Well, as many of you know, 3 1/2 years ago, on August 17, 2008, my son was born 4 weeks premature in an emergency c-section, due to me being diagnosed with Severe Preeclampsia, Pulmonary Edema, and Cardiomyopathy. Since that day (for the last 3 1/2 years) I have been under the care of a cardiologist, Dr. Searle Videlefsky with Gwinnett Consultants in Cardiology…. until TODAY!

Three and a half year ago, I was lying in ICU with a barely functioning heart and on a ventilator, after going into respiratory arrest. I was on blood pressure medication since my blood pressure was staying around 170/110 and a medication to slow my heart rate so that it could repair itself.

Today, I reported to Dr. V’s office to receive the results of my latest echocardiogram. As is usually the case, my blood pressure was elevated a bit in the office, but after looking at my blood pressures that I have recorded over the last three years, Dr. V was not concerned. He looked at the numbers (weight, blood pressure, and pulse rate) and then back at me and back at the numbers and said, almost under his breath, “and you did all of this through diet and exercise… ” He even went so far as to lift my shirt during the examination and say, “and you didn’t have any kind surgery or anything… ” I said,”Nope!”

After listening to every artery that I have, my heart, my lungs, and to me ensure him that I would not be having anymore children, he went ahead and reiterated the risk of the Cardiomyopathy reoccurring if I did become pregnant and then said, “well, you are amazing. We are done. If your heart ever feels different or if you suspect or have any problems, I will always be glad to see you again. Otherwise, Goodbye!” With that, he scribbled on his paper and gave me a huge hug. My eyes welled with tears and a giant lump formed my throat. I told him, “I will never forget the day that you signed for me to leave the hospital. Thank you so much!” As the office staff congratulated me, I hurried out of the office and into the stairwell, where I fought feverishly to stop the tears. (If you don’t know me well, I HATE to cry especially in front of anyone.)

Why was I crying??? In the history of the world, I have never, nor known anyone who has ever, been sad to say GOODBYE to a doctor. Throughout my life, I have always dreaded going to the doctor…. The solution for any problem I ever had, including the common cold was “you need to lose weight!” That bit of advice gets OLD quickly.

From that fateful day that I walked into Eastside Medical Center three and a half years ago, despite my hefty weight of 372 lbs, neither he nor my OBGYN nor my pulmonalogist ever blamed my severe conditions on my weight. In fact, the only mention of my weight in that time was by the OBGYN who suggested that maybe I couldn’t lose weight on my own and maybe I should seek a surgical remedy.

Over the last couple of years, I have actually enjoyed going to the doctor. It has been a welcomed change to hear positive things from someone in a white lab coat. Like my OBGYN said, after seeing me every day for 7 days while I was in ICU, when I was packing to leave the hospital, “I am going to miss you!”… I guess that is why I was crying. I had just been told that my heart had come from the brink of death back to better than normal functioning, my heart was strong, all valves working perfectly, my blood pressure in check, and I no longer needed the services of a cardiologist… and I will miss him!

Three and a half years ago, I never dreamed I would see this day. I was making memories and taking pictures for my son to have when I was gone. Now, I am registering him for Pre-K, enjoying daily walks and runs with him, and anxiously awaiting whatever the future holds for us. I know, God willing, that I will be around for a long, long time.

Like I told a co-worker today who asked how my day had been, most every day since August 17, 2008 has been wonderful!  I AM ALIVE!  I appreciate the beauty and importance of every breath and every beat of my heart.  I have vowed to take the best care that I can of my body so that I can live as long as the Lord will allow.  I have more of God’s work to do in the lives of others, so I am here to stay!


I am hosting a fundraiser night for the Atlanta Promise Walk for Preeclampsia to support the Preeclampsia Foundation at Five Spot Frozen Yogurt in Snellville, GA on April 10, 2012 from 5-9p.m.  Please plan to join us for the fun!!  Spread the word and invite your friends, neighbors, church members, and family!

If you are unable to attend or if you don’t like frozen yogurt, you can make your donation at http://www.promisewalk.org/pfpw/participantpage.asp?uid=4310&fundid=1631


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One Response to State of the Heart… Literally

  1. Cyndi Bell says:

    OK, now that I’ve dried my tears, I can see to type. I am SO happy this day has come, for you and Richard and Drew and your parents and me, too. But a lot of this blog hit home to me on a personal level as I am struggling to lose weight myself. The lines that hit home the most are the ones about the repeated advice to lose weight no matter what happens gets old. I’m so glad you got doctors who focused on the issues of saving your life instead of blaming you for your weight. Those of us who love you also appreciate the hard work you’ve done to get healthy and stay here. You are my inspiration, Kristy.

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