Thursday, January 01, 2015

My New Year's Goal for 2015

It's been an eventful 2014, some ways I'm happy to see it go, in others I will cherish all I have learned from it. I was looking at what I wrote last year for my goals and feel comfortable that I was on the right track. I will stay the course this coming year.

1. I set aside 1 hour a day to work on my own genealogy. I found working on my family history first thing in the morning was a wonderful way to start the day. My priority was to not do new research, but to instead make sure that the temple work was done for everyone in my RootsMagic database. Well, I have done some research, because it just can't be helped. But, I was faithful in submitting names to the temple. At the beginning of 2014 I had 5041 individuals in my database that were not matched to anyone on FamilySearch Family Tree. Today I only have 2135 not matched to anyone in Family Tree. Sadly, I have people in my database that are matched to someone on Family Tree but the RootsMagic FamilySearch Central Dashboard reports 7,378 people still need to have temple work done. I'm focusing on those not even in the Family Tree and getting their work done first.

2.  I started attending the temple once a week a couple of years ago. I still go on Tuesday morning, but now I attend the 5:30 am session. I so look forward to my Tuesday morning session each week. My pattern has become 5 initiatories one week, and then for the next 5 weeks I do endowments. This year I want to set aside one day a month to do sealings. I just can't seem to get my extended family all together to help me with this. So I think if I setup a time every month that I will be doing them, eventually some of them might come help me.

3. I began exercising at the gym in Oct 2013, by Feb 2014 I had bursitis so bad in my hip I could hardly walk. I had to switch to the pool. What a healing I had in order to be able to attend RootsTech 2014.  Afterwards I continued in the pool until I had a really bad tachycardia episode, I will tell more about that later. My goal again this year is to get back in the pool and begin to exercise once again.

This year I am grateful for my life because I came so close to losing it. I had a really bad tachycardia episode. I've had this condition since I was in my 30's and usually its because I eat chocolate, caffeine or MSG. This time I had none of them prior to this episode. It woke me early in the morning so I went to my computer room to wait it out. While there I knew this was a bad one and I was going to pass out. If I did no one would find me until hours later I would probably be dead. I thought about my life was I ready to pass from this one to the next. I had a near-death experience in 1991 I am not afraid of dying or where I am going afterwards. But, I knew everything I was involved in was not organized in such a manner than anyone else could pick up and take over for me. I had to fight to stay alive, I had to not loose consciousness.

I woke my husband, called the ambulance, and tried everything I knew to stop the tachycardia. The fire station is just up the road so it was here before my husband could get me to the living room. There wasn't time for even a blessing. The paramedics couldn't get my blood pressure, my heart was racing out of control. While I was in the ambulance we tried the barring down to stop the episode. Nothing worked and this had been going on for too long. The only thing they could do is stop and restart my heart. I knew I had to stay awake. If I lost consciousness I knew I would not come back. I looked out the ambulance window and focused on the lights of my husband's car as I felt my heart stop beating and then start again. You can have you heart stop and be totally awake.

Years ago I was told with my tachycardia I would eventually be put on medication when it became disruptive to my life. Then later it would mean having a pace maker. I was now put on medication but I was still having issues. So many years of being ok and boom one day your not. I found out about a "new" procedure that could eliminate the need for medication or a pace maker. It was a catheter ablation that would kill the part of my heart that was throwing out this bad signal. I ask my primary care doctor about it and he referred me to Dr. Chu Hwang in Provo.

I had no idea when I made the appointment that he was world renowned on this procedure. My appointment with him was about the shortest one I've ever had with a doctor but I had no doubt he knew what he was talking about. He asked me very direct questions and would shake his head yes on each of my replies. He told me my heart was getting old and could no longer handle these episodes. That I was a prime candidate for this procedure especially since the medicine wasn't working. It shocked me to learn that untreated it could lead to a major heart attack and kill me. My family history on my mother's side is not very good. My grandparents had 13 children, of those that lived to adulthood every single one of them had a major heart attack by the age of 50, my own mother had her first one at 53, the same age I am, and then died of one at the age of 67.

My surgery was scheduled for December 29th. I was told it could take between 4-6 hours for the procedure. They would put me through tachycardia episodes to find the location of where the bad signals were coming from and then zap them. Ok, maybe they said it in more medical terms but this is how I understood what was happening. The literature said I would be awake but sedated during it. That part I was not looking forward to. After the surgery I would stay one night in the hospital and then needed 4 days afterwards to rest. The most I could do is sit in a chair. Someone at my family history center had this procedure and told me I wouldn't be tired but needed to rest so my heart could heal, and the area that the catheter goes in.  I was stupidity excited about a week of resting and planned to read tons of books.

In the back of my mind I did have the thought about what if you don't make it through the surgery. Crazy things can happen. I did do some prep on things so my family would know how to pick up on where I left off. I even made a handwritten will on Sunday just in case. I was going to run over to a neighbors to have them sign it and hold onto it just in case. I didn't want to worry my family over such thoughts. Then my husband and son gave me a blessing. I was told I had a great work left to do and that the surgery would be successful.  Needless to say after that blessing I never got my will signed.

My surgery was this past Monday morning at 5:00 am. I was the first person there for the day. When I was back in the lab they told me I was going to be sedated enough that I would be out completely for the procedure. That was great news to hear. Even though one of the assistants told me I would have short-term memory loss and not remember anything about being prepped for surgery I do remember it up until they told me I was being sedated now.

In no time at all I'm in recovery and then a hospital room in CCU. The procedure that was going to take 4-6 hrs only took Dr. Hwang 15 minutes. It was unheard of to have it located and resolved so quickly. Because my body was not worn out from the long procedure I could go home that day if I wanted. Which I did at 8:00 pm that night. I was given my instructions to rest and make an appointment to see Dr. Hwang in 4 weeks.

So for the past few days I have been taking the most wonderful vacation from my busy life. I have been resting in bed, occasionally a chair and reading books. The first day I was bored to death of reading. I tossed that book out and have now finished the Book of Mormon ( I was in 3rd Nephi). Today I read S. Michael Wilcox's book "House of Glory - Finding Meaning in the Temple". I have a big stack left to read which I know I can't complete by the end of this week. A new goal this year is to find time to read all these wonderful books I have been missing out on.

I've been feeling good. I had to steal some time on the computer to write my story of this past year, and my gratitude for seeing a new one. I have a lot of work to still do and thankfully now I will be around for a long time to complete it.

1 comment:

Thomas MacEntee said...

Renee - this IS a blessing and I'm so glad you'll be around for a long time! It is amazing what medicine can do these days!

I didn't attend RootsTech 2014 so I missed seeing you - hopefully we can catch up at RootsTech next month!