Posts Tagged ‘Heart Failure’

Confession Time…..Saturday Morning

January 23, 2010

I’m sure at this point when people read this on my blog they are going to hate me. How in the world can I even begin to complain or have a complaint? I’m on the trip of a lifetime, getting the opportunity of a lifetime – to see and experience events few non-celebrity people get to do. I’m traveling with a quadrapalegic who would probably love to feel pain in his legs, to feel anything in his legs….. Yet, it’s saturday morning, and I have another confession to make……..

I just don’t know how much more my arms and legs can lift. They are so tired, they’re turning into noodles. I haven’t lifted anything over 15 pounds since before December 2009, so this week has felt like I’m training for the Ironman Competition. And even though I am clearly struggling, Drew seems to have the utmost patience with me when I screw things up.

I have so much respect for him and his family right now. Really gives me a new appreciation of what my parents have dealt with throughout all my medical mishaps. As soon as I want to complain I just look over at Drew, and my mind cannot begin to understand or comprehend what life is like for him. I hate confessions. I hate that I even think these thoughts of weakness.

Confession Time…..Friday Morning

January 22, 2010

I woke up so tired and sore. I can feel my legs starting to shut down. I can feel I’ve put too much stress on my heart, fluid is backing up in my chest like there is a running facet inside there. And I feel like the most selfish, vain bitch for even feeling this way. I guess maybe by writing it I’m not saying it out loud, as if that makes this any better. I don’t have the right to complain. Drew can’t feel his legs, can’t move his legs. I’m trying so hard to help with moving him in/out of his wheelchair, getting him dressed and I feel like this weakling. As I blow dry my hair I can’t stop my eyes from watering up. I don’t want Drew to see me crying. I’m sitting here frustrated because my legs are tired and my heart is exhausted. And Drew is in a wheelchair.

Just as I am about to hit rock bottom from the guilt of feeling sorry for myself Drew starts laughing. He’s watching some of the video I took last night at his party. That smile lights up my heart. That laugh lets my body know it will be okay, it can make it. Despite the bruises, the aches, the pains – I will be okay. If he can have the strength to survive on an icy road, I can muster up the strength to continue doing this.

Confession Time….

January 21, 2010

I can’t get the conversation I had with Melissa at the bar Tuesday night out of my mind. I’ve heard Drew tell his story of what little he remembers happened, and what people told him happened; but to not only hear her words – to see the fear still in her eyes at the thought of losing her brother. It really has moved me. They say when you have children you experience a love unlike no other, true unconditional love. I would match that with the heartfelt words that came from Melissa’s mouth. She truly would, will and did move mountains to help Drew, to make his life a little easier, to get him anything he needs, to put a smile on his face. If you could see the fierceness in her eyes when it comes to her brother, you would understand. She was not going to lose her brother, not then and not now. He is her heart. Makes me wonder who in my life would fight that hard for me? I know two – my mother and my father. Drew and Melissa have a very special relationship, a special connection. Almost makes me jealous that I don’t have that same type of bond and relationship with my brother and sister.

People have often said to me that if they were in my situation they don’t feel they would survive or be able to fight. I kindly would reply with you just never know how you will react until put in the situation, that often times you will surprise even yourself. I am the one now saying those words – I don’t think I am strong enough to survive what he has. I don’t think I would have held on 16 hours on an iced over road with the desire to live like he did. And I definitely don’t think I would have the will to continue pushing down walls when just about every one of my personal abilities was taken away from me. What makes me so ashamed now, is that this time last year I was on here ranting about how I couldn’t go sky diving or go to my dance class because my stupid little heart went into failure.

I have no reason to complain when I am with Drew. You have no reason to complain. Having Drew in my life, knowing him, spending time with him – makes me a better person. Now I just need to get the rest of the world to know him…..

Wrestling Demons

October 16, 2009

Ok, so most of my fighting matches and blogs have been centered around karate, but this one is going to be a little different. Inside all of us are demons we are constantly battling to be the better person we know we can be. The demons that whisper good-for-nothing temptations in your ears. The demons that just curl themselves up in a suitcase for you to carry as extra baggage all your life until you decide to deal with it, until you decide to wrestle.

The big demon I am wrestling right now is Mr.Sandman. You have infiltrated my dreams long enough to no avail. You gave me hopes and beliefs that were not grounded in anything but mirages. And like a camel walking to water, I ran straight to your mirage with open arms, only to end up grabbing at empty air. Just like the feeling you left in my heart – empty. You sprinkled your magic dust in my mind to dream that the universe would grant me that one more wish, only to wake up with a haunted halo.

