Saturday, December 11, 2010

My Second Chance Reminder

Five years ago today, Dec 11, 2005, I was given a second chance on life.

I left you with the post about my son's birthday telling you that his birth was full of happiness and heart ache. I was so overjoyed with his birth, which was through planned cesarean section due to complications with my daughters delivery (I do not do things the easy way).
I won't bore with all the icky details, believe me they are icky, but right after he was born I had the same complications that I did with my daughter. Thank goodness my doctor was prepared for that.


What he wasn't prepared for was the fourth day after my son's birth, December 11, 2005. I should tell you that I was supposed to go home on the 10th but had a terrible headache and was not able to stand so they kept me an extra day.

God must have been really looking in on me that day because 1:00 Sunday morning I woke up with chest pains. The nurse gave me Tums thinking that it might be heartburn. I, however, have never had heart burn. The pain continued through the early morning until I couldn't stand it anymore. It is a pain that is hard to describe but it was THE most uncomfortable pain that I have EVER experienced!

After a blood test confirmed that I was indeed having a heart attack and about 12 hours after I first felt pain, I was in the cath lab and they were looking for the problem.

They found that my arteries were dissecting or splitting open. I had no idea what was happening to me as they had given me a sedative. Apparently they rushed out to my family (mom, dad and hubby) and told them that if they did not do the surgery now, that I would not make it. My dad looked the surgeon (who is one of the top thoracic surgeons in Michigan) in the face and asked "Are you good?" and he calmly responded, "Yes I am."

The next thing I remember was waking up in a cold room with tubes and wires coming from me and an odd sensation overtaking my body! The nurse told me that I had just had open heart surgery (double bypass) and asked how I was feeling.
I laughed!!
Yes, laughed! I thought that there was no way that this was happening to me! I was a healthy 32 year old woman with no heart issues ever!

I remember everything as it was yesterday, my family and friends by my side, my poor husband throwing up in the bathroom and having some sympathy chest pains of his own (they actually had to take him down to have a EKG) He just loves me that much! :) and all the wonderful nurses and doctors that took care of me! I cannot say enough wonderful things about the Meijer Heart Center. They truly have an amazing facility, employees and doctors that care and are there to help.

I wound up having another heart attack on the 13th of December and they were able to stint that, which was another blessing!

My dad didn't leave my side for three straight days and nights after that, he slept in those awful lounge chairs that sort of recline, and kept his eye on my monitors. I am tearing up right now thinking about him and how much I love my dad and needed him during this time. I love all my family and friends for helping me and being there for me. My mother in law kept my son for two weeks, while I was in the hospital and took care of him along with my daughter. Bless her and my sister in law who was also there to help.

I was not able to hold my little boy until I was able to sit in a chair and was disconnected from certain tubes, which was about 6 days later.

THAT was the hardest part of everything!!

My heart attacks were due to a hormone in a pregnant womans body that is released about two weeks before birth. It helps soften the soft tissues, in which this case were my arteries, and makes your hips flexible and all that fun, wonderful stuff that happens during childbirth.

This is rare for all those who are reading this and are pregnant or are thinking about becoming pregnant.
And please take into consideration that I do not do things the easy way....
EVER!!! :)

I thank God everyday for giving me this second chance and I know that I am far from perfect and I have those days when I complain or I am angry at something or find myself feeling sorry for myself and that is when I look at this.......

and try to remind myself what is important and try to move past whatever it is that clouds my heart!

I wanted to do something different and I hope that it is ok with Sue from Beach Bungalow!
You see Sue gave me a blogger award, which I thank you so much Sue, it really means a lot that you would think of me!! You should visit her blog, it is full of love and inspirations! She is the sweetest and will make you feel right at home!

I was asked to share 8 things about myself and I wanted to share with you 8 things that I hold close to my heart that came from this little ordeal! :)

1. We are not invincible! I know that I would feel like bad things would not happen to me but there is no guarantee that we will be here tomorrow.

2. Life is WAY too short!! Enjoy every single moment!

3. During times like this friends and family are one in the same and mean so much!!

4. God has a plan for me. (Not sure what it is yet, but I am sure that one day I will know what it is)

5. Always thank your nurses and doctors, the things that they had to do.....that is why I am not in that line of work! :)

6. It is ok to feel sad, mad, glad, irritated and to complain, we are only human. But, always keep in mind what is important and what really matters at the end of the day.

