Sunday, July 29, 2007

Don't go breakin' my heart

So Billybob wasn't aware that my husband would need a heart transplant as we were 'talkin' about everyone should be an organ donor. So here's the deal. I told you about how my husband initially got sick (the whole bad luck thing with a virus making its way to his heart and damaging it - can't have much worse luck than that) - well, he basically walked around with this really crappy heart function on lots of meds. The docs all told us that he wasn't getting better and that at some point he would get worse and need a heart transplant. My thoughts on this were "aren't you a fuckin ray of sunshine". But then he stayed at this level of health for a long time. It's now been five years and he still is doing 'well'. We had what we thought was a miracle over a year ago - his echo showed his heart function had dramatically increased. So we thought wow, he's ok now. Welllll....

After we moved out here to Arizona, he was due for a cardiology check-up. They decided to order a echo and also a stress echo (he had never had one of these) since it had been a little more than a year since the last one.

Yep, you guessed it, bad news. His ejection fraction was now 10%, with an increase to 15% during exercise. The last echo was a mistake or something. So they tell us this lovely news and add that he needs an AICD (pacemaker/defibrillator) the next week or so preferably. You see, these people with really low heart function have a really high chance (50%) of sudden cardiac arrest. And statistically, when this happens, it only happens once...cuz you die. The debrillators apparently have really had good success with treating this and increasing survivability. Naturally, I spoke right up and said he'll take it. You can put it up his butt for all I care - as long as it works. He could pull a crash cart around behind him for all I care. Give that man a shocker! Fortunately he has never had an arrythmia (abnormal heart rate) problem.

So now we's amazing cuz you wouldn't even realize he's sick, other than he gets tired easily. He works full-time as a cook and goes to the gym. He's gonna give up his job and go to school for a culinary arts degree as soon as I can get a job and pay for it.

The hardest part for me - will he be around to see his youngest child graduate, give his duaghters away at their weddings some day, grandchildren. What a sucky thought. And I don't think about it much, just once in a while. You get to a point, where it's (his illness) just part of life. He's made it over five years since initial onset. That's pretty damn good and way better than most. I mean the five year survival rate is 50%. I thank god he's part of that good 50%. *knock on wood and kiss the voodoo doll and all that*


Midlife Midwife said...

There's a great culinary school in Scottsdale. I will hope and pray that his heart will remain strong (and so will yours) until you can both reach your dreams.

Ciarin said...

Thank you so much! We are familiar with that school and may consider it...right now he's so psyched on this new job he has so that's cool.