What Was My Purpose?
November 2007 was the second turn of my life. I had been having some chest pain that was becoming unbearable so the Texas Children's Hospital was the next place for me to go find out why.
As soon as possible
I remember leaving that day with a heart monitor on. It was very uncomfortable but something I had to do. I wore it for a week, showers were limited, and sleeping was not long due to discomfort. A week later the doctor called and told my mother I needed to come in as soon as possible, the next day if I could.
Replayed that day
I lived two hours away from the hospital so preparation was necessary, but in this case, it wasn’t much. My mom, stepdad, and siblings woke up early that morning and drove with me to the hospital. I replayed that day in my head for years, that’s how I can tell it so well.
Filled with anxiety
It was a dark, gloomy, slow day, filled with anxiety. I made it to the hospital, went to the 20th floor, signed in, and waited for my name to be called. The door opened and a loud voice said "Kimberly Connell". Honestly, I don’t know if she said it loudly but in my ears, it was like someone had said it over the intercom.
Something was wrong
I walked to my room in the back that was assigned to me. It might sound strange but I knew something was wrong because it was a room that was in the far back when normally it was up front. I looked at the wall of all the artwork of hearts drawn by children that had been in the hospital.
The doctor walked in with some papers, sat down, and began explaining to my family and me that my heart wasn’t doing good at all. The dying risk was 30%, I was at 27% with my condition, and that I needed a pacemaker. I was 17 years old, a senior in high school almost finished, and hoping that my heart was doing better so I could go into the military - only to find out it had gotten worse.
A clear vision
The doctor walked up to the dry erase board, picked up the marker, and told us it was best if he drew a clear vision to help everyone understand what was happening with my heart. He drew a normal heart size and then drew mine. I remember my eyes getting big, my mother shouting out "Oh God!", my siblings gasping. Their reactions were because my heart was much larger than a normal heart.
He continued by explaining that my heartbeat was at a normal pace, but the problem was I would have several heartbeats before I had a regular one. The muscle was too thick and not enough blood was flowing through, so it was fighting to continue which could lead to sudden death and why I was diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
What was my purpose?
I left that hospital so lost confused, scared, sad, depressed, and wanting to give up. It seemed like the older I was getting, the worse my sickness was becoming, and if it was only getting worse, what was my purpose of pushing?
Do you know someone living with kidney cancer?