Thursday, May 17, 2012


May is an interesting month for me.  My father was born in May, the 3rd.  He's no longer with us.  In fact, I was just 20 years old when he passed.  I wasn't very close to him.  Nor my mother (who is also not around anymore).

My birthday is in May.  I've always liked celebrating my birthday.  It's all about me, and I don't often get days that are all about me.

There is a rather strange anniversary in May also.  In 2007, three days after my birthday, I had a major heart attack.  Did I know it was a heart attack at the time?  No.  I was out playing with my horse.  I was planning on riding.  Good thing the horse wouldn't let me get on....all of a sudden my chest felt like someone sucked all the air out of me, I got light headed, and just didn't feel right.  I put the horse in the pen, walked into the house, and had to use the bathroom.  I was sweating profusely.  I couldn't catch my breath.  It was very scary.  I called to my dear hubby, and he came into the bathroom and took one look at me and thought I'd fallen off the horse or gotten hurt somehow (I had a tendency of that happening....).  I told him best I could, that wasn't it, that something was wrong and I needed to go to the hospital.  Never did it cross our minds to call 911.  Imagine that.  Dummies.

Because I was sweating so badly, I couldn't pull my riding pants back up so I sent hubby upstairs to get shorts.  I told him to pull the car around to the front steps because I wouldn't be able to walk to the car.  He got his father (his parents were living with us at the time) and they both took me under the arms, and carried me out to the car (still, no one thought of calling 911.....).  Hubby drove like a bat out of hell to get me to the hospital which is about 15 miles away.  Luckily, it was evening, and the road we live off of, is a 55 mph road - and mostly empty at that time.  Needless to say, he didn't go 55 was more like 80 or 90.

I was still sweating, and having difficulty breathing.  I had to lean forward and couldn't wear my seat belt because of the restriction on me and how I had to sit.  I had my head leaning on my arm which rested on the console between the front seats.  I kept saying I don't want to die.  He kept telling me I wasn't going to die.  My head kept slipping off my arm because of the sweating.

When he got us into town, at one point because he was going through red lights (looking both ways first) a cop started following us but hubby kept going.  When he pulled into the hospital, and ran to get someone to help (I couldn't walk at all by then) the cop left.  I guess I wasn't looking too good.....

The hospital staff took me in immediately and kept asking me stupid questions.  They wanted me to lay back but I couldn't breathe if I laid back.  I kept resisting.  Finally they forced me to lay back and at that moment, my heart stopped beating.......
Obviously, they brought me back to life.  Or I wouldn't be telling this story.
It took them two sets of shocks to bring me back. From what I've been told, the team that had me when I arrived, was shooed out of the room and the A team of hospital staff (the really knowledgeable ones) were brought in.  I guess they knew what they were doing, since they got me breathing again.

To answer the question I get quite often, no, there were no angels, white lights, or anything else.  One second I was aware of what was going on, the next I wasn't there.  Just darkness. Peace.  Nothing weird to report on that front.  Sorry.  Some people say it's because it wasn't my time.  I really believe you just pass to the other aren't any longer in your physical body.  What happens next, I dunno because I wasn't out that long. 

Dear Hubby was told that if I wasn't back by the second shocking, I might not come back.  Someone was actually telling him that while he was watching me die.  Not great news. Good thing I'm stubborn.  Poor guy, I'm surprised he didn't throw up and pass out himself........

After I was brought back, I was told I had to be flown to UVA Medical Center in Charlottesville, VA.  It's about a 60 minute drive, but by air it's only a few minutes.  I told them I wasn't going in a chopper.  NO WAY, no how.  They told me I had to go or I would have another heart attack.  I told them, if they wanted me to fly, they better drug me.  They did.  I barely remember hearing the chopper blades, and saying goodbye to my dear hubby.  Next thing I knew, I was waking up in the hospital and told to lay flat on my back.  I had a stent inserted into the artery that was blocked.  I'd had a BIG heart attack.  I had what most men have, it's called "The Widow Maker" because most men die of it immediately.  It's not the "normal" heart attack for women.

