Like a Fat Chick at a Buffet

My mother and I went  shopping today. Always a joy to spend time with my momma. First we went to Toys R Us to find a birthday gift for my 2nd youngest child. He will be 8 tomorrow. Such a spunky little spitfire!  I got him a rock tumbler, chemistry set, build a robot kit  (out of a pop can of all things!) video game and a few Lego things. I think he is going to love them!

After Toys R Us my Mom needed a break and wanted to go to a buffet. I’m not going lie. I had dread going in there because I’ve been doing so great staying OP at home.  I did awesome, though! I had 2 tacos and a salad just like the one I eat every day at home. I didn’t go over my calories at all & was super proud of myself! I had a diet coke there and when I was driving home I had a diet pepsi. My heart was definitely acting up when I laid my 2 year old down for a nap. It was scary, actually. I think caffeine may be contributing to my PVCs. It’s been a long time since my heart was acting so scary so I really think the two are related. I drink Green Tea all day long so I think I’m going to find a decaf type and see if that helps.

We bought the kids school supplies and a few clothes, socks, etc. I can’t believe summer flew by so fast! School starts in less than 2 weeks for the kids and 3 for me & my hubby. *cue Summer Nights from Grease* lol

Cardiologists are Cool

I saw the cardiologist today. Not quite what I was hoping for, as in he did not say “you’re good. Go home. Rock out.” Instead he said that they found either a weak spot or small blockage in my heart. He said it could also just be that I am busty and the MRI did not get the best reading. I already knew I had a small hole in my heart from a previous appointment.He said I should have a sleep study done and they scheduled that. He said my heart function was 50. Normal is 55. He said that 50 may be normal for some people, but if in one or three years my heart function is 45 then we will KNOW there is a problem.

My Mom has sleep apnea and our toddler has it as well. Actually he hasn’t shown any signs of it lately so that may just be related to his tonsil size at the time.

But the best news was according to their scale I’ve lost 25 pounds since I first walked in his door in MAY!!!!!My blood pressure was 115/73. It is always right around 126/78, so I’m thinking this weight loss had helped my blood pressure too. :)

I’ve decided to get my tubes tied. I have four beautiful and healthy children that I love immensely.  Having another at this point would probably be very reckless with my health issues. I called my OB-GYN after seeing the cardiologist to make a preliminary appointment. Kind of depressed as I would no longer have the hopes of another little baby to snuggle and pat and raise. But I guess this day was coming one way or another.

I’m grateful we have insurance. I’m grateful that this was discovered by happen-chance. At least we know and I have the opportunity to do my best to take care of myself.

Happy Birthday, Dad!

Today would have been my Dad’s 63rd birthday. We  are off to my Mom’s house to help keep her company today. I am going to cut and perm her hair before she takes my 15 year old niece on vacation to Kansas to visit her family. I am glad they are going. I think it will really be good for her. My Mom is the youngest of 10 children and since she is 67, some of her sisters are really getting elderly.

I am going to do my very best to stay within my calories today. My Mom likes to feed people. It’s going to be a stressful day.

I go see the cardiologist tomorrow morning. I’m hoping he has good news. When I was there before I was shocked to learn I have a hole in my heart. It’s always been there he said. He also said most of them close up in early childhood but mine hadn’t and wouldn’t at this point. He didn’t think it was really anything to worry about.

I can still feel my heart acting wonky. He has seemed to think it did not need to be treated. I’m going to verify with him if I am okay to exercise before I start anything new. He said my heart did worse under stress so I’ve not been exercising really until I’m sure of what my limitations are.

Gardening Keeps Me Moving

This morning my body ached. It aches every morning. I have a diagnosis of “Fibromyalgia” Having said that, the doctor who diagnosed me has since had his medical license revoked for medicaid fraud. Yikes! I feel that diagnosis was a “I don’t know what is wrong, have some pills.” He had me on 48 pills a day. I was 28.

