Sunday, June 12, 2016

Miracles Happen Every Day

I have been sharing my daily miracles with a very select group of close family members that I can be openly honest with. I have decided to blog about last weeks miracles because I need to share them with that group in one swoop. I should never commit to doing something daily because my moods change frequently and if I don't feel like doing something, I don't do it...hence, broken promises.

The past week has been amazing...

  • Monday- I love my husband more than ever after all these years through the ups and the downs. He gets on my last nerve but he is my ROCK and I love him deeply. These days that is a miracle.
  • Tuesday- Time with my mother in nature is priceless. We usually spend out time in nature spending money buying plants. This time we spent our time at The Botanical Gardens in Toledo...btw...we managed to spend money there too...hehehe.
  • Wednesday- I had the opportunity to spend concentrated time with my 3 girls this week and that is a miracle because we are all so busy. I miss my son Nick who is currently working in Spokane Washington, but we spoke alot on the phone
  • Thursday- Over the weeks I have been attracting all kinds of cool people to me and even animals. I have a family of ducks that come over when I see them...and I DON'T FEED THEM.. and the coolest this is that a squirrel came right up to my feet while I was sitting down reading outside at work on my lunch break. He just stared at me for a bit and then went on his way.
  • Friday- I have been studying Human Design on my own and I was able to help a professional guy with reading his personal analysis and he was stunned at how accurate the analysis of his personality was and is looking forward to using the strategies suggested in decision making. He was very grateful for the free help that will probably change his life
  • Saturday- I got a spiritual confirmation that I will be going to India within the next few years for 28 days. That message was given to me spiritually 3 weeks ago and it was confirmed yesterday....spiritually. I am looking forward to seeing how this will unfold.
  • Sunday- I officially started online classes to become a Human Design Analyst.  Thanks Bob for the cash!!!!This certification course takes 1.5 years to complete...just to get certified.  I am doing pre-requisite courses now.The miracle in this is that I have found something that I LOVE to do and when I get certified I can charge for doing analysis's which is not work at all!!!!!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Noticing the small things leads to greatness....

My life has changed drastically since my heart attack. No longer do I really care what people think and at this point in my life. I don't even care to even share my blogs on Facebook or elsewhere. I will continue to blog...mostly for myself and whomever decides to read my blog.

I have purposefully slowed my life down and am enjoying the abundance of noticing the little things in life such as the joy of hearing my grandkids laughter and the different inflections in their voices. Contemplating the beauty in nature and the lessons that nature teaches us is all the new coolness in my life. I have discovered me....not the me you want me to be.....but the me that I really am....

1. The tree hugger
2. The hippie
3. The gypsie
4. The American Indian loving girl
5. The crystal lover
6. The wife
7. The mother
8. The daughter
9. The sister
10. The nana
11. The IT girl at work
12. The spiritual girl

No longer do I care about looking like this or that. Don't get me wrong, I still like makeup and I want to be in good shape, but I don't need to be in great shape or look like a super model. I used to strive for that...first with the body, then with the makeup. Been there done that and learned a lot of great stuff along the way. I know what I need to do to get as lean as I want....if I want, and I know how to do hair and makeup to bring out my best features. But I don't care as much about that anymore. I am simply in the middle extremes. 

So....with this all said, I have a new mojo hippie style that is all me. I don't care what people think anymore. If I like it...then it is good. If I want to hug a tree....then I will. If I want to drink a glass of wine with my breakfast on the weekends when I don't have to work then I do. 

The real me surfaced after I started seriously meditating....and then I started getting a Oneness Blessings and became a Oneness Blessing Giver and that too has changed my life. I am just all around a better person happy to be alive and enjoying what life I have yet to live.

This morning I slept in til after eight. I was so excited as I saw rays of yellow light peaking through my heavy curtains in our bedroom. Bob had made some coffee and we had a few cups and then went to walk Polo. I like taking walks now and just soaking up the beauty of nature. I always pick up some cool momento's of my walk....things I like. 
Polo Walking Bob

Check this out.... Miniature pine cones....lovely.

My hubby was angry at my boldness of going on someones property and helping myself to the pine cones. I asked the tree, and she said sure, take what you want...I have plenty :)

I decided to walk Resevoir 8. I was by myself....

I was a bit nervous as I headed out around that large Reservoir by myself. What if something happens? What if I started to have chest pain? What if a crazy rapist jumped out of nowhere and I am by myself? What about a wild animal? All these thoughts flooded my mind as I walked further away from my car. Then I started to concentrate on the beauty of where I was at. 
Part of the water was icy as the bigger part the body was free of ice

I listened to the cool wind as it made its way through my hoodie pulled over my ears. I enjoyed the faint sound of a train passing in the the distance. The sound of the water splashing up against the rocks was calming to my soul. It was really quiet and serene. The further I walked, the less scared I became. However, I decided to pick up an eight pound rock to carry just in case I encountered trouble. I was no longer afraid....I would become a she warrior if need be. 

