Lost my macho

April 28, 2015

I have been doing a lot of soul searching. For years now I have lived with the fact that the next heart attack is on the horizon. I know that one will put me down for the count. I may not have a tomorrow, now I certainly don’t like that idea but over time reached a level of acceptance. Dealing with ever decreasing physical limitations was almost my biggest struggle.
Yes, I had daily bouts of chest pain but my handy nitro spray controlled the majority of that. I have been told my heart, while it carried me through 5 heart attack will not be able to handle #6. I have so many blocked arteries when #6 hits, it is most likely I will just go down and that is it. In my mind anyway I came to expect it would just hit me like a bolt of lightening, and I am gone before I hit the floor. Now let’s face it none of us want to die but when that time comes my envisioned quick end would not be such a bad way to go.
Huh, it is not working out that way. My exit from this Earth is supposed to be quick and at least relatively pain free.
Now the heart failure, the heart attack on the horizon, none of that has changed. All that I am going through now is an entirely different heart issue. This new issue has options/procedures that can be done to treat or at least alleviating the physical affects it has on me especially the bone wilting fatigue and a lot of the pain.
But anything they do will be for quality of life not quantity.
Doing this soul searching I realized something, I am a whimp. I can face dying but throw in the pain and other symptoms as I have now and any macho I have left in me withers

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My days

April 27, 2015

Gradually feeling better. The heart procedure had limited success. Things are better in that my resting heart rate has reduced from about 130 beats per minute to in the area of 105. Obviously that is an improvement but physically I don’t feel any different.
Doctors are trying to figure out what or if any further options are left. All of this has nothing to do with the heart failure and will not affect quantity of life only hopefully providing a better quality of life.
What is my quality of life? Hard question to answer as it depends on the day and even time of day. Have had to give my head a bit of a shake to remind myself that to a large degree it is my own thinking and attitude that determine the quality of my day. Doing that has helped me move from the poor me, this sucks. To OK, this is not the way I would like my life to be be but it is what it is. There is nothing I can do about it so accept it for what it is and get on with living life. Look for the good things and I realize life is good.
I said it can depend on the time of day. For a couple of hours first thing in the morning other than feeling worn out tired, I feel pretty good. No pain no discomfort, I feel good. As the morning progresses I feel more and more tired.
I have the luxury of being able to take an afternoon nap and I most certainly take advantage of that.
Wake up from my nap and generally feel light headed, dizzy with on and off moderate chest pain. Balance is usually off, especially when getting up from a sitting or from laying down. All relates to blood pressure. They checked that in the hospital. They took my blood pressure laying down, then had me stand up. They immediate took it again and the top number had dropped 22 points. I have learned to just stand up very slowly while holding on to something or I will fall. I now use a cane when walking for balance purposes.
Then evening comes. Right around supper time the chest starts to pound. Meaning I can feel it beating, no big deal. That is but the start of my typical evening.
That marks the beginning of what I call my “episodes”. Clinic has asked me to record what the heart is doing so out comes the blood pressure machine.
Typically an “episode” lasts 20/30 minutes but some have gone as long as 3 hours. Every evening can be different in that I may only have a couple of the shorter ones but have had as many as 6 in an evening.
During these “episodes”, it starts with my heart pounding so hard it feels like it wants to come flying out of my chest and the beat becomes very irregular and starts beating faster and faster. This then affects the blood pressure, which starts to drop. Hey, I am memory guy and to lazy to go and get the book where Vi records all the numbers. I do remember at one point blood pressure was 58 over something with my heart rate in the 170’s or 180’s. Now trust me on this you don’t feel to sparky at that time. I have learned to just lay down quietly and it will pass and pass it does. My energy levels are already low but this really drains any reserves I have.
Now my evenings have been like this for years but to a much lesser degree. By supper time I have used up my energy reserves for the day and I want nothing more than to just lay down. It has affected my appetite, it is way down. The mere though of anything greasy or spicy. Silver lining here, my appetite is way down, I have lost a lot of my excess weight like 45 pounds in the last 8 months. At the clinic they check and record my weight with each visit. They checked their records from 8 months ago and that is what the scale says.
This latest procedure has changed something with my episodes. Prior to, an episode was the heart rate taking off but the blood pressure also going up. Now the heart rate goes up but blood pressure goes down.
In the past I did my best to minimize or even hide the discomfort I was feeling. Have company over or what ever, I put on my best face and declare myself to be fine and hang in there as best I could. It around supper time and energy is just gone, I have to lay down. Go to the bedroom, close the door and try to deal with what ever is going on at the time.
It occurs to me some may even think I am antisocial or something as I decline to go out with the family group for evening meals. That is not the case at all. I am just exhausted, if my heart isn’t already pounding, I know it is hust a matter of time and the mere thought of food turns my stomach. I never want anyone to miss out on anything so I just encourage them all to go.
Things are now different. I am no longer able to hide the episodes. The low blood pressure has me so light headed I am staggering and falling, harder to hide that.
As usual more to say but have worn myself out