When I met my husband I had been medicated for a year and a half. He was very concerned & he did not feel I needed all those pills. He didn’t doubt my pain, he doubted the need for the pills. About four months after we met I got very sick. My liver was twice the size it should be and nobody could figure out why. I was a single parent and I stayed at my parents house for a couple weeks because  I was so sick.  I took a ton of antibiotics and had a ton of tests done. Nobody ever had an answer except that my liver was very swollen. At his urging, I stopped the pills cold turkey and in time I got better. I just don’t think my liver could handle all the medications.

I have found my body’s physical response to stress is pain. When I am stressed I can barely move. I try to live the most stress free life I can. I feel that stress can literally kill you. I try very hard to let go. I try to trust that everything will work itself out, it always has.

But when I wake up aching like this and I don’t want to get out of bed, I do it anyway. My garden keeps me moving. We are going through a severe drought and I water my garden at least once, sometimes twice a day. Once early in the morning and once at dusk. If I don’t do it, the plants will die. My Dad gave me 20 tomato plants he had raised from seeds this spring. He gave me a bag of seeds and loaned me his tiller. He was not feeling well and he did not want to look after them, so I am. My husband tilled the ground for me but he doesn’t plant, weed or water. I do that, with the occasional help from one of my older children, but the constant “help” of my toddler. He rarely leaves my side. He is two and he loves to help Mommy.

Since the passing of my father, I take a certain pleasure in being in my garden. I think of times when I was growing up working in the garden beside him. It is comforting. My mother said the same thing. She goes out in the garden and talks to him. When my body aches, I force myself out of bed. I tell myself that I am just going to water it and that I will save the weeding until tomorrow when I feel better. I water it and then I see a weed that just can’t wait. I pull some more. My body hurts less. I crawl around, pulling weeds. I rake and hoe. I drag my water hose around. And surprisingly enough, when I feel my garden is good for another day, my body doesn’t hurt so much. I am grateful for my garden for both the comfort it brings me and the bounty it provides. It encourages us to eat better and it soothes my soul.

Trying to Care

It’s been a little over a month since my Dad died. It was just before the halfway point of my summer semester of college. Today is the last day of the semester. I am still at this point really struggling with giving a rats @ss about school. It was SOOOOOOOOOOOOO important to me before. It doesn’t seem like it matters. It doesn’t seem like it matters AT ALL… *sigh*

I go through the motions, doing most of what I have to do, but I just don’t care anymore. I have a research paper & a test due today. Ugh.

I had a 4.0 my first semester.  Like I said, school was so important. I realize I am still processing his death and I am sure it will take time. My kids are still crying randomly. My Mom is still crying daily. I’m just trying to be the glue that holds everything together, not fall apart too much.

I changed my major. Maybe I should have just kept plugging along with my original degree program but I changed it and I’m heading a different direction. Maybe that will help me care.

I am however sticking to my diet life change. This is not optional, nor is it anything I have to care about to do. I just have to do it. Forever. So, I’m doing what I can, trying to care. And mostly, trying to figure out if I will ever feel normal again.

Dealing with Death Blows

I have struggled to deal with my parents mortality for the past few years. It is so hard to accept that a man you see as Superman could die…

Growing up, there was nothing my Dad could not do. He worked 60 hours a week at a foundry and when he found God, he had a full time ministry as well. When I was pregnant with my second child my Dad was diagnosed with congestive heart failure. He wasn’t supposed to live 4 years. My daughter is now 10. He passed away a little over a month ago, on my parent’s 41st wedding anniversary. His heart was four times the size it should be way back in 2001 and barely working. He was put on the heart transplant list but removed himself, sure that he was meant to leave this world with the body parts he came in with.

Right before he died they were talking of putting in a pacemaker. He was not sure he wanted that and the limitations it would bring. I have to respect his wishes, I would not want someone burdening me with their thoughts on what was right for me when I had to make my end of life decisions.

