Sunday, November 17, 2013

Who are You?

I have known my dear friend Laura since 7th grade.  We were partners in crime at the University of Kansas and had a memorable time during the Jayhawks 1988 Men's NCAA Basketball Championship run.   That was my first real exposure to March Madness and now it is one of my favorite times of the year! We have recently reconnected and I am so happy that we have!

Laura rocks at being her and on her blog the other day, she wrote a great post titled Facebook: You Are What You Post.   I took her up on her challenge and looked back at not just my last three posts but the last year of posts to see if they accurately represent who I am and if I would want to be friends with me. 

If you looked at my Facebook page you would find out these things about me:

Surprise!  I am a heart attack survivor, I love my friends and family, I bleed crimson and blue--Rock Chalk Jayhawks, I am a Chief's and Royal's fan, I am a bit (ok, a lot) of a smart ass and I hate winter.

Not surprising heart disease posts lead the way on my page.  In fact, I have a whole page for my blog on Facebook, The Skinny Bitch Chronicles.  But still, on my personal page heart disease leads the way.  I figure that my friends that don't want to prevent their own heart attack can choose not to read.  My last three heart attack related posts are:
  1. Women and Heart Disease: How a Decade of Go Red Has Helped   -- I love this article.
  2. Go Red Ambassador Photo Shoot 2013 --we took pics for the Kansas City media blitz for Go Red for Women month coming up in 74 short days!  Get ready to Go red in February 2014! National Go Red for Women day is Friday, February 7 and I urge you to go red and send me pics in your red--of your company or you going red.  I will put them in my February 7 blog post and you won't want to be left out:)
  3. Via the Yale Heart Study Page, I linked an article from the Irish Mirror, New study reveals heart attack victims delaying treatment as they don't recognise symptoms.  
I love my friends and family!  My last three friends and family related posts:
  1. My daughters role in the high school musical that we attended last night.  She was, of course, fabulous!
  2. I posted about an event I am holding for my high school friend Mia who owns Mia Rosado Jewlz.  I love to support my friends in their ventures and we will be having a fun party with finger food and wine!
  3. My visit with my cousin Greg from my Dad's side of the family. We had a great time! He is a pastor in El Paso, TX and I hadn't seen him since my grandpa died.  I went downtown and we had coffee on Friday afternoon and then went to dinner in the Power and Light District. 
Of course my Jayhawk posts.  Did anyone hear that they broke a 27 game Big 12 Football losing streak by beating West Virgina at Memorial Stadium yesterday?   That was as good as a National Championship win!  Great day to be a Jayhawk!  Of course it was worthy of a goal post teardown.  I posted about Oubre committing to the Jayhawk basketball team and of course a little bit (or a lot)  about the Jayhawks beating Duke!

The Chiefs are 9-0 and my last three posts just say Go Chiefs!  All eyes from Kansas City will be on Denver tonight:
My smart ass posts are just intertwined among the rest mostly in the form of sayings and I really do hate winter!

As I look back on my page I can say that I am proud of who I am and the things that define me.  My heart attack defines and guides how I live my life.  Sometimes I lose sight of the definition it gives my life.  The biggest defining measurement since my heart attack is just living for today as you never know what tomorrow brings.  If I had laid down to rest not feeling well I would have been dead. I chose to call an ambulance and I chose right. I have to do that decision justice.

I have a cardiologist appointment coming up in December.  The afternoon of December 13 to be exact.  Even though I am currently symptom free, it causes me some stress.  If you have followed my journey from the beginning, you know I had three stents placed to relieve the 100% occlusion of my LAD the night of my heart attack.  You also know that I suffered from re-stenosis and that they placed an additional two stents inside of the original three to keep me from having another heart attack.  My next journey should my stents fail again would be CABG (coronary artery bypass graft).  I always stress out a little right before my cardiologist appointment that we will discover something that requires the CABG.  I have not been doing my best lately weight wise and nutrition wise to avoid this and my cardiologist is not going to be happy about it.  I love her and she has my best interest at heart and I am trying to do right by her.  I ate mostly vegan over the last week.  I lost 7 pounds doing it.  I am on track to hit all vegan this week.  Anyway, I have to do better with this because I know a bit too much about CABG to ever want to have it done!

The Co-Founder and COO of Medivizor reached out to me and invited me to sign up for their site and let him know what I thought.  If you sign up for their site, you input your medical history and then they match you with associated research on your disease.  They started with cancer and now are spreading out into other diseases such as coronary artery disease.  Check out Medivizor for research on your disease!

