Monday, March 28, 2011

Go Red Barbie-?

So I was dressed like the Go Red Barbie Doll for Shreveport, Louisiana's American Heart Association Campaign "Go Red" for women. The deal is: I bought my dress a long time ago-because I fell in love with it. Then I was given the Go Red doll as a gift because -I was a big Go Red fan and supposedly looked enough like a Barbie doll. Then when I realized that MY dress was like the Barbie dress I thought it was too weird. So after all the events I've spoken at and the attention I am tring to get toward "young" women and heart disease-I think I've found my niche. The fact is:it's kinda strange that I look enough like the doll in the first place with that dress-but to actually have a survival story of me and my journey through heart disease and the cardiac arrest-I kind of feel like-I should be the real spokes person-not only for Shreveport media but for the Barbie company itself- Its certainly not me that I want the attention for-I want to have a face to heart disease that is young enough to make a difference. The fact of the matter is- They are always so surprised that I am the one who is a survivor which cracks me up because- I suppose it's society's impression that people with chronic illnesses have to look like rag dolls and not Barbie dolls, but I feel like the rag doll on the inside sometimes. I know that it may sound conceded but its not meant to be. I am realizing God has given me this whole package as a gift and He expects me to tell the world-about His Grace and love and answering prayers-and secondly sharing the story of survival and bringing awareness to the heart associations. So here's the plan: I am posting my speech that I stood on the stage and read in front of 400 guest and media, and I know that God gave me these words and told me what to say-if He wants this to be my platform to the public so that they will listen to my story in order to "hear" all the things I say about how God is my reason I survived and how God is the only reason I have been given my daughter, the fact that God sent me our little girl just weeks after my cardiac arrest and heart surgery-I know to give me a reason to want to be alive. The heartbreak I felt over the miscarriages and the infertility and the endometriousis and the fact that I couldn't have the one thing I wanted-a child, was the worst heartache there was for me-the irony that my heart literally was breaking while getting the final diagnosis and the news that I couldn't pursue the pregnancy we had tried so hard for-our journey through the adoption process and the legal hoops we had to all jump through in order to be able to bring this baby girl home from the hospital with only weeks of learning of her existence, its all a miracle-its all Gods doing-and how can I NOT share my story?So if this is the door God is opening for me to use -I have to walk on through it. It's not for the glory of myself-its not to be held on a stage and fawned over and told how much I look like the Barbie doll-but some people might think it would be-but I am willing to be the vessel that God can use to share the word and love of Christ. Without Him-I wouldn't even be alive,and I wouldn't be a mother. So below I will post my short speech, so read on.-So here goes nothing-Here's to looking like every little girls dream-even if it is a "heart disease" Barbie doll. Ha! So Morgan Fairchild- spoke first, then a few others and then me-So with as little time I had on the stage at the luncheon-I had to manage and make the most crucial points-but remember if you need to fill yourself in on the whole long version of the story-it's all on facebook- Graciecakes with Glistening Grace.

Hello-my name is Megan Heiserman McIntyre and I'm from here, in Shreveport. I know some of you have heard my story, but some of you haven't. It's important to understand as you see me stand before you dressed like this Barbie Doll, looking young and vibrant; underneath this I am struggling to survive with heart disease. I stand here strong enough to be your Go Red Barbie today but only after a long journey to get here.I want to remind you that things aren't always what they seem and appearances can be deceiving. Heart disease is becoming known as the "silent killer" among women but today I want to break the silence and give a voice and face to the definition of Heart Disease. At 21 I was diagnosed with a heart condition after symptoms of fatigue,dizziness,and blurred vision prompted me to see my doctor. With no family history, we were certainly surprised at the lifestyle changes I would have to make and the amount of medication I would take on a daily basis. 24 months ago, I was behind the wheel of my car when I suddenly lost consciousness with no warning. I later found out I was one of the lucky 5% that survive a "sudden cardiac arrest". I was scheduled for heart surgery a month later and told that I would never be able to pursue my dream of carrying my own child. At the age of just 26, I suffered a "sudden cardiac arrest", had heart surgery and adopted our miracle baby girl who gave me strength to survive the surgery and work almost daily in cardiac rehab to regain my strength, so that I could be the mother I always wanted. God has a purpose for me to tell this story. That it can happen to anyone at any age and can drastically change your life. The Shreveport American Heart Association has been instrumental in raising money for research such as our own LSU med center and finding out ways to prevent heart disease in young women and in giving medication to the people like me who's lives depend on that research. The Heart Association is a vital part of that research and in educating the public on the new standards of heart disease in young women. I urge you today to consider the possibility that my story could be your story or your mother,sister or friend. Please help us raise money to continue this research for Shreveport Survivors like me. Thank you.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Our beloved Angel is returning home...

