Friday, July 25, 2008

What matters most

I just went surfing around on the internet about heart transplants, from being listed, to recovery and life changes.  I found it helpful and informative, but also a bit overwhelming reading the extremely long list of risks.  While I don't believe Kevin will get all of them, there is a chance he may develop a few.  I needed to have a picture in my mind of what he will look like in intensive care right after surgery.  I have a better idea now and will feel better prepared.  It's a wonder how anyone seriously ill survives the enormous stress the body is under during any major open surgery.  I am even more amazed and grateful to those who have spent their adult lives researching and studied how the body reacts to medication and trauma and discovering ways to balance the body to its natural state.  I truly believe it is a combination of medicine, patient will, and God that heals.  All play a vital role in this process.  

Having been married to a surgeon for 26 years (in two weeks), I have heard many stories of miracles, healing, death, and pain.  At times I feel sympathy for the patient and family, while never knowing who they are.  I am happy for those who survive and sad for those who "give up" before they have gone.  Life is such a fragile thing; at any moment it can be taken from us.  This is why at this point in our lives we are at peace.  I don't feel sorry for Kevin and I don't feel sorry for myself.  We face this new challenge knowing there is something we are to learn.  I have already changed and will never be exactly as I was prior to this diagnosis. I don't get worried about the "little things" anymore and what gets done, gets done and what doesn't, doesn't.  I find I don't need "things" right now and also realize since we have been living in a studio room that I don't need much.  Though I would not go too far - a computer and a phone are essentials!  

What I have always known, but have truly come to understand is that what matters most is relationships.




Jed and Cindy said...

Dear Kevin and Barbie-

Just a note to let you know we're thinking about you. I check your blog each day and marvel at the strength and courage you both have. Barbie, you're right...relationships with family and friends is what matters most. It's what you get to take with you - nothing else really matters. Know we think of you often and pray for the Lord's love and strength to be with you and your family. We're hopeful Monday brings good news. Keep smiling :) We love you!

Jed and Cindy

Anonymous said...

I so admire your strength,your courage and your will. I am so blessed to have you as my sister. When I grow up I want to be just like you!! My prayers are with you and Kevin. We love you.

June said...

Kevin and Barbie,
Just wanted to let you know that I am thinking of you often and always wishing nothing but the best. Your journey sounds overwhelming but I wanted you to know that though I can never contemplate what you are going through, I can relate in some small way. I don't remember if I told you Kevin, about my oldest son. He was transfered from Kaiser when he was 13 hours old to UCSF to await open heart surgery because of transposition of the great vessels. My husband followed the ambulance in our little chevy chevette. I guess he scared the pants off his mother who was with him as this nonpowerful car attempted to keep up with the ambulance on highway 80. I would join my son 2 days later after being d'c from the hospital. It was a long and terrifying ordeal to endure. Especially with your first born. We would wait 7 weeks for the surgery. He would not be allowed home until after the surgery. But the staff was amazing. As was my family and Paul's. It is amazing the strength you can find when it is needed. I learned medicine has amazing things to offer and that was in 1986. Imagine how much they have progressed. You are in such good hands. Once this is all over and you are ready to return, your staff will welcome you back with open arms. Keep up the great strength and courage you have shown and the positive attitude. You both are an inspiration to life in general.
Take care.