When Life Hands You Lemons…

You should be grateful that it didn’t hand you kale–I hate kale *the most*.

And then you should go online and look up low-sodium heart-healthy lemon recipes…

Ok this is not making sense because I’m so doggone tired. Mr. MLACS is being discharged from the hospital tomorrow so I just went grocery shopping for low-sodium stuff and lots of fruits and veggies. Because *from now on* we will be eating 95% of our meals at home and they have to be nutritious–no short cuts.

It’s been crazy. I’ve been getting up and going to the hospital so I can be there for rounds (when the docs visit Mr. MLACS and give updates/orders). I’ve been shuttling the puppy to/from “puppy daycare”. At some point I eat something. At some point I take care of other things and of myself. After I feed the puppy dinner I go back to the hospital until 9 or 10pm, then go home and go to bed, rinse and repeat.

I’ve learned SO MUCH in such a short amount of time, about Heart Failure (a.k.a. “Cardiomyopathy”)–it’s symptoms, causes, diagnosis and treatments. Crash course.

Mr. MLACS has an *excellent* medical team. Everyone from the RN’s to the CNA’s to the Cardiologists, Pulmonologists, and Dieticians, have been wonderful–he lucked out. The nurse we spent the most time with, Jill, feels like family to us. She said to him “YOU are why I do what I do–most of the people on this floor (cardio) are too old and sick to recover, but YOU are young and smart–I expect YOU to turn this around”. Everyone has been so encouraging toward Mr. MLACS, like, “Man, you *got this*, you’re gonna do great!” They are happy to explain anything and everything to us both, so we feel empowered and not intimidated.

And so Mr. MLACS has responded in-kind and is feeling motivated and confident in his ability to recover and be even better than before…

When we walked in the hospital, we weren’t sure…we were didn’t know if they could “fix” him, or if he was doomed to deteriorate. We didn’t know what his quality of life might be–we had no perspective…no “prognosis”. When they called with the results of his echocardiogram, they said his EF (ejection fraction) was only 20%, and on a scale of mild/moderate/severe heart failure, *an EF under 30% is severe*. I was afraid he might collapse before I could get him to the hospital. How was he even still standing?

His BP (blood pressure) was in the 150’s/90’s. His RHR (resting heart rate) was 106. His legs were the size of tree trunks, swollen from edema. He was coughing and his breathing was labored…we had thought it was pneumonia, and he was on his second round of antibiotics…we had already been to urgent care 3x and to the ER once in the last 4 weeks. But we never thought he was THAT sick…we never considered that he was toeing the line between life and death…

There’s a silver lining here: Mr. MLACS has been overworked, overstressed, overweight, sleep-deprived, and generally has not paid attention to how he feels physically/mentally/emotionally. That’s no way to live. That’s not the kind of Father he wants to be. But how was he supposed to “put on the breaks” when this is what everybody, including himself, had come to expect from him??? So he just kept chugging along, until…

THIS happened.

And now he’s taking 2 weeks off of work–this man has taken 2 sick days in 7 years of working 80+ hour weeks with this company–that is a BIG deal. But he’s ok with it (well, mostly).

He’s already downloaded apps on his phone to look up sodium content in various foods. He’s already looked for low-sodium options at his favorite restaurants. He’s committed to take his meds and PAY ATTENTION to how he feels and address it, instead of dismissing everything. He has agreed to wear a cpap mask for sleep apnea. And when he can, he is looking forward to getting back to the gym. He’s putting himself and his family first–THAT is the kind of man he wants to be. And I’m SO proud of him.

I’m stoked that I get to spend so much time with him while he’s healing–I have missed him like crazy and he has not been himself these past few weeks. I was feeling disconnected from him and that made me feel desperate and panicked as the birth of our daughter is approaching. But after these past few days, I feel closer than ever to him.

And ironically, I’m grateful things happened the way they did. God had His hand in this, and we have learned, our love and trust has grown, and our family is stronger than before.

So yeah, when life hands you lemons, take the damn lemons.

XOXO,

MLACS

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28 thoughts on “When Life Hands You Lemons…

  1. I am so excited that you are taking the lemons and making lemonade together! I am thrilled your husband is okay and the prognosis is excellent. And, I’m thrilled you are able to there for each other as you focus on his recovery and your transition to parenthood! Love to you both!

  2. My husband has high blood pressure. We use the recipes from The American Heart Association Heart Healthy Cookbook. The recipes are really yummy! I highly recommend them. They do take a little time but so worth it when you taste the final product. You don’t feel cheated. Thinking if you you guys!!

  3. I had no idea this happened. Just getting caught up on my blog reading. I’m so sorry he got so sick, but so glad that he’s going to be okay. Better than okay, it seems after reading this. Wishing him a speedy recovery!

  4. I can’t tell you how glad I am that he is coming home. I have been checking constantly for updates. This whole process and learning curve is just going to make you two even more close than you already are. Hoping, praying, wishing for an amazing recovery. The next 2 weeks I hope are filled with lots of rest, for both of you!

  5. Amen to all of this, my friend. Wishing you so much energy, patience, strength and humour in the coming weeks. I’m so glad you have both been given this opportunity to heal and grow, as much as I wish you did not have to endure it.

  6. I am so glad that everything will be okay and that he is coming home safely to your arms. I think of you soo often (especially when I read that book to Goldilocks every day) and i want you to know that you are always in my prayers! xoxoxo

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