Artist: Betty Who
Song: “High Society”
Today is August 24th, 6:25 p.m. central time. I’m currently sitting in a hospital bed in Centennial Medical Center’s Heart & Vascular Center.
My two best friends boarded the plane to Paris two short hours ago, and are starting semester-long, life-changing adventure. Up until yesterday morning I thought I would be on that flight with them, but all that changed yesterday morning.
I guess I should back up, and explain what happened for me to end up in a hospital for the past 36 hours.
On Wednesday afternoon, I started to get body aches, and I developed an intense fever–the type where you’re skin is on fire, but you’ve never been so cold in your life. Four days before I was supposed to leave. Perfect timing, right?
The next day, my throat became sore on top of my aches and fever. The process of packing was impossible because I would break out in a sweat at the slightest movement.
On Friday morning my mom had me go to our doctor to see if I had strep throat or just a cold. It turned out I had a virus of some sort, so we thought I just needed to let it run its course. Later that afternoon I started experiencing intense and focused chest pain. It was hard to tell if it was related to my esophagus, my heart, or my chest. It ended up going away, and I was able to see friends for the last times during a going away party. As soon as I got home the pain returned. I thought it was some form of indigestion from eating Mexican food earlier that day.
I took Tylenol, deciding that if the pain returned in the morning something would have to be done about it. I woke up in the middle of the night, drenched in sweat, and my chest was still hurting. I was able to fall back asleep, but the pain woke me up earlier than I would’ve liked.
Thankfully my mom, who’s a nurse, was awake. I shared my symptoms with her and we decided to go to the emergency room just to make sure nothing was wrong.
The next hour was a complete blur.
We were the only people in the emergency room, and were immediately admitted. The nurse started hooking me up for an EKG to measure my heart’s rhythm. The test showed some irregularities akin to some sort of blockage.
In short, the word “heart attack” was thrown into the mix. My number from the troponin test (which measures the number of enzymes in a person’s blood stream related to heart failure) was around that of a minor heart attack.
I was transported to a lab where a doctor inserted a catheter into my leg artery to check better on the health of my heart. Thankfully he found that my arteries were in good health, but the troponin test still showed damage to my heart.
My cardiologist explained that I had suffered from stress cardiomyopathy, which is inflammation of the heart tissue due to a physical/emotional stress or a virus. Since I had both of those from my illness and my preparations for Paris, my body reacted with an inflamed heart.
While I was in the emergency room for the first time, my mom stopped the nurses at one point and told them I was supposed to be flying to Paris this morning. Every one of them confirmed my biggest fear: I would be unable to fly to Paris in the morning.
Naturally I burst into tears of confusion and despair. I didn’t and still don’t understand God’s timing for my heart to become sick. This weekend has been an exercise in trusting Him.
In my last post I wrote about the title of my blog. How fitting that there is a setback like this that forces me to to fully trust and rely on God’s perfect plan. We had to cancel my flight for this morning, obviously. The airline refunded us the money from our ticket, but we haven’t been able to get in contact with the study abroad office to see if they will be ok with me arriving to France late.
All I can do is wait and trust. God always provides, and His plan is perfect. This situation is no different–it just may be harder to understand His plan.
Update: Last night I had another intense episode of chest pain, focused on my left ventricle, which is where the inflammation is most severe. Thankfully today I had no pain! I was able to move from the CCU to a regular room!
My numbers are down, and tomorrow morning I am scheduled to have a cardiac MRI to see if there are any other problems with my heart. The cardiologist said that if there weren’t I would probably be able to go home tomorrow night!
Even in the midst of a hard and confusing time, God is good!
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