Health and Wellness

Perseverance and Joy

Verse of the Day:

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must first finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. – James 1:2-4

Sometimes life can kick you while you are down and then stomp on you just a little more. The last three years of my life have felt much like that at times, and this year hasn’t been a real walk in the park either. But, things are looking way up. After two heart surgeries, a pacemaker replacement, a staph infection, kicking crack Oxycontin – and then walking around with a malfunctioning recalled pacemaker, I kind of went inside my head for a little bit. I mean all that happened May 2009 trough November 2011. Can you believe that?! It was enough to make any sane person a little crazy. Thanks be to God that I have Him and Jesus on my side or who knows where I would be! I also have to give props to my amazing husband who through very thick and very thin has been my rock of Gibraltar.

As the holidays have arrived like Santa in his sleigh, I am surprisingly overjoyed this year. I am baking and cleaning and cleansing my spirit and the cobwebs of my mind like I really never have before. I love holiday cheer and carols, decorating and baking cookies. Christmas is my favorite time of year!

It has been a long time since the Christmas spirit has bounced around this house. You see, living with a “defect” is something I smiled off and joked about. I am proud of my scars, of my journey, but I also lived in fear of a lot of it too and I never realized that until this year. I don’t like being sick… I don’t like having a label, I don’t like looking at my scars. Being reminded everyday that I have limits on what I can do did piss me off. I wanted to sky dive and “dance till I can’t dance no more”, but I can’t breathe when I do that… don’t get me wrong, I danced my butt off when the mood struck or Madonna came on… my limits though had been hanging over my head and keeping me hidden away. Recovery from the last few years was really hard. I hadn’t been “well” in a long time. And I felt like my limits were right in my face.

After my visit to the Mayo Clinic in October it was like a switch was flipped. My awesome docs there fixed my pacemaker that was broken all jacked up (not the technical term, that stuff bores me) which is why I felt like the walking dead. I also saw my heart surgeon, Dr. Dearani, while I was there and he told me that I was a “possible” candidate for a transplant and that he would never give up on making me better. Folks, you can’t ask for a better surgeon than that and in my humble opinion the man has a heart of gold. I was also told I should be ok and that I should just enjoy my life… Huh… ok… so what are my limits again? Do I really need to jump out of a plane? And let’s be honest here… I am absolutely going to jump on the bed and jam out to “Material Girl” until I can’t breathe EVERY TIME! So, why was I letting my limits rule the roost? Fear! I was afraid that I would get sick again… that I am fragile. But I am not. I am strong of mind, of will, of God, of spirit and of Body. I can do ALL Things through Him who gives me Strength. Not strength of spirit or mind, just strength. I walked a marathon 6 months after I got my pacemaker for crying out loud. Wake up Gena! – So, I am – I am feeling better everyday.

Krissy and Mommy going to the Park Krissy

My life for the last three years has been a living hell nightmarish at times but I have learned a lot about myself and the strength that God has given me. I am a child of God and a Survivor. For the first time in a long time I am feeling great and really enjoying spending time with my friends and my family and all the little babies around me… oh and Krissy too, my baby! I am so happy!

Tyler and Aunt Gena Tyler and Aunt Gena

God has been so good to me. It is time for me to climb out of the dark, brush myself off and really step out into the fresh air of life and embrace this season of the newborn king! More to come as it happens… Merry Christmas y’all!

5 thoughts on “Perseverance and Joy

  1. You are such an incredible person Gena. With all that u have been through, and u still have a smile on that beautiful face. I just love making you laugh, even If you are in the hospital :))) you are always in my thoughts and prayers. Love you with all my heart!!!!

  2. OMG! Dr Dearani was my surgeon too!
    I finally wrote all about my experience; http://www.squidoo.com/shonessyndrome

    I’m not looking to make anything just wanted to share as I looked online to find others with similar experiences – there just isn’t much out there. 30-something with heart problems?!

    I admire your strength and perseverance!!!

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