7. Forgive.

8. No matter what you believe, we are all the same on the inside, treat others as you would want to be treated, it is you that you have to live with.

Sorry this was long, but I wanted to share with you a bit more of who I am, and that time played a huge part!

Have a great weekend, I am currently doing my last craft show!!


The Stylish House said...

I was deeply touched by your story! I understand about second chances and I'm so happy you survived and are doing well. These type of experiences matures us and helps us realize each day is a precious gift.
Hugs, your friend on the east side!

Tracy's Trinkets and Treasures said...

Michelle I don't often cry easily and I was crying from the beginning of your story because of what happened to you and the love of your family during your great time of need. I have never had a father figure to count on and I am so glad you had a good daddy to be by your side like that. Your husband is great too. I have become very fond of my beautiful blogging friend and I am so glad you are here today.

Air Kiss said...

Oh Michelle.. hugs.. hugs.. to you. Thank you for sharing your touching story~ I'm so glad you are alright! I had a catheter abalation done when I was 21 to "burn" away the area of my heart ventricals that was causing supraventricular tachacardia. The procedure was a sucess and I remember waking up and having a pain in my chest everytime I breathed in.. had to take ecotrin for a few months post. Yes yes YES life is so precious.. it can be taken away from us in an instant and it's so important we enjoy life to the fullest extent we are capable of enjoying. This reminded me of my horrific car accident I was in 3 years ago on 12/12.. I was knocked unconcious with paramedics waking me up and me replying to them that my back felt "twisted" - I had never been more uncomfortable in all my life sitting in that hospital room that night. Other than a few months of soft tissue pain and a hair fracture.. I was fine.. but I will never ever forget.. in a way.. I feel it was a gift that I went through that.. so I can explain with true experience to my children the dire importance of being safe when driving.. such a scary lesson.
~ Lara x

Ming said...

Hi Michelle,
Isn't it amazing how life teaches us some amazing lessons. Sometimes it takes people a long time to realize exactly what IS IMPORTANT in life because they are fortunate (not realizing it)to have a life without tragedy for it is only in those dark moments of trial and tribulation that we (and those who love us) are able to fully understand what life has to offer and just how precious it is.
I can only imagine how you felt when you finally had the opportunity to hold your precious son after SIX days! My daughter, after delivering her son a few months ago, had complications post-birth (nothing in comparison to yours but complications nonetheless) and the doctor (with 37 years of birthing experience, thank God!) worked on her. My grandson was 2 1/2 hours old but when I placed him in her arms, she became overwhelmed with emotion to finally hold her baby in her arms.
God Bless You Michelle and may you have a long, healthy life to enjoy your kiddies!

Low Tide High Style said...

Michelle, although you and I have shared our harrowing pregnancy stories with one another, I'm still always touched and moved by hearing yours! I'm so glad that you had guardian angels...both close at hand and high above who were watching over you! It's so true, we need to live each day to the fullest and be thankful for all we have!

Glad things turned out the way they did!

Kat :)

Joyce - Quilted Nest said...

Thank you Jesus for giving Michelle more days on this earth to fulfill Your purposes. I know Michelle will live each day to the fullest for YOU!

Tricia - A Rosy Note said...

Oh Michelle, your story brought tears to my eyes. I'm so glad that you are okay. How terrible that this happened to you, especially at a time in your life when you wanted to be enjoying your new baby. I can see that this experience gave you a new way to reflect on all that happens to you and that you know what is really important in life. Best wishes to you ♥ Tricia

Val said...

Michele, What a powerful post! That is an amazing heart was racing. I'm thankful that you are with us and that you are a friend. Everyday is a blessing!!!!!!

Polly said...

Oh Michelle, what a heart touching story. I am so glad you had the experienced doctors and caregivers that you did! A tear escaped down my cheek as I read about your father's devotion to you.

You are right, life is short, and as such, we really should keep so many things in mind on a daily basis!

Thank you for sharing your amazing story!



Yanet @ 3 Sun Kissed Boys said...

Oh my gosh, I just want to hug you! What a moving story, Michelle. I teared up reading it. I'm so glad you shared your story and 8 things. I agree with all of them, especially number one. I love how your family was so supportive and dad sleeping in those awful chairs. (tear) bless is heart when he asked, "Are you good?". Love him! I'm getting to know you and your family in this little ole blog and I'm so glad for it. Happy you made it through, my friend.
Big, warm hug from me.

