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 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),