Friday, 5 September 2014

PHighter Friday: Lizzy

My PH Story

 I still can't imagine what it must've been like for my husband to find his wife laying on our bedroom floor passed out. Lifeless. Two little children by the body looking helplessly, at their sick mom. Jacob, 8, has since vowed never to leave my side. What a huge responsibility for a little eight-year-old boy! 

Now let's go back to the first symptoms. Breathlessness in summer, 2008. I had just birthed my daughter that same year in January and thought I was out of shape. Boy, too many enchiladas, if you asked me. Wink, wink. I had also just accepted an Operating Room position in Irvine, California that March. Lots of newness for my husband and I. The prior year we were living in Houston, Texas where thunder storms were really that, a THUNDER storm. Not like here in L.A. I laughed every time Jackie Johnson, the weather girl, announced a "Storm Watch" on TV. Whatever. Hehe. We were so new to the community and didn't have family nearby. Here I was running around potty training a rambunctious toddler while carrying a newborn in my arms. Oh -and did I mention my husband and I had just opened a new business? Yup! A Collision Repair Shop. We like excitement.  
We enjoy Thrift Store Shopping!

Then August came and I started getting out of breath by just climbing the stairs at home. In a matter of two weeks, it got so bad that I literally had to stop after just climbing five steps! By the time I got up to the second floor, I felt like I had an elephant sitting on my chest, as if I'd just ran two miles. Wha? My husband couldn't believe it. I've always been very active. Of course, right? These things only happen to us girls that love life! I use to run on the beach in Santa Monica before work every day back when I worked for a plastic surgeon. Back when I was so caught up with myself, making money and being 'successful'. 

Things have changed.

I believe the Lord took this opportunity to show me some humility. But above all, He's shown me an unmeasurable amount of GRACE. I can actually say that this, has been the best thing that's ever happened to me. And I know that sounds corny and movie-like, but it's true. I am so grateful for the wonderful friends and family that have stepped up to support me in my most darkest place. I've gone through a world wind of ups and downs, emotionally, physically, spiritually, and everything else "-ally". 
I like to host fun girly Tea Parties with my cousins

So I was officially diagnosed on Halloween October 2008 I don't know what stage I was at then but now I am considered a Stage 2, we are calling it "Primary Pulmonary Hypertension" because we have no idea why I got it. My PH is idiopathic, I never consumed recreational drugs, no heart problems run in my family, I didn't have 'rough' labor with my children (my labors were actually fairly easy). I have no idea why I have Pulmonary Hypertension. My daughter was 10 months old when I was diagnosed with this horrible disease, and my son had just turned three. I was a lively thirty-year-old working part-time in the Operating Room and finishing up with online classes in order to get accepted into nursing school. I was so proud of my 4.0 gpa. I felt like I could do it all. I couldn't. I was the one who never asked for help. Now I braced myself as I uttered these words to my husband, "Can you. Would you. Um. Empty the dishwasher? I get out of breath from leaning over." Not that he wouldn't do it, I just always did everything. I liked my independence. Loved it, actually. 

Here's my wonderful husband and daughter
at our Shop in South El Monte, California
I realize now, how God's hand was on my life from the beginning. Always there to cushion the blow. If we had remained in Texas, I probably wouldn't have been able to afford the expensive treatments. If I hadn't gotten the job I did just five months prior, I wouldn't have had the benefits that now pay for pretty much all my treatments. We had recently started attending a church in the area, and some of those girls and their husbands, are now some of our best of friends, which we consider family. They've been with us through thick and thin. They've provided meals for us whenever I have catheterizations. They've picked up my kids to give me rest. They've brought dinners and laughed with us and cried with us. They've shown me Jesus' hands and feet.

I was put on Tracleer, blood thinners, Viagra, Ventavis, and now recently, switched from Ventavis to Subcutaneous Remodulin. Lots of learning curves. But with each one, comes appreciation. Gratitude for another medication. Thankfulness for another year of homeschooling my children. And working part-time with the nurses at the Labor and Delivery floor. Life is good. But above all, God is good. All. The. Time. 
This is what a normal day of Home Schooling looks like

You can check out my blog if you'd like to. I'm sorry it's been a while since I've written a post on it, life with meds is busy! ;-) You can also follow me on Twitter, @LifeAsLizzy. And if you'd like to follow some crazy pics of my everyday life, request me on Instragam @LivingLifeAsLizzy. 

Many blessings to you! Thank you to Serena for giving me the opportunity to share a little about my PH journey through her blog. What a great work she is doing here. 

My daughter's kinder graduation this year

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