wow- where do I begin? The easy story is that Justin and I met in HS at Evangel when we were 15 years old- by the following Christmas we were 16 and he bought me a puppy with a bow around her neck for my present- of course he'd done his research and planned a big dog for my protection when we would eventually move to college and grow up etc- then he researched the fact that labs temperment was good for kids for the fact that we would have kids some day when we grew up- and she was soposed to stay with him and his family week days and come to my house when Justin came. As a puppy and a lab of course she chewed everything- and one day Justin called and said he was done- I either had to come get her to live with me and my parents or he was giving her away-I know hed never have done that but nonetheless my mother and I drove out to Justin and his moms to pick up our beloved pet. Then she became a fixture in our home. So all through HS we had our shared dog and she was our child- and we took her everywhere. Then the day came for college- and Justin went onto live in Illinois before me since he had to start football that summer and when I follwed- the places in Illinois didnt allow pets- since it was a college town the only places that were available renting spaces were further away from the school and more expensive and had waiting list- so I went without her. Then Angel stayed with my parents in the port city. 6months without her and we finally got the condo wed been waiting on and were so excited to finally bring her home to us- all the many many 15hours or 18hr road trips to Illinois and Shreveport and Misourri time after timeAngel went along. I have never been on a road trip that Ive not taken her- when we go to hotels we take her- she is our child. Then we got Angel a dog-that was the maltiese Bruizer. long story there- but nonetheless he was a rescue-so Angel had always been considered a child and Bruizer the pet. So then when Justin and I were apart for that bit both dogs stayed with me. Then Angel was diagnosed with Breast cancer- even though she had been spayed and her chances were slim in the first place- she got breast cancer- so since at that time we had been angery with one another we wernt speaking regularly and when she was diagnosed I was so upset that I called him to share the news. I was thinking that she would die within days and that he deserved to see her and spend some time with her as well- so continued months of joint custody with our dog. Every weekend he was to meet me to pick her up and by weekends end he dropped her off and so on and so on. Then as each time we met- we started talking a bit more and more and each visit that we were exchanging the dogs bed and bowls and medicines and such we were rebuilding the marriage that I thought we had destroyed. We because of Angel- were forced to get along "for the children" and forced to talk and see eachother and I let him into my life a bit more and more each time- then finally came the day we offically were moving back into together and living as the McIntyre family again- and Angel was so happy to be reunited in our california king sized bed right between us. We have always bought our cars- with her in mind- was her black hair gonna stick to tan interior? So I have always gotten black- the the bed size- I thought about Justin being 300lbs football player and Angel and Bruizer sleeping with us so we opted for the california king sized bed to fit us all in. Then our funiture and sheet sand everything has always been planned around Angel. Every year we have been suprised that it was another year with our Angel-Then as her cancer progressed so came the tumors and eventually the cancer spread to her bones and the vet said it was all out of her control and Angel still kept trucking. Shes been hanging on this whole time- now in pain, and skinny from nutrition issues and loosing her hair she stays misrable and uncomfortable and sometimes cant breath and pants constantly because she has so many tumors inside her body-that she is running out of room, she has the seizure like twitches and cant ever get comfortable and its obvious that shes misrable, she grunts and moans and shakes and scratches and pants and sometimes latley has accidents in the house. Its been a few years of pretty hard work to keep her comfortable and with us- but she is our first born child. We introduced Angel to her little sister "Sara-Grace " when we brought her home the first time- and now after so many many months of this we finally are both mutually agreeing that its time. We always said from the begininng that if we both felt like it needed to be done we had to agree on it-and we have sat on this decision awhile. I have spent countless months in tearful prayer begging God to take her in her sleep- I would cry out to God to please please please dont make me do this and just take her peacfully in the night- and night after night it hasnt happened- and its come to a point where we have trouble leaving the house- when we leave sometimes even a minute theres an accident of some sort or a mess shes made or something shes gotten into- the yelling and fussing at her because all the training and smarts she used to have she acts like she never knew because she cant see or hear us very well-
So as tears are falling from my eyes while I write this- I am finally announcing out loud that we have made an appointment for Angel to meet her maker on Saterday. So after years of joking we have always said she could have all the choclate and fast food and all the stuff dogs are not soposed to have before wed have to do this and true to our word we will spend all day tomorrow letting her eat til her hearts content, and making the local roundfor our families to say their goodbyes. I cant understand why God makes us go through this-I struggle with the guilt I feel over telling myself I am murdering my child- and I am a horrible person for doing this to her although I know I am actually doing this for her and because I want her to be healed and whole again in heaven. So this weekend- we will spend with our family- in tearful goodbyes and talking about memories . And Saterday morning we will drive to my parents to take Sara-Grace to stay while we take Angel to the vet. The plan is to stay with her but I dont know how I can do this and stay calm- I dont want to upset her and make her panic-but I cant help knowing she will never wake back up-so as Jusitn pointed out, its another first for us. So many things we have only experienced together-we started this journey with her and now we have to finish together. My God I cry out to you for peace in my spirit and peace for my husband and our families- God please give me the strength to be there with her as she falls asleep and please give us peace when when come home to the quiet house. Please heal our broken hearts as we come back home to pack up her bowls and cloths and beds and give us the strength to lean on eachother. God heal my heart- because it is breaking. God make me whole again because I feel like a part of me is being torn out of me and I ask you to remind me of how much good and how many things we have to be happy about and over the next few days and weeks and months I ask- when everyone else forgets about her- and has moved onto never remember her with us- I ask that you allow us to look fondly on our memories we have shared with her. We thank you for all the years we have had with this Angel of ours and thank you for the calm spirit she has provided for our household when we needed it- we thank you for the common bond we share with her and the active role she played in putting this family back together. God as hard as this is- I ask you to take her home.

