After my sudden cardiac arrest, I spent six days in the hospital, had all kinds of tests and sent home with a handful of prescription drugs. I wasn’t in very good shape, to say the least….but I was alive. I had hope.
Once I returned home my husband insisted that I not refer to “my” sudden cardiac arrest. He explained he didn’t want me to “own” this disease. I was confused at first but later realized it was important that I not identify with this illness, it was imperative that I associated with healing, not with sickness. So I started referring to the “heart failure clinic” as “the parts department”. I eventually had a pacemaker/defibrillator implanted to pace my heart in the proper rhythm due to my Left Bundle Branch Block (LBBB).
Part of healing from a devastating disease is mind over matter. Your perception of the situation has a lot to do with your overall health, almost as much as the pathology. Don’t let your “stinkin’ thinkin'” get in your way of healing.
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Now for the rest of my story…
I pushed on, determined to find the answers to my health dilemma. I was a woman on a mission…a mission to live.
I had read about MTHFR in “The Whole Heart Solution” by Dr. Joel Kahn, a integrative cardiologist in the Detroit area. I had tried the supplements that Dr. Kahn had mentioned in his book. It was like a miracle how I had responded to the supplements, my husband witnessed my transformation. In less than 2 days I had gone from “death’s door” to myself again, the twinkle in my eye was back. I was hanging on and I was determined to live.
Before I went down this road, one with surgeries and implants, we wanted a second opinion. Doctor Kahn agreed that given my condition, I could have another sudden cardiac arrest and have no one with a defibrillator in time to save me. My heart would benefit from the pacing of the three lead pacemaker device and the built in defibrillator would save me in the worst case scenario.
Dr. Kahn reviewed my previous lab work and ordered more. My high homocysteine levels were the clue for more tests, one for MTHFR. I’m glad he did. It gave me more information to research to learn the why behind my heart event. So far I had only been told it was “idiopathic”, in other words, the other doctors didn’t know.
Between my first and second visit to see Dr. Kahn I had reported issues, to the local cardiologist, about the medications I had been taking. I had a flare up of my diverticulitis condition. I had been prescribed three different diuretics and they were drying me out big time. My mouth was parched, my lips cracked and my nostrils crusty…all signs of being dehydrated. My large intestines was inflamed due to the lack of water in the bowels. I suspected it was the Lasix. I stopped taking it for a weekend and felt better. On Monday I took another dose and felt the pain again in my lower left side, where the diverticulitis would bother me. I went to the ER where it was confirmed, I had diverticulitis. They gave me a prescription for Cipro and one for Flagyl. I was shocked. Previous flare ups of diverticulitis would land me in the hospital, at least for a day or two for IV antibiotics. Not this time.
Two weeks later I’d finished the prescriptions. I didn’t feel better. I checked with the cardiologist. They knew nothing about GI issues. I checked with my pharmacist and learned that the magnesium supplements I was taking interfered with the antibiotics I had been prescribed. I was put on another course of Cipro and Flagyl for another week. I felt a bit better, but at this point anything was an improvement.
Finally after complaining enough the doctor changed my Lasix prescription to another diuretic. I consulted with Dr. Kahn about all the diuretics I was on. I mean, what good does it to save someone from a sudden cardiac arrest and then trash their kidneys and liver. I didn’t want to end up on dialysis like other heart patients I had known. Everything you eat, drink or take into your body is filtered by the liver and kidneys. These prescriptions were overworking mine. Dr. Kahn understood and agreed that I could try weaning myself off slowly from one of the diuretic drugs. I did as he suggested and was happy to find I didn’t need all the fluid pills.
I was on blood pressure medicine, a beta blocker along with the other diuretic after I dropped the Lasix. I felt lightheaded and dizzy. I learned it was the beta blocker. I also learned that not only the Lasix, but the beta blocker too were contraindicated for my condition. I continued to complain about the medications side effects, I was lectured to during one visit. I was told that if I didn’t take my medications I would not be eligible for a heart transplant.
Wait a minute….what? Who asked ME if I wanted a heart transplant? I didn’t want quantity…I wanted quality. I want life in my years, not years in my life.
There is a lot more information about LQTS on the internet. I will include a link in the show notes for more information about LQTS. I will also include a link to the Credible Meds database that lists the drugs that should be avoided for patients with LQTS. This website is available for patients, their doctors or pharmacists to check any medications for potential risks. I never knew this website existed, but through my research I learned of it and I’m glad I did.
You see, I KNOW who the GREAT PHYSICIAN is. The one true healer is God. I always had faith. Even faith as small as a mustard seed, in God’s eyes, is faith enough. I felt convicted that God would heal me or take me home to be with him. Either way, I felt confident, secure and loved by him. God can raise a dead man, Lazarus, and through Peter’s prayer raised Tabitha. Many of you may known her as Dorcas.
I knew God was in control. It was HIS will, not mine, not the doctors, no one’s whether I would live or die. I learned to meditate on God’s word. I learned to turn to his word when I was seeking him. I also prayed. But more than anything I listened and I kept my eyes open. I knew God would lead me, but I had to be ready.
When I met with my biochemist, Donald Gene Kraus, I knew he was another angel sent to me by God. Donald Gene has a strong relationship with the Lord. He gives all the credit for what he does to God. Donald Gene was in a similar position when he was in his early 30s. He was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. He followed the doctors orders only to be told the cancer had metastisized to his brain and he had six weeks to live. Donald Gene is now in his mid seventies. The good Lord used Donald Gene’s knowledge of biochemistry to understand how to help heal himself and others. God blessed him, and Donald Gene has blessed me and so many others. We are more than conquerors!
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. – Romans 8:35-37
I ate pretty healthy before my heart event. I had learned about GMOs and had eaten organic whenever possible. I learned a lot more from Donald Gene. I helped him redesign his website and in the process I learned a LOT. I invite you to visit his new website and get some valuable clean living tips from him too. You can visit his website Body Life Direct to learn more.
As a heart patient, one of the most important things I had to learn was to relax. I started meditating on God’s word. I also added a guided meditation that I found online. I took the advice of Dr. Kahn and Donald Gene to start practicing not only meditation but also yoga. I think Donald Gene sums it up pretty well when he reminds us one of the keys to health is to relax.