Friday, August 27, 2010


Do you believe in miracles? Or more importantly,
Do you believe everything happens for a reason?

My senior year of High School, Dec of 2005 to be exact, I was diagnosed with Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM).

Rewind one year previous to that, Oct of 2004...

I was living in Connecticut with my Aunt Armenay and Uncle Norm. It was the day after Halloween, a Sunday, and my cousin Natalie went to wake me up for church. (Because I wasn't use to early morning seminary etc, she was in the habit of being my own personal alarm clock...yes, she loves me. She was even sweet enough to give me 5 extra min when I asked, or when she could tell I wasn't ready to get up). Anyway, back to this particular cousin made her attempt to wake me up but I didn't respond. Thinking it was one of those mornings I needed an extra few min she went back into the bathroom to finish getting ready. Sure enough a few minutes later she was back in my room trying to wake me up. I still didn't respond. After trying a few different methods with no response at all she called to her mom and dad for help.

Don't worry people, I obviously did not die...I wouldn't be writing this if I had.
Me and my cousin Natalie at my wedding.

After a few minutes of my Aunt and Uncle trying to wake me up, getting the same unresponsiveness, they decided to call my parents and see if this was normal or not. My parents told them No and to maybe try a more drastic Still nothing. By this point they decided to call the paramedics. I had no color, was limp, unresponsive, and not looking good. If I remember the story correctly the paramedics got there and started running their tests, asking several times I possibly could have over dosed, or if there was anything they knew of that may be the cause. I'm a good girl though =) No drugs or anything dangerous or unhealthy for me.

After running an ECG (Elecro Cardio Gram) they discovered my cardiac electric impulses were very abnormal. It looked similar to, "An 80 year old man's heart after several heart attacks." Finally, as they were loading me onto a gurney to take me to the hospital, my Uncle in desperation, took my younger cousin Drew into his bedroom to say a prayer. He said he pled with the Lord to let me open my eyes and be ok. When he told me the story he emphasized all he wanted was me to open my eyes and be ok...or something along those lines. When he returned to my bedroom my eyes were open and I was finally awake and responsive.
My sweet Uncle Norm and Aunt Armenay.

The rest of the story I remember some parts very clearly and other parts are super hazy. I remember hurting all over and I wanted my Mom and Dad, of course. I remember them telling me my ECG wasn't normal and they needed to monitor me and run more tests at the hospital.

The next several months consisted of me doing almost every heart test known to man, and left every doctor flabbergasted. They had never seen anything like me. Ever. They sent my reports to University of Columbia and every other Hospital in the area. None of them were able to diagnose me and eventually told me, "Well, it must have just been stress...exercise a LOT and you'll be fine." HA! Idiots. However, this was how I lived the rest of my time in CT and at the end of the year returned home to Utah.

It wasn't until after this whole ordeal that I realized how very irregular my heart beat was. I'd always had chest pain, dizziness with exercise, and other symptoms but thought it was normal...everyone did sometimes. But I was acutely aware now. Then November of my Senior year I started having bad enough symptoms that my Mom made me an appointment to see a doctor. After hearing the history, seeing my results, and being flabbergasted himself he made a referral for me to see Dr. Hwang. One of the best cardiologists in Utah and very highly ranked in the US. He welcomed the challenge to my mystery heart and accepted me as his youngest patient.

This is a very long story. I apologize. Feel free to back out anytime. Haha.

I finally had an MRI and WA LA! The doctor did his magic and I was finally diagnosed. Apparently with this heart disease you are not suppose to exercise or do any type of physical exertion, or you can experience cardiac arrest (which basically means you collapse and die within seconds). I was limited to Yoga and walking. The next year or so involved constant check ups and testing several medications. Medications that made me MISERABLE. I gained weight, had fatigue, my already low blood pressure was even lower. It was awful.

Luckily, we found out this heart disease is genetic, meaning there was a chance other members of my family could have it as well. After getting a few of my siblings tested we discovered my Dad, and brothers Stefen and Jesse had it. At the time Dr. Hwang said because my left ventricle was so thick I was especially at risk for cardiac arrest...thanks to all the damage I'd done from exercising so much trying to keep it healthy all those years. But even though I felt like my life span was cut in half it didn't matter because now we could take necessary precautions to keep my other family members safe. I saw myself as a sacrifice. Haha, such a martyr. But it helped me cope. The doctor talked to me as if I was a ticking time bomb and any second could be my last. Questioning my mother when she asked about my ability to have children, he said, "Why would you want to have grandchildren with a heart disease like this?" My life felt like it was taken from me, but if not for anything else...I was comforted my brothers and Dad could find out so they could prevent it from getting bad like mine.