Grace-by the grace of god I AM good enough!!!!

You know that we have been throught quite alot, God has given us so much- He has restored our marriage, from when I thought our mistakes were unmendable and the hurt we'd caused. Then now to be still standing the test of time- and in just 8 more months celebrating our 10 years of being married to eachother. Then to find out that my health was the way it was and although that hasn't changed-God has allowed me to learn how to put the tradegy of bad health to good use- and educate women and the statistics of heart disase and then to find out that the pregnancy we had tried so much for and spent so many hours in the fertility clinic and so much of our money to find out that after half way through our exciting time of expecting our baby-that we would ultimatly not be ending that pregnancy with a child. Then to be told that we wouldn't be able to be a couple to bring children into conventionally-to having Sara-Grace thrown into our hearts. Not to mention-our home, we own, our cars we own, and all our worldly possesions that are paid for without oweing any debt to any credit card companies or lawyers or anyone. To be just sitting back and able to enjoy eachother and our child and be able to give back to God by doing what He has asked of us- by all of us: to simply lead others to him
My husband, Justin asked me. Do I ever wonder why we have been given so much? When we have done so much wrong? Meaning the peroid of time we did everything possible to eachother to destroy our marriage when we were younger- why. When we had sinned so terribly and been so wrong and both fallen so far away from God. Why? Why now would we have so much-and why now after all that wrong-would all our prayers be being answered now? What have we done to deserve any of this? I said but Justin- thats the point. We ARE the defination of GRACE. God gave us Grace- because He knew we'd never be perfect enough to come to Him alone- that we all would need the forgiveness and the blood Jesus shed for us- that WE, OUR story and our past-had to be aweful and we have to have so much shame and guilt or we wouldn't understand the sacrifice that God really did do for us-in giving us His son. I was explaining that- now- I'm starting to understand that church and God isn't about- filling out your head count- and making sure you are accounted for in your church pew every sunday- that it doesnt matter where you are- and thats why I alternate between 3 diffrent area churches depending on my mood- because I don't care who is preaching and I don't care who sees me and where I am- because the reason I go- is so that I can be in the house of God and I can stand in a place where I know He is present and I can let myself fill my spirit back up with all the goodnesss you feel when you do go-I go to fuel my tank so that I can go back out into this world the rest of the week and feel prepared to fight the temptation and spiritual warfare that I will be up against the next week. I reminded him that sure, we have a gas station that we frequent up the street- that we have a favorite place thats close that we'd rather go to- but we run out of gas all over town- and we have to stop and fill up our tank every where- and it doesn't really matter when it all boils down gas is all gas- whether it's Shell or Chrevron. And its between me and God- its about me and God- and church isn't about making sure you sit in that chair on your best behavior, and having to only attend church if you DIDN'T sin all week-church- is just the place - we congregate,together as individual sinners- to knee before God and admit that we sinned the week before and to praise Him for giving us this gift of GRACE to allow us to walk in His presence. So yes- as you may sit here and know our own personal journey- and you may think back on your own personal sin and think that you are not able to go before God -remember thats exactally what He wants of us- to come and be before Him. Me and Justin and all the bad things we have ever done in our lifetime -or all the good deeds we do accompliish-or awards or donations or charity work we do-do not dictate whether or not God will love us- Come to Him as you are and by the GRACE of God we are all covered...