Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The 2013 Kansas City Heart Walk

Last Saturday morning was the 2013 Greater Kansas City Heart Walk.  My company had a team.  We had quite a turnout and quite a good time!  My mom and dad arrived from Florida on Friday so they were able to walk with us.  My kids and husband got up at 4:45 that morning so we could arrive early to help set up.  I was so proud of my girls.  They help set up all of the trash cans and recycling boxes at the tents.  They helped set up the SMMC tent and then the Hy-Vee refreshment tent. 

Once again this year, I am totally humbled by the support I have received.  It never ceases to amaze me that I have such awesome friends and family!

I did not share here what I shared on my personal Facebook page last Friday until today.  The day was unexpectedly emotional for me and very personal.  My gratitude for life expands each time I see the support of those I know and love. When an event like this comes around I become unusually emotional and it was a day of grateful, happy tears last Friday. I recovered from that and share some of it now:

 The 2013 Kansas City Heart Walk is tomorrow. We still have folks signing up for our team today. I am very thankful today. I have received such fabulous support from my co workers at  friends and family and am excited to have them by my side as we walk to raise money to further the education and research efforts for heart disease. Heart disease comes in many forms, mine happened to be in the form of a heart attack that I was so lucky to survive. Tomorrow I walk for my friends Beth G, Jen T, and Stacy C., that is all I can say about that without tears ladies. I also walk for my newly found Heart Sisters Keri, Liz, Shelly and Julie--what a wonderful fabulous group of ladies I have met through the American Heart Association - Kansas City! I am walking for my late father-in-law. He died of a heart attack before I met my husband and my girls and I never got the chance to know him. I know I would have liked him because he did such a fabulous job in helping to raise the wonderful man I married! I am walking for me because I narrowly survived my heart attack. I walk for YOU. I walk for YOU because it is my sincere hope that heart disease NEVER touches any of your lives. I hope that through my efforts and the efforts of others that we will further education and further research so that we will some day see that heart disease is no longer the number one killer in the United States. I look through the names on my friends list of FB and realize how long I have known some of you and how blessed I am to have such long time friends. More importantly, how blessed I am to still be here to enjoy these friendships! Love to you all!!  A very special thank you to my friend and co-worker, Rebecca! You rock and I have tears now! 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


Recovery is a funny term.  When I first had my heart attack, they are literally running with me down the hall to the cath lab (I suppose that should have been an indication of the seriousness of my situation but it was not), and I ask them, "How long will it take to recover from this?"  They told me right then usually about two weeks.  So, my initial thought was it would be two weeks and I would be recovered.  It turns out, the actual physical recovery from the stent placement was about two weeks.  At that point, I could have never understood what recovery actually meant.

Eighteen months later, I understand just how funny the term recovery is.  There are so many definitions of recovery.  The initial recovery from the heart attack in ICU, the continuing initial recovery from the actual cath procedure and continued physical recovery with cardiac rehab.

The biggest struggle for me in recovery has been the literal recovery from my old life, after all, my old life is likely what caused my heart attack.  I have had to change all of the habits that are the least bit unhealthy. 

There is recovery from the intense fear that has engulfed me.  The fear that I would die from the side effects of the first heart attack or that I will have a second massive heart attack and not recognize the signs because they can be so different.  The recovery from the emotional impact is far harder than the recovery from the physical impact.  The emotional impact is ongoing and far reaching.

I have come to understand that with heart disease that there is no end to the recovery.  There is only a new phase of the recovery and with each new phase I have a new respect for heart disease.