A Time to Heal Part II
Updated: Aug 15
A Time to Heal – Part II
Following is dialog in my book, THIRTY – Chapter 6, God is Good – Health, Pages 209 – 212.
There was one illness I had that was life-threatening. In the time frame of 2016, I could hardly walk up the steps without nearly passing out from exhaustion. After one visit to my internist, she had a cardiac workup done on me. I got through the first test which was the Doppler echocardiogram. The pumping activity of my heart was severely weakened. A normal heart reading is approximately between 55 - 70. I was told a reading of 35 is extremely dangerous. My first reading was 14. The technician called my Cardiologist, and all other tests were canceled. I was told to go home and call him when I got there. I did exactly that and he informed me I was in dire need of an angiogram and the hospital was to call me for scheduling.
Results of the angiogram test confirmed a diagnosis of Cardiomyopathy (Congestive Heart Failure), a heart disease weakening the heart muscle itself. The only true fix for me would be a heart transplant. I was placed on medication for the rest of my life. My heart was so weak, an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) device was surgically implanted in my chest to monitor my heart rhythm. I call it my “angel.” The only problem I had with “angel” was after implanting it in my body, the next day I almost died. For some reason, my heart collected fluid around it, my blood pressure dropped to a severely low reading and this issue became life-threatening. My doctor surgically corrected the problem, and I became stable. At that time in my life, I was so glad I stopped smoking twenty years prior; I would have died way before this time. Remember, the Miraculous Madonna and Jesus’ wonder of Cicero ... my own personal miracle to stop smoking! Did God take care of me years before to prevent me from dying? Yes, He certainly did!
My cardiologist discussed the possible causes of my Cardiomyopathy. The cause was never proven and my records show it is non-ischemic. I did my research on possible causes of this heart disease. There is a broken heart syndrome, caused by extreme emotional or physical stress. I asked my doctor and he said it is possible. He also said the cause could be a virus causing heart damage due to stress. I am sure I was a good candidate for that one due to extreme stress, causing heartache, causing low resistance, and then heart damage. The cause does not matter to me; I am still alive. I have had two cardiologists call me a miracle with my husband present with both doctors and can confirm that statement. I have had two technicians giving me the test and calling me a miracle. I am confident I received more help from Heaven on my heart disease. I never lost the will to live and survived nearly dying, twice.
My first knee replacement (my right knee) was three months after Paula died. Years later, I had a left knee replacement. My right knee replacement lasted for twenty years and it was replaced the second time, called a total knee revision surgery. Basically, I had three knee replacements over a thirty-year period of time. Dealing with the surgeries, pain, doctors, and hospitals led me to wonder if the real physical pain helped relieve the mental pain, I felt from missing Paula so much. I also remember when I had “real” physical pain, I knew it would go away eventually. It was the mental pain I had over Paula’s death that continued to be present. I look back on those surgeries and know they were not welcomed by me. I believe my body system was susceptible to disease caused by severe grief which eventually broke down my resistance, causing the medical problems I had. I always stayed positive about my health issues and did everything I was told to do by my doctors. I fought to stay alive and did therapy to keep the pain down.
As my spiritual belief grew stronger, my grief, sadness, and depression subsided. This did not happen overnight. I learned to be kind to myself and realized it is okay. I am suffering. I accepted my other illnesses brought me to be more spiritual than I could have ever imagined. Recovering from the grief of my loss of Paula was my first step to healing. I physically stayed as healthy as I could by being positive and doing what I needed to do without feeling sorry for myself. I remain as healthy as I possibly can by the grace of God and am thankful, I’m still alive. I have much to live for, people to love, cherish and be happy with. During the early days of Spring, 2022, my newest health battle is being diagnosed with Melanoma Skin Cancer on the upper left side of my back. I had surgery for the removal of a four-inch square dissection of skin and the surgery was successful — the cancer was removed in its early stages, and I’ll be checked every three months for a year, then every twelve months if there are no signs of cancer. My last medical problem occurred in October 2022. I had four cervical disks operated on (neck) to prevent paralysis in the future. Once again, I am living my faith as strongly as I can.
Thank you, God, that I’m still alive!
I knew I had to remain positive and confident about my health; I accomplished this by adding this to my intention of saying the Rosary. I learned to embrace any happiness I felt for as long as I could. The joy started with simple little things just like a beautiful day. I even learned to enjoy cloudy days with beautiful rainfall that made the air as fresh as can be. I always looked for a rainbow and thought of Paula being with her cat, Bootsy, sitting on a cloud enjoying their moment of bliss looking down on our world.
Note: When I moved to Florida in 2021, while I was writing my book, I had another surgery; Vertebrae (cervical) C3, C4, and C5 were fused due to bone on bone.
Again, Thank you, God, that I’m still alive!
~ Carole J. Sluski