Martin-ology

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Slapped in the Face by Mortality February 14, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — babyboymartin @ 5:09 pm

We praise the LORD, for He is good!  I am doing well on the medicines the doctor put me on, and Ashley and I are thankful every day for that.  However, there is a burden we secretly carry and feel it is now time to share it.

I (Ben) decided I didn’t want to share this information publicly, for a few reasons, but we have privately shared this information with our family and a few close friends.  We told everyone that in the doctors appointment the doctor discussed the medicine option (Plan A).  We also discussed Plan B, which is where they will run leads from my pace maker to the bottom part of my heart to help assist my heart to maintain correct rhythm.  This may still have to be done in the future, should the medicines ever stop working properly.  There is a Plan C… This is the other part of the doctors appointment that was discussed, and frankly rocked our world.  We call Plan it C because we don’t like the reality of the real name… The reality is so hard to comprehend.

As the doctor was telling us our current and future options, he got to Plan C, and it literally took my and probably Ashley’s breaths away… a heart transplant.  As we have mentioned before, the heart is measured by the squeezing and relaxing of the heart muscles, and the doctor said ” people’s hearts get tired with all four parts and yours is going to to get tired quicker with only two and half parts.” Another quote that still rings in my head from the doctor is “We need to start having this dialogue about a transplant.”  This was the moment mortality slapped me in the face.

My first statement to Ashley was this information stays between us and the people I wanted to tell because I did not want to be a charity or sympathy case for anyone.  In addition, I did not want to answer all the questions.  I understand that I am not the only one going through difficult or trying situation, but after mentally working through Plan C for several weeks now, I feel like I can share with other people because I know how powerful prayer from God’s children is, and frankly, we need those prayers.

Plan C is not an immediate situation. It is our only option when everything else fails.  The problem is, we do not know when and where that failure will take place.  The doctor said this could be 5 , 10, 20 years away… who knows. Like I said, we call it Plan C because we don’t like the feeling of doom the word transplant seems to carry, and it helps us ease into the reality of the situation. Once again, the good news is that the medicine is working very well, and my activity level is steadily gaining, compared to where I was in January.

My only difficulty at the moment is sleeping. When they reset my pacemaker, they set it so my heart rate can’t go below 75 beats per minute, which makes sleeping difficult.  If I wake up in the middle of the night, to either go to the bathroom or check on my son, I find it pretty difficult to get restful sleep after waking up.

The Martin family appreciates all the prayers, thoughts, and comments through our current sanctification process. Although it is difficult, we know that we suffer trials for a purpose, and we are working through that to honor God.  Again, God is good, and we know that even more in these types of situations.

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Eclipsed By Grace January 31, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — babyboymartin @ 3:42 pm

We are a week out from all the madness and the normalcy we prayed for has returned.  There is much joy in daily routines and little habits!  Ben has not had any episodes of arrhythmia over the past week, and we continually praise the LORD for holding his heart in His hands and regulating his rhythm.  Ben has been able to work this week and was even lovingly able to serve as transporter for a group of high school boys at our church’s Disciple Now this weekend.

And with that beloved normalcy comes church on Sunday mornings.  What a privilege it was to step into the house of the LORD today and get a moment, in the stillness and focused quiet, to say thank you again to the LORD for what He has done in our lives.  I know I sit here, virtually on the other side of a scary three weeks and say that I praise the LORD, but the truth of the matter is that I praise the LORD because of the scary three weeks.  As a believer, I am no stranger to adverstiy, trials, and hardships, but part of the beauty of being a believer is that there are joy in those moments because if we choose to focus on the LORD, we will find that we are being shaped and formed to be more like Jesus, we are being made stronger clay by being fired in intense heat, and sometimes, we are being pulled out of situations we put ourselves into, and being pulled out can be quite painful.  All in all, today in worship, I was reminded of just how much Christ loves us.

