Archive for August, 2009

Need to Breathe…

August 22, 2009

I always thought it was just the name to a really cool band my nephew introduced me to. But lately it feels like the overriding theme of my life. I just need to breathe. I need a chance to catch my breath.

“Let the drumbeats wash you over
Let the songs come and take you under
Push the life that brought you here away from you tonight
There’s a place where the pain can’t touch ya
And there’s a fire where the heat won’t burn ya
It’s in the sound of your voice tonight singing in one song ”
(The Heat: needtobreathe)

I need for the sodium to let up so the fluid will stay out of my chest – I need to breathe.
I need the medical bills to stop coming everytime I open my mailbox so I’m not gasping at how I’m going to pay for these – I need to breathe.
I need my insurance to just please give me a f*%&ing break so the meds I HAVE to HAVE are not another stupid mortgage payment every month, I need these meds to breathe.
I need for my heart to understand this train that has railroaded it emotionally so it doesn’t keep making me lose my breath – I need to breathe.

This time is just a season,
You deserve much more.
Lift up your head,
Look out the window,
Cause it’s almost over now,
Take back the time that your fear has stolen.
Cause it’s almost over now.”
(Over Now:needtobreathe)

I need the weight of the world taken off my shoulders so maybe I can get some rest – I need to breathe.
I want to find that place that love never dies, because it does take my breath away – I need to breathe.
I need for the tears to stop flowing, it makes my nose get all stopped up – and I need to breathe.
I need for my heart to stop aching over something that is obviously never going to change and let it go – I need to breathe.

Love is just like a war we can’t win
We can give, we can give, we can give
When we stand in the face of the world falling down
In your hands you hold the pen
What’s your answer for the end

When there’s nothing that we can’t afford to sacrifice
There’s no way they can put out your fire
There’s no way they can put out my fire
Oh, Oh, I’ve got nothing left
Nothing left to lose
” (Nothing Left to Loose: needtobreathe)

Cause we are alive
We are strong
We can’t watch it go for nothing
Watch until it’s gone
And we are down
But we can choose
We’ve got nothing else to live for
Nothing left to lose

Can God give me the direction of where I am supposed to go??? Because this uncertainty gives me great pains in my chest – and I need to breathe.

“Because I’m down
Down on my knees
Waiting on something beautiful……”
  (Something Beautiful:needtobreathe)

I need a couple of days of vacation from reality where I can feel normal and not worry about the repercussions on my heart and my legs. I just need to breathe.
I need to let the top down speeding down the interstate like Thelma & Louise – because I need to breathe.
I need to know how to let go of the recent issues/struggles that are paralyzing me – since I’m not allowed to jump out of a plane again, and I have to let go….I need to breathe.
I need the assurance that my life up to this point hasn’t been one big failure. Because it kinda feels that way right now – and I need to breathe.

“I can’t help but fear I’ve done this wrong
Cause seldom second chances come along
If time can break us, will it make us strong
Cause seldom second chances come along”
  (Seond Chances: need to breathe)

Maybe I need to learn how to ask for help, because I’m worn out… and I need to breathe.
I need someone to stand beside me no matter what when I fall. Because sometimes when it gets hard to breathe, it gets harder and harder to pick myself up off the ground.
I need to find the fighting spirit inside of me again, because I’m tired of being the warrior – and I need to breathe.

I need to dance… like I need to breathe.

Somewhere between the end, And the point where we begin
There’s a fire burning brightly, That’s found it’s way to dim
When the feeling’s gone
Shine on, shine on
And on to something new, It’s long and overdue
I will remember you
Shine on, shine on
And let the others see, You’ve got your victory
Will you remember me, I was with you in the valley
And up upon that hill, So take just one more step infromt of you
For I am with you still, And you’re not alone
Shine on, shine on
and on to something new, It’s long and overdue
I will remember you
Shine on, shine on
And let the others see, You’ve got your victory
Will you remember me
Can you see my hands are open, I am waiting just ahead
And you think you need it all now, But you needed me instead
Shine on, shine on
Shine, oh shine on
Won’t you, won’t you shine
Shine on, shine on
Somewhere between the end
And the point where we began…”
(Shine On: needtobreathe)

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Great Expectations

August 13, 2009

One of my all time favorite books in life is Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. I first read the book when I was in high school, and guess I connected on so many levels with the story. Its a love story that fights so hard to only realize in the end that their love should be together.

