Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Oh, Sweet Heart of Mine

I haven't blogged in forever.  This seems the easiest way to update everyone about my current condition.  For those catching up, I was diagnosed with Atrial Fibrillation last June.  This was after YEARS of complaining of being tired and winded all of the time.  It was blamed on being overweight and diagnosed as acid reflux.  I was put on meds.

In December, I had a Cardio Aversion, which means they stop then shock my heart, hopefully getting it back into a good rhythm.  See, Afib causes the top part of your heart to beat faster than the bottom, so blood will pool in there running the risk of stroke.  So blood thinners are a must.  When I work a 24 hour heart monitor then, my pulse rate fluctuated from 189 to 59 in twelve hours.  The Cardio Aversion seemed to have worked, or at least I thought it did, see, I can't tell if I am in Afib.  I guess I am used to feeling like shit, so that's normal.

When I went for pre-op testing for my hysterectomy in July, I was found to be in Afib.  I will admit, I was surprised, since I thought I felt good.  So, who knows how long I have been back in Afib.

It was determined that I was a good candidate for a Heart Ablation, where they take a catheter into the top chambers of the heart and cauterize the areas that are misfiring.  They then try to put me back into afib and proceed until they can't.  The goal of this procedure is to get me back into rhythm and off of all of my meds, since I am young and essentially healthy.

I had this procedure on Friday.  They cauterized electrical activity on the front wall of my heart and all along the top.  I had a lot of electrical activity on the back wall of my heart, which they could not do anything with, due to my esophagus being right against it.  I woke up feeling great.  Then an hour later, I went back into Afib.

To day I was devastated, is an understatement.  I looked at the nurse and said FUCK.  She then looked at me and said "You want to cry, don't you" and you know what, I did.  And boy did I cry.  Like a big baby.  I had one hell of a pity party for myself that night.

Once all of the anesthesia wore off, which was a lot, since I was sedated over six hours, I remembered that this is okay.  That my heart was just burned and needs to heal.  I calmed down and made the best of it.  Sometime that night, while I slept I went back into rhythm.  The next day, right after dinner I went into Atrial Flutter, which is similar to Afib, just a higher pulse rate.  I stayed in it.

Yesterday, I finally came home after a three night stay.  Before I left, I went into and out of Afib four times.  The docs think that's a good sign.  It will take three months for my heart to totally heal and this may happen until it's healed.  If I continue to go into Afib and stay in it, they will shock me again.

So, I am hopeful.  I realize now, how long this has limited my life.  I have suffered with this for years.  Scarily, I suffered with this all through playing roller derby.  It is a miracle that I never had a stroke.  All those times, I was using my inhaler because I was told I had sports induced asthma, I was in Afib.  All of those times my legs were so tired and felt like bricks and I was screamed at to pick it up and had eyes rolled at me because some thought I was just fat and lazy, I was in Afib.  Scary shit.

So I guess what I want to say, is, stop judging people.  Yes I am overweight.  Trust me, I try to eat healthy.  I cook four meals a week and try to make them as healthy as possible.  Yes, I drink soda, however, I don't drink near as I used to and I totally drink clear sodas, which don't have caffeine.  I have given up coffee, expect for the one cup I am allowed each day, which I savor.  The only think I can't do is be active.  I just can't physically do it any longer.  Just walking up the stairs from our basement exhausts me.

I look healthy, I act healthy, so to most, I look like an overweight person, who is too lazy to do things.  This couldn't be further from the truth.  I want to do things.  I want to join my BFF at Zumba and have a good time.  I want to take my dogs for a walk.  Somethings, I just know I just can't physically do any more.  When we were in Vegas last week, there was a day we were all going to walk to shop at the mall, a favorite thing for me since there's a Hello Kitty store there.  I had to stop when we got to the bridge at the end of our casino, because I knew I wouldn't make it.  I sent everyone on without me and spent some quiet time alone.

I am sick of feeling like this and I pay to God that soon, I can get my life back and get more active.  So please stop looking at people as being fat and lazy.  There are some of us, who just can't fix it, even though we want to.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Religion - Attending Church

As most of you know, I was raised Catholic.  I went to Catholic school.  My mother wasn't an avid church goer, but she thought it was important that I be raised Catholic.

