Thursday, August 11, 2011

Dan's Heart

Hello Everyone,   This is a message from Aug 8th below following is a second message from August 9th

Psalm 25:17 The troubles of my heart are enlarged: [O] bring thou me out of my distresses.

Walking up a hill or trying to keep walking pace with my son who is always one step in front of me, would leave me tired. My heart would be pumping so hard that I felt like it was in my neck. I'd feel dizzy. Two weeks ago I went to put on my old worn out stretched out tennis shoes. They didn't fit. My feet had swollen. I had them tied for Japan so they were loose so I could slip in and out no problem. Now it was a problem. I also noticed when I'd push on my skin on my legs it wouldn't bounce back. I am like stretch armstrong the elastic toy. Stretch Armstrong Retro. Only I don't stretch but you can push my skin in and it stays for a long while. Bending over to tie my shoes would have me sitting for a few minutes to get my breath and not be dizzy. All this to say I have a bad heart.

Since May I had contracted pneumonia and was in the hospital for a week. I thought this was all the symptoms of the post pneumonia. With that and a series of other things, a combo if you will, has caused my heart to enlarge. I have had sleep apnea and I am obese all of which is self induced. The apnea and heart problems are as a result from the weight problem. The apnea may have exacerbated the problem. With those negative things my heart wants a break and is tired. (No heart attacks no bad rhythms just swollen like my pride) I had swollen feet and was very tired all the time. So I went in last Friday for a check up and found through a chest xray my heart was swollen in size. The Dr. today said it is not the same sickness as my daughter and son but it could be. The walls of my heart have not thickened so this is reversible. My heart function or Ejection Fraction is at 46%, the Dr. today said it should be about 60%.  I am restricted from exercising for now and am on diuretics. I am going to see Rachel's specialist tomorrow in Tabata. Hopefully he will give me a bigger picture of the scope of what is going on.

I feel fine and there is no pain at all. It is like God is giving me a serious wake up call of many but still being gracious in doing it. This is more harder on Mihoko than anyone. She is dealing with it but is still going through the emotional what if scenarios. Pray for her to be strengthened by God. Pray for our marriage to grow through this. We just celebrated 20 years July 27th and I'd like to go for another 50 years should the Lord tarry. She has been asked to speak at a conference and I told her not to cancel. God is doing something here through this and He will through our weaknesses strengthen the body here.

This is a fatal disease for many but doesn't have to be for me. But then so is life. I am on a salt restricted diet. The Dr. wanted to admit me for one month in the hospital for testings and stuff. I told Mihoko that will kill me more that anything else. We are going to try to do this as an out patient. I am going to be scheduled for a heart cathetorization in a while and we will get a more accurate picture of the functions of the heart in each chamber. They will also do an angiogram on the arteries. The echo cardiogram shows that I do have minor valve regurgitation. This means the valve flaps aren't touching and blood is not flowing properly. The heart pumps blood up into the upper left chamber only to have some leak back in. Congestive Heart Failure video

All this to say I am at fault here. I have received from too many folks loving rebukes and coaching and encouragement along the way. My pride is what blew all that off and said, "Eh, I'm ok!" But I am not. Please pray for me to take this very very serious. It is easy to rationalize things and the flesh will say one bite ain't going to kill you. Now that has a new meaning for me.

Many wonder will the Bolingers go home? The short answer is no. God hasn't said go. We have one of the best doctors in all of Japan. He is awesome. I will be keeping you all posted.

Pray God's will be done. Pray the church continues to grow. So many are supportive and helpful. This should be a real tragedy but I feel so blessed by everyone.

We will continue to teach the English classes and most of all have church services. I am not sickly or in pain I am just a fat guy with a ticker that has a looney tunes beat. The kind where Wiley Coyote walks away bouncing up and down. Wiley Coyote Cartoon

We all love you and know so many are praying for us. Please pray for wisdom and peace. Please pray we see many come to Christ through our inability yet His sovereign ability. Pray I will not cheat on the diet and will do all the doctors say. Pray for healing and restoring of tissue back to healthy limits.

God bless you all,

MESSAGE 2 August 9th

Hi everyone,

Spent the day at Tokyo Women's Medical University Hospital in Tabata. The Transplant specialist I saw painted a different picture than Yesterday's Dr. It is always good to get a second opinion. Although the second opinion wasn't as favorable. It seems I do have the same problem as my kids. I must have the gene that gave it to my kids. My heart problem is called Dilated Cardiomyopathy. This is one of the number one reasons for persons to receive heart transplants. I could be in line for one. I have a plus on my side as we caught it early. The Doctor believes we can manage it for life without the transplant if I listen and obey him. If I cheat or continue to do nothing I'll be on a plane home getting in line for a heart transplant or worse.

I am going to have a few more meetings to discuss strategies and they are going to up the medication including warfarin (Coumadin) and I will be scheduled for a heart cathertorization in  beginning September. Warfarin on a side note began as a Rat poison. So I am now going to take rat poison to fix my weak heart. Actually it works on the liver to produce more blood cells. My diet consists of less than 4 grams of salt per day and only 1.5 liters of fluid including all foods and drink per day. Yikes. I spent a frustrating 30 minutes at the store today trying to find anything without salt. Japan eats some of the highest salt per day per capita. The Doctor today told me the average citizen eats 10-15 grams of salt per day. 

Talk about the wind being knocked out of you. Pray with us for wisdom. Family will scream come home. But the problem is I feel more at home here than in the US. There is so much work to do. There are still millions of lives yet to be saved. I am reading Pastor Chucks book called "Faith". It is at times like this you need to read things that will help where you are weak.

"Unfortunately, sometimes we lay the problem before God...and then we go to bed and wrestle with it all night. We wake up at three o'clock in the morning thinking, What's going to happen? What if I do this? What if I do that? Maybe I should do this. We can't rest because we aren't trusting in God's ability to take care of the situation. So we continue to carry the burden--and that wears us out.

After you call upon God for His  help, you need to take a second step and rest in God. "I've placed it in the hands of God and I'm trusting Him to take care of it." Then see what He wants to accomplish in your life through faith." Pastor Chuck Smith, Faith, page 50.

I don't have this great faith yet. I am struggling. So many questions. This is where with my kids I went into survival mode and just lived each day one at a time and did what needed to be done to get through the day. The confidence is gone fear is close by. I can tell you I trust God in what he is doing but I also second guess him. Thank you for standing with us and praying with us during this time. I am still in shock. I still have the thought but I thought I am invincible as a missionary on the field? I am shaken in everything we are doing and have been doing. The enemy sows seeds of what did you do to get this? As If like Job I have sinned a great sin and now I got the Battchi or bad luck or retribution for what I did. That is not our Savior. I am not in sin. This is a family medical problem that God is going to use for his glory. He already has in many ways. Oh pray for me. I confess I am scared. I think of my kids and I cry what have I done? I want to be there for them and Mihoko. Pray for healing and obedience on my part.

God Bless,

No comments: