not over it

I thought I was doing well living a “normal life”, watching my health doing light exercises. Well apparently, I am not. Why? Well a few months ago, I had to go to the hospital. I was having severe chest pains. At first when I felt this sharp pain I ignored it. I had ignored it because I thought “oh it’s nothing”. ( I know what you’re thinking….stupid why are you ignoring chest pains??) I had ignored this pain for a couple of hours. It was our anniversary, DC and I decided to go out for supper.

While we were at supper I continued to have these sharp pains, it felt like it was shooting directly to the heart. DC saw me jump one time when I had really bad one and asked me if I had the hiccups. I replied no, and said I’ve had these sharp pains in the chest. DC asked me if we should go to the hospital, and I of course said no I’m fine. But DC knew better and said he was taking me to the hospital.

When we finished our supper, I know again…stupid waiting until we finished our supper but I didn’t want to go. I was so nervous. I was being stubborn. When we arrived to the Emergency, the nurse asked what was my reason for coming in. I told her that I had chest pains. She looked at me with a puzzled face, like “really?” I told her that I have a history of heart problems and an ICD. The nurse asked me questions about my symptoms and said to go straight thru the emergency so I could be looked at right away.

We went in and the emergency nurse immediately put me in a room told me to undress so she could put the heart monitor on me. Then she immediately put an IV in, this all happened within 10 mins. I couldn’t believe how quickly they were attending to me. They told me they take any chest pain very seriously and do not take any chances. Well this made me worry, I started to panic and I started to cry because I didn’t want something to happen again. Made me think about when I first collapsed and when I was shocked. All the emotions of that made me cry and I realized I wasn’t over it. I wasn’t over the trauma.

The doctor came in and did an assessment, checked my heart, ordered a blood test to make sure I didn’t have a blood clot forming, sent me for an ECG. Nothing showed any signs of a heart attack or stroke, the next thing the doctor suggested that it might be my lead from the ICD. He said that it might be possible the lead moved and is giving me little electrical shocks.

I started to panic, I looked at DC and just burst in to tears. I did not want to hear that! The doctor said I needed a CT scan done to see if the lead moved but couldn’t do it until the morning when the tech would come in. DC and I went home for a few hours to sleep, which I didn’t get much of. I just of course worried. Finally morning came and we went back to the hospital for the scan.

After a few hours at the hospital I had a cardiologist come look at the scan results and told me that the ICD did not move! I was so relieved!! But we still didn’t know why I was getting sharp chest pains until after one of the nurses said she had similar pains but it was because she was exercising too hard. Well! It was like a doorbell went ding! In my brain and I knew! I knew why I was getting the pain! I was helping DC put boards down for our deck. I remembered, I was holding the board too long and I said to DC to hurry because it was making my arm sore.

The doctor had given me some medication to help with the pain but said if it still persisted I was to come back. After we left the hospital, I couldn’t believe by holding one board would hurt me that much and made me realize, I am still not over it and it will be one day at a time……….

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New Year’s Resolution 2011

My New Year’s Resolution for 2011 was to start running, since my brother K and sister-in-law M, inspired me. I pretty much started right away in January.  I had started on the treadmill because where I live it’s not all that great weather, plus I didn’t want to run and freeze my butt haha, I’m kinda a wimp when it comes to winter.

Like I said I started to run and I ended up getting the Couch to 5K app on my iPhone and by the way if you are wanting to start running this app is the perfect way to start! (well I think so anyways).

After about a month of running on the treadmill, the weather started to warm up, and on Feb 15th I headed outside and ran!  Let me tell you, what a difference I felt from running on the treadmill to outside! The ground didn’t help your feet and the air hit my lungs like a ton of bricks! but I did the full 5K that day and I ended doing a time of approx 44 mins! I was so proud of myself because I didn’t think that I could run at all and here I did 5K!! I was so happy and proud that the next day I did it again! I know you aren’t supposed to run back to back like that, but I couldn’t help myself, and got a time of 38:50!

I knew then that I was going to full fill my New Year’s Resolution and I signed up for the Brandon’s YMCA Spring Run. I couldn’t wait for May 29th to come! I was running at least three days a week to prepare myself for this 5K run. Each time I was running to prepare, I saw myself improving and feeling great with accomplishment! I also really started to enjoy running it almost became an addiction haha.

May 29th came and boy was I ever nervous! I have never done any running, especially with other people and so many too! I ran the 5K in 37:11, at first I was kinda disappointed in myself with the time, but my close friend who ran the 5K with me said,” why are you disappointed? you did it! you said you were going to run this year and you did it! who cares about the time!” At that moment, I totally agreed with her, I did do it! I was so proud of myself and her for accomplishing our goal that year! and we did it together!