Yanet @ 3 Sun Kissed Boys said...

Oh, and I almost forgot. A toast! Everyone grab your red wine glass. (They say that red wine is good for the heart, you know). To Second Chances!

Kindra-At Home With K said...

Wow! It just goes to show that you just never know what might happen and to live life to the fullest! I'm so glad you were blessed with good baby AND heart Dr's/staff!!

Carmel @ Our Fifth House said...

Wow! What an amazing story! God indeed has a plan!
xo- Carmel

Finding Home said...

What a beautiful blessing to have the perspective you now have.

I had a scare once, nothing like yours, and I was fine. It was at a time when I feeling so overwhelmed with taking care of EVERYONE else in my life. Laying on that table with everyone poking and prodding at me, my only thoughts were I don't care if I am sick, please don't let me die. It kept going through me head that what if I couldn't take care of everyone else and I had to be taken care of. That was three years ago, each time I am feeling frustrated, I remember that and I am so glad to take care of everyone in my life, that I can run and exercise, heck sometimes I even remind myself that I am lucky to be able to clean (that is tough one though!).

Thank you so much for telling your beautiful story. Your Dad and whole family seem amazing. What a special link with your son.

We are all so thankful for your doctors and nurses as well that you are still with us here, we are so thankful that it was part of God's plan for you to still be here.

I hope your show goes well and you enjoy time with your family.

Take care my friend,

Kristin @ My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia said...

Hi Michelle-
WOW what a story...I couldn't stop reading. You are a blessing in so many people's life, including mine :) To be given a second chance and have the strong will to keep going is just amazing! You have a wonderful family, thank you so much for sharing with us!
PS....there is something at the end of today's post I think you will like!

A Vintage Chic said...

Oh, my goodness, Michelle...what a story! I've never heard of this happening horrifying! But, as you say, what evidence of God's love for you and that He watches over us and DOES have a plan for each of us...

Thank-you for sharing this and for sharing the things you've important for all of us to remember.

I hope your weekend is wonderful!


Anonymous said...

God definitely has a plan for you, Michelle! I believe that more than ever when I hear stories such as yours. I don't cry easily but your dad staying by your side for 3 days was my limit. I love my dad dearly... there is a special bond between father and daughter. You can never tell someone that you love them too much.

Sounds like you had amazing support which makes all the difference. I can't believe all that happened to you at such a young age. You have used your experience to help others. I can see that! The scar is beautiful. I have one, too. SOmedays I cherish it and others not so much. The result of the scar is definitely to be cherished!!!

God bless your heart! Thanks for sharing your story, friend!

Hope your having a good weekend! xxx

Brenda Kula said...

Oh my! And you were so young! At 17 I had my first daughter (she has just turned 36). I had pre-eclampsia and was quite sick. I did not have parents or my child's father, just a great-aunt that helped out. (Bless her, she's long gone now.) So I have the caesarean scar. But I didn't go through anything near what you did! Thank goodness you were in good hands. And had a dear father who obviously loves you very much.

Beach House Living said...

Your trials and tribulations have certainly not been easy. What an amazing support system you have and I would venture made a lot of difference in your recovery. Wishing you and yours a happy healthy holiday.

Restoration House said...

Oh Michelle! Don't know what to say! I'm overcome! You have really touched me today and I am so glad you shared. God truly has such a wonderful plan for your life and you're walking in it right now! Now more than ever, I'm so glad you "typed" your way into my life, so very blessed to know you!

Amy Kinser said...

Wow, girl, what a story. God certainly took care of you! I am thankful that you are now strong and healthy. What a sweet daddy you must have.

Deborah said...

You are such an inspiration my dear friend Michelle..
You are indeed a gift... and your family and friends know that only too well.
You bring so much sonshine into the lives of others and your life is a light to all who are blessed to know and love you.
WE are so blessed by your "life" just oozes out of you and our hearts are filled with love for you.
I thank God that you life has touched mine and Ill never be the same..
I love you my precious friend..with all my heart.
Thank you for this very beautiful and powerful testimony of Gods love & faithfulness...

Deborah xoxoxoxoxoxo

Erin@likegrandmas said...