I looked at the rather large awkward shape rock I was carrying and admired the pretty sparkles that bounced off this rock. I listened to the wind and was rather surprised to not hear birds chirping around here or there. No birds in sight....weird. 

As I continued to walk I looked back and in the far distance there was another person crazy enough to be walking in no-mans land...but at least that person had a dog. I felt safer knowing that someone was kinda near by....about a quarter a mile away from me walking the same path.

As I was walking, all of a sudden I got this nudge in my mind to stop and lie down on the grass going down a hill and just feel the brown grass on my back and look up into the beautiful sky. The old Annette would never do that....fearing looking stupid to the person that was walking a ways back. But the me now don't give a shit what people think. So I laid on that grassy brown hill spread eagle with my arms stretched horizontal to my body and soaked up the view of the sky and the warmth of the sun. I was amazed on how warm the ground was as well. I laid there and just enjoyed that spot for about  3 minutes and then I got up. The person behind me was now just about 50 feet behind.

The warm hill

The view of the sky....amazing

The cool contrast of green trees mixed with the brown...lovely

It was cool out. The right side of my face feeling the cool sting of crisp air and wind slapping my face and the left side of my face feeling the warmth of the sun. It was cool experiencing both cool and warm at the same time. 

It took me 50 minutes to walk that Resevoir....the coolest 50 minutes ever.

My phone took alot of random pictures between my other pictures as I walked. Weird stuff :)

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Lessons in Gratitude....

Hmmmm.....never published this blog.... So I will publish it today :)
I love this bush in my mom's yard
A couple of weeks ago I visited my cardiologist for my 6 week post heart attack progress report. The week prior to that visit I had a repeat cardiac echocardiogram to evaluate if my heart was headed in the right direction towards recovery. I was a bit anxious about this appointment, which is normal I guess. I just wanted to hear that my heart was getting better in regards to ejection fraction which measures the hearts ability to pump effectively. During the echo, I pressed the technician to give me some preliminary numbers since it would be a week before I would get my results from my doc. Reluctantly the technician shared her observations which put my ejection fraction at around 50% (normal is b/w 55-60%). During the heart attack my EJ was about 45% due to the stunned nature of the muscle around the tip of the heart. The technician did remind me that the doctor is the expert, not her and that I had nothing to worry about.

I was PISSED with the news the technician gave me and left the office in such an angry state I could hardly concentrate when I went to work. I was expecting significant positive changes, like a completely healed heart. I was so messed up in my head with the news that I left work early and went home as I could feel my heart rate rising with my anger and anxiety. I drove the hour home to help me relax but I just got worse. By time I pulled into my driveway my heart rate was racing around 136 and I was feeling light headed. Was I actually having an anxiety attack?. I was feeling sooooo bad that I walked to Krogers (which is practically in my back yard) to go to a machine to take my blood pressure.  I sat down and tried to relax a bit before I took my pressure. With no relaxation in sight I went ahead and took my BP which was 158/109. So with this number my anxiety shot through the roof and I started getting light headed and all that stuff so I got in my car a drove myself to the ER. I sat in my car thinking about all the time I would have to spend in the ER as the drew my labs and ran several tests that I had weeks earlier. I also thought about the stress I was putting on my heart at that moment (from anxiety) So instead of rushing into the ER I decided to RELAX while I was in the car. I pushed my seat back, took some deep breaths and called my husband. We talked through my situation and both agreed that I just needed to go home, lie in the bed, relax, and take a nap. I went home and did just that. I napped for about an hour and then watched some YouTube makeup videos when I woke up. I was feeling much better so I walked to Krogers to re-check my BP and it was 97/ normal. 

I learned a TON and am grateful for this experience. I learned just how much my mind can control my symptoms and what stress can do to the body. At this point I realized that I could mentally push myself into another heart attack if I was anxious and stressed out enough. Illness/injury plus stress can equal grave consequences. Through all my years of nursing I never truly appreciated the affects of stress on the body...especially a body in a weakened state.   I took care of many patients with anxiety and panic attacks but never appreciated the potential acute or accumulative toll on the body.

So, I was good to myself the rest of the week. I slowed my walking down a bit and I did everything I could to remain stress free. 

