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Home from the Hospital and Anxiety Free

Thank you for your prayers. God answered them!

I went to the local Emergency Room on Monday afternoon after experiencing several days of chest discomfort (not helped by nitroglycerin)  The EKG showed some irregularities so I was transferred by ambulance to Vanderbilt hospital in Nashville.

I have left main coronary artery disease (LMD). Last July, I had open heart surgery, then a few months ago I received stents. Since then I have had several bouts of unstable angina. Angina is chest pain or pressure that occurs when your heart muscle does not get enough blood.

Health Timeline

  • 2001 – 2007 – Blood issues unknown origin.  Weekly iron infusions from hematologist.
  • July 6, 2007 –  Open Heart Surgery – left main artery, CABG (AKA widow maker). See Heart Surgery: Object Lesson
  • March 2008 – Second Heart Surgery – One of the two veins from the July heart surgery collapsed (two stints in left main artery required).
  • May 2008 – Hemorrhage, hospital stay, View from the Back of the Ambulance
  • May – June 2008 – Weekly iron infusions from hematologist
  • July 20008 – Hemorrhage and hospital stay

Angina is stressful. It’s somewhat like having Braxton hicks (pre-labor) contractions in your ninth month of pregnancy. You know something is going on but you aren’t sure when it is time to go to the hospital.

Angina brings on anxiety, which leads to more chest pressure which leads to more anxiety–it’s a frightening cycle.

The beginning of anxiety is the end of faith, and
the beginning of true faith is the end of anxiety.”

The cardiologist informed me they would be doing a heart catheterization and if they found a narrowing, I would need open heart surgery again. I can’t put into words how I felt.

Most of my posts are about resting and trusting in God, yet the chest pains punched me straight into anxiousness and fear. Oh I was praying, and I remembered all the times God delivered me yet I still wrestled with doubt and worry.

My deepest desire is intimacy (in-to-me-see) with God. He is my strong tower, my rock, my refuge, and my hiding place. He is the Creator of the universe, He knows the number of hairs on my head, and He loves me. I know all this but I was afraid.

My open heart surgery was done before I could  research the procedure.  Now that I know what happens during the bypass surgery I was much more apprehensive. I even watched actual videos of the surgery on You Tube (there are times ignorance is bliss).  I should have spent my time in Psalms instead of medical books.

Anxiety is a thin stream of fear trickling through the mind. If encouraged, it cuts a channel into which all others thoughts are drained.–Arthur Somers Roche

Yielding to God’s Will

My heart cath was scheduled for the next day. That night I talked to God through the night. It was the next morning before I was able to tell God I surrendered all.

He gave me the strength to accept His will. If He wanted me to have this surgery He had a plan. I didn’t understand the worry was bondage until I was freed from it. It was liberating. I felt the proverbial peace like a river.

The surest way to intimacy with  God is not to seek Him as a goodie giver, a problem solver, or healer in time of need, but rather by opening to His unmeasurable love.

May your unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord, even as we put our hope in you” Ps. 33:22.

God is so amazing. As I wallowed in anxiety, He lifted me above the circumstances and reminded me of His faithfulness. He made the universe, He shaped the stars. He made my body and my heart. He keeps my left main artery flowing.

He wasn’t angry or disappointed that my eyes weren’t on Him. He was there waiting on me with open arms as always.

A Shadow of Heavenly Things

Recently my son had a cavity filled. It was a major cavity close to the nerve. He was given gas and I held his hand during the procedure. It was so hard to watch him get the Novocain shot. My heart dropped when he tightened his legs and squeezed my hand. But I knew a few minutes of discomfort would ultimately save him excruciating pain later.

Our heavenly Father only allows pain with a purpose. The pains we have here on earth will quickly be forgotten in Heaven’s glory.

No Surgery Needed

It turned out I do not have to have open heart surgery. My left main artery is working efficiently. It seems I have a problem with the much smaller micro vascular arteries which can be handled with medication. Doctors and medicine help people live longer lives, but we know that God is the one who preserves our lives. He can call us home at anytime. His will be done.

Let us give up our work, our plans, ourselves, our lives, our loved ones, our influence, our all, right into [God’s] hand; and then, when we have given all over to Him, there will be nothing left for us to be troubled about.” –Hudson Taylor, missionary to China

Numbering My Days

My life prayer is from Psalm 80:12 “teach us to number our days, that we might gain a heart of wisdom.” Dealing with a left main  blockage makes numbering my days much clearer. Patients with a left main artery disease have a high mortality rate during the five years after bypass surgery.

Daily chest discomfort are frequent reminders–I am blessed–I have an alarm bell going off reminding me of the importance of being in God’s will, to pray for guidance, and prioritize according to the Spirit’s leading.

Right now the most important thing I can do is play Crazy Eights with my youngest sons.

So good night, and thank you again for your prayers.

It is well, with my soul.

Robin Sampson

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26 comments

  1. So glad you’re home–and without surgery. It always lifts my heart to see your faith so clearly in your words. You have a beautiful spirit.

    Angela’s last blog post..Live in NY? Wanna help?

  2. My dad had angina, they gave him nitroglycerin bombs.. did they suggest this for you?

    Robin, I’m so glad for you that you have avoided another surgery..and my prayers for you will not cease just because you’re home. May God lift you up and continue to hold you strong and courageous. We think we have stress, I can’t imagine being Joshua crossing the Jordan and walking around Jericho.. that would be stressful, or David having to run from Saul.. .. but God had a plan for these heros of our faith, and God has a plan for you. May God’s WHOLE plan be brought about fruitful in your life.

