Feb 15, 2012

I'm Letting the Cat Out of the Bag

I wasn't going to post about this for a while, but since it is on my mind CONSTANTLY and I keep finding myself retreating to the computer, I figured that I might as well do it.
When Mark was about 19 he was in the Marines in boot camp.  He got strep and I guess it got to his heart.  This caused a heart murmur, aka Mitral Valve Prolapse(MVP) in this case.  That is when the valve on the left chamber doesn't close all the way, so the blood starts to swish back and forth.  This causes the chambers to swell and stretch, eventually leading to heart failure, if left untreated.  It hasn't been all that big of a deal and doctors have told him that he wouldn't need a valve replacement for a really long time.  He would regularly get it checked, it never seemed like that big of a deal.
Towards the end of 2011 Mark started getting weird heart palpitations.   When the new year started Mark went into the doctor for a regular physical.  The doctor wanted some heart tests to be run on Mark to check if everything was okay.  Mark had one test done and that doctor wanted another one done and for another doctor to look at it, he thought the MVP was looking worse than before.  That doctor then ran some tests and decided it was significantly worse than before and it was worsening rapidly.
Mark has been scheduled for another procedure(this is scheduled for next Tues. Feb. 21st) where they stick an ultrasound type of camera down his throat to get a better look at the valve.  This is so that they can determine whether he will have a valve repair or valve replacement.  The doctor told him that he will most certainly be having open heart surgery.
Upon hearing this I was pretty shocked.  I didn't know what to say or think.  My own heart started racing.
To do the surgery Mark's heart will be stopped and a heart and lung bypass machine will do the work.  Then once the surgery is completed the blood flow will be brought back into the heart and an electrical shock will restart the heart.  He will be in ICU under sedation for a few days, then eventually he will be moved out of there and sometime after that he will come home.
We are both realizing that although we are hopeful, he could die.  This is open-heart surgery, after all.  As much as I want to just sit back and relax and say that everything will work out, he and I both realize that we need to prepare for the possibilities.  He worked out a budget for me if I were to receive life insurance and a plan.  We talked about if I would get remarried.  He is having a will written up.  I know that after the experiences of my mom, my sister in law and so many others that these things happen and it's better to be prepared for the worst but to hope and pray for the best.  Mark also met with our bishop to let him know what was going on and to let him know that we may need some assistance from the church while he isn't working.
I am not going to say he is going to die.  I don't know what will happen, but I imagine that now matter the outcome the Lord will take care of us.  I am honestly really scared.  I feel at peace for the most part, but there is also this constant fear of the unknown.  I never want to lose my husband.  I will just miss him while he is in the hospital.  I can't imagine him really being gone.  I would just like to ask all of you who read this to please pray for him and for our family.  These things are a big deal and we could really use all the extra prayer and fasting that any of you could offer.  Thank you.
PS-Because my husband is morbid, he would like me to document this whole thing with pictures.  So, whatever I can photograph, that's what he wants me to do.  Don't worry, you will get to be on this journey with us through blog!  Exciting, right?!!


Carrrie said...

Danielle how scary to have to go through this! Your family is definitely in my prayers!

Denise said...

So hard Danielle! I cannot even think about things like that, so it's hard being forced to huh?

You guys are definitely in our thoughts and prayers. And I am kinda morbid too (maybe it runs in the family) so I would love to see the pictures. Lol.

Hang in there!! I am glad to hear though that you guys are preparing for the worst - nothing is worse in my opinion than to have the worst happen and then be totally unprepared.

Love you guys!

Shauna said...

Hi, Danielle. I appreciate your honesty in sharing your hopes and fears. I realize everyone is different, but my father (Mark's Grandpa Smith) had his mitral valve replaced twenty years ago, then ten years later when that one wore out, had another replacement surgery. Both were successful. It was a long recovery, but then he felt so much better and he felt it was worth it. I'm sorry you all are having to go through this, but I hope it will turn out for the best.

Jami said...

Praying so very hard for you! (And maybe even crying a little bit...)

LittleBrownFamily said...

Jeff and I will hold a fast for your husband, and for you. Please, let me know if I can help you with your children or with meals while he is going through the surgery or recovery.
My heart goes out to you. Love you.

MJ said...

I'm seriously hoping this is one of those times when if you're prepared, the worst won't happen.

We will definitely keep you guys and Mark's doctors in our prayers!

Heather said...

Even though I already knew what was going on, reading that gave me the chills! I know the Lord will bless you! We love you!