Friday, July 16, 2010

Physical & Emotional Trauma

FRIDAY, JUNE 11, 2010 9:00 AM, MST
A eucharistic minister (Amy) from my church shared a story last Sunday with me that has been weighing heavily on my mind. She told me that this past April, her girlfriend, who lived in Mesa died of a heart attack. She was in her early 40s and left behind a husband and three teenagers. Amy said that the week prior, her girlfriend told her that she had been really, really tired. How many of us, men and women alike, have had that same complaint? I know I did just prior to being diagnosed with heart disease in 2006. I had gone in to see my OB with that same complaint. My doc sold me some vitamins. A few weeks later, I had my silent heart attack and my first stent was placed. Amy's story has hit me particularly hard which is one of the reasons this week has been rather challenging for me. I am a heart survivor x 5 (the first three times when I had stents placed, the fourth time on April 29 when another 60% blockage was found and the decision made to do the bypass, and then finally, the bypass itself). I know that at any point along the way, my story could easily have turned out very differently and it would have been Katrina and Kyle without a mom. I've tried to keep my journal entries positive and light-hearted, but let's face it, I'm documenting my recovery from the most traumatic surgery to the human body. I've had several cardiologists along my journey and they've each told me that I wasn't going to like how I felt following the bypass. They were right on. Recovery from open heart surgery tests my physical and mental toughness daily. I can tend to get very sad and discouraged because the fatigue and the discomfort from the scar still keeps me confined to the house except for my daily walks and doc appointments. I'm looking forward to start living again! I know I'm headed in that direction because yesterday, I graduated from PT! Jeff, my PT, left me with a regimen of upper and lower body exercises and compliments to keep me motivated during this ultra-marathon of a recovery. I urge you today to identify five blessings in your's easier than you think. Here's my five blessings that I'm most thankful for: that I have such a tremendous awareness of my body, that my two children and loved ones are healthy, that I had (have) an incredible medical team that has saved my life multiple times, that I am alive to share my story and hopefully make an impact, that my heart keeps beating!

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