Yesterday I got a phone call from the nurse about the results of my heart echo and she left a voice-mail telling me that I had abnormalities that they found on my recent scan. I didn't take the call when I saw the call come in from my cardiology team because I wanted yesterday to be a day for me!
It's not often that I get a day off from appointments or errands or therapy, so I wanted to go out and just have a day for me, so when I heard the voice-mail I was in a state of panic when I heard her say "we found some new abnormalities".
I finally got a hold of the nurse and she explained to me everything they found outside of what we already know.
The abnormality showed that my ascending aorta has grown from 3.7cm to 3.9cm with the norm being 2.5cm - 3.5cm, and when you reach 4.0cm-4.5cm that is when they start to consider aortic valve replacement therapy. Not only did they see that, but they also noticed that my heart valve is starting to calcify (harden) which is called Aortic Stenosis with a slight regurgitation (blood flowing back into the aorta).
I see my heart DR on the 27th of this month and we are going to go over all that is needed to continue to make sure my heart stays in good health as we closely monitor the size of my aorta.
Being born with bicuspid aortic valve I am used to being on the lookout for my heart health, but never did I go through fear like I did yesterday awaiting a phone call back after hearing they saw "more" abnormalities.
I immediately leaned in to my therapist who as usual had the most supporting words of wisdom and hope. He has been working so hard a long side of me through my health issues the past couple of months, so it only made sense to lean into him on my day off.
He later called me on his way home and said something that really made sense and put my mind to immediate ease! He said "you have an amazing team physically and you have an amazing team emotionally both of which you are cared for, loved and supported no matter how bad or good things are". He then said "we have all the pieces laid out in front of us physically and emotionally and when we known what all those pieces look like, it's easier to put them together and work with them"
He is right, my husband is right, my friends are right .. I have a great team of Doctors physically, and I have amazing support and an amazing team emotionally as I continue to work hard on the path I am on.
The news scared me as I have never had an echo come back with more issues than I already am aware of, I am used to hearing the same thing every 6 months, so this was new and I really had to learn how to lean into trusting that its OK to be scared and its okay to talk about it.
Since I was little little its been hard to let people know when I am not feeling well or sick. I tend to go into a corner and lick my own wounds because for me if I show people how bad I feel, there is a guilt for not being strong enough, or a fear that I will be abandoned and left alone in that - so in my mind I would rather care for myself. Slowly I am starting to let people in on how I feel.
I will now go up to my husband and sit with him and tell him how I feel and to ask for assurance. I will lean on him if I don't feel well and that is SO different from just a couple of years ago. Therapy has taught me the difference between the lies of the past and the truth of today.
My therapist has helped me to see over the past year that its easier to support and easier to be connected to me when I lean in with openness about how I feel vs trying to keep it to myself. Its more work for him to support if I don't let him know fully what my struggles are, which then makes it harder for my own family to support me, so I am starting to lean in more and to really let others know what I am struggling with so that I can be supported the way I need to be supported. That is going to be very helpful both physically and emotionally going forward.
I am BLESSED! Yesterday I decided to let everyone know what was going on and it was met with BIG connection, prayers, love, support and comfort! I am truly blessed!
Today I will go into therapy and talk more about what my fears are both physically and emotionally so that we know what part of the path to pay attention to.
Physically I will have to be watched closer and have scans done more frequently, and on the 27th of this month I will know a lot more about what our next step is.
Emotionally I will continue to work hard on the path I am on .. I will continue to work emotionally on what parts of my past are here, and how to change that to the new messages I need to hear today.
I believe that physical health and emotional health go hand in hand. I cannot move through the physical if I am not working emotionally to support that, and I cannot move through the emotional if I don't care for what is here physically.
Knowing this helps me to focus on what is right here in front of me - in this VERY moment taking one step at a time with one step in front of another.
Every Friday in session before the weekend my therapist and I will hug in a prayer and today I look forward to that prayer and what God will bring forward and what I will hear.
I hope to have a good weekend knowing that all the pieces are here and what we know gives us empowerment.
I am blessed ... truly blessed!