I Didn’t Freak Out, I even DANCED!!

I gained a pound today and for the first time I didn’t freak out!! You’re probably asking yourself why this is such a big deal. Here’s why… for 10 years I would wake up every morning to the reality of a shot. That vital shot is what tried its best to keep me walking. Now I wake up and weigh myself every morning (along with taking my blood pressure). Let me just start with the obvious – what woman likes to weigh herself in the first place. I mean, really? So I get the daily reminder of what size clothes I can’t fit into? (and yes, even when you have heart failure you still care about the materials things…) But this morning it was different. This morning I was a woman on a different mission. Ever since I got out of the hospital on Dec 13th I have been terrified to get on that scale. If I gain weight (depending on how much it is & for how many days in a row) it could be an indication that my sodium intake is not at the correct level and my heart is going back into failure. So not only has salt been my enemy, so has the scale. And for that reason I have been terrified to eat. Too much sodium and my heart starts to shut down (essentially…). Too little sodium and my body gets completely dehydrated and my kidneys start to shut down. So for someone who has never had to watch what she eats before (except to watch calories every now and then) how in the hell do you find this delicate balance and feel normal???? Therefore, where I once LOVED food, I was now terrified to eat it. Food was now my enemy too. (okay.. I need to interject a little side note that will make sense in a minute – I’m listening to Montley Crew’s “Kickstart my Heart”!! How appropiate..) Sounds like I’m stacking up a lot of enemies, huh??

Hmm.. I digress….. back to this scale, weight issue… So over the holidays I gained two pounds one day and completely freaked out. I wouldn’t eat anything (to the point I thought my parents were going to start force feeding me…) and I adjusted my medicines. I dropped four pounds in one day and all of a sudden I start blacking out and fainting. I just couldn’t seem to get it right. It was tiring, frustrating and to be honest… it just pissed me off. I’ve always been a fighter my entire life, very little if anything in this world has been able to keep me down. I’ve become a black belt all over again in fighting MS, but this heart failure was kicking my ass! And I couldn’t understand why.

One of the first rules of fighting is to identify your enemies weaknesses and use those against them. And one of salt’s and the scale’s weaknesses is my body. My body is going to be one of my greatest strengths over these enemies and I didn’t even realize it! Over the last week I’ve really tried to pay attention to what my body is feeling and what it’s telling me. More times than not, your body will tell you exactly what is wrong with it, if you only know how to listen. God tells us to just be still in His presence and He will lead us. The same is true with my body. If I will just be still and listen, it will start to tell me what it needs – more fluid, more salt, less salt, more exercise, less exercise, more relaxation, etc… So I knew, based on what my body was telling me, that I wasn’t getting enough sodium in my diet. And I also knew that I was gravely dehydrated. Gaining a pound was a victory for me today. And for the first time, I didn’t freak out!!

I was trying to prepare ahead a few meals for this week. In the past, cooking was always a stress reliever for me. But after this heart failure, it felt more like a chore, it was work I had to do because I can no longer go through a drive-thru for dinner anymore. (Hmm… was cooking about to become my enemy as well?????) But tonight I had my Ipod playing while I was cooking and just chopping and dicing and zesting like no bodies business. The next thing I know I’m smiling. And without realizing it, I was singing like I was the next American Idol and dancing with myself in my kitchen. Thats right, stop the presses – I was actually enjoying cooking for myself to the point that I was dancing! Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain!!

These little victories… they may seem so stupid to who ever is reading this, but they are huge for me. My cooking spree felt like I had just run a marathon. So today, I just punched the shit back out of heart failure. You didn’t freak me out today with my weight gain, and kiss my behind – I learned to dance in the rain!! So… as Rihanna says, Please Don’t Stop the Music and for Montley Crew – I Kick Started My Heart!!

Here’s your Heart Healthy Tip for Today: The average American diet consumes over 8,000 mg of sodium. Per the American Heart Association, you shouldn’t consume more than 2,000 mg. Bread is one of the biggest culprits of hidden sodium. Try tracking your sodium for one meal. You’ll be surprised. Eat as many foods fresh as you can, not frozen and not processed and you’ll start to cut back on your sodium, and lead you on the path to preventing heart disease.

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4 Responses to “I Didn’t Freak Out, I even DANCED!!”

  1. Cathy Says:

    You are an awesome writer. You go girl, I can see you dancing in the kitchen, just chopping away. Love you mom

  2. Dave, Ami, Hadleigh Claire and Annelise Says:

    you crack me up…and as we say in this house-shake your bootie, shake it LOUD (only because hearing a 2 year old saying ass would be too much).

  3. ~Renee Says:

    I decided to check out your blog after seeing you list it on fb or myspace, and I’m so glad I did. What an inspiration. Thanks. 😉

  4. Crystal Armstrong Says:

    Lindsey, what can i say.. you are awesome WOMAN! i find this to be so inspirational and i truly admire how NOTHING can hold you down! you were born a fighter as well as a leader, and that my lady, is a gift that not all of us have! you just hang in there with your bad self and keep conquering everything that comes you way!! we love you!

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