This Fall has passed quickly. The baby group has been going strong, and the women have taken on the task of carrying on when I have been away from time to time. We took the traditional “Christmas baby” photo (as you can see below). These women want to keep the group going in the New Year as well. I’m thrilled about that.
Toward the end of October, I flew to California so that I could attend my niece’s wedding and participate in some of the family time surrounding that. It was a beautiful day, and I am so glad I could be there.
In my last update, I spoke of my plans to complete my M.A. at Barclay College before the end of the year. I was also ready to start a Continuing Professional Development course at University College Cork (for Social Work). I was gathering the paperwork so that I could register with the Social Work governing body in Ireland (now, that paperwork has been submitted – all 40 certified pages…). The important people who review those things will very likely come back to me with some further requirements so pray for that process and that I am able to do what I need to do to be a Social Worker in Ireland!
If you have lived long enough, you know that sometimes all of our plans change in a moment and goals must be deferred. That happened to me on November 23. I went to see my GP because for months I have gotten more and more breathless with minimal exertion. The GP sent me to the hospital emergency unit, and after seven hours of tests and consultation, I was admitted to the cardiology ward with fluid in my lungs. I was there for five days and more tests.
This is what I learned: I have a bicuspid aortic valve (which sounds like a tooth) but essentially it means that most of you have three flaps on your aorta that let blood through, and I have two. My heart works harder to push the blood out. My heart is healthy and strong. It is not enlarged or diseased. The arteries are not blocked. But I have this valve that has been working hard all my life and it is hardening and narrowing and it needs to be replaced. This will be open heart surgery, here in Ireland. This is not emergency surgery, but it is important and urgent.
When I was released from the hospital, I made the decision to defer my M.A. at Barclay College until the Spring. I also deferred my studies at UC Cork until next Fall. I am scheduled for surgery on January 3, 2023. EFM and my home church have made it possible for my sisters, Joni and Sandi, to come over when I am released from the hospital to look after me at home. They will tag team, and overlap for a few days so we can spend time together. I am thankful for the care I have here in Ireland (so many people checking on me and offering assistance) and the care I have in the US (sending help and prayers). Basically, during this time of waiting, my job has been to NOT GET SICK (which means I’m home alone, a lot).
Thank you for your prayers and encouragement. I have set up a Caring Bridge site where you will find news of the surgery and recovery. You will find the link here.