He was a good man, a godly man. His ministry touched many, many lives. His biggest mission was helping to take care of the residents at the women’s homeless shelter. They are building a new chapel and naming it in memory of him. The director of the shelter was at the memorial dinner and a told a story of when a woman needed bus fare to California to go home. He said he told my Dad that he was 99% sure that she was just making up this big sob story and using him for bus fare. My Dad told him, even if you were 100% sure, I would pay for her to get back home. When I am sitting as his memorial dinner, all of these people are going up and telling their story, why they loved my Dad, I couldn’t say anything. Not because I don’t have a story to tell or wonderful memories of him, but I just didn’t have the strength or energy to do it. All of these people saying how he paid someone to fix their car so they could get to work and didn’t lose their job. He put gas in their car. He was a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on. He had faith in them when no one else did. He prayed for their loved ones. He gave them godly advice. One lady told of how he went home and got a coat from his own closet when she didn’t have one that fit properly.  All of those things are great, but beyond that… he was my Dad. The one who drove me and my Mom home from the hospital when I was born and walked me down the aisle on my wedding day. He was the one who stood by me when my first husband cheated on me (when I was pregnant with our 3rd child) even though the rest of the family thought I should stay “for the money”. He was the one who taught me how to fish and taught my kids to fire a BB Gun.

I am having a really difficult time dealing with the mortality of my parents. Sometimes Superman dies… Sometimes you are left with what you should have done or should have said. I had an excellent relationship with my Dad. There is not a man I respected more on this earth. But, it’s stuff like I didn’t take any pictures on Father’s Day, two weeks before he passed on. I miss him. I am grieving for the Grandpa my littlest one who is only 2 won’t get to have… Dealing with the death of my father is literally the most difficult thing I’ve done. I am in college and the summer semester ends Saturday. I am taking two classes and this is the worst I’ve done so far. There is one class I’m not sure I’m going to pass. I’m having a hard time caring about that though. It doesn’t seem important.

I’m trying to focus on losing weight now. This HAS to be important. My cardiologist said that the extra weight is hard on your heart and can actually cause something similar to happen to me, especially since I have a family history of heart trouble and the PVCs going on right now. I’m trying to stay focused. Trying to care. I was doing really well before my Dad died. And suddenly nothing seemed to matter. It HAS to matter though. Which is why I started this blog. I’m hoping that I can work out some of my own issues with weight, life, and everything and come out stronger in the end. I have little ones who need a mommy. I have an amazing husband who needs a wife. This HAS to matter.

Welcome to My World!

I went in for bilateral carpal tunnel surgery in April and it led to the decision it’s time to stop treating my body like an amusement park. Before the surgery, the attending staff started an IV, hooked up a heart monitor, blood pressure monitor and all the happy hoopla that goes along with surgery. I’m an old pro at surgeries. The nurses watched the heart monitor. “Well, that can’t be right” the said and moved things around. They watched and waited and moved things some more. The anesthesiologist came in. She watched my heart, and mentioned to me that my heart was ticklish. She said she did not think it was a cause for concern, and that the surgery would be safe. They said if I was having chest pain I would have been admitted to the hospital. Very similar to what my Mom went through a couple years ago. I heard the doctor and anesthesiologist discussing my heart when I awoke from the surgery, too.

At that point my father had been living with congestive heart failure for a decade. I was scared. A few weeks later he died. The death of my father has been the hardest thing I’ve ever had to deal with. It has been a month and I am still having a hard time caring and getting out of this funk. I am existing. I am going on for my children but I am having a real hard time giving a flying fuck about life. I was doing really well on my diet, I had lost almost 20 pounds before my Dad died.  I’ve gained back 5 or so since then and I am publicly acknowledging it’s time to focus.

So far it’s been tests and more tests… the last of which I will get the results of on Monday.  So far I have found out that I have a hole in my heart. It’s likely been there since birth. My heart acts up under pressure. While the doctor says it’s probably nothing, he keeps ordering more tests. Why? I’m not sure if it’s because we have awesome insurance or if it’s just to make 100% sure I’m okay. The doctor told my husband and I that extra weight is hard on your heart. Your heart is under stress all the time. He was never judgmental or condescending, but he said losing weight was literally the best thing I could do for my heart. While I am hoping for a clean bill of health on Monday, it is time to grow up and start taking care of myself.