I finally had my appointment with my cardiologist and he came in with a big smile and told me my heart is back to normal. He also went on to state that I can start doing whatever I wanted at this point. Perplexed, I asked him if I could start lifting heavy weights and he replied, if you want to. What?????? He would not give me my ejection fraction numbers, he just told me not to worry and my heart was back to normal. I was super stoked about the news, but cautious too as he refused to give me my numbers. How arrogant!!! So I called my cardiac rehab physiotherapist and told her the news. She was surprised too that he said I could do we planned to incorporate weights slowly into my cardiac rehab sessions. I had my first weight training session on Tuesday and this is what we did:
- 7 minute warm-up on treadmill at 3% incline and at a rate of 3.0 mph
- 3 sets of squats with an 8 pound bar
- 15 minutes cardio on Aire Dyne bike
- 3 sets of body weight dips off a chair
- 3 sets of bicep curls wit 20# Dumbbells 
-15 minutes treadmill workout at 3% incline and 3.5 mph
- 3 sets of deep lunges with 5# Dumbbells 
- 3 sets of overhead  shoulder presses with  5# Dumbbells immediately after lunges
- sitting stair stepper at 7/10 resistance for 10 minutes
-Then a 6 minute cool down on this bogus sitting and pedaling machine with arm motion

My heart was having all kinds of skipped beats during this session...which is unusual, so the stress of the weights did affect my heart just a a bit, but I stayed primarily in my exercising HR of 130 with the exception of the last set of lunges and presses which bumped my HR to 140 and Kellie my therapist promptly told me to bring it down some.

I was soooo excited by that session that I gave my therapist a fist bump and was on cloud 9 all day. I was BEAT the entire workday and went home and hit the sack a little after 8.  I was sore from that session. BTW....I have cardiac rehab for 45-60 minutes 3 times a week. I had a day off and then had another regular cardiac rehab session (no weights) and was drained....

This week I plan to incorporate another session just the same to see if my heart has adapted to the additional stress as evidenced by far less skipped beats. If that happens, I may incorporate an additional weight training only session on my own...which would have me exercising 4 times a week on cardio machines....yeah baby!!!!!

So what did I learn this past week? THAT STRESS EXACERBATES ILLNESS BY A TON!!! That was a GREAT lesson for me.

My daughter Jessica and her boys

My granddaughter  Karmen

Our dog Polo after getting internal and external stitches

Diet is still going gluten. My weight loss has stalled but I am ok with that. 

Saturday, October 10, 2015

New Way of Eating

September 21,2015 I decided to change my diet to help speed my recovery from my heart attack. The biggest and best change that I made for myself was to drastically reduce my wheat intake...basically I am eating gluten free and replacing those calories with better choices. Eliminating wheat can be challenging because wheat is in a ton of stuff such as breads, processed foods, and packaged foods such as candy, cakes, and muffins. 

Why eliminate wheat? My main reason for eliminating wheat is for my heart health (eliminating inflammation). The wheat that we eat today is not the same wheat that our forefathers ate. It has been modified drastically through hybridization to the point that todays wheat does not remotely resemble the wheat of the past. Our bodies have a hard time with this wheat and  as a result, we  may have a low grade inflammatory response in our organs as our bodies attempt to process this crap. This is not just a response that happens in people with celiac disease (they have a super duper crazy responses to the wheat glutons) but from the research I have read, many people have undiagnosed gluton sensitivities and intolerances causing many negative inflammatory responses in their body. 

Another key benefit in eliminating wheat is blood sugar stabilization. Most people are not aware on just how much wheat...even high fiber whole grain wheat elevate blood sugar which in return  stimulates high insulin release and FAT STORAGE. This is an entire metabolic story that will take pages to explain.

How wheat elimination helped me….

I cannot begin to tell you the significant difference that eliminating wheat from my diet has made for me. In fewer than 3 weeks of a 90% wheat free diet, I have noticed the following benefits:

1) Perhaps one of the biggest changes for me is better bowel health. My bowels used to move very irregularly and I had chronic constipation and bloating. I also had a hard time digesting anything with alot of fiber like apples, lettuce, nuts....all the good for ya stuff. (I used to blend my veggies in a blender  when I was dieting). Now, I can eat anything with high fiber….including raw veggies.

Even more astonishing is the fact that I poop every day....sometimes twice. JOY....from a previously chronically bloated, constipated woman. (I know….too much information…lol)

I cannot believe how flat my gut got in 2 weeks without extreme low carbohydrate dieting. The only way I used to be able to see my abs was when I ate no more that 30g of carbs a day. Granted, there is no six pack peeking through…I would need to lose another 15 pounds to actually see a hint of a  6 pack, but I have NO BLOAT and I can try clothes on while shopping without getting depressed. 

2) My skin is clear and glowing. I have been working on getting this glow with expensive skin care and I have made great improvements with the skin care regime but, my skin looks even better now. I constantly get told that I don't look my age at all. That is because of my skin, in my opinion.

 I used to get this irritating rash on my chest and back that would come and go and last about 2 months at a time. I was starting to get that rash 4 weeks ago. It is totally gone and I don't think that this is a coincidence. I think eliminating the wheat  made the difference. 

3) No achy joints....gone, gone, gone. When I get out of bed in the morning, my ankles no longer curse me when I arise from bed in the am and my knees feel better than when I was 30 years just 2 weeks. No coincidence.

4) No cravings!!! I don't miss the carbs...but I do allow a few indulgences during the weekend. I have found this great place in Toledo called Organic Bliss.