“Confront the dark parts of your self and work to banish them with illumination and forgiveness. Your willingness to wrestle your demons will cause your angels to sing. Use the pain as fuel, as a reminder of your strengths.” – August Wilson

Everyday when I wake up I have demons to wrestle – will I be able to walk, will I make it through the day without a seizure, will I be able to breathe, will I have extra fluid in my chest from my heart. Will I be strong enough to fight it all off, still keep a smile on my face and keep my focus on where I am going in life. Will I truly have the strength to not give up on my fight. Will I be smart enough to make it to where I need to go. Will I know that I’m not all alone when there’s no one there to hold my hand. Will I wake up alive. Will my heart function okay on its own. Maybe that’s the difference between you and me, Mr.Sandman. I don’t have a choice. These demons wait patiently for me as I sleep and seem to be several cups of coffee ahead of me when I wake up. So ready or not, they attack as soon as I get out of bed. Whereas you can simply pack all of your demons in that luggage you carry around. But battling these demons makes me stronger. Battling these demons makes me a better person.  Battling these demons keeps me alive. And soon enough, these demons will get tired of wrestling with me and will move on to the next soul to haunt. And the fact that I am brave enough to get up and fight them everyday, makes my angels sing even louder and motivates me even more.

So, Mr.Sandman, what’s your excuse? What do you possibly have to hide behind? What could be so terrifying that it is greater than life? You know what your demons are. You know the door is right there to walk through to get your battle started, so what’s holding you back? What are you so scared of? That you might actually become a better person, that you might actually feel happy and more alive than you ever felt before? That you might experience some relief from not carrying around all that baggage? (because I promise you, it’s a hell of a lot lighter load) That maybe it’s time for you to finally grow up? That maybe your two regrets don’t have to be regrets but actually dreams you make come true? You are the only one in charge of your own happiness. So own it!

Here’s one thing I do know, when God sends us down strong paths He gives us strong shoes. I happen to also have a pretty good pair of boxing gloves. But in true martial arts fashion – you have to be good on your feet and on the ground. So I keep my demons guessing all the time on what angle I’ll hit them with. You have to figure out what artillery you need to fight your demons. And as angry as I am that you have crossed over the line to the other side to be my demon versus the sweet something to look forward to in my dreams, I wish you all the best with your fight. And hope you find your peace.

Poker Face

October 15, 2009

Several years ago I tried my hand at poker in Las Vegas. Yeah…. let’s just say I lost some money. Guess that means I’m not that great of a poker player. I think one quality that makes a good poker player is the ability to count cards. To know how the deck is stacked against them, or what cards are left you may have left to play with. To me, this is a very important part of the game. If you can’t, then you could easily get blindsided with a pair of Aces you just can’t compete against. Another quality of a good poker player is having that all stoic poker face. Guess that’s why a lot of professional poker players wear sunglasses. You can read so much in someone’s eyes – so why not keep them hidden from the rest of the world? Right.

Well, if those two qualities make a good poker player, then I think it’s pretty obvious why I suck at this game. While I am great at reading the enemy (or for most times the competition), when it comes to matters of the heart, I can never properly count the deck or even see when the deck was so clearly stacked against me that I had no way of winning straight out of the gate. The passionate nature in me makes it impossible for me to keep expressions off my face. I wear my heart on my sleeve. And even in the darkest pair of Prada sunglasses, you will see the pain, hurt and emptiness resonate brightly through my eyes when I have lost, or am about to lose.

In the book, The Last Lecture, Randy Pausch says, “We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand.” How profound that is. I can’t change the fact that I have Multiple Sclerosis. There is no cure for it. But what I can do is change everyday how I play my hand depending on the cards MS wants to deal me. And over the years I feel I have become quite the master at this one. You dealt me a hand that would take away my legs. I called your bluff and got them back only with a pair of crazy eight’s!! Every hand you have dealt me, I have methodically, carefully, yet strategically played my way through to where I held the winning card in the end. (why some of this wisdom didn’t carry over to Las Vegas, I know not….) Since I was winning so much there, you decided to raise the stakes on me and deal me a new hand with a failing heart. And right now we are still playing this particular round of poker….. but I’m feeling pretty confident.

