Saturday, January 17, 2015

January 17, 2015

Now for the most current update!  Hey I'm doing good on this one considering what I'm going to copy and paste Kellie wrote last night!  My mom is trying to make it so I post current but I'm not that successful right now!  Hopefully I get a lot better but I figure if I'm not posting things must be going great right?!

I'll start by saying I never saw Kellie the night everything happened in September.  I got there after they had taken her but by hearing my Mom I'm pretty happy I don't know how well I would have taken that.  On Sunday, so almost a week ago, Heidi was having her birthday party for Hadley's 3rd birthday!  It is a little crazy at the beginning this time especially since we had a special guest show up! Elsa!!  The girls were so excited.  I didn't really notice how Kellie looked or was acting until after Elsa left and we were getting ready for dinner.  Shea was chasing Zola around and feeding her as she went which in these situations we found is A LOT easier doing that and she actually eats!  I was standing in the kitchen and noticed Kellie just sitting at the table and she looked white as a ghost.  I think I was a little late to the party though cause I'm pretty sure everyone else had already noticed it right when she got there.  I got my food and went and sat down at the table but my seat was in the way so I moved so I was by her.  My mom was asking her if she was okay and she just kind of blew it off like she just didn't feel good and she had been nauseas the day before so I think she was just chalking it up to that.  J came and sat down and was trying to get more out of her and I did hear a little bit and she was having arm pain which is a scary thing after everything she had been through.  She finally got a drink and a little bit of salad but I thought she just did that so people would stop bugging her :) People said they thought she was looking a little better but I didn't see it.  After dinner they opened presents then did the cake.  I noticed she didn't get up to sing Happy Birthday which normally she would fake it all as you can see she went basically the whole night trying to act like everything was okay the best she could.  I sat down and looked over and noticed she was putting her coat on and they were talking to my Dad.  Then my dad got up and walked over and I asked where they were going and he said the ER.  I let Heidi know since she was dishing up cake and ice cream and they left.  So now I will share her post because she can explain what happened those few days in the hospital better than I can of course!

Hello! A lot has happened since my last update in early December. Mid-December I met with my Heart Failure Cardiologist. Due to the significant damage to my heart (50%-75% of the front left wall of my heart is not viable/dead), he recommended we continue managing my condition with medication and not reattempt to stent my LAD. I have full confidence in his opinion and treatment plan. That said, my Type-A personality couldn't let go of the offer from the surgeon to make a secon...d attempt to stent my LAD. I am extremely committed to doing whatever I need to do for the highest probability of recovery possible. I was desperate for control in October and now that I had control, I didn't know what to do with it. After much deliberation and consultation, I ran into another surgeon I was familiar with after my cardiac therapy on 12/26 and his thoughts and opinion helped us decide that we would hold off on the surgery for now.
We aggressively ramped up my medications during December; maximizing these drugs is the course of treatment that will help me recover as much pumping function as possible. This course led me to a two night stay in the hospital earlier this week. I started experiencing the whole suite of heart attack symptoms on Sunday night, but at a significantly reduced pain level from the original event (think level of pain at 1 vs. 10). However, it was enough to scare me and Jason convinced me that a trip to the ER was the only option.
A few hours into my ER visit, I was admitted to the Cardiovascular Medical Unit. After lots of blood work, three EKGs, two echocardiograms and a nuclear stress test, the doctors determined I was doing okay. They believe my increased medication dropped my blood pressure and heart rate to levels that my body couldn't tolerate. My heart rate was consistently dropping to the 40s and occasionally the 30s during my first eight hours at the hospital. My medication dosages have been revised and I'm feeling much better. We got another piece of good news from my hospital stay -- my EF (pumping function) has increased from 35% on 11/24 to 40% on 1/12 (approximately 72% of a normally functioning heart up from a low in October of around 36%). I'll never regain all of my pumping function, but I'm hoping to keep going up from here! I'm not on a transplant list, I don't need an LVAD (internal heart device with external power supply) and this gets me out of the woods for an internal pace maker!
I can't say it enough - but THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU to all of the amazing people that continue to support my family and me in so many ways as we navigate our "new normal" and continue on the road to recovery. We love you all! Happy New Year!

So on a positive note to a few days in the hospital,  guess who I got to tend for an hour?!?!

To say Zola LOVES babies is an understatement!  She was trying to share her Apple Jacks but doesn't quite get that is nice but she is a tad too little!  Mila loves the kids though!  She was squealing the whole time any of them are talking to her!

Isn't she getting so big!!  I haven't got to tend her in a long time!  Her aunt Heidi is doing a great job at that when needed so when she can't I'm a happy back up!
And now a few more pictures...I thought I would be good and get more of Christmas but I was in charge of our video camera so I didn't do very good!
Evie was a little scared of Santa so I did get one picture of Kellie!

