Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Heart Matters

This morning, I had a sonagram done of my heart. My doctor, Vicki, ordered it because she detected a murmur at my last check up a month ago. The procedure lasted less than 15 minutes, and I got to see my heart do its thing most of the time. My tech, Debbie, took measurements of the valve, the valve opening, the chamber, the chamber wall's thickness and a few amplitude readings from the rhythm.



It was humbling. Usually, I'm pretty chatty with whomever I have to see about these medical tests, but I was quiet through this one. When I saw the image of my heart, I felt protective and some regret about not taking more care of myself. I became aware of my heart's vulnerablity and importance. If it could talk, what would my heart say to me?


In the Bible, God mentions the heart a lot. Scripturally, the heart is the seat of emotions, thoughts, ideas and desire. God searches the heart, examines it and knows it. He enlightens, opens, establishes and encourages it. He even re-creates it, according to Ezekial 11:19.


Vicki explained to me that a valve can get rigid over time, and unable to do its job as a doorman as efficiently, allowing the heart to get a back up of blood in its chamber. As I have been thinking about it, it is a good analogy of having a "hard heart". As I watched my valve flop around like a wet spaghetti noodle, it conveyed the illustration of having a "heart of flesh".


So, physically and spiritually, I need to "watch over [my] heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life" Proverbs 4:23


Debbie said the results from the test would be ready in a couple of days. If there was a problem, I'd be having to talk with a cardiologist before I left the hospital, but Debbie said that I was free to go home. So, I went to Starbucks and had a cup of House Blend. I met up with Karen, who is a regular customer and we sat in comfy chairs and chatted for an hour about health issues. Karen lost 40 pounds over the last 5 months since her vitamin D deficiency was diagnosed and she got a prescription strength dose. She says that's a common problem in Michigan with the long winters, since you get Vitamin D from sunshine.


I've lost a total of 30 pounds since October. I celebrated yesterday by using a Christmas gift card from Dennis to buy pretty underwear two sizes down from what I usually wear. It fits perfectly. Rewards help me to stay motivated. I also bought some clothes for work outs--a sports bra and some great walking shoes. I walked three miles in the park, the exercise classes are making me feel very stiff, so the shoes were a great investment.


Speaking of clothing, it is really rough for plus sized ladies like me. I got two specialty catalogues in the mail for women in my size catagory. After perusing it, I decided that I'll never order from these again. Every year, I get gift cards from my dad for a large women's sized clothing chain for Christmas and my birthday. I usually don't think about it, but now I realize that in a way it says "You were fat last year. You are fat this year. You'll be fat next year." And every time I use it, I'm giving in to the idea. My mom started this tradition before she died, and Dad keeps it up--I don't think he knows the clothing chain. Although it is nice to dress well at any weight, I think that I need to start thinking about saving money to buy new clothes that will fit me at a much smaller size. A lot of last year's clothes are now too big already.

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