Russ and I will have been married for a little over a month and a half now. Needless to say, it's been quite the adventure, especially with our latest obstacle.
Last Wednesday, Russ had a heart attack. Writing that phrase does not seem right. Saying that phrase never slips off my tongue easily. Experiencing that event...well, it wasn't easy. Everything that has happened since Wednesday night up until Sunday afternoon happened so fast. Yet I remember thinking that everything was moving by so slowly while I waited for results from the doctors. It's been a jumble of questions, waiting, prayer, and faith.
Russell and I have told and retold how this all happened but it never gets easier. I'll try to give a quick recap:
Russell had been experiencing shortness of breath for about a week. We didn't think much of it other than maybe he needed to fix his posture at work or had a mild case of asthma. On Wednesday night, he was playing basketball when he started to feel pain in his chest. He was able to drive himself home where he told me his chest hurt. We tried waiting it off but it didn't get any better. We then visited my parents' house where my mom tried to figure out what was wrong but the pain just kept getting worse. Finally, we decided to go to the emergency room.
In the emergency room, the nurses quickly did an electrocardiogram (ECG) on Russ and began to take several blood samples. The doctor thought that Russ probably had an inflamed heart since the test results came back with high enzyme levels. They were going to rush him into an angiogram but the doctor decided to do an echocardiogram (sonogram of the heart) first. They weren't able to figure out what was wrong with his heart through the echocardiogram but they did see that his heart had suffered from some damage. It was then that the doctor decided to do an angioplasty.
During the procedure, they were not able to find out what had blocked the coronary artery leading into the heart (they have speculated that it could have been either a tear, a blood clot, or maybe some plaque in the artery). The cardiologist said he had a spastic artery. It was during the angiogram that we found out that the pain Russell was feeling during and after basketball was a heart attack. During the angioplasty, the doctor decided not to put a stent in Russell's heart since he determined Russell was young enough that maybe his heart would be able to heal on its own. They then kept him in the CCU for three nights to watch him.
He had several ECGs and blood tests that showed some abnormal results. They put him on blood thinners and scheduled another angiogram to see whether or not his heart was healing. Thankfully, during the second angiogram, they saw that whatever had blocked his coronary artery was gone probably because of the blood thinners and that his heart had started to heal. The doctor didn't need to put a stent in. On Saturday, they transferred Russell to a normal hospital room and Russell was able to finally get back up and start walking around the hallways (yay!).
On Sunday, the cardiologist informed us that they are still unsure as to why Russell had a heart attack. All the tests showed Russell had low cholesterol levels and normal blood pressure. He eats healthy, exercises regularly, never smokes, never did drugs, doesn't drink excessively...basically, they didn't know why a 24-year old healthy male got a heart attack. The good news is that there most likely won't be any long-term permanent damages. He will continually have follow-up check ups with the cardiologist to see if they will be able to diagnose what happened. He was finally able to go home Sunday afternoon and is well and resting.After many nights in the hospital and consulting with doctors, we still don't have a solid answer. At first it was a bit unsettling. I didn't want to say that my husband had a heart attack when we were only in our 20's. I wanted to be worrying about whether or not we should get a puppy, not heart conditions and different kinds of medicines. It was overwhelming. However, God continues to redeem us and love us. Out of all this chaos He still gives us peace.
The good news is that even if Russell and I have no clue what's going on or if this situation will happen again, God has us in His hands. God had already known that this would happen and this gives us comfort, knowing that He has already provided and will provide for whatever need we have. We might not have answers now, but God is bigger than our own understanding. It was our God who healed Russell's heart. It was everyone who prayed for us and with us. We continue to remind ourselves not to worry about the future because God will take care of it. It's all in God's hands now.
I want to share some verses that my parents prayed when my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer while pregnant with my little brother (James). It's also the same verses that reminded Russell and I to pray with faith for his healing.
Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
James 5:13 - 16