Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Pay Heed

Off of the heart topic folks.  We are only 10, yes count them 10 days from Late Night at the Phog.

Just to get you in the mood:

And for my Vegas friend Deb because she never could do this while we were at KU and she certainly needs to learn it before KU plays in the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship game the first Monday of April in 2014, the fight song clap:

Just to relate this to heart disease and stroke, fifty-six hospitals have earned AHA/ASA and The Joint Commission comprehensive Stroke Center certification. Rock Chalk to KU Med being the Kansas hospital to receive the certification!


Monday, September 23, 2013

I AM Strong Enough to Live It!

Someone posted this picture to Facebook last night and now I can't even remember who.  I suppose that is the cholesterol drug side effect of not being able to remember.  At least I blame my forgetfulness on that because it is convenient to do so! Really, being 44, oh so close to 45 at this point and super busy could possibly be the other reason but I still blame it on the cholesterol medication!  I have thought about this statement all day.  Every time I have had a meeting to hammer out issues today, every time I wondered if I pulled a muscle in my back or if that is a sign of another heart attack I have thought about it.  Whatever my issue was today, I thought about this.  Time after time since my heart attack I wonder who in the hell handed me this life and why in the hell they thought I was strong enough to live it. 

Perhaps I was given this life because I am strong enough to live it. Of course I suppose part of that is my fault as it is not a huge surprise that I grab the injustice of an early massive heart attack by the horns and wrestle with it publicly. Perhaps the one that hands out these lives knows this about me.  Perhaps they knew I would just be pissed enough that this happened to me that I would shout it from every corner of the internet and tell every person that asks so that no one else has to do this.

Perhaps the one that hands out these lives sends the precious ones of you that follow my journey and guides you to send me inspirational messages on my worst days.  The days that I am so tired of having heart disease and dealing with all the bullshit it entails.  On those days, a day much like today,  I usually come home to a message from someone I have known for thirty years telling me they got help and they are ok because of everything I write. On my days when I haven't slept because I was afraid I might not wake up, one of you that reads this or follows me on Facebook reminds me why I was given this life.  On my worst days because of this life, I am also the most grateful for this life.  I am grateful for you that read this be you my closest friend or total stranger for letting me know that I have made a difference in the way you choose to live your life, or that I have made a difference in your decision to seek medical care.

I suppose in some weird demented way , I am actually grateful to the one that hands out these lives. So, thank you whoever you are that hands out these lives for this life (even though there are days I secretly hate you).  Thank you for giving me the chance to make the difference in someones decision to call an ambulance.  Thank you for allowing me to be in the back of the minds of those that are trying desperately to ignore medical symptoms that they really know they shouldn't ignore.  Most of all, thank you for showing me that I am indeed strong enough to live the life you gave me.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Color Run Part 2

If you have followed along you know I did the Color Run in June in K.C.  Today, the Color Run visited Lawrence, KS.  As I bleed Jayhawk Crimson and Blue, we certainly could not miss the Color run in the town of the Jayhawks!  It was a much more laid back atmosphere than K.C. and we had a great time.  I walked again with my heart sister, Julie.  I met her through the AHA.  We started out at at great bakery, Wheatfields.  They have the best no oil, no dairy bread ever!  I buy the Walnut Sage bread:)

We made our way down to Watson Park where they had closed Kentucky and Tennessee streets.  We had such a fun time.  I am eternally grateful that I get to take part in these things.  With the massiveness of my heart attack, easily I could have lost the ability to do these things.

It was a great start to the day in a town I love!

Monday, September 9, 2013

30 Things About My Invisible Illness You May Not Know

National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week is September 9-15, 2013.


This year, the campaign organizers at Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness week have provided a 30 Things Template for folks like me that like to share.  Here is mine: 

1. The illness I live with is:  Heart Disease

2. I was diagnosed with it in the year: 2011

3. But I had symptoms since: Looking back probably two years prior to suffering a  STEMI or "Widow Maker" heart attack.  I was so tired but I chalked it up to being a working mom with no ability to say no to anyone ever when they asked me to do something.  The tiredness was overwhelming.

4. The biggest adjustment I’ve had to make is: Changing my eating and exercise habits.  I loved nacho cheese and hated to exercise.  Now I have to hate nacho cheese and love exercising.  Two years later I am still getting used to this.

5. Most people assume: I am not sick because I don't look sick.  I battle heart disease every day but refuse to let it get the best of me.

6. The hardest part about mornings are: Remembering to take all those cardiac meds that my docs say I should take or risk dying.  I never was much of a medicine taker!

7. My favorite medical TV show is: Not to age me, but Diagnosis Murder

8. A gadget I couldn’t live without is: My Samsung Galaxy S4It tracks the 10,000 steps for me that I make sure to take every day.  I challenge you to track your steps and take 10,000 each day!  Plus it keeps me totally connected to my social media!

9. The hardest part about nights are:  Going to bed hoping I wake up in the morning.

10. Each day I take 7 pills & vitamins. They keep me alive but I have a real love/hate relationship with them!

11. Regarding alternative treatments I:  Wholeheartedly am for them.  I believe in treating heart disease with nutrition along with my meds--See The China Study and  How To Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease.

12. If I had to choose between an invisible illness or visible I would choose: Invisible even though folks forget I am really ill.

13. Regarding working and career: I still work hard at my job and I rock at it! I have to have a keen self-interest in keeping my stress level under control.  I try not to work more than 40 hours a week and I try to leave work at work.  Not always easy--I challenge you to work on this too!

14. People would be surprised to know: That I never saw myself as being an outspoken advocate of heart disease awareness.  It is important though:)  I know those of you that have known me are laughing that I never figured myself to be this outspoken:)

15. The hardest thing to accept about my new reality has been: That it is my new reality.  You have no idea how many days I wish I could go back.

16. Something I never thought I could do with my illness that I did was: Go to the Casting Call for the American Heart Association Go Red Ambassadors.  I am so proud to have joined them and be able to tell my story.

17. The commercials about my illness:  Are geared towards men and don't tell the whole truth about women's symptoms.  Ask me--they weren't my symptoms.

18. Something I really miss doing since I was diagnosed is: Living taking things for granted.  I can't do that anymore.

19. It was really hard to have to give up:  My old life.

20. A new hobby I have taken up since my diagnosis is:  Actually an old one.  I rediscovered my love for restoring old furniture.

21. If I could have one day of feeling normal again I would: Really, really cherish it.

22. My illness has taught me: Not to take life, health, family and friends for granted.  It has taught me to learn to say no when I don't have the energy and to eliminate those that cause drama in my life. 

23. Want to know a secret? One thing people say that gets under my skin is: It isn't healthy not to eat meat.

24. But I love it when people:  Let me know that they have made life changes because of what happened to me.

25. My favorite motto, scripture, quote that gets me through tough times is: Stop Chasing Ordinary.

26. When someone is diagnosed I’d like to tell them: Get through the shock and then we will talk.

27. Something that has surprised me about living with an illness is: The inner strength I didn't know I had.

28. The nicest thing someone did for me when I wasn’t feeling well was: Just let me bitch till I felt better about it.  I rarely take part in self-pity--my very best friends know this and indulge me on occasion. 

29. I’m involved with Invisible Illness Week because: My illness is invisible and if you met me today you would not know I was sick.  I want you to know that you might someday have an invisible illness too.  If you do, I will be there for you.

30. The fact that you read this list makes me feel:  Like I survived for a reason.  I survived so I can share my story and educate you.  My sincerest hope is you will pay attention to your bodies and be aware of heart disease.