After my eighth grade graduation from Catholic School, I have maybe stepped into a Catholic church at the most, three times, most likely for either a wedding or a funeral.

My husband was raised Catholic as well.  His father was married previously, and his wife left him.  So, when he married Nick's mother, it wasn't recognized as a marriage in the Catholic church, therefore when Nick came along, they refused to baptize him.  After Nick's grandmother made a nice donation to the church, they changed their mind.

Mr. Bruises is what I refer to as a Chreaster.  It is someone who goes to church on Christmas and Easter.  I, personally feel that if you are going to go on those two holy days, you should go regularly.  I choose to not go at all.

I still believe in God.  I still try to live my life in an honest and giving way.  I still try to do the right thing and still try to find the best in people.  I just never felt the need to go to church.

Recently, BFF Jill invited me to attend Pittsburgh East Community Church with her.   It's in Plum, which is almost an hour drive.  She lured me with driving past the Abby Lee Miller Dance Studio, from the show Dance Moms, which is just down the road from the church.  I was IN!

The first thing I asked her is what should I wear.  She said jeans and a nice top.  Really?  Jeans?  That was frowned upon the last time I was in Catholic church, but hey the times have changed so maybe that's permitted there now too.

When we pulled in, I was astounded at the size of the parking lot.  I felt like I was going to a concert.  Little did I know, I pretty much was.  The parking attendants were all very happy and cheerful.  You could tell that everyone wanted to be there.  Everyone walking in was in a good mood.  The greeters at the door made me feel like I was an old friend.  It was a VERY inviting atmosphere.

Next thing I noticed was people walking around with coffee, soda, danishes, muffins, you know FOOD!  This would never be permitted in a Catholic church.  Then everyone was talking.  Some loudly.  Again a Catholic no no.  I was so out of my element, I didn't know what to do, so I just sat and observed.

They had a live band on stage that played current music and then some Christian songs that you would never guess were church songs.  The lead singer was wearing Chuck Taylors, he had a faux hawk, an earring in his year and boy could he sing and capture your attention.

After about four or five songs, with encouragement and words on a big screen to sing along, we were asked to meet each other.  Perfect strangers met me with a smile and a hand shake.  The pastor and his wife came on stage for the sermon.  This was the beginning of a six part series called True Love.  It was all about making relationships work.

I sat and listened to them.  They never professed to be perfect.  They actually told us of their failures and how they worked to overcome them.  After the sermon, we ended with another popular song and it was time to go.  Time just flew!!

After that I got my reward and got to do a drive by of the dance studio.  On the ride, Jill asked me what I thought.  I was still a little out of my element and really couldn't answer since it was nothing like what I expected.  It was nothing like I had experienced in the past.  It was so different, but in a good way.

After about a week or so, I told her I wanted to go again.  We went this morning.  The same things were apparent.  EVERYONE wanted to be there, even the kids.  If you would see the area that they have for the kids, you would understand why.  Everyone was so happy, welcoming and genuinely friendly.  The sermon was another good one and I found myself applying the suggestions multiple times later today.

Here's another thing that I realized.  This is a church that doesn't judge.  They don't care how you dress, how you wear your hair, if you have piercings or gauges, if you are tattooed, if you are in a relationship with someone of another race or in one with the same sex as you are.  You are welcome and loved no matter what.

I think this is the biggest difference.  Whether the Catholic church wants to admit it or not, they judge.  You never feel worthy to be a Catholic.

I will most definitely be going back.  The energy in that church is just infectious.  It's no wonder people are filling their parking lot.  Church is FUN!  It's entertaining!  It's educational!  Oh and I can sing my heart out, drinking a coffee, wearing jeans with my tattoo sticking out!  I'll take it!!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

How Long?

How long do you imply that I am not good enough for you before I start to believe it and realize I am better?
How long do you continue to blatantly exclude me before I no longer want to be included?
How long do you continue to do this to people over and over again before you have no one left?
How long before I realize I don't have any more second chances to give?
How long before I realize I can't overlook things any longer?
How long before I realize that I am worth way more than I am given credit for?
How long before I go my own way?

Not very long.  Not very long at all.