This morning as I glanced at Facebook, a memory from a year ago came up about a devotional I’d just begun reading. It was called “Broken Crayons Still Colour.” The author shared how they’d been colouring with their nieces and had chosen a worn out broken green crayon to use. They exclaimed what a beautiful job she’d done. She went on to say, “And just like that broken crayon, God is always able to use our brokenness to create something beautiful. A masterpiece.” Wow. That was what I needed to be reminded of a year ago today. I was feeling a bit like that broken crayon, not quite working as I should – but was also holding onto the fact that God could still perhaps use me, even in my brokenness, to create something beautiful.
As I read that this morning, I knew exactly how I’d felt back then – worried, apprehensive and longing for my day to be over – as i headed into the hospital for my (first) pacemaker operation! It’s amazing to think it’s been a year. A lot has happened in this year.
As I walked out of my bedroom this morning, I announced to my family that it was my one year birthday – that perhaps we should have cake or something? They looked at me like I’d lost the plot and then we had discussions on whether we’d actually want to celebrate this day – as it was the day that things didn’t exactly go to plan! After my pacemaker had been put it, I’d woken up from the GA with my body jolting to the beat of my heart. I was stunned that it hadn’t gone to plan and felt gutted. But despite all of that and the months that followed, it was still the day that I became bionic and this new “friend” entered my life (literally!). So today is worthy of remembering.
Over the past year, I’ve seen new pacemaker friends celebrate with cakes on their anniversaries – for some it was the day their pacemaker or defib was implanted and it literally saved their life. For others, it’s probably just a good excuse to have cake – and I mean who can blame them? For me (other than the fact that I love cake!) I think today I’ve been feeling thankful and wanted to take a moment to recognise this day from a heart that is so incredibly grateful. The fact that we live in a time and age that we have this amazing technology and skilled doctors who can perform these operations, I know I for one, will forever be thankful.
I had an echo (scan) done on my heart in March and it showed how much better my heart is looking and functioning. My ejection fraction has gone up 9% in the past year! I’m now sitting at 49% – which although is still below average – the fact that it is coming up is encouraging. More blood pumping out of my heart and around my body is a good thing and means I have more energy than I did. I still have days when my heart doesn’t “behave” and the mental battle returns to stay positive and tell myself that it’s okay. Last week we had a bit of a scare with it and I was reminded again not to let my thoughts get the better of me.
A year on though and I can say there are days when I don’t even think about my pacemaker anymore. I go about life completely normal and have also gotten to do things (like 13,000 steps in a day)) which I couldn’t have a year ago! My scar no longer bothers me and I even managed a mammogram last week (yeah… definitely trickier and more tender with a pacemaker in – but not impossible!). So life goes on – which is the whole point of these devices!
Today, I also wanted to say thanks to my amazing hubby, kids, parents, family, church and friends who have walked this journey with me. When I arrived at the hospital a year ago, I didn’t know we were about to walk through some difficult months ahead. But we made it through and I know I learnt a lot along the way. It wasn’t easy and in those first few months it was tough – physically, emotionally and mentally – and most people didn’t see that. But my hubby and kids did. You put up with the tears on the couch, the stepping in to carry the load at home and the multiple hospital visits – forever holding on in faith that things would improve. Which they did! Thank you. It was rough – but we got through it and I’m sure we are all better people for it.
So – here’s to a lifetime ahead with my bionic friend! You’ll always be with me (well you’ll get changed every so many years!) and I’m grateful I have you! As my doctor says – you’ve extended my life span and for that I’m grateful! I’m also thankful that although I sometimes still feel like those broken crayons, I know God is painting a beautiful masterpiece out of my life.