It started in January when I became sick with a gallbladder issue.
The hospital I was in damn near killed me with medicines to where they told me to go home and heal then go to a hospital in Miami for the surgery.
I did. For approximately 3 weeks.
It was when I was in Mount Sinai that I was given more tests, then gall bladder surgery but not until after I was informed that I would also need a heart valve.
This occurred in February.
After surgery, I was released with the warning from my cardiologist to get this heart valve replaced as soon as possible.
Living in the Florida Keys is damn near equal to living in a 3rd world country. Nothing is ever easy or fast. Everything is on “island time”.
Because I didn’t have dental insurance and was in bad need of deep cleanings, etc. I had to rely on the rural health network, which was damn near impossible to book anything.
In the meantime I waited.
FINALLY got an appointment! YAY! I was excited even though it was a month out).
March found me deathly ill with a nasty cold took me 2 ER visits and a family doctor visit before it finally eased up). I was forced to cancel my dental appointment until my health was better.
In the meantime I had to locate a cardiologist to do my surgery. I found one who was recommended by a cardiologist in Miami.
My husband and I drove up and back 4 hours each way due to traffic), only to be told that the doctor couldn’t do the surgery and that I would need a child cardiologist I was born with a heart issue, making this a congenial issue). I cried all the way back home.
Again with the dental office issues…another cancelation. Another set-back.
I finally located a child cardiologist! In Miami! He was referred to me and I was told that HE is the ONLY surgeon in the state that can operate on me. We spoke and he made me feel at ease! I was hopeful!
Enter May…nothing new. Still fighting to find ANY dentist at this point who could help me and NOT charge me an arm and a leg. NOTHING.
FINALLY got an appointment for dental cleaning for September. YAY!!! I informed the surgeon and rescheduled my surgery!!!!
Enter HURRICANE IRMA.
Hurricane Irma proved to be my breaking point in many ways.
I evacuated with a friend of mine to New York. It was in New York that I was rushed to the hospital there for fast and controlled heartbeat so much to the point of them placing the white sticky tape on my chest “just in case” for the use of paddles.
I was released after they were able to lower my heartbeat. I felt weak. I was weak.
Given that Irma wasn’t done with her destruction, we elected to fly out to L.A. All seemed quiet.
Upon returning home we saw the devastation.
I had lost my home of 18 years. Everything was destroyed, down to the last coffee cup. I also lost my business of only 2 months) and my car.
My husband was staying on base, our dog was left back in Miami, at a family members house until further notice…and I stayed at various hotels with my friend (mind you she also greatly suffered destruction from Irma as well).
For all intent and purpose, I was homeless.
The destruction was so intense that many places (including the dental clinic) were forced to temporary close in the lower Keys.
Again, I was heartbroken.
Again, my heartbeat was out of control several times and needed emergency medical care to lower it.
I felt weaker and broken. The medication I was on was depressing…never before was I made to take medication daily.
The cardiologist had informed me that until after surgery, my first love of photography and working on location with models would need to stop.
My career as a photographer had come to an end (even if temporary) I cried that whole night.
In the meantime, I focused on my psychic mediumship clients and book writing. I needed to do “something” to get my mind off of the reality that I would most likely die from my heart issues before the cardiologist could help me.
October was horrible, as I was rushed to the local ER for fast and out of control heartbeat.
Since the lower Keys hospital was unable to provide me with the care that I needed, I was rushed via ambulance BACK to Mount Sinai, Miami and spent about 3 days there. Again…given MORE meds.
October also found my husband and I living with a friend she was able to get an apartment in Key West where we had our name on base housing.
I was able to go see one of my daughters and granddaughters for as visit! Gleefully I boarded a train and enjoyed a week-long visit.
Upon returning, I became extremely ill from a virus and once again, more medication, thrown in the news of the cardiologist removing me from his surgery schedule until the dental and everything else was completed.
My heart broke…again.
November found me making a turkey…weaker still but determined. Thanksgiving was quiet, but needed.
It was then that I was able to get my FIRST cleaning!!!! YAY!!! The dentist had told me that he felt I needed a few sessions then he would clear me for surgery!
December finds me with my second cleaning (they schedule it a month apart because the hygienist is booked out a month ahead).
Here we are…looking at January in a week or two. Christmas is this Monday. I have a 26 lbs. turkey to cook…gifts have been purchased and shipped.
I still find myself getting choked up with tears whenever I think about us losing our home, with all the contents in it and my business and car, along with my dog STILL being in Miami (we can’t bring him down until after we move into base housing).
I realize that 2017 was a period of growth and new beginnings for many, including myself. I keep a positive smile on my face and convince everyone I am fine. I need to do that…both for them and myself.
Afterall I can’t let this break me. I won’t. I refuse to be broken.
I pray 2018 is gentler and kinder to my family and myself…it has to be…right?