Friday, September 24, 2010

Got my First Cardio "Report Card" Today!

Oh Happy first progress report from Cardio Rehab. In my first 4 weeks I have lost a little over 10 pounds and improved my physical capacity by 20%...the news was deliverd with a "good Job" and a happy face! The antidepression meds have kicked in and with working out 3 days a week life is looking much brighter. For the rest of this year I am totally focusing on my physical and mental health. To that end I am starting a group therapy program next week. We will meet for 10 weeks and deal with all the "stuff" that comes up when you face your own mortality. So 5 days a week it is all about Me!LOL About time I'd say....

AZ is still hot as hell....although we are getting some double digit temperature teasers just to remind us that soon we will be in the good times. I am soooo ready to be able to get outside and do some yard work. I've done about all I can manage in the house and am ready to plant some greenery. Doesn't look like I will be doing any major traveling until I complete my cardio programs in December. I do plan to spent Thanksgiving and Christmas with my family in San Diego. Looking forward to that. So onward we go....

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

It's been a hell of a rollercoaster ride!

It's been about a month since I had my heart surgery and am enjoying the welcome flow of oxygen and blood in my body. I have acquired a boatload of "keeping me alive" medications which now require weekly organization. I "do my pills" once a week...never thought it would come to this.

I have been given lots and lots of wonderful information about the physical aspects of heart disease and my pulmonary hypertension but not nearly enough about the emotion component of heart attacks and heart disease. It has been an emotional roller coaster with feelings running in a range from total gratitude to total terror. Fortunately, I found a website called WomensHeart that has been a God send. I have now started my cardio-rehab exercise program and will be working out 3 days a week for the next 12 weeks...all that and some lovely drugs have improved my outlook dramatically.

Had a little setback last week. Up early, washing my face and all of a sudden my nose started bleeding....blood was running out of my nostrils like water....I tried everything I could to get it to stop but 45 minutes was still gushing and I was starting to get a bit dizzy. I thought, Oh God, if I pass out and keep bleeding I'll end up exiting this life over a nosebleed! This did not fit my plans at all. So, I dialed 911 and told them my story and said "no sirens please". Within 10 minutes (very comforting) the whole fire brigade and EMT's arrived. It's been a while (quite a while) since I've been surrounded by that level of testosterone...I liked it....a lot. LOL

The EMT's spent another 15 minutes trying to stop the bleeding without success, so off we headed to the ER. I spent 3 more hours in the ER bleeding now I had seen more of my own blood than I ever want to again. Finally, they were able to slow down one side of my nose and cauterize the offending spots but had to do a balloon pack on the other side. What a painful, miserable, solution that is. They kept me at the ER for another 2 hours to get some fluid in me and sent me home with my nose packed down to my throat. My instruction were to leave the pack in for a minimum of 48 hours and then go to an ENT specialist to have it removed to avoid restarting the bleeding. Unfortunately, the weekend intervened and I wasn't able to get an appointment until Monday to have the "Nose Monster" removed. I could barely swallow, hardly talk and only breath through my mouth. I just hunkered down for 4 days and went to my appointment 2 hours early on Monday. All went well and I nosebleed free and soooo happy to be.

Dr. said the blood thinners I am on for the heart stents is the reason....very difficult to get my blood to clot now. Great for the heart.....not so much for the nose. So now I must keep my nose moist (a neat trick in dry heat of 110) and not blow too hard or preferably at all and keep my fingers crossed it doesn't happen again. Can't wait to see what life will bring to me next....stay tuned!