Saturday, March 22, 2014

One Year



Today is exactly one year since my heart surgery, it feels as if it just happened yesterday.       

I remember going into see my doctor in the spring of 2012 for just a simple check up, I didn’t expect to hear that I have a heart murmur. I was shocked, and at the time I didn’t really know what to think of it. I wasn’t scared, I think my initial thought was denial and that “this could never happen to me.” I went to see a cardiologist so that I can find out what was going on with my heart. After I heard the results I felt as if the world had stopped turning. I felt like I was going to throw up. Hearing my doctor say that I was going to need heart surgery was just so unreal. I just wanted to run out of that room and run to my family. Lesson learned, never go alone to a doctor’s visit when you think you are going to hear something you don’t want to.

A couple months went by and I wasn’t feeling like myself. I noticed that I couldn’t do certain things anymore, and that really bothered me. Working 8 hours a day was soon starting to become a challenge for me. I ended up having to quit my job, and that was so hard for me to do. As much as I complained about going to work sometimes, I realized how much I loved my job when I had to quit. I worked so hard to get to where I was and to have to quit just crushed me.  So now I was at home all the time and as much as I didn’t want to think about my heart condition it was constantly on my mind. Sometimes I would just sit there and cry, I just wanted to be healthy and have a normal life again more than anything in the world. As time went by I couldn’t even go grocery shopping anymore because I would get so short of breath. It was so hard not to be able to do simple things like go out for a walk, or just climb up the stairs, never did I think that this would be an issue for me.

I had more tests done on New Years day (2013) and that was when I found out that I was going to need to have heart surgery within the next two months. Meeting with the surgeons and talking to them about the surgery was so scary. Just hearing them talk about what was going to be done made me want to throw up. My heart valve was in the stage where the surgeons didn’t think they were going to be able to repair it and that I was either going to have to get a pigs valve or a mechanical valve. Never did I think that at the age of 24 I was going to have to think of what heart valve I would have to replace mine.

March 22, 2013 was the day. I remember when I scheduled my surgery day I just hugged my boyfriend and cried. I could not sleep the night before, so many things were going through my head. Was I going to wake up, will the bypass machine work, and most importantly will I wake up with my own heart valve repaired? 

Driving to the hospital seemed like the longest drive of my life. I was so nervous.  When Joe (my boyfriend) and I got to the hospital my parents and sister were already their waiting for us. Seeing my parents and sister made me happy and a little more at ease. I had the people that loved me most by my side, and that was all I needed at that moment.

Believe it or not, I actually wasn’t nervous while laying in the bed waiting to be wheeled in for surgery. I guess you can say my parents, sister, and boyfriend did a good job at keeping me calm! But of course when the time came closer I got nervous. The hardest part was when I was about to be taken in for surgery. The hugs meant everything to me at that moment, and I didn’t want to let go. My family and Joe were the ones that always told me to stay strong and not to give up. And seeing my family cry made me cry, at a moment like this, sometimes all you can do is cry and there are no other words left to be said. I am very lucky to have such a loving family, because I don’t know what I would have done without them.

I don’t remember much after the surgery, just the nurse coming in and out. Of course I heard all the stories the next day. The moment I found out that my heart valve was repaired and I didn’t have to get an artificial valve was the happiest day of my life. I don’t remember the last time I was that happy! I was so glad that the surgery was over and that I woke up, it sounds silly, but when you are put under you just worry about waking up! I was in so much pain, I felt as if I got hit by a truck and then a motorcycle ran me over. Of course they gave me a lot of pain medication, so I did a lot of sleeping. I was so happy when I finally got to come home, but I soon realized how much I missed the hospital bed. Let’s just say I had to sleep sitting up for about 2 weeks and I slept on the couch for 5 months on a mountain of pillows. I just could not get comfortable in the bed. Recovery was a long time, a very long time. Showering was so painful, it was hard to do on my own. Once I was starting to feel better it was odd being able to do daily things again. Going into a grocery store for the first time in about 5 months made me anxious, because I haven’t done it in so long!

Having heart surgery completely changed my life, it was the hardest thing I had to go through. There were many tears cried, lots of worries, and a lot of pain. Never did I think that I was going to have heart surgery at the age of 24, you never know what life is going to throw at you. Through this whole experience I realized, if you don’t have your health you have nothing. I also learned how strong I am, and to never give up no matter what. But the most important thing I take from this whole experience is to never judge someone, everyone has a story and you don’t know what that person has been through. I will never forget the day, March 22. 

 This little kitten was always by my side. 


xoxo
Simona

18 comments:

  1. I remember it all too well :( You were always on my mind! ive never met a stronger person. I always knew ull get through it ! You are absolutely right, u never know what life can throw at you, you have to smile, laugh, hug everyone you love, u just have to live and never give up !

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  2. Thank you so much for your sweet comment :) I still have the purple heart Emerey gave me!

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  3. Your story brought tears to my eyes...I am so glad that you are where and who you are today.

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    1. Thank you sister, I couldn't have done it without you guys!

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  4. Phew! What an amazing story and so glad that you're doing well. When we go through these hardships it makes us so much stronger to handle whatever life throws at us and helps us to appreciate all of the little things in our lives even more...

    xx,Kristi
    www.currentlycrushing.com

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    1. Thank you so much Kristi. I agree, life is just so short and you HAVE to appreciate everything, even the little things!

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  5. I am so happy for you that you are healthy again! I know how it feels, I went trough all this hospital stuff too when I was only 13. It's something that changes your life. But look at us, alive and kicking (: My mum always tolt me that living well is the best revenge. And I think you too understand what it means. You can be angry about what happened, but the fact that you recovered so well is amazing, use it and enjoy it. (:

    xxxxxxx Anna
    A Tale of Two Shoes

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    1. Thank you so much for your sweet comment Anna. You definitely left me with good words =) and your mom is right!

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  6. Wow, what a story. Amazing!

    www.highheelsandtutus.com

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    1. Aww thank you Jodi. This experience has definitely changed my life!

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  7. Such an amazing story. I'm so happy to know you are doing well. It is very brave of you to share your story!

    Maggie
    www.PolishedClosets.com

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    1. Thanks Maggie! I want my readers to know who I am =)

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  8. Wow girl! You should be very proud of yourself and your loved ones for standing by you those difficult moments.
    Happy it's all over and you are back to normal life but with more experience and knowledge of what is really important to life.

    xxLyriel
    myBiScoto

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    1. Yes, having my family was very helpful and made it much more easier =)

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  9. Wow what a strong amazing girl you are!! That is an incredible story and you are so great for having a positive attitude and overcoming all of that! You are so right, we should never judge others for you never know what they are going through!! Thanks so much for sharing girl:)
    xoxo
    Kendra

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    1. Thanks Kendra =) we definitely learn from our experiences in life!

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  10. That's an unbelievable story for someone as young as you! I admire you for your courage during that entire time. You have surpassed cardiac surgery so now you can conquer the world <3 Btw I like your hear pillow, I give them to my patients after surgery as well <3 Take care baby!

    http://www.cindyslittleblackbook.com

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    1. Aww thank you SOO much for your sweet comment Cindy =) I defiinitely do feel like I can conquer the world now!!

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