This place makes gluten free....goodies. I hit this place up on the weekend and indulge in gluten free cupcakes and brownies. I don't even want to know the grams of fat and sugar in those foods. Gluten Free does not mean healthy….

I am sure the calories are through the roof, but they are free of high fructose corn syrup and wheat. I find that I can eat this stuff (in moderation) without stimulating my carb cravings and I only indulge 1-2 times a week and I keep it down to 1 cupcake and one brownie or other type of goodie. Most of the time I cut it in half and share with Bob.

5) Weight loss- I have lost 11 pound in 18

One thing that I would like to stress again is gluten free does not mean healthy. Alot of gluten free choices can include high calorie and high fat choices. I also don't want to dis carbs. Some people can tolorate wheat/gluton better than others. I think that I am one of those people that has a sensitivity to gluten, hence the major improvements in my body responses with the elimination of wheat. Everybody is different, but I have a hunch that MOST people would benefit from removal of wheat/gluten.

Another diet change I made is eating primarily organic and I have minimized my fruits to berries of any kind. I don't eat a ton of other fruit…but I will do grapefruit and oranges as well. When watermelon and melon are in season I will smash those too.

I have also included a glass of red wine every night. This is a new thing that I am enjoying. Research supports that red wine has some great anti-oxidative properties and is good for us…in small amounts. I limit my wine to 6-10 oz only….unless I have a bit of a stressful day…I double that :) I even started a blog on my red wine experiences…haha

My Wine Blog :)

I have included the following supplements as well...
1) Multivitamin- For general health 
2) Fish oil- For heart health and anti inflammatory effects 
3) Flaxseed- heart health
4) Curcummin- heart health
5) Probiotics- bowel health

Please note...
I am no longer taking a blood that is why I am taking the fish oil and flax seed. I could not take them when I was on the blood thinner because these supplements thin the blood as well.

In addition I have taken a liking to a fermented drink called Kombucha. My son Nick turned me on to this healthy drink….

It is tricky eating out at restarants now. I have become one of those pain in the butt people asking about everything that is in sauces and stuff like that. I prefer not to eat out at all…but eating out is part of the social thing that I like to do. Now, I continue to be a HUGE fan Chipoltle!!!! I still eat there 1-2 times a week.

Oh yeah…almost forgot about to mention that I eat a ton of raw nuts and seeds. When I know my day is going to be busy at work I pack a boiled egg, a mixture of raw nuts and seeds, and about 2-3 ounces of raw mild cheddar cheese and that gets me through the entire day. I enjoy a hearty meal at dinner if I am really hungry.

So…that is the diet I was gloating about in my previous blog post. I am losing weight and feeling good because I am eating super clean.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

RECOVERY....After a Heart Attack

Big Hair Don't Care....I have a new attitude

Summary Paragraph...for those who don't want to read the entire post :)

Sometimes it takes me a minute to title my story, but not today.  August 27 at age 50 and in what I would call great health; I suffered a heart attack. It took me over 2 weeks to even say the words heart attack. I was in total denial. I called it everything in my mind but heart attack. I would tell people I had a cardiac event or cling to the diagnosis "Broken Heart Syndrome" which is indeed a cardiac condition that the cardiologist initially mentioned to me during my cardiac catheterization. In all my 25 years of nursing I never heard of the condition Broken Heart Syndrome ,but it indeed exists although it is relatively rare seen in 2-5% of people that go through a cardiac cath. This is a heart condition that occurs immediately after incredible stress such as the death of a relative or some life altering event. The body releases a huge amount of a stress hormone called norepinephrine and this injures the heart. This condition can be fatal. But what was odd about this condition as it relates to my situation is that during my attack I was not under any major stress at the time of my chest pain. Now chronic stress...yes, but acute My final diagnosis was Acute Non Q-Wave Myocardio Infarction. In layman words...Heart Attack.

My story...

I had worked a full day without incident. I did not find my workday stressful at all. I did not eat lunch during work (which is not unusual at times) so by time I got off I was starving so I decided to stop at Panera Bread and get me a few cinnamon bagels to chomp on while driving home. Of course I went through the drive through and as I looked at the menu I saw Tortellini Alfredo. That sounded delicious so I ordered my 2 bagels to devour on the way home (which takes me about 70 minutes-construction crap) and then the tortellini to eat when I got home. So I ate the 2 bagels kinda fast cuz I was hungry and I eat fast normally. The bagels sat in my stomach like 2 rocks. Agh... Got home, changed into my pj's and washed my face prior to relaxing with my hubby to watch Youtube videos. Around 8pm I microwaved my Tortellini and preceded to smash it, even though I was not hungry at that point. I ate the majority of the dish and gave the last couple of bites to hubby. Immediately after that, I started to have UNBELIEVABLE CHEST PAIN that felt like an elephant sitting on my chest. It was so bad that my immediate instinct was to get dressed and head straight to the hospital. (I had that feeling of impending doom that so many people I have cared for in the past described) Bob was watching tv and did not even noticed that I had changed clothes at first but then he he figured it out and could tell something was wrong. He asked what was wrong and I sat down and told him I was having severe chest pain. My dog Polo immediately got off the bed and went to where I was sitting and started pawing me in concern. (That should have been the second sign..aside from the impending doom feeling, to get my butt to the ER).  As I sat, I told myself that if my pain does not get better we will go to the ER. I was trying to attribute the pain to the bagels and tortellini sitting in my stomach like a rock. I usually don't eat meals like that, so in my mind I was thinking I had MASSIVE INDIGESTION, so I bargained with myself and decided to wait and see if the pain would subside with time. 😐😐😐

