Monday, August 30, 2010

Penelope's Pros and Cons of Heart Failure


I know this may seem somewhat callous, but honestly there is a silver lining for almost everything in our lives. Even heart failure. Following my August 3rd heart attack, I have come to the conclusion that there are pros and cons for even the most dire of medical emergencies.

Pros and Cons of Heart Failure by Penelope

1. Con= Threat of impending death.

2. Pro= You get a lot of beautiful flower bouquets.

3. Con= Threat of impending death.

4. Pro= Kick starts your weight loss program. I have lost 18 pounds since doomsday! Yay!

5. Con= Threat of.....Okay, okay, I'll think of something else. Con= excruciating pain. Feels like your chest is being ripped apart and your head is about to explode. When the paramedics asked me on a scale of 1 to 10, where my pain was, I answered, "10,000." And I wasn't kidding.

6. Pro= Husband who has formerly eschewed all tedious house hold chores is now doing the laundry, grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning and taking care of the kidlets. Eureka!

7. Con= Paranoia about any and all chest pain. When I get indigestion, I start reaching for my nitro tablets. This is going to take some getting used to.

8. Pro= Reinvigorates a 20-year old marriage. Nothing makes you appreciate your spouse more than almost losing her. My husband is paying me so much attention, I am blushing with happiness. He rocks!

9. Con= I am taking enough pills every day to start my own pharmaceutical company.

10. Pro= The outpouring of love and support from family and friends is humbling and wonderful. I seriously have the greatest friends and family in the world.

11. Con= My combination heart healthy/diabetic/lo-sodium/acid reflux diet basically includes celery sticks and water. It's tough. Trying to eat less than 500 mg of sodium a day is almost impossible. However, not sticking to the diet = threat of impending death, which is a great motivator.

12. Pro= Saving tons of money by not going out to dinner/getting take-out. Since my diet is quite prohibitive (see #11), eating out at restaurants and getting take-out is impossible. This is saving our family tons of cashola. With the money I save this year, I'm planning on splurging on some gems (of course!) and a fabulous trip somewhere.

13. Con= Had to cancel our 20th wedding anniversary trip to Jackson Hole. Pisser! On the flip side, I guess it was good I wasn't on a white water rafting adventure when my heart attack struck.

14. Pro= Puts everything in your life into perspective. #1 on my to-do list every day is now....do the things I have to do in order to live....walking (4x/day), eating well, hanging out/talking with my friends, reducing stress, nibbling on a celery stick. Reading is only at bed-time, writing is only for a couple of hours a day. The rest of my life is now non-sedentary, active, mindful of being a extremely lucky heart patient.


Someone asked me if my life flashed before my eyes. No. At least not my past. What flashed before my eyes was my future. I want it. And I'm willing to do whatever it takes to have it. I made a decision in the ambulance....I'm not going to die. And I plan to keep that promise to myself.


Off to take my heart-healthy walk while listening to Britney Spears (soooo inspiring! hee hee),
Penelope


10 comments:

Fiction Vixen said...

You are amazing Penny, really. Amazing. I'm a little choked up, and smiling at the same time. I love your wonderful outlook. :)

Patti (Book Addict) said...

Wonderful post! I like your attitude and you've posted things that we tend to forget - thanks for the reminder :)

Julia Rachel Barrett said...

Wow! Yes, so true. Just get better and better and better!

Penelope said...

FV--I'm trying to keep my sense of humor. I think it's helping out a lot!

Hi Patti!...thanks for stopping by. I hope you had a good summer.

Hi Julia--I am on the mend....walking as fast as a 55 year old now!

SusiSunshine said...

You're post made my eyes wet and made me laugh. So happy to hear you're feeling better. And positive thinking always help! =)

yaquelin said...

wonderful post! take care of yourself because what would we do without your funny and very honest reviews? I shall eat celery in honor of you ;)

Carolyn Crane said...

What a great post! I think this post is sort of a gift for all of us, or at least me, to have things in perspective on so many levels. I love your attitude, too. You rock!

Penelope said...

Thanks, Susi! I am now the master of positive thinking!

yaquelin....enjoy your celery! My new favorite snack is a celery stick filled with lo-fat ricotta cheese. Not too bad.

Hi Carolyn! One thing that is making me feel better is looking forward to your new book coming out at the end of Sept. Woo hoo! It makes my heart beat with happiness...hee hee! :)

Lydia Storm said...

Keep taking good care of yourself! And at least you finished your second book before this all happened!

Penelope said...

Hi Lydia! I am so, so, so glad my book was done. In fact, I had just sent it in to my editor the week before. Now all I have to do are little edits...no big deal.