Finn – ” What is it like to go thru life not feeling anything?”
Estella – “We are who we are.”

Everytime he looks at her, his heart breaks all over again. Yet he still has that expectation that the next time she will stay, she will return his love. As hard as he tries to forget her, she forges her foothold stronger on his heart. And everytime she leaves, he never knows when or if he will ever see her again; only that he can’t stop loving her. The crazy part is that while she toys with him, drives him mad, she loves him just as much.

Finn – “Anything that might be special in me is you.”

How powerful is that, how heart wrenching is that. You love someone so intensely they become a part of your soul. And he was even warned from the beginning that she would only break his heart.

Finn – “Lay your hand on my chest. Do you know what this is? It’s my heart, broken.”

No matter how hard they try to deny their feelings, and as much as the world keeps them apart, they were always meant to be together.
Maybe I’m just a sucker for a good love story…..
Maybe I feel like this story keeps playing out in my life in one fashion or another….
Maybe I can see in my life where I have been in the position of Finn, getting my heart broken and still loving him regardless….
Or maybe it’s because I can see in my life where I have been in the position of Estella, being the heartbreaker….

Or maybe it’s just the fact that in the end, I have the great expectation that my love story will have a happy ending too….

This story always reminds me of my favorite E.E. Cummings poem:
“92”
i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
my heart) i am never without it (anywhere
i go you go, my dear,  and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)
                                                                 i fear
no  fate (for you are my fate, my sweet) i want
no world (for beatuiful you are my world, my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)

Liquid Confidence

August 11, 2009

We’ve all had it, we’ve all done it at one point or another in our lives – had that extra drink that gave you the courage to say things you wouldn’t have otherwise, or approach that one hottie at the bar to ask for their number. And how many stories have you heard of someone having a little too much to drink and doing the ever reliable “drunk dial” or “drunk text”? Why is it that sometimes we need that liquid boost to say things that should be so easy? Does the liquid confidence actually help you see things more clearly, or completely cloud your judgement? And why is that the Jack can’t filter what he should and shouldn’t give you the confidence for?

Last night I was reminded of so many things…. some of them thanks to my good ole trusty friend Mr. Jack Daniels!!

Letting go of your dreams is like a child letting go of a balloon. Taking a trip down memory lane was eye opening for me. Sort of helped me put somethings in perspective, of some dreams to hold onto with all my might and some dreams I just need to let go and float away off in the air, like that balloon. Some feelings I still haven’t found the courage to face, and others I maybe had a little too much courage to face! And some that just shouldn’t have been faced period. Ha, thanks Jack!!

Jack and I have been thru a lot over the last year. He’s been there thru a lot of hard times, and some good times too. There were some deep, hidden issues he helped bring to the forefront for me – whether I am ready to face them or not, and whether I like the answers or not. And some restless demons I wished he hadn’t stirred up.

I will say that me and Jack are re-negotiating this relationship we have. He needs to better understand what to give me the liquid confidence to face, and what things are better off floating away, like that balloon! Oh, and the headaches the next day really aren’t necessary!!

All Fired Up

August 9, 2009

So… I have to say it took a couple of days to cool off from this to be able to write without every other word being a curse word. I was told the statement, “MS sounds an awful lot like BS!!!”

ARE YOU KIDDING ME? ARE YOU BEING SERIOUS???? Could you honestly be any more insulting to me?

Living with my eyes closed, goin day to day
I never knew the difference, I never cared either way
(Pat Benetar, All Fired Up)

Before being diagnosed with MS, I did take so much for granted. Everyday luxeries that can be such a challenge for me now. MS changed my life forever on how I view the world, the luxeries I thank God I can do when I can do them!

So, everytime I lost my ability to walk and needed the assistance of my cane or walker – that’s BS?
Everytime I have a seizure that makes me flop like a fish out of water – that’s BS?
Everytime I lose feeling in my hands and my arms and I can’t feed myself – that’s BS?
Needing hand controls in my car because from day to day we never knew if I would be able to walk – that’s BS?
Having my doctor sit on my hospital bed and tell me he didn’t know if I would ever walk again – that’s BS?
Three years of chemotherapy that has now put my heart into failure – that’s BS?