After about 30 minutes the pain did get substantially better going from a 10+/10 to a 4/10 pain level on a scale of 0-10. So I felt good with that, went to the medicine cabinet to see if we had any antacids hanging around. We did not have any antacids and I did not feel like going to Krogers to get some, so I took some Milk of Magnesia to get that nasty, pain causing, food out of my body. I hoped that within 5-6 hours the MOM would do it's magic and rid my body of the foul food. I managed to fall asleep on the couch and awoke around 2am with my stomach gurgling with the chest pain still there at a 4/10. I tried to poop without success. Now I was really miserable...chest pain AND a rumbling stomach. I decided to drink some water and I went back to bed. 

I awoke around 5:30 am and made some coffee. The chest pain was still there. I  did eventually have a small poop which pissed me off since my stomach still felt full. I took a shower, put on my makeup and was out the door by 7:30am. I stopped at Krogers to get some TUMS to get rid of this nagging indigestion.  I bought a couple packs of the Tums Chewables and then also the soft chewables. Prior to leaving the parking lot I chewed 2 of the soft tums and about 4 of the small chewable tablets. I drove away waiting for the medicine to work. I became a bit concerned when 15 minutes within taking the medicine the chest pain was still there bigger than day. So as I drove, I started to really concentrate on the type of pain I was having and I started making plans of where I can stop along the way to Flower Hospital (my place of work) in the event that my pain got worse. I also started having morbid thoughts of dying  and thinking about all my family. At one point, I felt a peace if I did die. I had raised all my kids and had a good life, so I was cool with it. I made it to work and instead of going to the ER, I went to my office and fired up my email as usual. I started to work through some of the issues that needed immediate attention. At one point I had to walk a good distance to take care of an issue and as usual, I climbed the 3 flights of stairs to get where I needed to go. After climbing the stairs my pain went from a 4 to a 7. At that point I walked back down the stairs straight to the ER. I minimized my symptoms and told the registration desk that I was having CP but it was probably just indigestion...and then I joked with the staff:  I don't want to be that stupid nurse that sat on a MI (Myocardial Infarction) so I need some peace of mind.

They took me back quickly and immediately got an EKG prior to even taking my vitals. I kept my clothes on just lifting my top and pants for the technician to do the EKG. After it was done, I asked to briefly look at it since cardiac used to be my main squeeze in nursing and was relieved to see a fairly normal EKG with some non specific changes, but basically a normal EKG. My chest pain at that point was at about a 2/10. So, with peace of mind I started working on things on my laptop from my bed. The nurse eventually came back after about 20 minutes and took my vital signs. I was floored when my blood pressure was 148/98. NEVER IN MY LIFE have I had high blood pressure, it is ALWAYS low. The nurse minimized the high BP and said she would take it again in about 5 minutes. "You are probably just a bit anxious being here." But I was not anxious at all....until that moment, lol.

My blood pressure started to slowly come down as I waited for lab test results. Then the doctor came in and told me the bad news. He said, it was not indigestion Annette. It is your heart. My cardiac enzymes were elevated which typically means a heart attack (Myocardial Infarction). I could not believe it and in that moment my quiet bed became a very active place as the team came together to try to save my heart muscle. I had more EKG's which were getting worse and an echocardiogram. The echo showed that my heart was pumping adequate amounts of blood to my body. The ER doc said that he was uncomfortable keeping at Flower Hospital (which kinda freaked me out since it is a big Tertiary Care Hospital) and he wanted to have me transferred to the mother ship...Toledo Hospital.  I called my husband, mother, and texted my kids at that point. Agh... 

The ER doc called the cardiologist who came in immediately to see me. I knew the cardiologist and most of all the people caring for me since I work there. He smiled at me and said, hey Annette, you wanna take a trip with me? I knew what he meant and I said, sure.... He said the mobile ICU crew are on their way and I will follow you there. At that point, I smiled and acted stoic and he left. My mom was at my bedside at that point, but Bob was out of town as he is a trucker. I smiled and said, this sucks and mom smiled back. I continued to be the silly strong nurse joking with the other nurses as I waited for the crew arrive. When the squad arrived, all of a sudden reality set in again and my eyes started to water. I was scared. My cardiologist said everyone is waiting me at the cath lab and that he will see me in a few. All my friends said bye and I gave permission to them to follow my progress.

