lucky

I know I haven’t written in a long while. I haven’t been in the mood to write.

Today, January 24th…….is my lucky day. I can’t believe it’s been 2 years! It’s amazing how time goes by so quickly and yet it feels like it was yesterday. I have been quite emotional this past week coming up to my anniversary. I think I always will not because it’s sad, but because I am so grateful.

It’s not a day that goes by I don’t think about the day of my collapse (in a good way). I think about how lucky I was at the right place, the right time and how lucky it was to have the lifeguards doing their first aid meeting. The lifeguards will always be apart of my life for what they did for me. Gave me life. Again.

Lots have happened in the past 2 years, I got to drive again, ran a 5k and walked another, watched our daughter D graduate, moved to another province, was apart from DC for 9 months because we couldn’t sell our house, sold our house, got clearance to go back to work again, travelled, and to become grandparents.

I can look forward to the many years ahead, to watch my children grow and have their own families. I have learned life is short and to not take it for granted.

I am lucky!

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goodbye 2012 hello 2013

Goodbye 2012!

Finally it is over! I am so glad to see it end!

What a year it has been for my family and I.

It’s been a hard year. A year with ups and downs.

2012……… the year they said the world was going to end.

2012……… the year with the date 12/12/12

2012……… the year I learned more life lessons

2012……… the year I am thankful

2012……….the year I lost my father

2012……….the year I grew stronger

I read this quote on Pinterest

“and once the storm is over you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, in fact, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm you won’t be the same person who walked in.”

I love this quote because I feel that’s exactly how this past year has been for me. 2012 was hard, but the thing I learned the most this past year is that life is short. We need to remember to tell that special person(s) you love them, even if they say they know you do, even if you think it’s silly, or haven’t said it, or you don’t think it’s important, because if you suddenly do happen to leave this earth without saying it, the person (s) you left behind will always wonder……

Hello 2013!

They say the number 13 is lucky.

I hope 2013 will be the year of luck for my family and I.

2013……….the year we are healthy

2013……….the year of happiness

2013……….the year we never forget

2013……….the year we are all stronger

2013……….the year we will spend more time together

2013……….the year of new beginnings

Happy New Year!

My New Year’s Resolution this year is to spend more time with family and get back into doing the things I love!

Yours??????


for granted

I know everyone has taken things for granted.  You all know it’s true, we have all done it. It can’t be helped! We just tend to forget what is important until one day something or someone has affected your life somehow to remember.

As you know, I am learning to live with this ICD everyday. I have read my “manual” so many times to make sure what I am allowed to do and not allowed. I am finding it difficult because I am constantly trying to remember what items have magnets in them.    Magnets????   Yes I said magnets….

I didn’t realize how many things have magnets inside them.

In my “manual” it reads;

General Precautions

Any electrical equipment, appliance, or machine that you use should be in good working order and should be properly grounded. Do not carry magnets or products containing magnets close to your ICD. Avoid holding motor-driven appliances and machine-shop tools closer than necessary to your implant site. When working with tools or appliances, be careful in situations where you could be injured if you become dizzy or receive a therapeutic shock from your ICD. (in a nutshell everything must be properly grounded)

Home Appliances

Assuming they are in good condition and properly grounded, the following items are safe to operate:

Kitchen appliances, including microwave ovens, can openers, blenders, toasters, electric knives. Televisions, VCRs, personal computers, AM/FM radios, remote controls, garage door openers. Major appliances, including washers and dryers, electric stoves, refrigerators, etc. Electric blankets, heating pads.

Avoid holding the following items closer than necessary to your ICD

Hand-held appliances with motors, such as hair dryers and shavers, light shop equipment, such as drills, table saws etc. Transmitters for radio-controlled equipment or toys.

It is generally safe to work around spark-ignited internal combustion engines, such as lawn mowers, leaf blowers, automobiles, etc but limit your exposure to ignition-system parts when they are in operation.

Office Equipment

Most office equipment is safe to operate as long as it is properly grounded and in good working order. This includes computers, electric typewriters, fax machines, pagers and copiers.

Security Systems

Metal detectors and anti-theft systems used in airports, stores and other locations create electromagnetic fields that can interfere with your ICD. Anti-theft systems or Electronic Article Surveillance (EAS) systems such as those used at the entrance/exits or checkout counters of stores, libraries, banks, etc. emit signals that may interact with ICDs. To minimize the possibility of interaction, just walk through the entrances/exits of these establishments at a normal pace and do not linger in these areas. Metal detectors; walking through the metal detector archway will not harm your ICD, however be sure to pass through the archway at a normal pace and avoid lingering in the immediate area. Your ICD has metal inside that may set off the airport security system alarm. If a search with a hand held wand is performed you should stress to the security personnel that the search should be performed quickly and that they should avoid holding the wand over your ICD for a prolonged period.

Industrial Equipment

Large industrial equipment, such as generators and electric motors often generates strong electromagnetic fields that can interfere with your ICD. Avoid standing near large motors or other electromechanical equipment. Make sure that the equipment is properly grounded before working near it.

Medical Equipment

Although most medical equipment will have no effect on your ICD, some may affect its function. Always tell the doctor or nurse that you have an ICD.

The list keeps going on and on, I am not going to type everything and I think you get the picture.

