In December, things began to change. The ablation (the doctor goes through blood vessels in your very upper leg and threads tools into your heart then heats tissue to kill irregular beating tissue) worked until mid December. Then I got to start on more medication until my heart healed enough to repeat the procedure. During this time I tried to work very part time, yet accomplished very little. In February I finally gave in to what God had been trying to tell me for months. I stopped practicing dentistry. Some may say that early retirement is great. For me, it was another spiral downward. I loved my job! I loved the staff I worked with. I loved the kids. I loved seeing families that had become friends. These people were an integral part of my life and support system and now they were gone. I felt very alone. This wasn't helping my depression, but I had faith there was a reason. I know that sounds like a conflicting statement, but that is me in a nutshell- Mr. Contradiction.
The office would forward letters and pictures families had given them for me. It was so enjoyable to read them. I could see their faces and it would bring a smile to my face and soul. The times I actually got out of the house I would often run into a family. They would also wish me well and catch me up. Almost without exception, all these families would tell me they were praying for me. I was used to doing the giving and now was on the other side. It was difficult but rewarding. People cared for me. That seems silly, but it made all the difference.
The next change was at church. Everyone wanted to help in some way. Kari and I are not very good at accepting help. We turn people down who ask to bring meals. Other offers are similarly rejected saying we are doing "fine". Eventually life became too hard for Kari and we accepted some much needed help. Members were bringing by goodies and doing yard work. Sometimes they just stopped by to see how we were doing. Now these were no longer people I went to church with, but friends. Again, I found people who cared for me!
In March I had healed enough to have another ablation. This one worked for just over a week. It was very discouraging. At this point the doctor put me on a medication with enough side effects it was like chemotherapy. It would help regulate my heart and help give me time until I could have the procedure again. It is not a fun medication. If you are in the mood to Google look up amiodarone. This helped. A few months later my heart started acting up again. Yes, I got another medication. I now have pill boxes. Not box, boxes. I was supposed to go off the last two meds in June and starts letting them leave my body so I could have another ablation. Didn't happen. I am now on them until October. Uurgh! I am having some tests run in September and I will just have to see how it goes.