Well, today is the three year anniversary of my aortic valve replacement surgery. My how time flies. It has been a roller coaster ride of ups and downs, highs and lows. I guess that could probably describe life for many of us regardless of health.
I am so grateful to still be here three years later, pretty awesome what the health profession can do for us and what our bodies can carry on through. Even though I often feel fragile I know we heart patients are a tough breed. :)
The mixed emotions come from a sense of loss I feel when I dwell on the things I CAN"T do. I need to try and stay focused on the things I CAN do........but thats tough. Sometimes it feels like life is passing me by while I merely observe it's passing. I am currently searching for activities I can participate in that will make me feel like a contributing member of society, give me some meaning or purpose.......doesn't have to be earth shattering - just keep me in the game.
I spend much of my day sleeping. Then there are periods of rest, some occasional TV watching - oh who am I kidding - way too much TV watching. Other than my trip to the store when I absolutely have to get groceries and an occasional family get together, I do nothing. Hours and hours, days and days of nothing.
I am not allowed to vacuum, rake, or mow. I get exhausted in attempts to keep up with housework and simply dread the grocery store because I know I will be wiped out for the remainder of the day. I know staying active is the key, but it is so darn hard to do activities knowing how awful I will feel during and afterward. I have even dropped out of cardiac rehab phase III.
I used to be quite active, I walked 2 and 1/2 miles/day six days/week, worked 60 hours/week, went camping, attended concerts, went to the movies weekly and frequently went out with friends socially. Over time, with me often having to decline the invitation, my friends have pretty much stopped inviting me.
It has been so hot out and we have had 26 air quality alert days (I'm not supposed to venture outside on those days) so I feel like I have missed out a lil bit on summer. On a positive note though I have managed (with my boyfriend's help) to keep my garden going this year. He did all the rototilling, weeding and most of the harvesting while I planted it and contributed to some of the watering. It didn't rain here much at all so there was alot of watering. LOL
Recently a young marine from our town passed away in Iraq. A "church" planned to protest at his funeral and the citetzens here organized a group to be a human wall to shield the family. I was invited to participate and REALLY wanted to but I didn't dare. I knew I couldn't stand that long and worried I would need to make frequent bathroom visits. Thousands of people also showed up to show support along the funeral route from the church to the cemetery and I thought well surely I could at least do that - bring a chair etc......didn't dare. Many streets were blocked and I was concerned I wouldn't be able to walk that far and then there was that pesky bathroom situation again. I literally cried over it. Then I felt guilty for feeling sorry for myself and making this poor young man's death all about me. Good grief.
I have adopted my aunt 's motto: I wake up and have nothing to do........and by the end of the day I only have half of it done! (she had CABG, diabetes etc....was not expected to live to 40 but made it to 52)
Anyway, I am wondering what you wonderful ladies do. I know many of you are still working and some of you have small children. How do you manage? What do you do to stay "connected" to life?
Best wishes to all,