I can count my blessings on one hand…
One week ago I found out I had a hole in my heart. Although, it would take further testing to determine the nature of the hole and whether it was something called a PFO (Patent Foramen Ovale) or ASD (Atrial Septal Defect), all that I could hear was that I had “a hole in my heart.”
For one week, I stared at my children’s faces, memorizing them. I banked every smile and laugh into my memory. I went into their bedrooms at night, watched them sleep so peacefully and listened to them breath. I reminded them every day for one week “wherever you are, I am with you.” I was living my life to everyone on the outside like I was just fine, but inside I feared the worst. What if I didn’t have my health? What if I wasn’t going to be able to watch my children grow up? What if I wasn’t going to get a second chance at love. I’d miss out on so much. I literally had a broken heart.
I read motivational quotes and articles about the importance of happiness in life. I took a good look at myself and what I wanted going forward. I had to decide how I was going to handle this and I chose the only way I saw possible. I was going to count my blessings on one hand… My Children, Health, Family, Friends, and Happiness. How you live your life is a choice. The hole in my heart, whether a PFO or an ASD wasn’t something I anticipated, but there it was.
During that one week while I waited for my next procedure, I learned so much about my life. I saw who I gravitated towards to confide in, who I could trust and wanted to be surrounded by. I saw the best in my children. I felt raw with emotion. I was afraid and grateful all at the same time. I had to find the strength deep within myself to get through this. I gave myself pep talks and allowed myself to shed a few tears. I couldn’t fix my heart, but I could fix my attitude. This wasn’t my first rodeo with a broken heart (per say) and this time I knew the power of being positive.
After one week of living with my eyes wide open, today my cardiologist discovered the hole in my heart was a PFO. No surgery required and no direct danger to my health. Lucky, lucky, lucky me. I walked away from this with a heart (structurally) no different from when I began this journey, but one full of gratitude, love, and peace.
We take so much for granted in our lives. We race from one thing to the next. We don’t stop to live in the moment. We don’t appreciate how much our lives mean and the people who are in them. Everything happens for a reason. I am beyond grateful to my cardiologist. He saw images of my heart and picked up on clues other doctors did not. He refused to ignore my symptoms without proof of reasoning and I admire him for it. The doctors, nurses, and staff at the hospital where I had the procedures treated me like I was someone’s daughter, mother, wife, and friend . I am truly grateful to have been a patient there and in their care. This Holiday season and every year (and day) to come I’ll remember today as a gift. The day the hole in my heart healed me.
For more information on PFO (Patent Foramen Ovale) you can visit the American Heart Association.