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Heart of the Matter 4 – Even In the Unexplained

I’ve been rambling in the last few posts about the ‘heart journey’ I took last year and all the lessons God has been teaching me along the way. Some things, like the amazing picture He gave me of my heart that exactly mimicked my subsequent angiogram, are easily attributed to divine means. I have yet to figure out the significance of every single occurrence, however. Some things were just rotten. Period.

Infected IV right after it was pulled out.

For instance, while waiting in the Dawson Creek emergency ward for a bed in Vancouver, the IV in my arm got infected. I told the staff several times that it seemed unusually painful but they assured me it was fine. Then, in the middle of the night when I couldn’t sleep because of the pain, the night nurse yanked it out without any preamble. I have small veins, apparently, and it took three nurses five tries to get another IV in. Ouch! I was covered in bruises. Still, no one wanted to believe me that the original IV was infected until a day and half later when my entire lower arm was hot and red. I needed aggressive antibiotics to get rid of the infection. The issue meant that once I did get to Vancouver, that arm was ‘out of commission’ for IVs and even my angiogram, so I had to have the procedure through the large artery in the groin – somewhat riskier than through the arm.

Perhaps even worse were the seven excruciating hours I spent in Langley Hospital’s emergency waiting room five days after heart surgery. I mentioned in the last post that I was released after only four days but denied access to the flight home. Apparently I needed a doctor’s clearance to fly that soon after major surgery. We left Vancouver by vehicle and not far out, in nearby Langley, we passed a hospital. “Why not stop in there and see if a doctor will clear you for air travel?” my husband suggested. I was feeling uncomfortable in the vehicle, to say the least, and the prospects of days of driving were not pleasant, so I reluctantly agreed.  “But I don’t want to waste three hours in a waiting room!” were my exact words…

Seven hours later, I was still waiting. It was excruciating, and possibly the first and only time when I’ve questioned our medical system. Imagine. Five days post open heart surgery, having to sit in a waiting room chair for that length of time. Plus, there was no food or anything else available. Finally we asked if we could leave to go to the hospital cafeteria and not lose our place and they allowed it. Later I had to go out to our vehicle and try to rest in a more comfortable position – not easy but definitely better than sitting up for that length of time. It was quite possibly the worst day of my life. Not even kidding. I was in terrible pain (as were many others around me) and it just didn’t seem to matter. That particular hospital is in dire need of more funding!

I can’t say I learned anything from either instance other than patience – and even then I’m not sure that applies. I guess I just have to believe that all things work together for good. Who knows what we may have avoided on the highway because of that delay? Perhaps there might have been a problem with my angiogram had they used my arm instead of my femoral artery. By the way, after all the trauma of waiting in Langley, I was cleared for air travel, but by that time I had no desire to go back to Vancouver, so we decided to stick to plan B – drive home.

In the end, I know that God keeps His promises. He is with us no matter what – no matter if we understand the ‘whys’ or not. He is the keeper of His covenant promises: “If you listen to My voice I will keep you well, for I AM the Lord who heals you.” (Jehovah Rapha) Through the whole experience, this has been my encouragement. I know that God had a divine purpose for what I went through, and He is still working on me.

The whole story:

Heart of the Matter 1 – An Amazing Picture

Heart of the Matter 2 – God’s Perfect Timing

Heart of the Matter 3 – Spiritual Bypass



  1. William Kendall says:

    Quite an ordeal to have had to go through.

  2. Pamela Mytroen says:

    I’ve enjoyed reading about your heart journey, Tracy. It is so powerful how God spoke to you and I find it very encouraging too.

  3. Sharon Espeseth says:

    Your treatment during this period seems totally reprehensible, Tracy. I think back to the care my dad got in a hospital for his heart surgery during the 1980s. I know medicine has made strides in heart treatment, but in comparison to Dad’s post-surgery care back then, this is troubling. I am sorry you had to go through this, but I thank God that you have come a long way in your healing and recovery. Bless you.

    1. tracykrauss says:

      It wasn’t all bad. 🙂 In fact, most of the care I received was exceptional and I am very thankful for the caring staff, especially in Vancouver at St. Paul’s.

  4. Sidy says:

    And even though it’s excruciating, you know it’s the best option.

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