Update

April 17, 2015

Just an update to let my blogging friends know how I am doing.
Is this a life lesson, avoid Thursday’s. Lol. The past 3 Thursday’s in a row, including yesterday, I have ended up in the ER. OK, I admit it. Yesterday was more of an I got dragged there. Vi firmly gripping and pulling an ear lobe.
Having episodes. Never know when it will start or how long it will last. Heart rate goes way up, blood pressure goes way down. Don’t feel very sparky.
Heart Failure Clinic monitoring me closely. Apparently they have a big meeting weekly. All the doctors of all specialties meet and review cases, mine being one of those cases for today. It was pointed out anything they may do is for quality of life and will not affect quantity. Waiting to see what their decision is. At the point I may decline.
Feeling really good today.


Want too respond to each comment individually

April 11, 2015

Going to spend time responding directly to the wonderful supportive comments left for me. Please know all are read and so much appreciated. Depending on how I am feeling, I read and take comfort from them but don’t always have the energy to reply individually. It is always my desire to respond, immediately, but how I am feeling determines that.
Been a tough week with lists of “heart action” and discomfort.
Last evening was the worst, ended up spending the evening in the ER. Resting heart rate was in the 180’s with big shortness of breath. Amazing the medications available. Fill me with drugs and feeling better within 1/2 hour or so.
Been having a lot of light headed ness and dizzy. Blood pressure has a lot to do with it. At one point blood pressure was 72/58want
Now on a new medication, hopefully that helps.


I am A son of God

April 8, 2015

I am on the mend. Massive bruising but no discomfort from that area at all. Heart/chest no issues at all until yesterday. Heart went back into AFib 3 or 4 times. Heavy pounding in my chest, very irregular beat and racing at 160-170 beats per minute. Very uncomfortable, but doctors had warned me that for the first week or so that this may happen. It just wasn’t expecting the severity or the degree of pain involved. Vi was pushing to head to the hospital. I wasn’t so willing as I had been told this may happen. It was the intensity or severity that caught me by surprise. It was all the symptoms I had prior to the surgery just amped up several degrees. Have a call into the Ablation Clinic to discuss it with them.
I was recently asked a very good question by dear blogging friend rangewritter. How do I pull myself up when moral and spirits are sagging?
Over the years with health issue and ever decreasing physical limitations I have been presented with a number of “challenges” that I have to get my head wrapped around and come to acceptance. To me acceptance is important because with it I can adjust my thinking try to face my new reality on get on with living life. Acceptance does not in anyway mean giving up, it means recognizing my current situation for what it is and accordingly live life the best I can.
I have 2 “techniques” that I use together with prayer and meditation. Have I perfected them? Not even close, but they do help. Practice makes it easier. You may laugh but here it is.
In my writing, in my life I usually refer to God as our Heavenly Father. The Heavenly Father that loves us all as his children. Following that thinking, I there fore consider myself to be a Son of our Heavenly Father, a son of God. Thinking of it that way does it make me feel special? Of course it does. God loves his children and I am but one of them. Every single person on this planet God loves in the same way and I believe sees/loves each of us as a son or daughter.
I go through this in my mind and then ask myself a simple question. You consider yourself to be one of God’s children, a son of God. Are you acting like it? Thinking about that seems to push my head in the right direction.
Now on the chance I didn’t make this clear as did apparently happen the last time I wrote if this. No, I am not claiming to be a Jesus like figure or anything like that. Jesus was THE Son of God. I am merely claiming to be one of those that our Heavenly Father loves as his children.
Have one more “technique” involving my mother I will share later


I’m home

April 3, 2015

Just a short note to all my blogging family and friends. Not feeling so spry but I am home. Yesterday was a very tough day. I was awake through the entire procedure, very painful far worse than even any of my heart attacks.
That is behind me. Now we wait to see how much benefit it was. Going into it doctors were confident it would make a huge difference in how I felt. After procedure they say was more complicated than expected and there is about a 50/50 chance I may feel some improvement. Should be able to tell over next 3 or 4 days.
Not the results I had been hoping for but hey a 50% chance of feeling better is more than I had before.
Have much to write about, so many to thank for the loving support. Will be writing a special thank you to blogging friend Lydia who stopped by the house for a very nice visit prior to going into the hospital and the gift she brought presenting it as a gift from the entire blogging family. I thank you.