That's my past history...

I am now 22 years old. Still alive and after seeing a few different doctors to get second opinions, I know my life is not even close to being over. My little brother Jesse has died from Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy. He woke up one morning and just as the doctor said collapsed suddenly and within a matter of seconds passed from this world to the next, changing all of our lives forever.

Are you ready for the miracle?

I had a check up a couple weeks ago and yesterday spoke with my new doctor about the results. They showed my Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy is gone. My echo and ECG are still abnormal which still has some concerns but my previous diagnosis was it was never there. This is unheard of! It's a medical phenomenon. This heart disease does not just "go away." But for did.

I sit here, tears filling my eyes, wondering how is that possible? How is it possible that MY diagnosis led to the discovery of my families history of HCM. And now I no longer have it? I am confident that it is God's will. Do I still have trials regarding my heart in my future? Most definitely. I am now in the process of doing gene testing to see if I might have the gene that causes sudden deaths. But am I afraid...not in the slightest. Do I believe, do I know, God is aware of me?...He knows what needs to happen now to prepare the future? YES. This is the miracle. That I have a God that knows me. He loves me. And he is completely aware of every hair on my head and every beat of my heart.

I think that is a phenomenon.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


It's about time I came out...
I am an addict.

I feel so ashamed, so weak. But now it's out...I have an addiction. There are several kinds, none of them pretty and I am here to talk about them. Some addictions involve pills or alcohol, some tanning, or addictions to your phone...mine just happens to involve Grey's Anatomy. If you haven't heard of Grey's Anatomy, let me educate you. Simply's a drama about a group of medical doctors. It has love, it has friendship, it has death and miracles. It has every ingredient to a wonderfully intoxicating TV show...and I am doomed....DOOMED.

I am so addicted.

I'd seen people around me who had THEIR TV shows, trying to pretend it's like a hobby instead of accepting what it actually addiction. I was always so glad I wasn't tied to the TV. Once in a while I had a show I really liked but we'd just download the series and watch them at our pleasure. Have a nice movie night at home. But now, I'm one of them.

Once I had real hobbies...about a week ago, before I met Dr. Meredith Grey and the rest of the employees at Seattle Grace Hospital. I use to read, do crafts, clean, visit friends and family...I now spend my evenings curled up on the couch drooling over the lives of these (imaginary) people/surgeons. Not only is it a life long dream of mine to some day be a nurse and work in emergency medicine, saving peoples lives-making a difference, but what you feel and experience is so real. As lame as that sounds, Haha.

It's not an easy trial but it's one I have to face. Matt say's he'll be there with me through all the seasons...and luckily we're already almost onto season 3. Then the madness can end. Until then, it will be my burden to see if Dr. Grey and Dr. Shepherd ever get back together.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010



Where are we moving? I haven't a clue. When are we moving? Well, before Sept 30th, I can tell you that much. Oh snap! This is only one of the few exciting things have happened in the Bartlett home. The first...we're finally back from California and Idaho! You probably didn't even know we had left...

Side Note: We went to California to visit Matt's parents, I had a cardiologist appointment, yaddah yaddah yaddah. THEN! Straight from the airport we drove up to Idaho to visit my brother and sister-in-law with my other brother Stefen and Mama.

It was really nice to get away, but I'll tell you, I've never missed home more. I will never take for granted waking up in my own bed, in a familar place, with just Matt looking at me instead of some hispanic gardner peering in through the window. Ok, it really wasn't that bad but they're doing construction so there was always somebody out there working...and I bet they could look in and see us. My point is, there truly is no place like home! Which actually wont be home for much longer...but I'll get to that later.

