It is easy to look back now and see what God had in store for me, but during those dark nights and long days it was tough. There were good days and bad days, emotional highs and lows and often thoughts of "what if?" I had days when my faith was incredibly strong and days when I would cry myself to sleep. After my bout with myocarditis when I was 15 I thought I would live my new normal life forever. Yes, my heart was weakened and damaged, but I took heart medicines every day and for the most part felt fine. I never thought heart issues would rise up again. I especially never thought I would end up getting a heart transplant…Never. Doctors warned me I would be on meds for life and my heart would forever be damaged, but I didn’t think it was more serious than that.
I still remember in November ’09 lying in the ER bed when the doctor said I had severe congestive failure. I didn’t think a big deal of it. I had been feeling sick the last couple weeks, but this had happened before and they always knew how to fix it. This time around they gave me a more permanent diagnosis, but I am not sure I really knew what it meant or what it entailed. After being admitted to the hospital and peeing out 6lbs of extra fluid collected around my lungs (no wonder I couldn’t breathe) I felt like myself again. I wasn’t sick, I thought! I told my boss I would be back to work in a couple days, but obviously God had a different plan.
I feel like I handled everything well and even dealt with the procedures and surgery better than I figured I would. I had stayed in the hospital before, but never underwent surgery or procedures like these. They were scary, but I was constantly surrounded by love and prayers. During my hospital stay in December ‘09 it was easy to think, "Why me?" I was in the ICU and the nurse told me I was the youngest person in her ward by over 20 years. The next morning a boy my age was admitted. His heart was as bad as mine, but it was because of drug abuse. So, I again thought, "Why me? Why did I have to go through this when I have never done a drug or even been around drugs my entire life?" Obviously I knew I wasn’t invincible to sickness, but then I began to wonder why someone would do this to themselves. "Why would someone abuse their body enough to be in the hospital for heart failure? Are you really serious? Really? I am in here because I caught a virus that anyone could catch, young or old. I did not do anything to my body to deserve this." I quickly had to learn that God would not allow anything to happen to me that I cannot handle. I finally began to feel thankful He chose me to go through this. Now, it may sound weird I was thankful to go through heart failure, but that is not what I mean. I was thankful He trusted me enough to go through something so serious. He chose to use me. I was his vessel… for a reason I did not know.