Happy Thanksgiving to all if I don't find inspiration for another post before then!  Thanks to Laura Wynn for the inspiration for this post. Laura Wynn is a professional empowerment coach who helps her clients with personal and professional development. You can check out Laura Wynn at her website Laura Wynn Empowerment Coach – Author – Speaker. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Odds and Ends and November Thankfulness

Yesterday, I met with the Director of the American Heart Association--Kansas City and the Heart Walk Director for the 2014 AHA Heart and Stroke Walk. Historically it has just been the Heart Walk, but this year it will be the Heart and Stroke walk. We laid out the plan for my company team.  Have I mentioned that I work for a great company?  They get behind Go Red and The Heart and Stroke Walk!

I urge you to put together a Heart and Stroke Walk team with the company you work for here in KC.  I can hook you up with the right people to get you started! If your company won't take part and you would like to walk, you can walk with my company.  If you don't live here in Kansas City, I can help you find your local Heart and Stroke Walk in 2014. 

I attended my first WomenHeart meeting last night and had a great time.  WomenHeart gives out red scarves at the hospital to women that are pretty ill with heart disease.  I received a bag when I was at LMH in the ICU the day after my heart attack.  If you want to learn more abut the red scarf campaign, check out their video titled The Power of the Red Scarf.  They have many chapters in every state and are a great support group for women with heart disease.  Well, unless you are in Ohio and then they only have one chapter.  It happens to be in my hometown of Akron, OH.  I find it odd there is no chapter in Cleveland or Cincinnati given the medical facilities they have in those towns. If you know of any women in those towns that are heart disease survivors and would be interested in starting a WomenHeart support group, they should check out the WomenHeart website or get them in touch with me and I can help.

On another note, I see on Facebook that people are taking every day in November to tell what they are thankful for.  Not being the most organized person in the world, I have already missed the first four days of this.  It also dawns on me that I am mostly thankful for the same things every single day of November.  So, instead of list them out one by one during the month on Facebook, I thought I would do it all today right here:
  •  Every November, I am thankful for birthdays.  On the 10th, I get to turn 45.  What a gift that is that I get another year!  This leads into the fact that I am thankful for my life every single day.
  • I am thankful for my family.  I have about the best family anyone could have and I am thankful for each one of them.
  • I am thankful for my friends--each and every one of them.  They are fantastic people most of whom I have known for 30 years or more!  Lucky me:)  Those of you that I haven't known for thirty years or more, I intend to keep you as friends for as many more years as I have left!
  • I am thankful for my doctors.  I am thankful for their wisdom.  I am thankful that someone wanted to be a doctor and now uses their lifelong passion to take care of me.  It helps me continue to be thankful for birthdays.
  • I am thankful for my heart sisters because they get it.
Each one of these things I am not only thankful for each day of November, but each day of December, January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September and October.

There are smaller things that I am thankful for in the last week:
  • I am thankful that I did not burn the house down when I caught a fry on fire in the oven last week. It is those great domestic skills I have.  I'm sure it was quite comical to watch me fish a burning fry out of the oven with grill tongs while the kitchen is filling with smoke! The commentary coming out of my mouth was probably pretty colorful as well!  Just a day in the life of my kitchen adventures:)  Actually, I am probably thankful every time I come out of the kitchen not having had to call the fire department or make a trip to the ER bleeding to death (especially now that I am on a lifetime of blood thinners!).
  • I am thankful the Chiefs are 9-0.  After all the years of being a Chiefs and Browns fan while they both sucked so bad, what fun it is to be a fan of a winning team!
  • Speaking of a winning team, I am thankful that Jayhawk Basketball season is upon us!  I sit here writing this with Jayhawk Basketball live from the Phog on my TV.
  •  I am thankful in the last week that Jayhawk football is almost over.  I love the Jayhwaks but to be a fan of Jayhawk football has always been as painful as the Chiefs and Browns.  As much as I wish for it every year, I am not sure KU will ever be a football school.
Yes, these are more superficial and shallow things to be thankful for, but the fact that I am around to be thankful for them is a miracle all in itself!  This thing called heart disease dictates you be thankful for even the shallow and superficial things!

So, happy November thankfulness to all of you!  May you each  find the things you are thankful for and live not taking those things for granted.