The irony here is that I can count how the deck is stacked against me with MS, and I’m slowly but surely getting there with my heart. But when it comes to love, I am the worst poker player around. The cards are dealt and I didn’t even count to see the critical ones that were left to be played. The cards that would make it impossible for me to win. See, the deck was stacked to where I had no chance of ever winning this particular hand. And since I wear my heart on my sleeve, my opponent was able to read my hand without me ever uttering a word. Strike two!! But being the daring and competive person I am, I raised up the anty – all or nothing! But he drew the Queen of Diamonds, and for this round – that was all he needed to kill my hand. Strike three! Maybe we’ll meet again at the poker table, maybe not. Maybe I’ll entertain another match one day, maybe not. Maybe I’ll stop playing cards all together and just stick with chess…..

What I do know is that while my card game is clearly up on this poker table, I still love to play and will move on to the next interesting gamble I can make here in Vegas. But let me leave the winner of this last hand with one piece of advice, and this comes straight from the Eagles – “Don’t you draw the Queen of Diamonds boy, she’ll beat you if she’s able. You know the Queen of Hearts is always your best bet.” Your Queen of Diamonds may have won out for this ONE hand, but always remember that you can never lose when you bet on the Queen of Hearts. Even being down a hand, in the end, she’s always the winner. Too bad your sunglasses are a little too dark to see that. Maybe that poker face doesn’t help you win just as much as you think.

I’m Permanent

September 28, 2009

So, Reality….. it’s been awhile since you and I have met in the ring for a match. I have to say it’s been interesting watching how our battles have grown, strategies changed, fighting styles matured even. And sometimes when you think I’m not looking, you try to throw a left hook in there to knock me off my feet. But what you keep forgetting is how my fighting style has changed, has grown, has matured. And you also seem to forget that I have one hell of a spinning back kick that has the force to break ribs (and has broken many boards in my lifetime!)

When we first started this little sparring match, I came out swinging with everything I had in me. I won a few rounds, and lost a few. I will say, I had some strong knockouts in my corner, but the rounds I lost were pretty brutal. Not only from a physical aspect, but an emotional one too. What I didn’t realize at first was that my wins were not enough to hold me through the losses. As I said before, in battle, the psychological warfare is just as important as the physical one. Where I once proudly wore the label of winner, I allowed you to replace it with one of damaged goods. Where I had gotten comfortable with the idea of being single, you made anger become my new companion. My hot air balloon that said I was going to be larger than life, you deflated. All of the essence that I felt made Lindsey, that defined me – you slowly took them away, one by one; leaving me empty. I needed more artillery. I needed a different strategy, my body wasn’t physically strong enough to just fight on its own like I had for all the years before with MS. A few months ago I wrote about how my strategy was changing, that I was no longer going to fight this fight by myself.  To take on me, you had to take on my army. (and need I just remind you one more time that my Dad is really not someone you want to piss off….. he was and still is one hell of a fighter and an incredible martial artist)

My new strategy was inspired by one of my martial artist heros – Bruce Lee. He was formally trained in Kung Fu, but later on developed his own “style” Jeet Kune Do, which means the way of intercepting the fist. That’s what I needed – a way to intercept your fist Reality. He felt that traditional styles of martial arts was too restrained and rigid, that the techniques were not practical for real-world street fighting. And I have to agree with him. Take for example one of the forms for Tae Kwon Do. It has me fighting off 6 attackers. But in the form, not all of the “invisible” attackers will attack at the same time, they remain stationary as you work your way through them. If I were truly in a street fight with 6 people, I guarantee you that three of them will be trying to hold me down while the others attack. (good luck with that by the way…) So, Bruce Lee developed his own philosophy that was outside the box, but better prepared his students for combat. I tried to take a similar approach, think a little outside the box, but better prepare myself for combat. That’s where I created my army of soldiers that have vowed to fight with me till the end.

And I’m proud to say that my new strategy is paying off! Today, the cardio told me he thought my heart sounded strong. That’s right, you heard me correctly Reality – STRONG! I’ll say it one more time, not weak but STRONG! In fact, he read my last echo to be 10% higher on my ejection fraction than what was previously reported. Do you know what that means???? I am safely out of the range of needing a pacemaker or defibulator in my chest. My heart is strong enough to pump/beat on its own. My heart is strong enough for me to start physically building back up my core strength. And when I do, buddy you really better watch out because the two things I want soo badly are back in my dance class and back on the mat in the dojo!

Learning to survive and adapt to this new life is my mission. Out of everything my army has given me, I feel like time is the most precious gift I can give back, and that’s just not something I’m willing to give up to you anymore Reality.

For some reason over the last couple of days, the song “Permanent” by David Cook has been playing on the playlist shuffle on my ipod. There is a line that has really stuck with me, “Will you think that you’re all alone, when no one’s there to hold your hand?”. See, that’s the point Reality. You wanted me to believe I was all alone. But I know that there isn’t a second of this fight, there isn’t a beat of my heart that goes alone. My heart would not be in the place it is today without my army.

