The Heart of the Matter

“I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.” (Psa 91:2)

Today’s posting will be more personal than devotional. I thought it would be good to use this forum (along with my FaceBook and Twitter pages) to make sure everybody gets this news.

Belinda and I deeply appreciate all the prayers and notes of encouragement that have come over the past few weeks; we feel loved and cared for in extraordinary ways. I wanted to give you an update on where things currently stand with my ongoing heart health issues.

I realize that some who read this now may be hearing about it for the first time, so let me take a moment and bring everyone up to date. In November 2010 I began feeling flu-like symptoms that lingered on and on, getting worse and worse. Finally, In March 2011 I decided to go to my doc and have him give me something potent that would kick this thing.

As I described my symptoms to him, he answered that he thought the problem was with my heart and encouraged me to have a test done that would tell us for sure. The test showed that the left side of my heart had been substantially weakened by some sort of viral infection, and was now only pumping out 20% of its work share. As a result, the major organs were not getting the normal blood flow and began building up with fluids – which caused the flu-like symptoms.

heart bandaidI was diagnosed with congestive heart failure.

The treatment is two-fold. First, they have me on medication that helps flush excess fluids out of my system, which relieves the discomfort, pressure and pain created by increased fluid build up. And second, they have me on a medicine that deliberately lowers my blood pressure so that the load passing through the left side of my heart is less of a strain, allowing the muscle to slowly rebuild its strength. We will not know how effective this is for at least three to six months.

I met with the doctor Wednesday, April 13, and he was very encouraged with my progress. He told me that patients with this diagnosis are placed in four categories. Cat #4 is seriously ill, with not much chance at improving. Cat# is significantly impacted by the condition, able only to function at basic levels. Cat#2 is improving but still somewhat slowed by the condition. Cat#1 is showing no real effects of the condition, even though it still exists.

The doc told me that when I came to see him I was in Cat#3; but since treatment began, I am now in Cat#1. That’s a good thing.

All that to say — I feel fine. I can tell that I still do have limits, and I need to pace myself so that I don’t push the edges too far. But, over-all, things seem to have taken a turn for the better. I will keep you updated as I learn new facts.

Again, thanks for your prayers and kind support for Belinda and me during this wonderful opportunity, where we all get to see the Lord work in ways that leave us amazed!

“I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress; my God; in Him will I trust!” (Psalm 91:2)

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