Running Theories

With the Spring season and running races so often, I’ve heard a lot of opinions. So…I’ll offer mine.

First & most importantly, you need to enjoy running & the benefits it brings. Why waste so much of your time doing something you don’t like & complain about?

You can be competitive or relaxed – ENJOY it! It is a sport with flexibility.

Have more than one goal in mind – this is a Jeff Galloway tip. Going into a race – have 3 goals – (1) Finish (2) a time goal you’d be very happy with (3) a personal best. 

In long distance runs, take walk breaks – Jeff Galloway again. Not that you would know it right now, but I have run 18 marathons in my life. In 14 of them, I have passed “real runners” who didn’t take walk breaks & I have finished before them.  I have finished ALL 18 under the Jeff Galloway method and plan on doing the USMC marathon again in 2011 (probably not advertising this to Dr. B).

Even though my body is recovering from heart surgery, I WILL be back into the running world again.  My heart surgeon said  that it was a strong heart that helped my surgery. So…get off your tush & exercise.

Maybe my next heart will be from a Boston Marathoner.

Double Digits

Today is 10 weeks out of recovery from heart surgery – the weeks are into the double digits.  The good days are outnumbering the bad.

I am still very sore in my chest, lower energy, and can’t pick up Jack without my chest popping.  These are my

challenges that I wish I didn’t have.

I can drive, dress myself, improving in Cardiac Rehab.  These are the successes I am so thankful for.

Waking up having another day of  life with my family is the best thing I could thank God for.

Really Stupid Things to Say to Someone with a Chronic Disease

  • Have you researched your disease on the internet? ( No, idiot, I’ve never, ever done that).
  • Have you tried a 2nd opinion?
  • Do you think it’s stress? (Yeah, sure, my heart doesn’t pump right bc. of stress….uh, I was born with this),
  • Maybe you should try taking more vitamins (yup, more vitamin E is fixing my mitral valve as we speak)
  • Do you think you should get more sleep? (yup,  with 2 kids, I can go to bed at 7).
  • Maybe you should try seeing a hypnotist.  (oh, yeah…pulmonary artery is flowing the right way now!)

A Little Taste of Freedom

I have had a little bit of freedom given in that last week & cherish it!

  • Blood work once a week, instead of 3x a week
  • Driving – it’s hard since I get tired & it can hurt my arms backing out, so I go with another adult
  • Doing some light housework – cleaning counters & trying to pick up toys

These & more are things I have ALWAYS taken for granted, but don’t anymore!!

Heart Walk 2010

By God’s grace & determination, I walked 1 out of 3.1 miles this morning at the AHA Heart Walk.  8 1/2 weeks out of open heart, with a 2 chamber heart, pacemaker (that’s  still funky), and a mechanical valve – I did it! I cried so hard at the end! I know it’s out of God’s mercy  I am alive & able to do it.

One mile isn’t that far compared to what I used to do.  But I walked my potential – my best 🙂

My team was wonderful – people who from all areas of life, but shared in a common interest – love for me.  Family, friends from church, former running partners, canine friends, & hairstylist, Thank you so much everyone!!!

God’s Timing

It just hit me this morning. he last 6 months my cardiologist in Atlanta, Dr. B., has told me that my surgery was 3-5 years overdue. We had a lot of work & tests to fit in  — a short amount of time to work with.  I have been so angry with my family doctor & local cardiologist…what were they doing when I came in? Did they listen? Did they care? Can all they do is prescribe more & more & more meds that are toxic to me? They should have caught this, esp. the cardiologist. Where was his brain? Does he have one?

It hit me today….if I would have had this surgery 3-5 years ago, I would never have been approved to adopt. I have the most precious, predestinated children. I could not imagine my life without Chloe & Jack.  We wouldn’t have them.  Maybe they would not have been adopted, maybe they would have. Maybe they would have been aborted.

It brings me to KNOW my Heavenly Father knows what’s best – His timing, His pace, His place.  Don’t question Him. 

Stress Management Class

So I stayed for stress management class after my cardiac rehab.  It was educational to find out all the physical things that happen during stress and long term damage to your body.   We also took a stress survey, life events rating a score – things life a death or birth,  moving, job change, health changes, trouble with in-laws, being in jail, etc.  My score was average, but I feel like my change in health should be rated higher 🙂

How to get successful blood work

Over the last 4 months, I have had a lot blood tests.  I found out some ways to get successful tests.

  • Always greet them with a smile & a compliment
  • Ask them how they are doing
  • Tell them what you know – if one arm is better, if your veins are small, if you are on a blood thinner
  • If your veins are small, ask for a butterfly ( or “baby”) needle, especially if you have less than 5 tubes taken
  • If they miss 2x or more, ask for someone else – they shouldn’t keep putting you in pain. Speak up!
  • Once you find a good technician, ask for them the next time, even if you have to wait.

For Better or For Worse

12 years  ago, Joel & I said these words to each other – and we meant them.   We thought we’d had some tough times – job changes, car trouble, waiting to adopt children, things breaking in the house, computer crash, & flat tires. All of those things are inevitable problems, inconveniences, or “hard". 

But little did we know God was going to call use to the last 6 months of “worse.”  Taking 6 months to diagnose I was 5 years overdue for open heart surgery.  (Nice that the doctors couldn’t catch it before then).  Or what I thought was worse. It’s been a time of growth for both of us.  We’ve grown closer to each other, talked more kindly to each other, spent more time in the Word.

It has had it’s hard times too – I’m humiliated to have to depend on Joel to put my socks & shoes, to cut up my food for the first 2 weeks because I was too sore to use a fork & knife, to help brush my teeth, to even communicate to another person.  He had to & still has to do a lot of things for me.  He’s managed my medicines, appointments, taken me to the ER at all times of the night.  He stayed with me almost every night in the hospital (on the rare times he came home to see the kids, my dad stayed with me). 

Sometimes those “worse” times really can be a “better” time – but you can’t see it then. The suffering & agony (words by Pastor Brad)  really do draw you closer to God & each other or make you a bitter, self-pity person.  To tell you the truth, I’ve been both. Definitely bitter at the dumb doctors who let this go on so long; definitely self pity – nobody has it as hard as I do.  Don’t complain about your stupid IBS around me – especially when you make spicy food you know is going to make you sick.  Don’t complain about traffic – at least you can drive.  Don’t complain about grocery shopping with your kids – at least you can take them.  shut up people.  But I figured out, sometimes those things ARE the hardest things in their lives, or sometimes we lose sight of what’s really important.

I still have a long way to go in recovery, rehab, therapy & growing in Christ.  But I feel like I am finally in a new chapter of my life.

Helpful Tips on Nosebleeds

So since I have been on coumadin ( a medicine that helps the blood flow more smoothly), I have struggled with nosebleeds.  I get them if I cry too much, if I strain my chest or stomach too much, or if I blow my nose. You won’t believe how I am getting rid of them so quickly.

1. Get the right supplies: Sea salt spray, Vicks lotion, scissors, & small tampons.

2.  Spray your nose with the Sea Salt spray.

3.  Cut the tampon in half or less, cover in Vicks.

4. Insert,  leave for a couple hours or even over night if really bad.

I’m telling you, this works.