Concerning Idaho. I have a confession. I think I warmed up to it a little while we were there. It was just super good visiting Artene and Caryn. We never get to see them, and this was only the 2nd time I've been to their home in Rexburg. Caryn is so cute! She's completely decorated it with crafts she did herself...I was seriously impressed. Don't ask me how she does it all while taking care of Lili, my niece. Speaking of Lili, I love her. Usually she's really shy at first but since we were in her turf she warmed up to us so much more quickly. She is seriously the cutest little girl ever! I would give some examples but then I'd spend the whole day trying to put her awesomeness into words and still come short. However, you know what they say IS worth 1,000 words? A picture. And I have 6 of those =)

Meet Lili...

Isn't she so stinking cute!! I gave her my sunglasses
during sacrament meeting. Yeah, we were all dying.

Now, just imagine her saying, "See ya, Sucka."

I taught her this pose.

This is just her being her.


She calls me "Aunt Nanny" and this is
Aunt Nanny giving her a lolli pop!

Besides what are Aunt and Uncles for if not sugar overdoses? Haha.

And now for the sad tale of why we are moving from our home. We were actually planning on living here in our nice little condo for a while. Well, until I finished school and stuff. But then we met with our friend Chris to pick up my new Mac laptop (BOOYA!! Matt surprised me with it and I have to is awesome!!) Anyway, moving on. So Chris and his fiance Katie are getting married...
Another Side Note: Chris and Katie have been long awaiting this engagement!! We are all so stinking excited!! Aaaaah!!
so they're getting married and we were just talking about that and he brings up their future new apartment. And it sounded AmAzInG! We were kind of curious. He told us he was going to pick up the key later that day and invited us to go with him and check it out. We couldn't refuse! All this talk about new, nice apartments, with actual AC (not lame swamp coolers that make everything sticky and moldy) really made us start thinking about moving. But being the responsible adults we are, we thought before we do anything we should check with our landlords and see when our contract ended etc. etc. Just to see what was up so we don't leave them hanging. Well!! We were shocked at the response we got.

Our landlord responded instantly by telling us our lease didn't end until Nov 30th, which is false, and that before we can move out we have to paint the walls back to ugly white, AND that we were really demanding and if we moved out she wouldn't give us a good referral. Whaaaaa? Ok, first of all, AFTER she opened her eye balls and looked at the contract it does end Sept 30th, like we thought it did. Second of all we were planning on painting the walls back white, hello? Remember, Brian the convict painter? We're tight. Thirdly, how in the hoozy have we been demanding?? And fourthly...lady we don't need your referral. All of our previous landlords love us. Vickie, from Belmont, pretty much wants Matt and still calls us all the time. Our landlord now should love us! We pay rent on time. We've completely cleaned and fixed up her place. Our neighbors have told us, "I've never seen that apartment look better" And believe me, I know! I baptized this place before we moved in, down to taking off all the light fixtures and vents and fans. It use to be nasty, straight up nasty.

I'm just really confused by the whole situation actually. The way she was talking...sounded like she didn't want us to move out. Like threatening us would really work? Eww. How does she think that would make us want to stay? If anything now we feel uncomfortable and awkward. we're moving no matter what =| And just like that. BAM! I have no idea where we'll be in 2 months. Wow. Trippy.

I actually think it's quite perfect. Maybe this is the push we needed to get out of Provo. Orem here we come!! Hahahahaha!!! Oh goodness. Provo to Orem? At least it's something. We looked at 2 apartments today - we act fast - after all school starts next week for me and the week after that is Fort Brider, and tomorrow we're looking at 2 more. *Sighs* I love that life keeps me on my toes.

Monday, August 2, 2010

A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief

I had one of the most humbling experiences two days ago (Sunday, August 1st 2010.) My Dad was flying in from Arizona, he had driven my grandma to her summer home, and my Mom thought it'd be a nice idea to get all the kids we could and surprise him at the airport! We had a fun drive with me, Matt and Chad all visiting in the car. I pretty much love my husband and my family! We're super awesome =) But anyway! Back to my story. When my Dad saw us all waiting there he just smiled so big, with teary eyes and gave us big hugs. I could tell it was a bitter sweet moment for him because all of his children were there but made me miss Jesse, more than I usually do.