Hope and motivation comes in all shapes and sizes. Whether it’s the Father that calmly prepares his daughter for the LSAT with his infinite words of wisdom or the Mother that firmly stands as that rock you can always lean on when you’re too tired to stand. Whether it’s that friend that won’t stop pushing you until you take that test or the sister that reminds you of how important you really are. Whether it’s a bite size snack that makes your sides hurt from laughing so hard or the goofiness that occurs from mixing chicken rings with Grey’s Anatomy. Whether it’s the Days of Thunder that make your heart feel alive again or an inspiring new friendship wrapped up in a Vince Dooley tie.

Not only am I not alone, Reality. I’m Permanent!

On Bruce Lee’s gravestone it says, “Your inspiration continues to guide us toward our personal liberation.” How true that is for me. Bruce also said that they key to immortality is first living a life worth remembering. I’ll venture out there to say there are a handful of people who think my life is worth remembering. Again Reality, I’m Permanent! I’ll go ahead and score this fight as a win for Team Lindsey!!

Permanent by: David Cook
Is this the moment where I look you in the eye?
Forgive my broken promise that you’ll never see me cry
And everything, it will surely change
Even if I tell you I won’t go away today

Will you think that you’re all alone
When no one’s there to hold your hand?
When all you know seems so far away
And everything is temporary, rest your head
I’m permanent

I know he’s living in hell every single day
And so I ask, oh God is there some way for me to take his place?
And when they say it’s all touch and go
I wish I could make it go away but still you say

Will you think that you’re all alone
When no one’s there to hold your hand?
When all you know seems so far away
And everything is temporary, rest your head
I’m permanent, I’m permanent

Is this the moment where I look you in the eye?
Forgive my promise that you’ll never see me cry

Operation: Blow Up Heart!!

September 8, 2009

Everyone has a little bit of a rebel in them, right? Everyone likes to push the limits every now and then to see how far they can go or how much they can get away with. I think that over the last couple of weeks I was on a mission – I called it Operation Blow Up My Heart. Now don’t take this the wrong way, this was by no means some type of suicide mission. This was me just trying to see how far I could push things.

My life is operated around all of these rules and restrictions I have to abide by. I can’t just eat whatever I want. Not because I’m worried about gaining weight, I’m worried about the impact on my heart. My freestyle life as I knew changed when I was 20 and diagnosed with MS. Over the years, I figured out my boundaries and how close I could get to those electric fences before I got shocked. And for the most part, I could operate as freely as I wanted to….. Then last December my freestyle life as I knew came to a complete halt. At the beginning it was simply trying to adjust to every punch and stone being thrown at me. Then it was following those rules, regulations, restrictions as closely disciplined as if I were in the military. I changed my strategy to being a little more lenient, so I could have a “little fun” and tested the waters that way. Throughout all of this, we saw my heart improve, get worse, get a little better, take a serious dive south, then start to jump back up. I tried things my doctor’s way, and they didn’t exactly work. I tried things my way, and they didn’t exactly work. I needed to find a new ground. I needed to shake things up a little bit!! I needed to find a little spice!!

You know those commercials where someone is trying to make a decision and you have the angel on one shoulder telling you to be good and the devil on the other shoulder telling you to be bad. Well, I put that bandana around my head, ripped holes in my jeans, hopped on a Harley and decide to defy everything!! (Okay, not really, I’m actually scared of motorcycles…. but you get the point). I decided to be a rebel. To just do, eat, drink, act however I wanted to; despite what my doctors orders were. I wanted to see just how far I could push this heart. I wanted to see what my limits were. I was TIRED of being scared of everything that “could” go wrong….. I wanted to see if we could blow up my heart!

I’m sure if my doctor is reading this then he’ll have a heart attack himself. I’m a firm believer that you have to take responsibility for your actions. I’m an adult, I knew what I was doing and trust me, I paid for my rebellious stage! I was pretty much bedridden, not able to breathe or move for about three days.

But my mission was successful. If you don’t make mistakes, you’ll never learn. And if you don’t learn from your mistakes, you’ll never grow in this life. I write this particular blog not to scare people. But so that you understand I am human too. I get angry. I get scared. I want to push the limits and see what I can and can’t get away with. That no matter if it’s MS or Heart Failure, you don’t wake up everyday as a fighter and that health advocate that does the right thing. Its a conscious choice I have to make, everyday. And somedays, I chose to be a rebel.