Ain’t nobody livin, in a perfect world
Everybody’s out there, cryin to be heard
Now I got a new fire, burnin’ in my eyes
Lightin up the darkness, movin like a meterorite

I’ll tell you what is BS – your medical opinion on this matter. And if you think this is the last you will hear of this, you have another thing coming. I am all fired up over this! You can call me BS all you want to, but back off of the other 400,000 people diagnosed in the US with MS.

That’s right, did you know that approximately 400,000 Americans have MS? Every week about 200 people are diagnosed and worldwide MS affects about 2.5 million people. So all of this is BS??? There are 4 types of MS. Before disease-modifying drugs became available, 50% of people with relapsing-remitting MS (which is what I have) developed secondary-progressive MS within 10 years. So, scientist came up with BS meds to stop the progression of a BS disease, is that what you’re still telling me???

The MS Society was founded in 1946. Across the country there are over 460,000 volunteers. So all of these people are volunteering for a disease that is just BS, they’re just wasting their time??? In 2007, the Society’s total revenue was $241 million. Are you calling that kind of money BS? There were over 100,000 cyclist that rode in over 100 MS Bike Tour rides across the country. And I was one of those cyclists – so all of this is BS????

All Fired Up
Now I believe there comes a time
All Fired Up
When everything just falls in line
All Fired Up
We live and learn from our mistakes
All Fired Up
The deepest cuts are healed by faith

I hope you learn from the mistake of calling this disease BS. It is anything but. It is a serious, debilitating disease that you wouldn’t begin to know how to handle. And as much as this disease may cripple me, it’s not near as crippling as your ignorance is to you. Keep that in mind next time you want to try and pick on me or one of my kind. And let this be fair warning, you make a comment like that again, you will be checked – fast. Because you’ve got me all fired up, and I’m not backing down!

It’s The Heart That Matters Most

August 6, 2009

I guess you can say I am about to get on my soapbox about taking care of your heart. It’s especially important since this morning I sat at the hospital gasping for air. It was yet another reminder of how vitally important your heart is, and how crucial it is to take care of it. But you want to know the ironic thing, it wasn’t my heart’s function that I was worried about the most. As I struggled to breathe I was most worried about those close to me that I so dearly love – I didn’t want them to be scared or to worry about me. There is a reason why I’m the Comeback Kid, there’s a reason why my nickname is Wyatt Earp. I knew I would be okay. I knew no matter what happened today, I would get through this. I say it’s ironic becaise in the past I’ve been so worried and focused on my heart, on my MS, on ME. And that just wasn’t the first thought that entered my head today.

So, this post is all about a few updates and information that could be vital for your heart!!

1. We need your help!! Please sign this petition asking President Obama to consider a dramatic increase in funding for heart disease and stroke research, treatment and prevention programs as he develops his budget. Heart disease is the #1 KILLER of both men and women, killing more every year than all the cancers combined. Yet, very little money is put towards research and development that could save our lives.
Here is the link to sign the petition –> http://www.researchsaveslives.org/takeaction.aspx

2. Do you know what to do if someone around you goes into cardiac arrest??? The very life you could save could be your own!! “AEDs can save the life of someone who is in cardiac arrest. So in what public spots should they be placed for maximum benefit?” Follow the link to the full story. Do you know where your closest AED is located? –>http://health.usnews.com/articles/health/healthday/2009/07/29/put-defibrillators-in-high-traffic-spots-studies.html

3. This is for all of you Iphone users…. Are you ready to save the life of someone you love? 80% of sudden cardiac arrest victims collapse at home. The American Heart Association’s new “Pocket First Aid & CPR Guide” iPhone application offers up-to-date, easily-accessible emergency information at the touch of a button. –> http://www.heart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=3067191

4. Anyone that has kids knows that it’s not always easy to get them to eat healthy. Get them involved in your family meals and let them try the 10 “kid-friendly,” hands-on recipes in the American Heart Association Healthy Family Meals, a new cookbook with more than 150 recipes the whole family will love. –> http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=3067670.