These are a few things that I have taken for granted:

1. When I would go to the airport. Whenever I would go somewhere I didn’t think twice about the security portion of walking through the scanner. Well now, even thou the “manual” says I can go through the archway, my Doctor suggested I didn’t go through because my ICD can set off the alarm. So now I have a pat down every time I go. I have this lovely bright red laminated card that says in capital letters: I HAVE AN IMPLANTABLE DEFIBRILLATOR that I have to carry with my passport. I have learned to appreciate the security personnel more because they have to do their job to make sure we are all safe and yes sometimes it is annoying and takes up time, but I would rather take the time to make sure we are all safe. So the next time you go to the airport and see someone get a pat down try to remember that it’s for your best interest and that it’s not all that fun for the person who is being pat down either.

2. The cell phone. Yes, the cell phone haha. I had to train myself not to use my cell phone on my left ear, it can interfere with my ICD. I also had my cell phone in my purse that I carried on my left side. It was just natural for me to wear it there. But since the implant I was told that I wasn’t allowed to have my cell phone near my ICD. I know this might sound silly but I know you ladies out there will understand, when you have worn your purse on the same side since you started wearing a purse and you put it on the opposite side?? WELL!! that was just so hard for me to get used to! It’s been 10 months since I had my implant, and I have gotten used to wearing my purse on the “right” side now. I even tried wearing my purse on the left side (without the cell phone inside) and it felt weird! haha guess after wearing my purse on the opposite side for 10 months isn’t so bad after all! Oh! Ear phones are another that I cannot have dangling around my neck it can interfere with my ICD. As I said the list goes on! and this is why I said it is difficult to remember all these things but I know in time I will remember what will interfere and what won’t.

I am trying everyday to live “normally” but some days are hard when you know things may just put you in a position you don’t want to be in.


some say luck, fate, I say “thank you”

As I left you off last post, I said I didn’t make it to the hot tub that day………………. I am going to tell you what happened that day…………………..

You know the saying “second chance?” I had my second chance with my Mitral Valve repair in 2004. My title “some say luck, fate, I say “thank you”, well I say “thank you” because that day I got a “third” chance at life.

January 24,2012.

I remember running on the treadmill in the fitness area, at the Rec Centre and while I was running there was an elderly couple that came to exercise beside me on a couple of stationary bikes. I remember because I apologized for the heavy running noise, the elderly woman laughed and said to me not to worry, and made a joke saying that they were part deaf anyways. I laughed, still ran on. I noticed that there was a gentleman working out with the weights diagonal from me, and I still ran on. I looked down to see where K was with the boys because the fitness area was above the pool so that you could look down and watch. I noticed a gentleman in the pool that I thought was K but it wasn’t. I panicked looking around for K and noticed that he was walking with the boys. I thought to myself “uh oh they are going to the hot tub already without me” and I wanted to finish my run. I looked at the clock, wanting to know what time it was and it said about 2:38? So I still ran, knowing that I only had about 6 or 9 mins left in my run. Then I looked to my left and noticed a blonde girl coming to run on the treadmill beside me, next thing I remember was looking forward and my vision went like when a television loses connection and it goes snowy, well it did, then it was black…………

The next thing I remember was someone saying my name over and over which I later found out it was K. A few moments later I hear a gentleman saying my name and asking me if I knew where I was. I mumbled the place, and he said that I had to keep the oxygen mask on, because I remember fighting it with them trying to put it on my face and then I hear sirens. While I was in the ambulance, K was on the phone to hubby DC, telling him that I had collapsed and was on my way to the hospital. DC was in the grocery store when he got the news and he was so shocked that he dropped everything and left to go tell our children that their mom was on her way to the hospital. DC didn’t know what to do, whether to just drop everything and get to me or wait to find out what was wrong with me first, because he was three provinces away. K also had called M to let her know what had happened, and that he was coming to get her. A lifeguard ended up watching the boys,and there were a couple of friends of K at the pool too that knew the boys and took over. Which was a relief to K since he needed to rush to the hospital as quickly as possible.

I arrived to the hospital and I remember a woman saying to me it’s alright, you’re alright and you’re going to feel a warm sensation, don’t worry you didn’t pee yourself. I was having a CT Scan done to check if there was any brain damage, and a X-ray to check for any broken ribs. I didn’t have any damage to either brain or ribs. The whole time I was in and out of consciousness I didn’t have my eyes open. I then remember hearing K talking to someone about my information, my name, where I lived etc. Then suddenly it was like someone turned on a light switch and I could open my eyes! I looked over and saw K standing beside me and he says to the nurse” could you pass me her glasses? she’s pretty blind with out them” and he gives them to me. I put them on and looked over to K saying “What happened?” “What happened?”. K came over to me, cried, hugged me and said “you collapsed”. I was really shocked at this moment because I only remember running on the treadmill and now here I am in the hospital???

I asked K what had happened over and over, it was probably more than 5 times within an hour or more and K was getting worried, looked over at the nurse and she said it was normal for people to have a little amnesia. K explained as much as he could about what had happened…….

K said when I collapsed, the elderly couple noticed that I had fallen in between the treadmills and was unconscious, so the elderly woman rushed to get help. A lifeguard came and started CPR, while the lifeguard was doing CPR there was another one getting the AED kit. The lifeguard with the AED kit came opened it up and it had said that it was needed. My heart had stopped. They put the AED on me used it. It brought me back. All of this happened less than 2 minutes. Another lifeguard had called 911 and the ambulance was on their way. Ambulance came. Ambulance took me to the hospital.

So, you can call it luck, fate for that day but…..

I say “thank you” because those lifeguards saved my life and gave my third chance.


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………….


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……………..