May 7
REVMONA10
REVMONA10 , Posted on SUPPORT NETWORK Blog

Thriving while surviving

I am a 73 year old retired clergywoman.  At age 20 I crossed over from life to death and back to life on this earth when in labor giving birth to my 2nd child the main artery to the placenta ruptured and I bled out internally.  I was told that my baby was dead because he had been with oxygen from the time the artery ruptured.  At that point my blood pressure dropped to zero and I went to the most beautiful place I have ever been.  Peace and beautiful music the like of which I cannot describe surrounded me.  But I couldn't stay there.  The first thing I heard was my baby's cry and I was back in the delivery room. Today that child holds a high level position in higher education and is completely healthy.  Praise and thanks to God for this miracle.

My story continues with 2 strokes from the medication that was in the contraceptive pill I took for 3 years.  I lost my short term memory, have neurological damage to my left side and had a generalized weakness for years. 5 years from the date of the second stroke I began having petit mal seizures and was on medicated for them for 8 years.  In the midst of all of this I went back to school twice; once to earn a 2 year degree in business administration.  This education gave me the credentials and skills I needed to become a public administrator, which position I held for 12 years in State Government.  In the 8th year of my employment in this role, I again returned to the class room to earn a 4 year undergraduate degree as a precursor to entering the seminary.  At age 51 I graduated with a Master of Divinity Degree from one of the most academically challenging seminaries in my denomination and was ordained a parish pastor.  At age 64 I was diagnosed with sick sinus syndrome, a left branch bundle block and my LAD was 75% blocked requiring placement of a medicated stent and a 2-lead cardiac pacemaker.  The pacemaker desynchronized my heart and I went into heart failure with an Ejection Fraction of 25%.  Subsequently the LAD reoccluded and a second medicated stent was placed inside the first as well as a stent placed in another artery.  The pacemaker was changed out and I have now had a biventricular pacer implanted for 5 years.  
One year ago I was told by my cardiologist that my heart muscle was weakening.  A new medication was given to me to try to help the heart muscle strengthen itself.  This medication had serious adverse interaction with other medication I am on. 

Today I cannot walk very far, I use a walker and am able to be active for 3-4 hours and then have to sleep for up to an hour.  Still I continue to thrive in the sense that I still serve the pastoral care needs of an occasional older process in the dying process.  Is life restricted and not all that easy?  Of course it is.  But I walk on one day at a time with joy in the moment.
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