Proverbs 17:22 “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength”

My heart became an interest for me January 1, 2003. It was New Year’s Day. We had just finished watching the movie, Castaway. Like each year on this day, we were camping at our favorite spot at the KOA Campground in Panama City Beach, FL. During the movie I felt kind of funny, but I had felt it before. The same indigestion, pressure in my upper back between my shoulder blades and a funny feeling going up my right jaw. After a while I thought I should tell Phil it was getting worst. Like always anything that went wrong I would say it must be my Gall Bladder. He right away said we are going to the ER because he knew it was pretty bad if I told him something was wrong.

At the ER I was waiting for the doctor to tell me the procedure for the removal of the GB. He finally came in and stood at the end of my bed. I looked at him and said,”OK, let’s get this over, take the ole thing out and let me be on my way”. He looked sternly at me and said, “ its not the GB it’s your heart”. I was shocked and a little upset with myself for the misdiagnoses because I always knew what I needed and how to fix it…. I thought! The next day one of those well appreciated test called a Heart Cauterization revealed I had to have open heart surgery and right away. I was going to need a Quintuple bypass surgery. In case you don’t know that is a # 5. Well I had been so healthy in the past and this news made me feel like I got my report card and I had made an “F”. But I had to get it together and decide what to do I did not want to have my surgery in Florida and in that hospital. I wanted it at my favorite hospital, Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta, GA. Phil left it up to me to decide, that’s the way we work. Finally a few days later, because of the blood thinner was at a lower level, I was able to travel. The only thing they wouldn’t hear me on was I couldn’t go in my RV; I had to be transported by ambulance to Atlanta. The ride was 7 hours. By this time my pain level had lowered because of that blessed medication, morphine! So the ride was like riding on a cloud in a wonderland. I called all my family and friends although Phil had already taken care of it, laughing and having a good time.

The wait was three days after we got to Piedmont. I can look back and see how God had lined it all up no doubt! I had a great medical team. This wonderful doctor, Dr Morris Brown III called late one night and said everything was “Go” for the surgery the next morning. It was done and I did wonderful, had a good support system of family and friends that was marvelous! So on the 12th of January we made the Trek up hwy 515 for the two-hour ride to our home in Blairsville to recoup for the next 7 weeks. Per doctors advise we stopped for a walk after the first hour. My request was to get my yarn for “busy work” for the recoup time. I walked on my own to the back of Wal-Mart in Canton GA, selected my colors and at that point needed a motorized cart to get back up front to wait on Phil to checkout. Funny thing happened, one of the greeters walked up to me wanting my handy cart. She informed me another lady needed it. I said, “OH NO plainly!!! I just had open heart surgery a few days ago and I need it” After showing my scar, my lady friend quickly walked away, saying I most certainly could have that cart.

So I told you my story to let you know two things I have learned.
#1 – It really does matter to have a cheerful heart. The doctor told me my problem had been developing for 30 years and I can look back and tell you for sure there were days I lived under way too much stress living my own life instead of letting Christ live His in me. We never know what our body goes through by what is going on in our mind that affects the one organ that keeps us alive. I have to stop from time to time and have a down to earth talk with myself, like I better get serious about life and let those things go that don’t matter and take action on those things I can do something about allowing Christ to be my life.
#2 – As women and men too, we need to be responsible for our health. Get a yearly physical with a good doctor. We think men are the ones that have heart attacks but that’s not true women are fast in the race going ahead with this one health issue.

Some good advice for all of us is….

Keep Good Mental Health…

Eat a good healthy diet (find your plan)…

Get regular exercise…

Get regular check ups with your doctor….

Most of all enjoy and value the life God has given you. And again our verse is one to live by “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength”


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