  3. Kathleen

    Hey Robin, great to see you posting again. I’ve been thinking about you all day and figured you must be transitioning from hospital to home. Glad to know you are with your little ones again.

  4. So glad to hear it Robin. You were in our thoughts and prayers. What a great encouragement and testimony God is giving you.

    Still praying.
    Love , Jacque and the Dixons

    Get some rest!

    Jacque’s last blog post..Happy Birthday Sarah!

  5. Psa. 118:24 This is the day which the LORD has made;
    Let us rejoice and be glad in it.

    There’s a whole lot of rejoicing going on here in FL. today!:o)

  6. So glad to hear you are back at home and had a good report. Also, praying all this settles down and you can recover fully. Praying and sending much love. God’s blessing to you and your family.

  7. Playing crazy eights with your sons!!! You definitely have your priorities straight!!!! I am so glad you are out of the hospital and do not need surgery!

    Tammy’s last blog post..Topiary Triumph

  8. What a wonderful testimony you are to the faithfulness and mercy of our God. I’m not dealing with such serious health issues as you, but we are in our own storm at this time & the Lord used you today to minister to my heart. Thank you for your faithfulness to Jehovah Jireh. My prayers continue for your complete recovery & strength. Blessings!

    DanaB.’s last blog post..Pray for China

  9. Robin,

    God heal you and bless you with a strong heart and a mind at peace.

    I am blessed by your opening up your health issues to the ladies on this blog. I have always thought it selfish to ask for prayers for self but now see that it is how God asks us to live, so that his love can be seen. His believers are a community and we are to care for each other as he does.

    Your struggles with fears for your health and life are ones that I struggle with also. I have a chronic illness and problems with pain in my mouth that no doctor or dentist has been able to figure out. My body is so tired of fighting this that my immune system is wearing out. Your struggle and ability to surrender all to God encourage me and I ask for prayers from any who read this.

    At the same time, as a mother I know that you are a blessing to your children and am praying that God will heal and strengthen you for their sake. As much as I love your books (particularly would love to see “Scrapbooking to Learn”), it would warm my heart to see you put it all on hold for your family and quiet time with God.

  10. KimisHis

    Oh Robin,

    You’re life story is such an inspiration to all of us, teaching us to trust in God, no matter what the circumstances cry out. Thank you for your transparency! Thank you for leading the way for so many of your unknown sisters in Christ out in cyberland!

    With all you are going through, God has opened your heart such deep treasures, and I praise Him for your willingness to share your experiences because it ministers in a way only God knows.

    I love you, dear sister! I pray one day in heaven we’ll get to be best friends!

  11. Tamara Scire

    Robin,
    God is so amazing! I love the “after” of wrestling with Him, my faith is stronger, I’m closer to Him, resigned to His will for me and overwhelmed by His love for me! Your post was encouraging and I’m so glad you are back home with your family!

    God’s blessings to you and your family!

  12. yep, sure is good to hear your voice

    blessings, Penny Raine
    http://www.pennyraine.com/blog

    hey by the way, I am in Maury County, how far from me are you?

  13. Robin, I am glad to hear you are doing better and that God has blessed you with His peace. I have been praying for you.

    Your testimony is an encouragement and a wonderful testimony of God’s grace!

  14. Mrs. Robin, I’m glad to hear from you again.
    Praise the Lord.

  15. Hi Robin,
    I am so glad your home, Ive been praying every day for your healing and for GRACE. Grace….yes GRACE it is God’s abundant grace that all this ended the way it did. And we love you and PLEASE rest and enjoy your family!!! I will keep praying knowing God is at work.

  16. Dear Robin,
    Praising the Lord for you. I didn’t stop praying ever since I heard of you having to go to the emergency room.
    I’m so sorry you have to go through so much. What a true worrier you are.
    Blessings,
    Katia

    Katia’s last blog post..May/June flowers

  17. Ooohhhhhh…

    It is great to *hear your voice* and know that you are okay and at home again with your dh and boys.

    In my prayers and on my mind…

    Susan <

  18. Melissa

    Dear Robin,

    You have been on my heart and in my mind. Praising the Lord for His continued healing, and watchcare over you. You have been an inspiration to us all through your struggles.
    God Bless you and keep you. I am praying for you.
    Hugs,
    Melissa

  19. Hello Robin. So wonderful to have you back. Praise the Lord for answering prayers.

    Erica @ A Woman in Business’s last blog post..How to Start an Event Management Business

  20. 😆 Bless you Robin…Beautifully written and explained…I thought this was a past post and found out it is pretty recent. I’m so glad prayers were answered on your behalf and you are
    home and learning to stay anxiety free! I pray that you never need surgery and it’s great that you did not need it. I hope you can remain calm
    but I remember when I had panic attacks and thought it was my heart, it was out of my control
    and I thought I was being calm reading! When you have that chest pressure or pain, it is so hard to
    forget and focus on breathing calmly and relaxing.
    I pray that you will continue healing and rest since your life verse is
    Psalm 80 you already knew how to bless each day & make it count!

    The reason I stopped by was to see if Simply Sunday meme is still going! But you taking care is much more important than me knowing this riht now! You have alot of concerned friends praying and missing you so take it easy! 🙂 Stay well

    Peggy’s last blog post..ARTE y PICO Award BLESS YOU TRACY, CHERYL & PAULETTE

  21. So glad you are home and didn’t have to have the surgery. I love your outlook on life, I need to follow that instruction myself. Glad you are doing better, do spend time with your children, and hubby. Take care, will be praying for you. PTL! Hugs, Brenda

  22. Very good to hear that you are home. Spend as much time with your children and enjoy every moment of life. Life is just too short so I am glad that you are finally home.

    heart ablation surgery

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