Through the words of one of my favorite songs of worship, I was moved with the reminder that in all things, the appropriate response is to move TOWARD Jesus… He is our hope.  A portion of the song is, “What can I say?  What can I do?  But offer this heart, oh God, completely to you…”  God is the only one I know that can fill me when I’m empty… turn my mourning into dancing (and has done that on many occasions)…and make what is seemingly devastating and hopeless, a joyful and monumentally life-changing event.  All of life’s afflictions are suddenly eclipsed by the overwhelming glory of God… and Ben and I know that if our afflictions, pains, and trials help other people who are struggling or hurting, and bring glory to God, it is always worth it.  Something that Ben and I have said since we began dating, and continually hold to today is, God’s plan is our plan!

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13

Please continue to pray for the Martins.  We still mentally chew on things the doctor has said, have fears that this will return, and daily deal with the big question mark that is the future.  Although none of it is particularly fun to do, we know it is necessary for us at this moment.

 

Worries of the Past January 26, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — babyboymartin @ 9:20 pm

As we were putting Brinson to bed tonight, he was very apprehensive about us leaving his room. No doubt he remembers the countless times over the last few weeks that we have left in the night, only to not be here in the morning when he woke up.  He continued to call for us a couple of times, just to make sure we were still there, and once he finally was assured that we were still in the house, he fell asleep.

We had a very sweet day with him.  We came home to a little boy who seemed taller and older than when we left.  He learns things so quickly anyway, when his parents miss 5 days with him, it seems like an eternity.  He is using several new words this week, in context, which makes us very happy but there is also that twinge of sadness that we missed it. In the end, it’s a catch 22… what can you do?  We are grateful that he flourished upon our absence but also grateful to be home and in our rightful place as parents.

All in all, today was a very good day. Ben got caught up on his rest and feels pretty good.  I sense some major apprehension in his demeanor… a burden of wondering whether the shoe will drop today.  I have that in the back of my mind as well, but it is definitely affecting him more.  Who could blame him for feeling that way?  He has always realized the responsibility of being a husband and a father, and I’m sure he is feeling that more, in light of the current events.

Everyday we try to find something positive in these events, and I must say that I have realized that the LORD has blessed our marriage in such a way that these events grow us closer to one another.  I have never once thought of leaving all of this behind… Ben is my soul mate in every sense of the word, and without him (and his heart issues), I certainly wouldn’t be the woman I am today.  So, let me say… Thank you LORD for sharing Ben with me, and thank you Ben for loving me like only you can.  iloveyou, darlin’!

 

God Preparing My Heart

Filed under: Uncategorized — babyboymartin @ 6:06 pm

On November 20th, I was in Austin, TX for my good friend Josh Myer’s wedding, and since I was so close to my grandmother, who lives in San Marcos, I went down there to visit her during some down time amidst the wedding hoopla.  My grandmother and I had a great visit and lunch together, and then I got in the car and went back to Austin to meet up with the groom and party.  That day it was raining very hard, and it was one of those rains that you have to turn the windshield wiper blades on the highest setting, and there are still moments you do not have good visibility.  I rarely slow down while driving but I remember on that day slowing because it was raining so hard that it was difficult to hear the radio, which if I was lucky it would have some Jay-Z on the air waves.  While driving slower and straining to make out what song was playing on the radio, I heard the prompting of God to turn the radio off and listen to the rain and have a conversation with Him.  I remember praying and listening to the rain while I was entering south Austin and truly feeling the presence of the Lord as I drove.

I want to preface this with the fact that I struggle with ooey and gooey “spirit” worship services that one would see on television.  However, while driving God gave me a very specific word… “One can look at rain in a way to only see that it creates mud and puts splotches on your car, that it can be annoying, loud, and ruin a sunny day… Or, rain can been seen as nourishment, nature’s way of cleaning, and bringing freshness.”  The pressure of the Lord was on me and gently nudging me to let me know that there was going to be rain in my life, and it was my decision to either look at it as ugly and complicated or as nourishment for my physical and spiritual life.

