Actually, I have been back in touch with my account for the last few days. I haven’t been reading everyone else’s stuff, although that’s on my list of things to do. I’ve been reading my own. I set goals, had purpose, saw some positive results and then, just like every time I get on a roll, I quit writing about it. I quit holding myself accountable. So what happened between that last post and today???
Lots happened actually! I did keep training for Grandma’s. I kept pushing myself to eat better and eat at home. I volunteered as a coach for Girls on the Run. I took a vacation for the first time in 14 years (Palm Springs 😍). I felt good. I wasn’t where I wanted to be but I was getting there. Life felt good.
And then something completely unexpected happened. (It always does, doesn’t it?) At mile 7 of Grandma’s Marathon, I started to feel funny. There was not one glaring thing that was wrong but I had all sorts of little things start happening that didn’t feel right. I was well trained, so it didn’t make sense. I thought I was dehydrated but I had been drinking extra water and electrolytes for weeks to get ready so that didn’t make sense. I tried to drink more water and eating some of my sports beans. I walked. I still felt odd. Cold sweaty, pressure in my arm, kind of headachey, dizzy. I stopped at the Mile 8 First Aid Jeep and asked if they had a blood pressure cuff. Not sure whyet I asked that, but they didn’t. They said there was one at mile 9 at the actual medical tent. So I started running again. “Hey, are you okay?” they shouted at me as I ran away. “Yeah, I’ll be fine!” I said as I kept going. I was running with my son and his fiancée and I was going to catch up with them to let them know I wasn’t feeling good and that I was going to stop in the medical tent. But when I tried to speed up, I just couldn’t. I tried to run and ended up walking a lot of that mile. Something just wasn’t right and I was worried. At the mile 9 First Aid Jeep I asked again for a blood pressure cuff. They didn’t have one but they weren’t actually the medical tent so they said they would go get someone. One of the Army volunteers asked if I wanted to sit down in the shade but I had already dropped to sit on the ground before they could get me a chair. Something wasn’t right. My heart was racing, my blood pressure was sky high, I had tightness in both arms, and was dizzy. I assumed it was dehydration still because i didn’t know what else to think. I called my parents to come get me – they had just seen me feeling great at mile 5. The medical people called the ambulance.
I ended up spending a lovely 3 days in the hospital while they tried to figure out what in the heck was wrong with me. In the end, the know for sure that I have high blood pressure, my heart rate is high, I have 4 areas of 30-40% blockage in my heart. The kicker of the whole 3 days is that in their search for what caused my symptoms, they found something that doesn’t cause symptoms: an enlarged aortic root. In other words, an aortic aneurysm. Luckily, it is still at the stage where it will need to be monitored. I have a chance to be proactive about it and if it continues to grow, I can have surgery to fix it. Many people with aortic aneurysms don’t learn about them until they rupture and then it’s pretty much too late. I’m not ready for anyone to bury me yet.
I went from standing at the start line of my favorite marathon to heart patient in a day. I was sent home with a prescription for blood pressure meds, orders to follow up with a cardiologist, and the direction to not run until I was under the supervision of that doctor. The first appointment I could find was July 19th. Since the day it got out of the hospital until now, I have been reading about enlarged aortas, walking, and relaxing. I’ve spent almost the whole time at the cabin. Sitting in the sun, reading, coloring, playing with my puppy, and considering my life the way it suddenly is.
I don’t like being in this no mans land of not knowing. I find myself getting choked up being with my family, Thinking about my family, I consider what it would be like if I was gone and I can’t even go there. I think about how much I love Doug. I think about how much time I spend doing things that don’t matter to me and I am determined to LIVE – not by putting off doing the things that make me happy but by doing. My next vacation is going to be at Christmas – don’t know where yet but I’m going to take care of making me happy. Me. Which means Doug and the kids and my puppies, too. But I’m not going to wait for a better time or a bigger savings account.
What do you do to take care of yourself?? Think about it and leave me a comment!