So….. why do I feel my mission was successful? Well, I have a new found desire to be that health advocate for myself. It’s like the person who diets all the time and just wants to eat a piece of chocolate cake every now and then. I know more of what my limits and boundaries are, not that I need or should push myself there all the time. But it helped take away some of my fear of “what could happen if….”. (I still have this with many aspects of my heart, but we were able to knock a few off the list). And lastly, as long as there is ORANGE blood running through these veins, there isn’t anything that will kill this heart!!!

All We Need is Just a Little Patience

September 1, 2009

I’ve said over and over on this blog that patience is a virtue I just wasn’t born with. But when I look back over this last year and chapter of my life, I feel this is also one of the biggest lessons I have been taught…. have tried to learn…. have seen that I need more than anything. Am still working on…..

But today, we have no patience, we just need to vent!

Said, woman, take it slow
It’ll work itself out fine
All we need is just a little patience
(Guns’N’Roses: Patience)

I have tried to patiently wait for my heart to heal itself medically. I get that my heart didn’t fail overnight and it won’t get better overnight. Maybe my patience is running thin on the small improvements, I need to see something bigger. And now I am supposed to be patient while we figure out if some suit did put a price tag on my heart? How do I have patience for that, why should I have patience for that? Maybe I’m tired of having patience with this. If you screwed up my heart, you don’t deserve my patience. And now you want to throw in my face that “It was just understood that heart failure was a serious possibility by taking this drug”, so this is actually my fault? You are one insane lady if you think I will have any patience for that load of bullshit!

I have patiently waited for the time to come when I can get back into my dance class. I don’t know how much more patience I can have with this one, I need to dance like I need to breathe. I have accepted that there are certain activities I will never be able to do again, or even try for the first time. But I can’t sit here and patiently wait as the last bit of happiness in my life gets stripped away….. Maybe I’m just tired of having patience with this.

For 12 years I have patiently waited for a cure for MS. For the longest time I was told there would be a cure by the time I was 30. Just turned the dial to 32 this year, and nothing. We have stronger medicines, but nothing that can just wipe this out for me. Nothing that can take away my worry of waking up tomorrow and not being able to walk.  Nothing that can wipe away the seizures. Nothing that can give me the peace of mind that one day I won’t need someone to take care of me. And there is amazing research out there – medicines and procedures that could get us a lot closer to where we need to be. But there is too much political bullshit holding this progress back. And I have patiently waited 12 years. I get there are people who have lived with this disease for 25 years. But at the current moment, I am walking like a drunk person thanks to MS, hooked up to an IV that is supposed to make me better and dealing with the realization that this may be my life, alone. And I guess my patience has just run out here too.

I waited patiently for my broken heart to mend itself with time. And just when you think it’s all over, everything is in the past you get a rude little email to remind you of just how bad it hurt. I patiently went thru all the grieving stages, and I’m done with it. I guess my patience has just run out here. I’ve been waiting patiently for the time to come that I was ready to venture back out into the dating world. Only it seems everytime I dip my toe in that pool, I get burned.

“If I lay here, if I just lay here
Would you lie with me and just forget the world….”
(Snow Patrol: Chasing Cars)

I’ve waited patiently for someone to chase cars with me…. Maybe my patience is wasted in this arena. Maybe I had that one shot at love with someone who could look into my heart and see me, see past the MS and see me, see past the heart failure and see me, see past the sickness and see me – someone to just forget the world with me. Maybe I’m stupid for patiently waiting that someone could come around again. Because right now, I honestly don’t think he is.

“Said, woman, take it slow
And things will be just fine
You and I’ll just use a little patience
Said, sugar, take the time
‘Cause the lights are shining bright

I been walkin’ the streets at night
Just tryin’ to get it right
hard to see with so many around
You know I don’t like
Being stuck in the crowd
And the street don’t change
But baby the name
I ain’t got time for the game”
(GNR: Patience)

I have patiently waited to see some vision, some sign of what direction I am supposed to go in this life. I have a road tattooed on my back (mixed in with a bigger tattoo) that is symbolic of this journey I have yet to travel in this life. Maybe my patience has run out on trying to figure this out. Why can’t a big piece of the sky just fall and hit me in the head with the road map for my life?

I know at the end of the day I need to just trust God and be patient in Him. But today has just been one of those days that I needed to vent, and my patience has run out…..

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 –>

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? –>

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. –>

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. –>

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 –>

6. News Flash… AHA journal says “Health risks begin in overweight range, BMI doesn’t tell whole story”. Read the whole story here –>

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! –>

8. You can makeover your heart and become a BetterU. Join me in this 12-week program –>

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!!!!!