Listening to the story Frozen they were in LOVE!

And look I got another one of Kellie!  Evie is spunky but shy when it comes to pictures :) Aren't they a bunch of cute Elsa's and Anna's??
Other than that I don't have much more to say!  We hope that things get and stay more quiet which I'm sure they will with summer approaching I think everyone feels better when its bright outside!

January 17, 2015

Kellie posted an interesting article the other day on Facebook the other day so I thought I would share it regarding her condition here is the link, feel free to read about it if you are interested in learning a little more about it and it's history!

January 4, 2015

On January 4th Mila was blessed.  She was a champ and awake through the whole blessing but you would have never known!  Afterwards we went to J and Kels for some lunch and we got a couple pictures of them so I will post those so you can all see how cute she looked!

Don't they all look great?!  We are hoping for a very quiet and fun New Year!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Happy 36th Birthday!

Yesterday was Kel's birthday!  We were planning on going to Cheesecake Factory then go look at the candy windows and the lights.  Heidi called at 3 and they said if we were there to put our name on the list right then we wouldn't be seated till 7 :)  well that changed those plans.  We just went and ate in the food court which was it's own chaos!  The last Saturday before Christmas, at the mall, by temple square=madness!!  I have every intention to get pictures but at the time it's so crowded and crazy do you think I did?  Nope!  As a matter of fact we got ahead and left half way through the lights because it was as if you weren't even moving at some points!  Not sure when everyone else left but was pretty late when we got home for Zola's schedule and she was up late the night before so we missed cake and ice cream after at Kel's house but gratefully J posted a picture!

We are so grateful we got to spend her birthday with her and now treasure everyday we have with our family.  This was not only a blessing but a reminder how precious life can be and never take that for granted!

Monday, December 15, 2014

December 15, 2014

Wow!  It has been a LONG time!  Trust me that is a good thing even though I have left you all hanging!  Nothing big has been going on and if anything has come too I can't relay the information as good as Kel!  She did a Facebook post last week that I have been told to post on here and hey I think a week out isn't that bad!  Thank goodness for naptime and all the presents I can wrap are wrapped at this point! 

Kellies update:

It's hard to believe I've been home from the hospital for nearly two months! The #1 question I get is, "How are you doing?" and so far I haven't come up with a great answer. I remember thinking I wouldn't be able to wash my hair when I left the hospital due to lack of energy and strength and now that seems so long ago!
I feel good most of the time. Fatigue and adjusting to my new normal (weight lifting restrictions, energy conservation, checking sodium levels on anything I want to eat, and taking pills twice a day) are probably my biggest changes. A close second is not getting worried about every little feeling I have in my chest - stretches, tinges, hollow aches, light pressure, etc. (I should be an expert at describing the variety of feelings I have!). My cardiologist had me on an event monitor (2 sticky leads on my chest and abdomen that attached to a box I clipped on my waistband) for 30 days to track my heart rate due to the assortment of things I was feeling and I was happy to finally take that off last week. I will get results from the monitor this week. My weekly physical therapy (3x/week) helps; and, I still don't do much around the house. Amazing people are all around us that do household chores, help with the kids, drive carpool, chauffeur me to appointments, pick up groceries, bring in meals and provide moral support.
We met with my interventional cardiologist (artery surgeon) last week and he suggested we schedule surgery in January to try and stent my LAD one more time (the two attempts on 10/2 after the second heart attack were not successful). This is the most effective way to help my heart and I pray that I have recovered enough to successfully receive the stent. I have another appointment with my heart failure cardiologist this week and I look forward to his confirmation of my improvement. We increased the dose on one of my medications by 3x and my heart rate and blood pressure are tolerating it (these days, I hang out around 90/60). My pumping function (ejection fraction "EF") has increased from 28% on 10/12 to 35% on 11/24 (normal EF is 55% - 60%). The need for a pacemaker is usually at or below 35% and I still have about six more weeks to show improvement before a decision is made on that device. There is more healing to do, but all signs are positive.
I can't express my gratitude for the prayers, fasting, positive thoughts and well wishes that are continually made on behalf of my family. There isn't a day that passes that I'm not overwhelmed at the outpouring of support we are receiving from all of you and I firmly believe it plays a hand in the improvement I have made and the strength my family has been blessed with.

Many thanks,

We were planning on getting family pictures after Kel had Mila and so they got postponed a bit.  We have been trying for a couple weeks but of course Saturdays is when the weather decides to make a turn for the worse!  This past Saturday we got two different locations, one that worked outside, one that worked outside but under a roof!  Right when I came to get on and write this we got the pictures so I decided to post how the pictures went when we first started(thanks to Kel she is keeping up her fashionably late status and this is what the picture resulted in right when they got there :)

I'll save the under cover ones for later so that my parents get the chance to share it on their Christmas card :)

I'll be sure to take some pictures during Christmas and post them so I have something to post about for the time being.


Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Kellie's Facebook Post

I should have posted this long ago but have been slacking a lot so I apologize.  Things are staying calm right now she is still doing therapy three times a week and we don't have any updates on what is to come yet they just want her body to keep recovering as much as it can with what they have done so far.

Kellie posted on Facebook about what happened and explains things really well so for any of you that don't have it here is her post:

On Wednesday, September 24 we welcomed our third baby girl, Mila (mee-la) to our family. The labor was short, easy and smooth. She weighed 8 pounds 5 ounces and was 20 inches long. She is healthy, beautiful and has a full head of dark hair.
Four days after her birth (three weeks ago tonight -- 9/28), a major artery of my heart dissected (tore) resulting in a heart attack. I was rushed to a local hospital and then air lifted to the U of U Hospital in SLC. My condition is Spontaneous Coronary Heart Dissection (SCAD) and was likely a result of pregnancy. It is speculated that the combination of increased blood flow, thinner veins and arteries and post partum hormones created the perfect storm inside my heart. This condition is RARE and there are 160 reported cases since 1931 (a quick google search of "SCAD and pregnancy" will give you all the detail you never knew you wanted to know).
Over the course of the next week, a temporary heart pump was placed through my left femoral artery (groin) [Tuesday -- 9/30], two more arteries dissected, which caused another heart attack and resulted in another surgery to place two stents in my heart and a second temporary pump in my right femoral artery [Thursday -- 10/2].
The pumps that were helping my heart were slowly turned down and on Tuesday (10/7) the pump in my left groin was removed. Unfortunately, a blood clot had formed in my artery. I went in for 4 hours of surgery to remove the clot. At the same time, the second pump was removed which was originally planned to occur a day or two after the removal of the first pump, but given the clot the doctors felt this was the best course of action.
I was slowly weaned off of other IV medications that were helping my heart and on Tuesday (10/14), Jason drove me home after two and a half weeks in the hospital.
We feel extremely blessed to be where we are today. I am on several medications, have strict physical restrictions and multiple weekly appointments to monitor my progress. The hope is my heart will recover enough to be managed with medication, diet and exercise. Modern medicine is amazing and if I don't heal enough there are other options that will treat my condition (heart failure). These options range from internal pace makers to LVADs and heart transplants.
We are overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support that we have received from family, friends, neighbors, work colleagues, and people we don't even know. The prayers, fasting, well wishes and positive thoughts have absolutely helped us get where we are today. Jason and I believe that hope inspires when life's storms beat upon us and we are grateful for every victory we receive no matter how small. We will continually be paying forward the generous acts of kindness we have received during this time and thank you for all you have done for our family.

She also posted this a couple days ago:

The first two weeks of October I told myself I would be home by November 1st. And look at me now, on the couch with this lovely lady. Life is good!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

October 16, 2014- I'm Coming Home

"I'm coming home
I'm coming home
Tell the world I'm coming home"
I'm a couple days behind but I'm sure you already know what this post is about, Kellie is home!!
She got home Tuesday late afternoon and by that time she was exhausted from all the doctors signing off, giving instructions, and setting up future appointments.  I know she has been resting a lot because even though she is home she can't do normal day tasks but she does get to see and watch her kids when she wants now. 
Yesterday she went to her first cardio therapy appointment and did some walking, and riding the bike for 15 minutes I think is what Heidi told me.  She was VERY tired after that and is having Heidi and I keep Mila for the time being so she can regain her strength and get all the rest she needs to keep her heart healing.
They will continue to do blood work and monitor her as well as start doing other tests to see if her heart function is improving to see if any other action will need to be taken in years to come.  So just from the beginning it is still a wait and see type of situation.
This little lady is 3 weeks old now! Don't you want to just pinch her cheeks?!  She is getting a lot better at night, still has her times she loves being held only, still does great at pooping (especially when Heidi has her :) and is starting to crack a few smiles we haven't caught one on camera yet!
I have never got to spend a lot of time with little Ev cause I had Zola 6 months after she was born but when we were getting their pictures done with Mila she was being my little buddy.  She has quite the spunky personality and holds her own :)
Some of the cousins hanging out during lunch time at grandmas during the 1st week of this crazy roller coaster ride
I will try to keep updating as much as possible but won't have a lot to say until tests start and when they make some decisions which would be weeks or months away.  Thanks again for everything and continue the prayers I know it's not as scary now but there is still a lot more obstacles to get through and we will need just as much support then than we needed at the beginning!.