Thursday, August 29, 2013

I've Been Missing You

Where have I been? Where have YOU been?! I have missed blogging and missed my blog friends so much! Gosh, I don't know why every once in a while I go on these massive blog hiatuses...but I'm back. And like I said, I have missed you terribly. It's also 4 AM and I haven't slept - guess maybe it is my nerves for surgery today - so now is as good a time as any to give you a recap of life lately and the questions you've been dying to have answered (kidding) the quickest and most painless way possible. I have been getting asked kind of the same questions these days about school, work, family, friends, here goes nothing.


Unlike you lucky UVU-ers, I don't start til Monday (I won't be feeling so lucky when fall and spring break rolls around...). I am taking a hefty 18 credits this fall that will put me a whole 2 semesters ahead of my graduation date.  So far I am shooting for end of June or August at the VERY latest to get that cap and gown.

I also finally finished those last nagging classes that I took an incomplete for a year ago. So my summer very frequently looked like this:

Lucky for me I pulled of real great grades in those classes - but I would NOT, I repeat not, ever take an incomplete unless it is your very last of options. Nothing spells procrastination like having 1 year to finish all of your work. 

My most exciting recent educational news is I got invited to apply by my professor (so nothing for sure yet...but just excited to get asked!) for an incredible internship next summer. It would consist of picking pretty much any continent and spending the next two semesters researching a specific international non-profit group and then spending all of next summer on their dime collecting data. LITERALLY my dream come true and would put me right where I want to be to launch my career. So we're just going to pray really hard that I will get chosen and then be healthy enough to go. 


Social life is like pulling teeth sometimes....I am getting better. But gosh, all that effort to meet new people and be exciting wears me right out. No, I'm not dating anyone, but being set up seems to be more frequent as of late. I think people are seeing my Utah bride age limit getting higher and apparently that's a good indicator of matchmaking?? I dunno, but I am happy to oblige and am up for meeting new people on blind date...most of the time. So we will see how that goes. 

I started going to the Polynesian single's ward and every week just gets better and better. I adore the people in that ward and I have never felt so comfortable. It just fits...and confirmation after confirmation reminds me that I am right where I need to be. I have met some of the most amazing people and I have been welcomed with the most open arms and lots of yummy poly food. Dream. Come. True. I love it so much. 

Ward campout. Don't they look like a great group?? They are. 

I also had some great visits with some of my best friends from college. I love them so dearly - and no matter how different our lives are at this point...we still make time for seeing each other.


I have spent tons of time with family this summer and I loved it! First I had my sweet little cousins in town for the fourth and I was lucky enough to see their excited faces at Stadium of Fire while they listened to their favorite artist Kelly Clarkson. It was a great show and amazing time. 

We also played A LOT of laser tag while they were here. It was so fun! And if you ever wanted some good family therapy - it's a laser tag session. Nothing like shooting each other to take out any old frustrations (only kidding...but kind of serious at the same time). We had a blast. 

On a more serious note, unfortunately, my cousins on my mom's side lost their sweet baby almost 2 weeks ago to a genetic disease that took her very fast. I was in really in awe of how strong her parents are and can't imagine losing a child, let alone my first baby. She was definitely an angel here on earth that was too pure for this life and now has her angel wings. 

Jenivee June Clawson

The celebration of life was so beautiful and touching and reminded me of how fragile life can be. One good thing that can come from the loss of life is bringing families together - and Jenivee really did that for all of us. 

My little cousin "Gator" as soon as he saw me came running up with his shirt pulled up and big smile on his face to show me his "zipper" scar from his open heart surgery. He excitedly proclaimed, "my heart buddy! We're twins! I haven't seen you in a really long time, and I missed you!" My heart melted and tears welled up in my eyes to see him so excited to see me when I hardly thought he remembered me. He sat on my lap and we talked hospital chat and how good he was doing. He gave me a good smooch and I loved that our spirits are intertwined by being two "heart buddies". He is such a strong boy and has endured much more than I have and when I go through hard things I like to imagine him and how brave he is. He really is one of my heroes, along with the rest of his incredible family. When I left the luncheon after the funeral he was on the swings at the park and yelled out, "Bye! I love you so much!" and I was reminded how the little things in life make it so great.  

Everyone else in the family is doing so well...including this pretty lady (doesn't she look great?)


Yep I started a job here - Emergency Essentials. It's all about emergency preparedness and I basically take calls and do orders over the phone. It's perfect for my situation and I'm so grateful to have it. That's where I have been spending most of my time. Definitely a far cry from anything I have ever done, but it works for now. 

For those keeping up on my life better than I am, I never actually ended up interviewing for that MTC job. I didn't want to even interview til I knew what was going on with my health. So right now I will stick with EEI and school and wait for the day when I can apply there. 

And of course, I am missing my days at the old folk's home...but I have still been able to visit. My little Miss Cula is just as feisty as ever and I love her dearly!


When am I not sporting these pretty gowns??

So basically there is a whole lot of medical jargon that might be really boring and confusing.  Feel free to skip it and after surgery today I will try to update on how things went. 

First things first I was misdiagnosed by a doctor who did my last two surgeries and also decided to up and leave his practice without informing anyone. This is actually a huge blessing in disguise...or not even disguise, it was just a flat out blessing. I am now seeing Dr. Hwang who is world renowned and definitely is being thorough. First he had me do an MRI to see if there were any physical abnormalities with my heart. I thought this was brilliant because no one has ever done all this time. Now that I think back - it seems stupid. But whatever, it is being done now. Next he had me wear a two week monitor that was a 24 hour monitoring as well as an event monitor - also incredibly smart. The MRI showed the scar tissue but nothing abnormal which was good. The event monitor showed extremely erratic and irregular heart beats that made him believe that it could me ectopic atrial tachycardia. It is a pretty rare diagnosis - but would explain a lot. This basically means that I am creating heart rhythms from somewhere other than my sinus node, or pacemaker. He wanted to do one more test to rule out what I had been previously diagnosed with POTS (postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome) and IST (inappropriate sinus tachycardia). I really didn't want this diagnosis so I was hoping it was a misdiagnosis because there is not much they can do for it and it has left me pretty debilitated. So the test for that is called a tilt table test ( I look extremely beautiful and attractive in this picture, I know). 

This was  pretty miserable test, but I made it through. This was to figure out why I have been passing out and the whole goal of this test to do everything they can to make sure you do just that - pass out. This includes having you stand without being able to position yourself for 40 minutes, then tilting you back so all the blood rushes to your head. Then they quickly bringing you back up (if you make it that long) and then pump you full of that stupid isuprel ( or adrenaline) and make my heart rate skyrocket. I made it through the whole test without passing out til the very end. It was technically a positive test, but I showed no symptoms of POTS or IST...YAY!

That led to the next step, which is today of having exploratory surgery done of my heart to map it electrically. This will then be compared to a physical MRI picture and he will be able to diagnose me further and see what to do next. 

I had an incredible priesthood blessing from my dad and I feel pretty calm about today, all except for hoping and praying that they will be able to put me to sleep so I don't have to relive my last nightmare (see previous blog). I am so hopeful for today and I believe in miracles. I know that Heavenly Father has led and guided this path more than I could ever explain. God loves us, even if he asks us to do hard things. It is necessary for the sanctification and strengthening of our spirits and souls. I know that - and I know that although my trial is obvious to the world, He cares about the not so obvious that are equally difficult heartaches and difficulties. 

We can do hard things. 

My mom or I will be updating later tonight about the findings. I am so grateful for anyone who reads this and cares...your strength and love gets me through.

More later.