Monday, May 12, 2014

Health Update

Update on Michael:

There are not many people who have a heart attack and continue to work and function without missing a beat.  There are not many people who carry on while the right coronary artery closes due to bursting, caused by extreme stress, and the heart muscle begins to die off.  I have never heard of that before (not that that says a lot).

That was the diagnosis of the cardiologist this week.  A portion of Michael's heart was "destroyed" through a heart attack some time ago and is now "dead and gone."  There was no need to try to do open heart surgery for a bypass as that muscle is now dead and is turning into scar tissue.  His heart is now functioning at about 70% of a "normal" heart.  This means life changes for the rest of his life as it relates to medication and monitoring of his heart.  And therein lies another problem.  Michael is a rare person whose body doesn't register pain in a heart attack (called silent ischemia).  The sudden news of a heart attack with a now compromised heart is scary enough, but learning that your body doesn't sound any warning or alarm complicates it further.  The cardiologist kept telling Michael to "pay attention to your body," but how does one do that when the body is not communicating?  The value of pain is so important.  We don't like it but pain does save lives.  I reread Philip Yancey's book, Where is God When it Hurts on the way home last week and was reminded about the value of pain.  So that the fact that Michael does not feel pain in his heart is an added concern.  The rest of his heart seems to be functioning well so he is beginning new medication treatments that will have to continue for the rest of his life, as well annual stress tests.

This news is very sobering.  It is a harsh reminder of our mortality.  It is scary to hear this type of news at any time and even more so a month before our wedding.  The part of the vows that say "in sickness and in health, til death do us part" is not a part that we want to have in our face too soon.  Michael does not want me to become a widow again.  He knows that had been one of my fears in getting into another relationship. So, a lot of feelings; a lot of fears; a lot of tears; a lot of unanswerable questions; a lot of reassurances going both ways.

This has been a very difficult week.  I'm so glad I came home - I needed to be here in person for this.  I think I am feeling a little more peace about it than Michael is at this time.  I am already so thankful and grateful for what Michael has brought into my life.  Each day is richer because of him.  And we will continue to trust God even though He obviously doesn't guarantee health or long life. I think this event is further proof of how amazing Michael is in terms of his ability to survive very difficult circumstances.  I think it is further proof of how amazing and complex the human body is, even when it disappoints us.  And I think it is even further proof of our amazing God - He knew when this heart attack happened and He knew when we would discover it - He was not surprised by any of this.  He chose to keep Michael alive at that time.  Please continue to pray for Michael as his body begins to adjust to the new medications and their side effects, and as his mind adjusts to the fact that he has had a heart attack and there is a new normal that needs to be considered.

Update on Alfred Kibairu 

Alfred is showing signs of improvement.  He is still in the hospital but hopes to be released this week.   His skin has been drying out slowly - I have included a couple of pictures to show how devastating this has been to his body.  His mouth and lips have been the slowest to heal, which has continued to give him problems for eating.  Alfred was thin before but now he is very thin.

Please pray for continued healing for Alfred.  If he checks out of the hospital, they will require the bill be paid before he will be able to leave.  The total medical bills to date are around $3000 USD.  So far approximately 80% of that amount have been covered and we praise God for that!  We still do need another $600 US however and so please pray with us that these funds will be found so that he can return home, rejoin his family, continue his recovery, and eventually get back to work. Again, if you feel led to contribute any amount, please go to, click on "Donate" and enter "20065M."

Thanks to so many of you for your messages of encouragement and prayers in this past week!