That is the most amazing story I have ever heard..And I am so glad that I could hear it:) This brought me to tears, but tears of joy and tears of knowing God's love as demonstrated through you. I am blessed to know you Michelle, we all are, your are a blessing to us all.

Love to you my friend,

Erin@likegrandmas said...

By the way, your scar looks excellent. I've had clients with the same surgery and your scar looks terrific!

Sarah @ Modern Country Style said...

Oh, sweetheart Michelle,

You poor lovey. That must have been so traumatic for you. I am sure that not only does God have a future plan for your life but you are IN his plan for your life RIGHT NOW!

You are such a gorgeous girl. I'm SO glad that you are okay.

{Big wonky squeeze}


Robin said...

Your an amazing woman! I'm sitting here reading your post, crying away, and thankful and happy that all turned out ok. I have enjoyed so much getting to know you. It's amazing that you were able to turn such a horrible experience into something good.

Rene said...

Michelle, I remember you sharing parts of this story before and am glad to know more. What a miracle that things worked out the way they did. You are such a sweet friend and we are all blessed to have you in our lives.

-XO Rene

Anita @ GoingALittleCoastal said...

Oh Michelle, what a wonderful post. You have been through so much and what a joy to be given a second chance. Your family sounds remarkable and what strength they all showed. I'm so happy that you are still here to share your talents with us and that I have met you through your wonderful blog. I will second that toast with Yanet. Here's to Second Chances!

Amanda@RelovedRubbish said...

Wow, Michelle, you have been through so much. That is such a frightening and life-changing experience. It made me cry to read how your dad stayed by your hospital bed for three days. It is wonderful to be blessed with a loving family and a second chance. Thanks for sharing your inspirational story.

Vanessa said...

Oh, my dear friend Michelle! My eyes are filled with tears reading this and just rejoicing that your life was spared and that God was present and very real to you and your family during that scary time. What an amazing testimony you have! I can't even imagine how that must have been for you and for them. In all that you share with us about your home and your life, it is evident that you do not take anything for granted and you bless us by being such a great example of this! Thank you so much for sharing this with us and letting us get to know your "heart" a little bit better. :-)

Maya @ Completely Coastal said...

Events such as this are certainly cross roads. What a story..., and how courageous you were. I think I would have been really scared..., but then you just don't know.

Hope you're having a great craft show & weekend!!!!

Cathy M~(checkitoff) said...

An amazing story! Two heart attacks? You definitely had angels watching over you & your baby! Thank you for sharing your story. I must tell you that I love your little details about Michigan, as I do not get back as often as I would like. (We haven't been to Glen in a few years) hugs, Cathy

The Frosted Gardner said...

Oh my dear Michelle, - I can only imagine how scary that time was for both you and your family. I have heard of that happening before. I cannot imagine going through that just after having a baby - that is quite an experience on every level anyway and then to have to endure surgery and the unknown for yourself as well as the welfare for your new baby and family. So happy you are with us. Obviously you do have a plan here dear friend. And I hope we can always stay in touch so I can hear all about it.



dedeetsyshop said... glad that everything worked out and God was watching over you and your family!

shari @ little blue deer said...

We are so glad that you are here, Michelle. You are truly a ray of sunshine in life, God was watching over you, clearly.

CAS said...

You are truly an inspiration. I'm so glad I found you through Vanessa at Southern in My Heart. Thank you for sharing your incredible story. I am a new follower.

Heaven's Walk - said...

Oh, dear Michelle --- what a BEAUTIFUL testimony of God's love, comfort, and healing power you are! I hold you even closer now as a friend, sweetie, and treasure our friendship more than ever ~ because I know now, that God placed you in my life for a reason... :) {{{Hugs}}} to you, dear friend, on this cold, blustery day that is warmed by the love of friends. :) You bless me..... XOXO

xoxo laurie

Anonymous said...

Thank you for taking time to share this touching story. What an experience that was. Treasure the memory... Because it will continue to put things in perspective when things get rough.
Happy that it worked out for you. And i hope you continue to be well...

Debra from Bungalow said...

You certainly have one awesome story to share! I was enthralled reading it! Yes indeed HE has a plan for you.

Patti's Artful Design said...

What a poignant story of survival and living! much to live for, Michelle! Everyday is embraced! Thank you for sharing your story and your inspiring words.