After we had done the run, I went home and talked with K and M, they were really proud of me, then they said to me now your next goal to run a half a marathon with us! I laughed………….


the change

From the last post I had said that we had a change in 2007, the change started actually in 2006 when my hubby decided he needed a career change and it was something that he has always wanted to do, but because of marriage, kids etc he wasn’t able to do this career change until June 2006.

DC (hubby) had wanted to apply for the government, he did all the testing that was required and passed with flying colors. He got the official word that he would be hired, which wasn’t until Feb 19,2007! Yes I know what you’re thinking, that was a long process, and yes it was! Anyways, when he got the official date that he would be hired, he had to go for training. When finished he would have to move from Alberta to Manitoba where he would work.

Needless to say , we weren’t all that happy to move two provinces away. Since we had lived in Alberta for just about 17 yrs! The kids (which we have 2 girls and a boy, C 15 yrs, D 12 yrs and E 7 yrs) had been born where we were , went to school since Kindergarten, had lots of family and friends. Where as we didn’t have any friends or family in Manitoba. It was a hard difficult decision but we all understood that DC wanted to do this since he graduated high school.  We had moved to a rural town in south-western Manitoba of August 2007, we still live in Manitoba, and it’s been almost 5 yrs, it has gone quicker than I imagined! The kids had surprisingly settled in quite nicely, made new friends and didn’t mind living here after all!

DC & I  have made lots of friends here and love them all but it’s not like having family, which we are now trying to have a transfer to be near family due to my episode that happened to me this past January. We are hoping that the government will allow us to move and make it easier for us than doing other options.

Like I said before in the last post, I have lived with MVP (Mitral Valve Prolapse) for so many years and had surgery, went back to my regular routine again. So when we moved to Manitoba, I still continued to see my Cardiologist back in Alberta since I had seen him for so long that there was no reason for me to switch to another Cardiologist because it was only once a year, and Manitoba Health was going to allow me to see him once a year. Again every year that we have been here in Manitoba, the same routine by my Cardiologist. When I had my surgery in 2004, I felt that I was over weight and decided to join Curves, to help me be at a healthy weight. My starting weight was 158 lbs, when I had my surgery I ended up being at 149 lbs. I had lost almost 10 lbs by surgery, I couldn’t believe it! I didn’t want my weight to start with just dropping almost 10 lbs , which I felt was unhealthy! So I went to Curves and did all the exercises and watched my calories etc. I went to Curves for almost 3 yrs and maintained my weight at 147 lbs and just stayed there! The Cardiologist told me that a healthy weight for me was around 135 lbs and not to go dramatically up or down due to my heart condition.

I found out that we had a Curves here, where we live but they had inconvenient times, so I stopped going. I decided to go to the gym instead, I even got a local “personal trainer” to help me with all the equipment and how to use them properly so I wouldn’t hurt myself. I did that for a year, I didn’t see any progress at all! My weight stayed the same, I had only lost one inch! one inch around every part of my body and I have to admit, I was very frustrated! I decided to stop going to the gym. Until a very close friend of mine decided she was needing a change herself and started using Jillian Michael’s DVD called the 30 Day Shred. She asked me if I would be interested in working out with her three days a week.

I did take her offer because I thought to myself “why not’? I wanted to keep fit and be healthy so I joined her. We did it together for almost two yrs, three days a week! I saw so much results and so did she! We had a great time doing this together, which was nice because it got us to know each other since we both had things in common. With just using the 30 Day Shred, I had lost so many inches and weight which I was sitting at 142 lbs at the first 6 months of starting the shred. At the end of our two yrs of using the shred I ended up being 135 lbs, which was my goal! I was so happy and impressed that I did it!

While I was doing all this exercise, I was feeling great! I didn’t feel tired, didn’t have hardly any migraines, loved it! My Cardiologist was happy that I was keeping my self healthy and exercising and knowing my limits.

So 2010, my Brother K, and sister-in-law M, had started running, they both signed up for runs. K for his very first run ( which I couldn’t believe) he signed up for a half marathon, M signed up for a 5 k. They both were training for their runs and did the run Oct 2010, which I was so proud of them both that they had inspired me.

January 2011, I had decided my New Year’s Resolution, and to go through with it (this time lol) was going to run a 5 k for the very first time…………


writes from the heart

This blog is a whole new world to me, I am so nervous about what to say. I have written in a “diary” since I was 15 yrs old and I have to say 21 yrs later, going online to write all my thoughts is a little scary. It’s scary what people are going to say or think about my thoughts, I hope to reach out to people with this blog but in a sense I am writing just for me. The title that I have chosen “writes from the heart” is perfect because it’s always from my heart and what I am feeling that particular day, week, month.

Like I said earlier, I have written in a “diary” since I was 15 yrs old (even thou I do not say “diary” anymore it is a journal now), the reason I chose to write was because I wanted to write what I had done that was important to me.

