high school. At that point they simply put a balloon into my valve and opened it up a little. There were no concerns about needing surgery and I continued on with my life.

At 18 I met the love of my life and shortly after meeting we got married. After getting married my thought begun to think of motherhood. While I did not get pregnant right away there were changes made in how I would be followed from a cardiac stand point. My case was transferred from Children's Memorial in Chicago to Northwestern Memorial. There I was followed by a dr who also specialized in cardiac issues in pregnant women.

My first child was born in 1995. My pregnancy was pretty uneventful until the end. It was at the end that I developed high blood pressure. My son was born at 38 weeks with no complications.

Shortly after my son was born I started experiencing shortness of breath. It was determined that  the shortness was being caused my narrowing in my pulmonary arteries. About 7 months after my oldest was born I underwent another catheterization where they placed stents in my lungs to open them up.

Ok this is where I will stop for now. I will try to get the next blog up soon.