Saturday, September 30, 2017

Why I Haven't Been Active


Hey, there! It's been a while, hasn't it?

This past year has been pretty bad for me in terms of blogging. I've been semi-active since taking time off of college, but then you may have noticed that I kind of dropped off the face of the earth around May. Let me explain why...

Right around March, just as I started to finally heal after December's surgery, I started feeling iffy. I was tired all the time, but the most important thing was that I was showing the number one sign of advanced heart failure-- sleeping with upwards of three pillows a night to try to breathe better.

Because of this, I called my doctor and managed to get an appointment. Once there, we found out that my heart was definitely getting worse, and they wanted to administer a new medication that I'd have to be admitted to the hospital for. This would be the true test, because my body's tolerance of the medication would determine just how bad I was getting.

A week or so later, we had our answer. Turns out I'm allergic to the med, but while I was waiting to see if the med would do it's job or not, the doctors started a slew of tests. Only a couple days had passed before I had a letter in my hands that said I'd officially been put on the list for an Organ Transplant.

I was elated, though obviously surprised, and was sent home to await my new heart. I'd have to wait until they found the perfect match, which could take even up to two years, so we continued life as normal.

It was three weeks later, June 9th at 11:38 at  night that I got a phone call from the hospital, offering me a heart. Everything was already packed, and we threw the bags into the car and made the five hour drive.

I went into surgery around 6am on the 10th. I was excited, happy, and not nervous at all. I knew that whatever happened during the procedure would be God's will, and I trusted Him completely.

When I woke up, I was ridiculously hungry and thirsty. More doctors than I could count were coming in and out, talking to me as if we were friends and telling me how much better I looked now, and I felt like something was missing. There was a piece missing in my story line. 

Not too much later, I found out that the surgery had gone great, and then... it hadn't. My new heart was stiff from being on ice during transplant, and it hadn't wanted to beat. I'd come out of surgery with my chest still open, and I'd been on life support. For three days, machines had kept me alive until I began to do well enough that they wanted to close me up and take me off of the life support. At that point, it was only later that day that I'd woken up.

I'd also learned that while I'd been on life support, I'd been awake. Awake and writing to communicate and taking pictures with family. None of which I remembered until bits and pieces began filtering through later.

I only stayed in the hospital for a total of two weeks before they released me and allowed me to go to a hotel that connected to the hospital. I stayed there for almost three weeks, and then they finally let me go home.

I won't lie, recuperating from that transplant was rough. I threw up nearly everything I ate, which made it hard to take my twenty-something medications. I was dehydrated, but drinking was difficult since it felt like I couldn't possibly drink any more. I was exhausted, I had no energy, I was all kinds of emotional due to the hormone fluctuations, and all of that had put me in a bad mood.

It was weeks before that got better, and we found out six weeks post-transplant that I' been feeling so bad because my new heart had still had issues taking to my body, and it had only just gotten settled. Seven weeks post-transplant, I started to feel better.

It's nearly four months since transplant, and I have never felt this good in my life! I can do things that I'd never been able to do before. I'm currently on my way back from vacation in Colorado, and I spent the week walking around the Royal Gorge, Pike's Peak, Cave of the Winds, and taking an 8 hour train ride. I got my first good bit of exercise since 2011, and it felt amazing to be able to walk so much without having to stop to breathe every ten feet. I got up early and went to bed late, and I didn't wake up the next morning feeling like death run over.

I tell you, guys, normal may be overrated, but being medically normal is so underrated. 

All that said, I'm back now! I have all kinds of signings and things to go to, all kinds of trips planned out for next year, because I finally CAN. And I'm so glad that you guys get to come along the ride with me. I do have a Facebook page for all things health-related if anyone wants to keep up with things. Click HERE to go to it.

Be expecting things from me! I have a nice little giveaway coming your way soon, as well as some blog tours that I can't wait to get into, so be sure to keep checking back here or checking twitter for all of the things! I'm so excited to be back better than ever.

To borrow a line from Ed Sheeran, "Welcome to the new show/I guess you know I've been away/But where I'm heading who knows/my heart will stay the same"


Happily,
Stephanie

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