I got to the cath lab and everyone was indeed expecting me. I was in the lab within minutes of arriving. While I was having my cath, Dr Yazji was perplexed and surprised to see that all my arteries were squeaky clean. He was anticipating a clot in one of my main arteries. At that point he explained that I had a condition called Broken Heart Syndrome. He also told me my that my arteries were abnormally small in that area of the heart I was having issues....something I was born with I guess. So with the exception of the small arteries, I had a GREAT report and he said I should have a complete recovery in a few weeks. The plan was to keep me over night then I could go home the next morning.

The following day, I got up at 5am, put my makeup on and got dressed assuming I was out of there since my cardiac enzymes were getting better and all was well through the night. Then at 10 am, I started to experience chest pain again. I tried to minimize it, but I did not want to be stupid. I was on the monitor so I could see that for the most part my rhythm was the same, but I did notice some changes. The nurse came in and took my BP and it was 148/98...agh and she called for an EKG which showed some changes. At that point I had 2 nurses at my bedside and it was on.... they gave me nitro under the tongue. I still had pain and so they gave me another NTG and my pain went from 4 to 0 almost immediately. Shortly after that I became severely nauseated and they called the hospital cardiologist to get something for the nausea and he said no, I will be right there. He ordered another echo cardiogram and  then came in to see me. I was disappointed to see it was not Dr. Yazji who did my was his partner. The first thing he said to me was "I got bad news" and went on to tell me that my coronary artery (LAC Left Coronary Artery) was so small that they can't even do surgery on it if ever needed. He went on to say that they don't even have instruments small enough to do surgery and that he could not stent it if I ever needed it. Damn....he was so brutally honest and it pissed me off. My cardiac enzymes spiked back up as well. He went on to say, now I am treating you as a full blown Myocardial Infarction. He said that my arteries are "spasming" which is blocking blood flow. So he was going to start a couple drips, put me on heavy hitter cardiac meds, and watch me for a few more days. He also put me on ativan to limit anxiety so my body won't release stress hormones and further injure my heart. Agh... (I later found out after much questioning that my small artery was not the entire artery itself, but where it branches off at the tip of my heart. The vessel above that was ok).

Thankfully the rest of my stay was non eventful and I was released home Sunday evening at 6pm. I went home with 7 heart medications including a major blood thinner. I was glad to leave and start my recovery.


Doc told me not to lift anything greater than 5 pounds....very sad indeed! Also, no cardio that will increase my heart rate over 100...that sucks! I need to let my heart rest., what I did was go to Dicks and bought a higher end heart rate monitor that people use for exercise and I used that to get my baseline heart rate and to used it as a monitor  my heart rate when I exercised (walking the track). For the first 4 weeks I was good keeping my heart rate around 100. The past 2 weeks, I upped my pace a bit and let my heart ride around 110 as long as I have no chest pain or shortness of breath. So I walk a minimum of 2 miles a day...and often more than that.

I eliminated wheat from my diet 90% of the time. (I have been on this diet for over 2 weeks) Wheat is very inflammatory to our organs and so I eliminated wheat/gluten from my diet with spectacular results. Just doing that, I dropped 9 pounds in 2 weeks, my skin is glowing...with no hormonal breakouts, my bowel health has improved dramatically, and my energy levels have increased. I will have to do an entire blog post about this diet change. I don't believe in extreme changes, so I allow some wheat here and there. I also eliminated all processed foods. I am eating pretty much all organic whole foods with grass fed meats.  I am looking into dairy...keeping it or eliminating it. Right now I am keeping it in my diet but am eating raw organic cheeses instead of pasteurized cheeses for bowel health. Again, the diet strategy requires it's own post.

I have started seeing a relaxation coach to help me with my Type A tendencies and help me relax internally as well as externally. People that truly know me know I am high strung, always in a hurry, want it right the first time, an extreme procrastinator that loves doing things at the last minute and barely making deadlines...but I always make my deadline (stressfully). That has to change as my vessels react to stress hormones by constricting!!! I noticed this immediately when I returned to work after 3 weeks off. As I started going through all my emails and the tons of to do list things I had to take care of, I immediately started getting chest pain. Agh... But I have some new relaxation tools in my arsenal to help me and some good old NTG medication. I have had to take NTG twice since my heart attack and both were during work. So I am working really hard on not stressing and taking things one at a time at work and not letting the job kill me. I am getting better at it. It is not the job causing the chest pain, it is me stressing when I don't need to stress. I can no longer procrastinate to deadlines as that causes stress. I am getting there. I am also looking into Yoga and Tai Chi in the future. When I can start training and exercising again this will help a lot too with my stress.