5. For nearly a century, cardiovascular diseases have been responsible for more deaths in the United States than any other cause, claiming a life every 37 seconds. You can make a difference. Help us create a world free of heart disease and stroke. We can do it with your help –> https://donate.americanheart.org/ecommerce/aha/aha_index.jsp?campaignId=77

6. News Flash… AHA journal says “Health risks begin in overweight range, BMI doesn’t tell whole story”. Read the whole story here –> http://americanheart.mediaroom.com/index.php?s=43&item=748

7. The weather’s getting warmer- perfect time for outdoor activities. What’s your favorite way to be phsyically active? Remember, brisk walking for at least 10 minutes each day can positively impact your heart health! Walking is supposed to be one of the best forms of exercise. Follow this link and find out which walking paths are closest to you! –> http://www.startwalkingnow.org

8. You can makeover your heart and become a BetterU. Join me in this 12-week program –> http://www.goredforwomen.org/

Don’t wait until it’s too late to do something about your heart. Don’t wait until the time comes that EVERY decision you make directly effects your heart. Don’t wait until the time comes that you worry everyday of if your heart will function on it’s own. Be proactive and set your heart up for success. You only get one heart in this life. The heart is the most important organ in your body, it’s the heart that matters most. So take care of it!

You Can’t Hold Me Down

August 4, 2009

So, a couple of weeks ago the MS Society called me to see if the Legs for Lindsey Bike Team would be riding again this year. I painfully told them no. It was especially hard because the day they called I had just gotten my bike set up on the windtrainer and rode for the first time since my heart went kapoot. It was a reminder of how much I took for granted. I thought that was a hard lesson I learned with MS, but the heart took away a whole different set of skills, abilities, luxuries that I took/take for granted on a daily basis. In December when they told me I had heart failure, one of the doctors laughed when I asked is I could run again. He said I would never run a marathon ever again. (I must note here that before Dec I hadn’t ever run a marathon, but it’s always been one of my life goals.)

Anyone that knows me, or hell, even reads this blog knows that I don’t take the word never very lightly. So, how about this, I’ll see your 26 miles and raise you 150!! Legs for Lindsey may not be on the road for this year’s MS Bike Tour, but we will be next year. I already have a training program laid out that works within the confines of my heart limits. I’m back on my bike and in time will be riding the distances I need to make those 150!!!

Lance has come back this year and so can I. I won’t let you hold me DOWN!! Oh, and let me be clear here, I’m finally being smart about how I am fighting this, so don’t think I just hopped on the bike and road 50 miles.

“Down, you can’t hold me down
Cause when no one is around
I won’t be standing here
Just waiting for you to come back home again
Down, you can’t hold me down
Because I finally understand
That what you did is
Not so bad in fact it’s better for me”
– Down by: Safety Suit

So, heart failure, as far as I’m concerned I hope when you see my face it gives you hell! Instead of punching you this time, I’ll just ride over you!! I’ll see you on the hills!!!!!

BetterMe – Week 5

August 2, 2009

A very interesting topic for this week – it’s all about how more isn’t always better. And man is that so true with the heart. In college we used to think one beer was good, but 10 beers was great!! Now those 10 beers can do some serious hitting on my heart. Besides the fact I’m just too old now for hangovers….

But for the purposes of this week’s lesson with getting a better heart, this is focused around weight. Remember that obesity is one of the big risk factors for heart disease. Even dropping 5% of your weight if you are overweight can make a big difference. So Get Active, Eat Healthy and let’s lose some weight America!! Now, while weight is a factor, a healthy weight doesn’t equal a healthy heart. Which is why it is so important for everyone to go thru this 12-week program to learn more about your heart and how you can better take care of the MOST important organ in your body.

Alot of women are emotional eaters. I know I was, still kinda am…. I just have to be really careful with it now. I can’t go eat a whole bag full of candy because I’m stressed out about something – that could be a couple days worth of sodium for me. Now here is a scary stat that was in this week’s lesson: a handful of potato chips a day can add about 1,000 calories a week. That translates to you gaining 4 pounds in three months and 16 pounds a year!

So, since obesity is such a big risk factor, that is the focus of this week’s goals:
1.  I’m going to pick up the pace on my bike – ride a little faster than I have been, while keeping my heart rate in check.
2. Figure out what my recommended daily caloric intake needs to be and start sticking close to that number. (sodium is the most important factor here for me…)
3. Find out my BMI number to see which category I fall in.
4. Start paying better attentions to my moods and how that affects my eating.

So, how did I do last week? I’ll be honest, I fell short on two of my goals. I didn’t solicit someone to help me with one of my Go Red Goals. I know who I want to ask and what it’s for, I just let the week get away from me. So I will get that done this week. The other one is I didn’t add resistance training in my workout. Maybe part of it is being a little gun shy, I really don’t want to push where I shouldn’t be. Part of me wants to talk this one over with my doc.

Anyhoo… so come on board and become a BetterU for your heart!!