Fast forward through November (and all was good), and December (and all was good) to January when I am laying on a gurney with my heart rate up to 240 beats a minute, and at that moment I was not thinking about the rain.  However, after getting home and recuperating after my emergency room visit, I started to think about what was laid on my heart back in November.  This has been a very important process for my sanctification with Christ.  I will end with the same prayer I have prayed since leaving the E.R. the first time “Lord, if I have to go through this but it shows your Glory, draws me closer to You in my sanctification, and spreads the Gospel, I am in”

I say all of that to say this, I pray that the rain in your life will be viewed as nourishment and not has a hassle or inconvenience.

 

A Welcome Sight

Filed under: Uncategorized — babyboymartin @ 9:06 am

Ben and I were so eager to see Brinson this morning that we woke him up!  We couldn’t wait a minute longer to see his beautiful blue eyes, hold his soft little hands… get a big hug.  We are so GLAD to be home!  Brinson did so well while we were gone, and we must say a HUGE thank you to my mom and sister for coming and staying with him.  They pampered and loved on him, and he didn’t miss a beat!  Thank you Momma and Angie!

Ben had a good night’s sleep last night, and although the EP nurse said his new pacemaker settings might keep him awake for a day or two, Ben proved once again to be a professional sleeper and wasn’t fazed by it!  That is yet another way the LORD has worked in our lives!

We are having family time this morning and then Ben will try to go to work this afternoon.  Lord willing, the normalcy will begin and be sustained!

 

No Comfort Like Home January 25, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — babyboymartin @ 9:59 pm

After some serious frustration with the medical field this morning, we finally got to get in our car and began the long trek home at 12:35 p.m.  Sadly, we did not make it home in time to see Brinson before he had to go to bed, and after some sulking, I got over it. We pulled in our driveway at 9:15 p.m… and not a minute too soon!

Let me tell you the last of what occurred in Houston.  Ben’s doctor decided that one more precaution needed to be taken to help eliminate anymore arrhythmia that might occur, so he had Ben’s pacemaker reset to 75.  What that means is anytime Ben’s heart rate falls below 75 beats per minute, the pacemaker will kick in and begin to pace at 75.  The doctor said when Ben’s heart rate goes too low, like while sleeping, it can cause it to actually react by beating too quickly thereafter… which is pretty much what was happening.  Each of the three major ER visits originated with arrhythmia that came from either sleeping or just at rest.  In other words, his heart rate was low when it began.  So, by resetting the pacemaker, they are trying to nip it in the bud before it can ever start.

Naturally, we are relieved to be out of the hospital and home tonight.  However, with great reason, Ben is still leery of getting too “comfortable” because we just never know if it will return.  The medicines are currently working, and we pray they will continue.  Please pray that Ben’s heart and mind would find some rest and comfort in the LORD.  Also, please pray that we can have some quality family time together with a great deal of “normalcy.”  We could certainly use it!

We’ll keep the blog updated with Martin family matters, and hopefully, the heart drama will settle out!  Thank you, friends, for your love and support! We love you all!

 

Heading Home

Filed under: Uncategorized — babyboymartin @ 10:37 am

Good news, friends!  Ben has been released from the hospital!  The doctors are pleased with how the medicine is working but have also built in a little cushion in case these arrhythmias reoccur.  We can go up on the med doses if need be… But hopefully we won’t need that.  Ben’s currently over at Texas Children’s waiting for an EP nurse to place a holter moniter, but she is in surgery for the next two hours, so we’re trying to see if he can just get one placed in Lubbock, so we can go home.  We’d like to be out of Houston by 11:15 a.m… which puts us home right before Brinson goes to bed.

Please continue to pray for Ben’s heart… that the medicines will work and that we will be able to resume life as usual.  In addition, please pray that his liver functions will improve over the next few months.  We have been given many prescriptions and are now armed with lots of new information to manage Ben’s heart condition.  We’re hoping for years of normalcy… or as normal as the Martins can get!

Pray for safe journeys as we high tail it (but stay withing the legal speed limit) home!  Lord willing, my next post will be from Snyder, America!