Saturday, May 02, 2009

After 4 days of teasing, Mother Nature has sent us some rain. The weather is cool and casting that blue tint over all things green and lush. It's beautiful, but I wish I were in Colorado this week, as originally planned.

My best friend (I'll call her Connie) lives there with her husband and two teenage sons, and we haven't seen each other since September of 2003, just before J-Man and I moved here. There aren't words to describe her. She is 16 years younger than I, but, you know how it is--the heart knows no age difference, and we have been heart friends for about 15 years now. She is an amazing mom, wife, friend, but very private and we both had to overcome trust issues to bring our friendship to the level it is today.

Connie had Hodgkins lymphoma as a teenager, and the radiation damaged her thyroid, her salivary glands, caused the removal of her spleen, and damaged her heart. Any time she has surgery or gets sick, the lack of a spleen compromises her immune system even further. In Dec. of 2007 she had open heart surgery to repair her mitral valve. Why they didn't go ahead replace it, I don't know, because they told her it would eventually need to be replaced. She had infections afterwards, necessitating hernia surgery last summer. At the time, they told her she'd need the surgery to replace her mitral valve within a year.

Several weeks ago, her husband called me and wanted to bring me out there for a surprise visit for her. I'd been thinking of a road trip out there anyway, so J-Man and I decided to fly to Colorado and spend a few days there. Because Connie is like me and prefers a little advance notice, her hubby went ahead and told her. We've been so excited to get together.

However, her health took a turn for the worse, and it soon became obvious the surgery would have to be moved up. So on Wed. this week, the day before we were scheduled to leave, Connie and her husband flew to Mayo Clinic in MN, where she underwent open heart surgery yesterday. I am so grateful that her CO physician realized his limitations and sent her there, because there were even more complications once they examined her.

In addition to replacing one heart valve, another had to be repaired, and because her heart was further damaged with the infections, the lining around her heart needed to be stripped away, so it could fill and contract properly. After the surgery, they did an EKG and it was unexpectedly abnormal. So after an echocardiogram and finally, a heart catheterization, it was discovered that one of her main coronary arteries was blocked--which would have resulted in a major heart attack at any time. A stent was placed in the artery to keep it open and increase the blood flow and she was finally taken to ICU. We've had no word today on how she's doing.

Her sons, one of whom had to have an appendectomy this week (!), are supposed to fly up there tomorrow. It will be good for them all, because they are such a close family. I wish I could be there, too, but maybe this fall I'll be able to get out there to see her. So instead, I just kept my days off and decided to work at that list of projects to stay busy.

I'll post more about those later, including the yard sale finds I brought home today, but for now, if you're a praying person, I'd appreciate you shooting one heavenward for Connie and her family. This is one angel who needs to stay on earth just a little longer.



Libby said...

I'll be keeping your friend (and you, too *s*) in my thoughts.

Diane said...

My prayers are with your friend and her family. And for you also. With the proper help and expertise at the Mayo Clinic, she may recover stronger than before. Stay busy and take care of yourself too!

SueR said...

Your poor friend. I wish the best for her. Wouldn't it be lovely if you could get out there now and see her anyway?

MightyMom said...

sorry to hear all this steph, will remember her.

Lori in South Dakota said...

I will think good thoughts for Connie--I am close and they can get there quickly!