Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Maiden Voyage

Today was my first run since the heart attack! To say I was nervous is an understatement...I was terrified. I was worried I would disappoint myself, worried what I looked like running, worried about world peace...you name it. But, once I started it's like my body knew what to do. I did 3:1s for most of the run, but there were a couple times my heart rate shot up (like, 176!) and I took it back down and walked for a few minutes. All of my running intervals were at least 13:20 with a couple at 10:00! So all in all, a decent maiden voyage. I won't even begin to describe my emotional state since it was all over the place. The highlight? I beat the 10 year old on the treadmill next to me. Ha, it's the little things. ♥
Anyone have a bottle of champagne I can bust on the side of this baby?
5k baby!
Not so bad! 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Another Sad Blog Entry About...Screw That! I Got Cleared To RUN! :)

Today was my 3 month (+1 day) appointment with the cardiologist. I don't know what I expected-the fear of being told I had to start at square one at rehab, the thought of more medications, the anxiety over hearing my weight-any of those things are enough to send me in a tailspin these days. But, instead I heard great news! The doc has cleared me to run! I don't have to go to rehab anymore and I can focus my exercise attention on running again, along with my yoga practice. I literally almost cried because I thought it would never happen. Of course I need to check my heart rate and blood pressure and carry my nitro like it's my job, but I CAN RUN! So now I need to find a 5k, half and a marathon to make my goals over the next year. About the same time my heart attack this year was the time I began running last year, and I ran a half by October. So I'm hoping I can run one before my 32nd birthday on November 28th. That would be the best birthday present ever. If you have any suggestions for races, send them my way!

*As a side note, I am also getting my homocysteine levels checked before the next cardiac appointment. Dr House still hasn't figured out the cause of all of this. ♥

Saturday, April 21, 2012

My Evening With Jon (aka 3 Month Anniversary)


I know you're wondering what Jon Stewart has to do with my 3 month heart attack anniversary, but I promise it will make sense by the end of the blog. :)

One of my original bucket list wishes was to go see a taping of "The Daily Show." It's my favorite show and I have stood in will-call a number of times just to be turned away. Someday!  Oddly enough Jon Stewart and I share a birthday, November 28th.  I often feel like we could possibly be soulmates. I even named my stent Stewart. I haven't missed a show...ever. I own all of his books. Am I setting the stage for a decent police report? Much to my surprise, Jon Stewart was scheduled to come to Clearwater this weekend to do 2 shows only. How I didn't know about these shows is beyond me. I have the email list, twitter accounts and the iPhone and iPad apps...ok that's a little out of control. Forget I said that.

StubHub had 4 tickets available this afternoon so I quickly bought the best one I could find and jumped in the car for Clearwater. It wasn't until after I had been driving an hour that I realized that today was April 21st-exactly 3 months from my first heart attack. What better way to celebrate life than crossing something off my bucket list that makes me feel so alive?

The show was amazing! Jon Stewart is one of the smartest, most insightful, hysterical people on the face of the earth. My sides ached by the end. He hit everything from religion, to Bush, to his kids and even cracked on Florida which I loved. My favorite line was, "What kind of state does spring break and also has a law that says you can shoot if you feel threatened?" Plenty of "eh, that's Florida" cracks.

Then towards the end he brought up 9/11. Living a couple of blocks from Ground Zero he painted a bleak picture of the weeks afterwards, which I remember all too well. He said that he often wondered whether the world would go back to color after being in black and white so long, calling it the bleakest of times. I won't tell you the hilarious impetus that helped him through (I'd rather my Grandmother not tell me off) but he realized that "we're gonna be ok." Yeah, I guess I will. Thanks Jon. ♥

On my way to Clearwater
Surrounded by water...ahhhh the beach
Waiting for my dreamboat. Decent seats eh?
THAT'S MY FUTURE HUSBAND! Stupid spotlight.

Pic via rutheckerdhall.com

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Not My Idea Of A Fun Saturday Night

Saturday night I was driving home from class in Naples, Florida when it happened...the arm pain. The heavy, numb, uncomfortable feeling that I got during the heart attacks in January. It came on fast and strong, which scared the junk out of me. However I was in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by citrus trees and cows. What to do, what to do. My toes and fingers were starting to tingle and go pins and needles on me, and I worried that chest pains would be next. I knew it wouldn't be kosher to drive after taking my Nitro spray, so I drove the 3 hours back to Orlando and went straight to the ER. Amanda met me there. They gave me the Nitro tablets which helped the pain big time...yay. Then they admitted me...no! Luckily Max was at Grace's already so my only problem was all of the delicious food from Trader Joe's in my car that was thawing by the moment. Oh, and that pesky heart problem. So I spent Saturday night back in the same hospital floor as back in January. I even had a few of the same nurses. It was incredibly surreal.

Sunday I got an MRI which came back good. No mini-stroke, which was originally a concern. So the cardiologist from the same practice I see came in and said we needed to recath. This was my worst fear since the pain was incredible last time. It's not exactly delightful having something shoved into your femoral artery. But I was definitely not in a position to argue, so cath it was. Monday morning I was cathed around 9 am. It was incredibly strange, laying on the table, watching the doctors and nurses prep around me. Last time the catheterization was so fast once they realized what was happening that I was literally lifted onto the table with a blanket and was in the middle of it before I had time to process what was happening. This time I had too much time to think. It was terrible. Luckily the cath came back good. Stent is working good (thanks Stew). My EF has come up 5% but I'm still dangerously low. Basically my heart is still healing and these symptoms might have to be something I live with for awhile. It's going to take time and patience. So back to rehab I go after clearance. I just hope this doesn't happen every 3 months, or I will definitely be a mess. It could be worse though, and for that I am thankful. ♥

Max's Weekend

Let me be frank-my dog loves attention. This constant need for love is a bit annoying when I'm writing a paper or trying to vacuum but comes in handy when I'm in the hospital. This also provides a good time for a mini photo-shoot. Big, giant puffy hearts and hugs go out to Grace and Kathleen who took Max this past weekend. You guys are the best. ♥
PS Why do I get the feeling he enjoys this? 
Photo by Grace
Photo by Grace
Photo by Grace

Photo by Grace

Photo by Kathleen
Photo by Kathleen

Ahhhhhnnnnd done. Photo by Kathleen

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Me - A Guest Speaker?!

Last week I got an email from the Communications Director (Hey Jenna!:)) of the Orlando Chapter of the American Heart Association. I was asked to tell my story to the Young Professionals (PULSE) group of the AHA at the Citrus Club downtown. Each month the Citrus Club holds a Cocktails for a Cause event, and this month it was the AHA. Needless to say I was nervous as anything. This entire experience has been extremely emotional and I didn't want to end up in the fetal position or rocking like Rainman in the corner. But, I made it. I MADE IT! It pretty much ranks as one of the most amazing nights of my life, actually. I was able to open a few eyes to people who obviously couldn't figure out why I was the guest speaker and I got to talk to a bunch of professionals from many walks of life and experiences with heart disease. I think it might be the first time I've felt like myself since the heart attacks. I'll keep some of the more personal thoughts and details to myself so that I can relish in the moments for awhile. Let's just say I am...happy. ♥
On my way!
The view from The Citrus Club
Doing my thannng. It's called networking. Ha.
Nervous!
The amazing gift basket the raffle winner gave me!