I am experiencing the grieving process with this heart attack, mostly because of my ego. I was proud to be what I thought was the epitome of health. I probably was a bit arrogantly proud. I boasted about being 50 years old with the health of a 30 year old. Ha....boy set back was a seriously humbling event. I think my ego needed it. So, I went through the denial phase for a good 2-3 weeks. I am still working through the anger phase. I can't help but get angry as I am walking that dinky track at the YMCA with that stupid clicker to keep track of the million of laps I have to do in order to do 2 miles watching all the people nonchalantly head to the weight room. Or walking in Krogers and looking at all the people buying crap and they don't have a heart attack.....yet. Yup, I still get a bit angry. But I am moving into the acceptance phase of grieving, hence the ability to blog and talk about my heart attack. I am truly aware that I am BLESSED and things could have been WAY WORSE!!!! I just spoke to a friend and FB buddy who I just found out had a heart attack as well when he saw my post. We messaged back and forth and he said a thing that had a profound effect on me. He stated,  "I would not trade a thing for the journey. This is where you get to see what you're really made of. " Thanks Dave G....I needed that. (((HUGS))) coach for a couple of years and a long time friend, has been a true help indeed in keeping my head in the right place regarding taking things slowly with training. (((HUGS)))

I kept my hospitalization and details of my illness very private, just sharing it with my hubby, mom, brother, sister, and kids. That pissed all my other family members and close friends off. I won't do that again....that's for sure. Hopefully there will not be a do over. To be honest, I just hate worrying people and when I am stressed I don't want to be surrounded by people visiting or calling. I am just that way...have to let things sink in first. Maybe that is selfish....but that is the way I am...a loner. I don't like attention that way. Now, if people want to swoon over me in regards to makeup and stuff like that, that is My mom was my rock and so were my kids. My brother and sister called me every day and I was happy with that. My in-laws and ex's knew about the heart attack as well due to the hubby and kids telling them and they were very supportive too. My ex husband, his brother and sister checked in on me by phone frequently and that was much appreciated.

1. Eliminate all medications except aspirin ASAP
2. Super duper clean diet 90% of time
3. Relaxation techniques to keep stress down
Me Relax...I need all your prayers to help me with this

I see my cardiologist October 13th and we will have the medication discussion. I want off!!!! A lot of the medications I am on I feel is not necessary since my arteries are clean and I feel I can heal safely through dietary changes!!!! I have done my research and I want OFF THE MEDICATIONS!!!!

I am hoping that when he see's me on the 13th he will notice that I have dropped 10 pounds (almost there) and I mean business. I want him to trust me to make the NATURAL changes to prevent further cardiac events.  

Cardiac rehab....I think I can do it myself now!!!!! Also I am doing my research to see when I can safely start doing weight training again. I have read a few studies where people started heavier weight training pretty early after a heart attack. I will have this discussion with my cardiologist pending that my echocardiogram and EKG are basically back to normal. I will not even bring up the conversation if there are not improvements on both these tests.

I am walking alot...and taking the stairs for 1-2 flights. I cannot do more than that without raising my heart rate to the 120's.

So that's my story. Next blog post will be about my AMAZING diet changes. If you read through this entire long blog post...thank you...cuz it was long.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Fifty Fit and Fabulous

Ha....I love this blog title and for the most part it describes me well!! Yes I am 50 1/2. Yes I am fabulous...and what about the Fit...well heck, nobody is perfect. I am working on that part. As I get older my passion to have the perfect body and be a role model is diminishing and being replaced with the simpler things in life...looking decent and training consistently.

I need to lose about 15 pounds to satisfy my definition of FIT but I am in no rush to do it. Lately I have been simply eating clean and training 4-5 times a week. I have been eating a TON of fruit with diminishing returns on the waistline...but I don't care. I am losing the weight VERY slowly at this pace but it is coming off and I am eating as much "clean" food as I want....which includes way too much fruit.

I am enjoying training and I even added some cardio with my training. I had not done that consistently for a long time, but I have been on track with that.

Life is changing quite drastically for me. My 4th child will be leaving the nest and starting school soon. I can't freakin even believe it as it seems like just yesterday she was nested in my stomach. I get older the weeks get faster and life is in fast motion!!!

I may even have time to start blogging again...but no promises. I am still working full time and am pretty busy there.

I think I am going to add a few additional blogs to my stash. I am going to add a blog called Keeping It Real where I will highlight my Natural Hair Journey goals. I am going to work on growing my natural hair really long because many people think that black hair don't grow and that we all wear weaves to have long hair. Well that is ridiculous and I am going to grow my natural hair and keep it natural which means free of heat, chemicals, or coloring. So I am going to embrace my gray hair!!

I think I am going to start a makeup and skincare blog as well since those things are a major love of mine and I don't want to use this blog to spotlight those things. As for this blog, I will continue to use it for training and bragging about my kids and grandkids and everything else in my life that is fab.