Lisa @ Fern Creek Cottage said...

How amazing (in a horrifying way) to have a heart attack so young! Ans that you had to wait six whole days to hold your precious newborn son breaks my heart! I am glad that you are all better now. It is good to get reminders that life is indeed so precious. :)

Jenni said...

Oh my. That is such an amazing story you have! That would be a true shock having something like that happen. God was truly watching over you!
Thank you for sharing this with us!


Sixty-Fifth Avenue said...

What a story! I'm sure it was so painful to not have your baby in your arms for so many days. I had a scary birth as well, not a story like yours though. I had HELLP syndrome, my liver was starting to fail, I'm just fine and so is our little one even though she was 7 weeks early. I still feel some sadness about not having her in my arms after she was born.
You have so much to be thankful for...your experience does make you appreciate the little things more. Thanks for sharing.
Londen xo

Creative Ambitions said...

Michelle... that is Amazing!! My jaw dropped when I read your story... sniff, sniff! So happy that you and your baby were OK!! I can't believe it... two heart attacks?? WOW! God is good my friend and I'm so happy that you lived through such a terrible ordeal so that you can be with and raise your little ones!


Simone @ Doberman's by the Sea said...

My dear Michelle, I had no idea about this. You are so full of life and so pretty. You were definetly blessed. I'm glad you are ok and so is your son. What a moving post. You are right, youhave to know what is important in the big picture and we figure it out in different ways. Hugs, Simone and Bella

kerrie said...

Michelle...Oh how precious you are. I truly believe when we go through such trials that our hearts become soft and full of love. This gives me a fuller understanding of why you are so kind and tenderhearted. Grace adorns your words...when I read your comments on my blog I am always touched by grace. I am so thankful you are still here with us. My Grandfather had open heart surgery twice. He died the first time but came back! He said that when he died it was so peaceful and beautiful and he was floating down a tunnel towards bright light. He never took it for granted that he was given a second chance to live. I have a miracle birth story with my third child that I will be sharing this month...every baby and mama story is precious, isn't it? Love to you dear friend. ox`kerrie

Brandi said...

My goodness Michelle what an amazing story. My eyes filled with tears as I was reading your story. Having lost both of my parents in my twenties stories such as yours always bring on a bit of sadness. What a beautiful family you have to stay by your side in your time of need. Thank-you for sharing your story.

Blessedmom's Simple Home said...

What a wonderful post Michelle. Thank you for sharing this part of your life, and how God carried you through it. Truly inspiring my friend!

Holly said...

Wow! So many have such amazing stories behind who we are. This is truly one of those. I had my pregnancy issues but nothing life threatening and you were so lucky to be in the right place when this happened with so many surrounding you that could help you medically and personally.

Bella said...

Hey mama, how did I miss this post. I know you mentioned your heart somewhere before, but not in detail, so while reading todays post, on your new faux fireplace, down at the bottom, it had to this link to other posts to read, and saw this. I rushed here, and WOW,,, I can't imagine how scary that entire time was for you.

THANK Goodness you were still in the hospital, I can't imagine your family, and what everyone wet through. I am so happy everything turned out wonderful, and you my dear friend are here with us, and a mom to your beautiful children.

You are special girl, I knew it all along, and this is just another reason why. You HAVE been given a second chance, and you use it everyday, by bringing joy and happiness to all those around you :)

Sending much love your way!!!

Bella :)

Sally Lee by the Sea said...

I'm sitting here blubbering like a baby, Michelle. Don't know how I missed this post of yours other than life was crazy in December and I just missed it. I am so thankful that God watched over you during this ordeal and that you are here with us today. I've got to go find tissue before I ruin the keyboard with know how much I wuv you :O)

Found Around said...

Hi Michelle! I just came across your blog. What a touching story. My husband, Andy, was in a head on vehicle collision almost a year ago. He had multiple injuries but had excellent care givers and has improved tremendously! I must add for your readers that he says after facing death, your life changes. Only the things that you are passionate about matter. I was wondering if you feel the same way or if it's a "man thing"!?

Kim@Snug Harbor said...

Wow your story brought tears to my eyes as well. God had plans for you indeed and you bring great joy to all your blogger friends. Hugs!

Carolyn@SweetChaos said...

You are a blessing to all of us :)


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