The Passenger Log Star Date 29 April 2021
A new event for this ol’ Passenger – an echocardiogram – absolutely fascinating. I want to share with you how that went and what it meant to me as I watched it. First, though, a quick up-date on the bone scan.
You may recall that I had to have a bone density scan to set a marker as to where I am now and be able to see where the density levels go while I am on the medications I am on. The funny part of the bone density scan was that they cannot scan any aeras that have surgical steel implanted in them. If you know my history, you know that there is only one small area from the hip bones to the top of the thigh bones that does NOT have surgical steel! It was a very quick scan! The results were that I already am experiencing bone density loss so the fact the docs put me on Vitamin D supplements already is a good thing.
So, back to the echocardiogram. First, Sarah, the technician, a super person who was in on her VACATION to do a couple patients including me. As soon as she applied the gel and began the scan I had to ask if she would be able to tell me the sex of the baby on this one or if we have to wait longer. She laughed! I’m sure she has heard that before, but she was kind enough to give me a laugh anyway.
I have to tell you though I had to turn and not watch the screen. I realize you may have watched your own echo like that before but for me, I could not keep watching. I’m the same way with watching my heartbeat on a monitor in the hospital. Allow me to tell you why.
Watching the rapid flow, opening, and closing of the valves in the heart so rapidly, so in sync causes me to stop and think. At the same time the heart is so very strong and so very vulnerable. It is true that without God allowing us each individual heartbeat, we would not be and, of course, someday that beat will stop. The pump of the heart pushing the volume of blood at the pressures it does every single minute for every minute of our lives, no other pump can work like that. It is strong and resilient. It can take a great amount of abuse and still work. It can endure a massive attack and come back to functioning. It can be opened and fixed and remodeled, stimulated by electric shocks from time to time and still work. It is amazing yet so very vulnerable and almost fragile. It puts me in awe again of my Creator God who designed it all so perfectly. To watch it, though, is to be reminded of my mortality. I understand my mortality, of that I have no fear; but to be reminded of it once in a great while is sufficient for me. To watch it over and over for the thirty minutes I was being tested, no thank you. I did what anybody who knows me would say… I dozed off. Not for a long while, the gel was cold and then I had to keep holding my breath from time to time for her to get a good picture, but for a bit… I may have snored! If so, its probably why she kept telling me to hold my breath just to keep me awake!
The heart, so strong and resilient; so vulnerable and fragile. According to the Bible it is also deceptive but let’s think for just a moment about how those attributes help to make us human. The more we love, the more we reach out for others, the more we are susceptible to hurt and pain but the more we are able to love. A catch-22? Perhaps.
I don’t know when the results of the echo will be back and what, if any, effect it will have on the treatment for the IPF but as always, please keep in prayer all my shipmates, my First Mate and we thank God for all you crew members. We will need you I have no doubt as the voyage continues!