After recovering, it's been difficult for me.  I don't have the stamina that I used to have.  I had been dieting and lost about 35 lbs before the heart attack.  I can't seem to wrap my mind around being able to lose weight and diet again.  I need to get fit.  I've gained a LOT of weight back.  My blood numbers always come back great, but that's because I'm on meds to make them come back great.  I'm overweight and want to get fit, but it's not easy.  I run out of breath easily.  No stamina.

Anyway, that's my heart attack story.  This year it's five years since it happened.  I've never really dealt with it - I denied that it really happened to ME.  I'm grateful to the people that brought me back to life.  I'm forever grateful to my husband.  He kept it together and got me to the hospital.  I'm grateful I have a second chance at life.

The other thing that's hard for me during the month of May is Mother's Day.  Some years, I do ok, others, not so much.  I have two children.  My daughter is brilliant, has her Master's degree, she's a new mom, giving us what will most likely be our only grandchild.  I also have a son.  I haven't spoken to him in over seven years.  When we moved here, we didn't give him an address.  There are reasons for this.  He is a druggie and an alcoholic.  He was abusive.  He's 34 years old, selfish, and a user.  At this point we don't know if he's dead or alive.  Even my daughter had to stop talking to him because he was so abusive and not like anything like the kid he used to be.    He used to have a really big heart, and care about the people around him.  My daughter said the last time she talked to him a few years ago, she could tell his brain was fried.  He didn't make sense, he was angry, and just wasn't doing well at all.

The prayers I send are for him to get well, to make a life for himself that he'll be proud of, that he'll find love, and someday, will come back to us as a grown man, proud of himself, and doing well.  I don't know if those prayers will ever be answered.  We did our best, we did everything we could to help him.  Drug treatment programs, jail, tough love.  It was an awful time during his teenage years.  It's not easy for me not knowing where he is, or if he's even still alive.  I pray for him.  I will never give up or forget him.  I pray that I will win the lottery, and I can hunt him down, get him the best treatment in the world, and help him become whole again...............

I also had my six month checkup this month.  Last September, I had a hysterectomy, and they found cancer in my uterus.  I usually  say I'm going to be fine, and this is just a bump in the road.  This time, I couldn't pull myself together and make myself believe it.  My check up went ok....but they said I hadn't healed correctly and had a granuloma.  They removed it (ouch!) and they had it checked - it came back clean.  Unfortunately, I'm still having some symptoms that I'm not supposed to have.  If they don't clear up, I have to go back in July.   This is constantly on my mind.  It sucks, knowing that these things will only continue to happen - especially if I don't get myself fit and healthy again.................

Anyway, that's my life in a nutshell.  At least, part of it.  Nothing in my life has ever been easy. Alcoholic parents, seizures as a child, born eight years after my next oldest brother (oops, what a mistake!), school was hard.  Life has always been a challenge for me - staying alive, keeping the faith, and looking for the next GOOD thing in my life. 

I'm here, I'm grateful for every day that I wake up and can enjoy my hubby, my dogs and cat, the beautiful weather, my grand baby, and life in general.  It's a good day when I wake up!

Oh, my birthday is on Saturday, and this past Monday, I won tickets to the Willie Nelson concert, which is being held on Saturday.  I'm so freaking excited.  It's an outdoor concert, which means we aren't stuck in seating in an indoor venue.  The weather is going to be awesome.  We can take our own chairs, blankets, whatever, and sit as far away as is comfy for us (our ears).

Today, my friend is taking me out to lunch.  We do this for our birthdays.  Hers is in January.  It's nice that we get to spread it out.  We usually go somewhere special - we went to Red Lobster for hers.  I think we're going there for mine today too.  Otherwise we don't usually get to go to Red Lobster!  :-)  Works for me.

I hope you will always take care of yourself because if you don't, no one else will.  Only you have the power to make yourself happy, healthy, and strong.  Only you have the decision to make as to what you do with your life.  I'm very lucky - I love my life.  I have it really good even with the ups and downs.  You are worth taking the time to care for yourself, de-stress, do good things for yourself, treat yourself to something special.


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