After that we decided to visit the oh-so-beautiful temple square. And I don't care how hot and miserable the weather can't help but be happy and cheerful when you go to the temple. Besides, the last time we'd all been there like that was when Matt and I were sealed. My parents were sealed in that temple too, making it especially special to me. Except, I'm so mad because I was taking tons of pictures, as's a horrible obsession I have, and MY CAMERA CARD WAS FULL!! Bah! So I only got a few pictures of the magic. But this is where the humbling experience came in...

My Nephew Angelo.

We were all by the Eternity Pool, or whatever it's called, watching my nephews curiously touch and look at the water and this man came up to my Dad. He was nicely dressed, clean, I never would have guessed he was struggling financially, but then kind of fumbling with his hands and over his words he humbly asked my Dad if he needed a watch. My Dad rejected his offer not realizing at first but when he saw the look in the mans eyes, he knew he was really scared and hurting. After talking with him for a while my Dad found out this man's name was Daniel. He had a wife and 3 little girls waiting for him back at a Motel, all hungry and all waiting to be evicted that night at 10PM. His parents were serving a mission and when his business failed, he had no one to go to for help. And this is where we found him. Absolutely no food, no longer a place to live, and not begging...but humbly trying to sell every and any possession he had to support his family.

When Matt and I heard what Daniel and his family were struggling with it broke our hearts. Yes, my family has seen hard times, Matt's family has seen even harder times...but neither of us have ever been homeless. It only took us looking at each other to know we had to help him.

It's weird, looking back at my life in the last few months it's like I can literally see the Lord's hand in my life. It's like he's the one putting ideas in my head. Simple little thoughts I'd have...turn out to make the biggest difference, to me anyway. The fact that months before Jesse passed away, for some reason, I started taking mental notes about the way he laughed, the way he walked, the way his eyes squinted when he smiled. These are just small examples, but as small as they may seem they are so very precious to me now. Another example is this: A few weeks ago, Matt and I decided to sell all of our extra mattresses but one. We had always planned on having two extra beds for guests to sleep on but for some reason we suddenly decided, "Nah! Let's just go with one!" Since we had sold the beds, all that cash had just been sitting in my wallet. I had all these ideas about what we could do with the extra money: Put it in my savings account, put it towards our move to California, put it towards the bikes Matt and I want to get. But I kept getting this feeling to hold off. And after about a week of debating with myself I decided to wait and just hold onto it. I couldn't shake this feeling that an emergency would come up and Matt and I would need it. So, even though it ridiculous to have wads of cash in your wallet...there I was carrying it around day after day.

And it wasn't until this particular Sunday that Matt looked at me and asked, "Do you have any cash with you?" DUH! I'd only been lugging it around for weeks now. Haha. That I started to think maybe this was the emergency I was preparing for. Matt literally ran to our car and got all the cash out of my wallet. At first it made me a little nervous, I'd been saving it for an emergency...but then my heart became full of the Saviors love and I knew immediately that if it was the Lord in my situation he wouldn't even hesitate. Matt and I again exchanged just a glance before I asked if I could be the one to give it to him. My sweet husband just smiled at me and said, of course. We walked over to Daniel and I took his hand in mine. When he felt the bills in his hand he just looked at me. I probably looked like a fool, I was grinning so big, but I felt soooooooo good. I felt so much love for this man and his family. I felt like the Lord had trusted me to be a tool in his hands! It was such a strong, overwhelming feeling I can't even describe it. But I could not stop smiling. He kept thanking us over and over and all I could think to say was, "I feel blessed that we could help you." I then told him, "Go be with your family. Enjoy the sabbath with them." By now he had tears streaming down his face. Me and my family all hugged and with that decided to take the same advice and get some dinner.

Right before my Dad told us about who he'd Met, Daniel.

The whole experience was just amazing. I am so grateful for my parents! What an example they have been to me. I am so incredibly blessed to have Matt not only in my life but as my husband. He is such an example to me every day. He works so hard to provide for me and give me nice things...I feel so spoiled sometimes and it scares me because I never want to be one of those women. But how comforting to know, he really does have his heart in the right place. He spoils me because his personality is a giving one. It's comforting because as his wife, I know his love doesn't end there...he is always looking for opportunities to give to others as well. I truly am so in love with him and his beautiful spirit. How imperfect and undeserving I am, but how grateful I am that days when my weaknesses reveal themselves the most, I have a wonderful husband who is there taking me into his arms, and loving me...

no matter what.