Training...the same old thing upper and lower body split 4 days a week. The new is the moderate cardio 4-5 days a week as well.

Nutrition- limit the processed foods drastically. No white foods basically and minimizing any kind of bread...even whole grain breads. I am not saying NO processed foods or breads, but just limiting them to 1-2 times a week at the most. Same thing for alcohol....leaving it alone for the most part. I will have my day or so where I am off the diet...but I will try to limit that to once every 2-3 weeks. This is doable for me since I am allowing myself as much fruit as I want....which is too much actually...but it is healthy.

The grands are getting big!!!!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

No looking back....forward motion

Well....I did promise that I would post some progress pictures. I must admit, it was not easy posting these pictures not because I think they are horrible pics, but simply because I have a forum reputation to uphold....hehehe. But, let's get truthful...and real, right? I enjoyed eating a little too much the past year and it shows, but.......the fat is coming off again. Pretty soon we will see that muscle peeking through after I get rid of a few more layers of fat.

BTW...I could not post my side view because of indecent exposure and I did not feel like retaking more pics. 


This morning I took these pics after splurging at our (hubby and I) fav Mexican restaurant where I ate what I wanted. I had a jumbo Margarita and a seafood quesadilla that was huge....and let's not forget the tortilla chips prior to the meal. It was soooooo good! I thought I would wake up this morning feeling like crap...but I did not. I am a little bloated but nothing major and the scale was not unfriendly to me.

I had a great week training wise. I did 3 full body workouts and 3 moderate 30 minute cardio workouts. I have not done cardio like that for years and I hated the first day...but the other 2 sessions were fine. It is amazing how my body said....I remember when you used to do this cardio thing to me. Let me adjust and make your next sessions a bit easier like it used to be. So...I successfully completed my weekly goal of 3 full body training sessions (more gym time) and 3 cardio sessions (to get the fat loss moving a bit faster). 

I did not have a 3 Muskateer bar daily like I said I would allow myself as a reward for the added cardio. I only had 1 bar the entire week. I am in my chocolate craving mode because I am about to start my period, but instead of the candy bar option, I bought a double chocolate ON protein powder, some cocoa powder, a bag of semi sweet chocolates and added 2 TBSP of cocoa powder and 1 scoop of double chocolate protein powder to my high protein oatmeal packet....and sometimes I add a few sprinkles of pecans if I did not get a chance to eat breakfast. So that concoction costs me 572 calories , 22g Fat, 61g carbs, and 37g protein. I stay full longer, I satisfied my sweet tooth in a semi healthier way. It's a lot of calories, but I only do it if I missed breakfast and I am approaching lunch time and craving chocolate. The rest of my day is pretty clean.

I bought another gym membership mainly for my son Nick. The owner gave us a family rate for a single rate price...He was my first personal trainer and I used to always have a membership at his gym. Since I travel so much on a daily basis, I just keep a YMCA  membership at this time, but my son wanted to train at Brett's gym since it is 24/7 hours and has the old school feel which we love. I am going to the gym to get Nick on a program. He is excited about that. I also bought him a good protein powder for hard gainers since he is 6'1 and all of about 140 pounds due to his issue that I shared in a previous post. He is 17 days clean!!! I will keep you all posted on his progress. 

So my strength workouts for Mon and Fri were (not lifting heavy due to calorie restriction)

Squats 60 x 10/ 95 x 10/ 115 x 10
Lying Leg curls 25 x 10/ 27.5 x 10/ 30 x 10 
Standing calf raises 160 x 10/ 160 x 10/ 160 x 10
Walking Lunges w/ 10 pound weights 3 sets of 10 (killers for me)
T Bar rows 45 x 10/ 55 x 10/ 65 x 10
DB Military Press 20 x 10/ 20 x 10/ 25 x 10
Machine Flys 55 x 10/ 65 x 10/ 70 x 10
Side Lateral Raises ( ISO raises) 10 x 10 for 3 sets

Wednesday Workout
ISO Leg Press  100 x 10/ 110 x 10/ 110 x 10 each leg
SLDL  90 x 10/ 115 x 10/ 115 x 10
Standing Calf Raises 160 x 10/ 160 x 10/ 160 x 10
High Bench Step ups BW x 10  alternating each leg for 3 sets
Lat Pulldown 85 x 10/ 90 x 10/ 100 x 10
Bench Press ISO Machine 45 x 10/ 65 x 10/ 65 x 10 (killer)
Cable Face Pulls  with external rotation 40 x 10 for 3 sets
Shrugs  BB 115 x 10 for 3 sets
DB Curl 20 x 10/ 25 x 10/ 25 x 10
Tricep Extension 40 x 10 for 3 sets

Tuesday Stair Master 30 minutes / Thursday EFX 30 minutes/ Saturday Lateral EFX  Machine 30 min

That's my typical split....and I may substitute exercises for body parts here and there :)

Next photos will be in March sometime.