I was born to deaf parents, my mother is completely deaf and my father was considered hard of hearing, (by the way I am not deaf)  I learned sign language before I learned to talk, when I was about 2 yrs old my Grandma taught me to speak properly. Other wise if my Grandma did not teach me to speak properly I would have spoke like my father who was able to speak but not clearly.

Age 12, at a school track and field meet, I was running the 100 metre and right at the finish line I just dropped to the ground and fainted. I remember the teachers waking me and asking me if I was alright and I said “yes” and went on with my day.

Later that same day I had mentioned it to my parents that I had fainted and they said that I probably didn’t eat or drink enough, since it was spring/summer and it was a hot day. A couple months later a friend of mine discovered that I had a lump on the back of my right knee. My parents were very concerned and took me to the doctor to find out what this mysterious lump on the back of the knee was and it ended  being a “baker’s cyst” which is a buildup of joint fluid (synovial fluid) that forms behind the knee. The doctor said that there were two things I could do with it, which was either they would drain the fluid with a needle or  put me under anesthetic and remove the fluid.

Well you see at 12 yrs old I was so scared of needles that I chose to go under the anesthetic route. I know, I know you’re probably thinking “huh?’ but that’s even more needles, well yes it was but I did find out at the hospital that I has a heart murmur, and that they had to do more tests to see what it was exactly that I had, at the time my parents did not fully understand what was wrong with me, I remember my mother saying to me ” you had blue lips when you were born”.

So after all the tests they had done, I had found out that I had a Mitral regurgitation (MR), mitral insufficiency or mitral incompetence is a disorder of the heart in which the mitral valve does not close properly when the heart pumps out blood. Doctors said that they would watch it over the years to make sure that the valve was functioning properly, but they also did say that had to be careful on what exercises I could do and know my limits, due to shortness of breath and dizziness, they also said that eventually depending on how hard the heart would pump, I may have to have surgery on the valve but also said “do not worry, it probably would not happen until you are old, like around in your 70’s” so I always kept up with my regular checkups with the Cardiologist, same thing would happen every year, “everything is good, see you next year” ……………..until 2004.

End of June 2004, was my regular check up with the Cardiologist and did all the necessary test like the EKG, Echo cardio-gram. My Cardiologist said again if you “do not hear from me in 10 days you know you are good until next year” I would say yes of course and be on my merry way. But on July 5th, My Cardiologist called me to give me the news that I was going to have open heart surgery because my heart was enlarging too much and that it was necessary to go in and operate on the valve. Well I was a basket case for 3 days straight I could not stop crying I was in real denial for the week, thinking that this isn’t that serious and that I wasn’t going thru with the surgery. The Cardiologist said  “No this is serious, that the surgery was booked on July 16, 2004”. I was so scared! Well after talking with the Doctor about the risks involved, (by not doing the surgery)  I decided that I was going to go thru with it.

I was slowly preparing myself for the consequences that I could face like not making it out of the surgery, how long I would stay alive if the surgery was not a success. So on July 13, 2004 (which was our son’s 5th birthday) I had to go in for my pre-op, what a day that was! I was such a wreck! I could not even concentrate on what the nurses were explaining that the Surgeons were going to do, I just kept on crying. Thank goodness my wonderful husband, best friend in whole world was there to console me and support me. Needless to say I did go thru the pre-op that day but was worried about the 3 days that were coming so fast.

As I was at home preparing for my surgery for the 16th, I got a phone call from the Hospital telling me that they had to postpone the surgery to the 27th!! I was mixed with different emotions when I heard this, first I was really happy thinking phew! I don’t have to deal with this tomorrow but then I was angry because, I was at the point of accepting the surgery and wanted it over.

On July 27th I ended up having my surgery, the Cardiologist told me that they would not know the extent of the damage to the valve until they went in and took a look. They told me that I had to decide on what valve to choose from, should the valve needed replacement. The two different options were a mechanical valve or a pig’s valve. After all the pros/cons of each I had decided to go with the pig’s valve. I went in that morning of the 27th not knowing what was going to happen to me and if I was going to come out alive to see my three beautiful children or my husband again.

Surgery was only 3 hr long and I did not know what they had done to my valve for 2 days, until my Cardiologist finally came to see me and I asked him what they ended up doing to me, he said that the valve was still in very good condition. They did not have to replace it and instead just repaired it with a ring in the middle to hold it together tight, the surgery was 95% successful! I was so thrilled!

So I was released from the hospital on July 30 th and from that day on, I improved each day, I got to drive again, and begin my regular routine. The Cardiologist said that I had to have my regular check ups like I did when I was a child. I have had the same Cardiologist for almost 17 yrs, when we lived in a rural town in Alberta, then in 2007 we had a change……………..


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