Tuesday, June 13, 2017

This is Where We Go From Here

As you guys know I had a third heart surgery last month and unfortunately it wasn't successful. Today I went in for my follow up appointment to figure out what to do next.

It turns out that the bad rhythms I am having aren't sustainable enough to fix them with surgery. And some of the arrhythmia I am experiencing isn't actually surgically fixable at all. We have discovered though that I have crazy low blood pressure naturally and not only is it causing me to have severely low energy (I am nodding out in the middle of the day while I am working) but it also may be contributing to my heart problems.

So the first plan of attack is to get me hydrated and pumped full of minerals and vitamins that will strengthen my heart and bring my blood pressure back up. Lots of water and electrolytes-- I have settled on Propel water because it doesn't have sugar and I need the sodium that coconut water doesn't provide. I have also been instructed to add more salt to my diet, which is a super weird thing to hear from your doctor! And lastly I am supposed to get more magnesium and potassium into my diet. Sucky thing is-- potassium is good for your heart but also lowers your blood pressure!!

He is also prescribing me a daily medication that will raise my blood pressure and hopefully help with the energy. The only thing is that is has some side effects and one of them is heart arrhythmia. So fingers crossed that the side effects don't get me!

He is also prescribing me a medication that I can take as needed for the tachycardia. I only really experience that right now whenI work out, so I just have to take it before I do that and hopefully it works. I have had issues with medications that break the blood/brain barrier in the past, but this is water soluble, so I am hoping the side effects are minimal-- especially since I am not taking it daily.

Lastly, he stressed finding holistic options. Which I think is really refreshing to hear from a doctor. He told me to find foods and supplements that are rich in the things I need to help stabilize my heart beats. He said he has had patients that figure out that a banana a day help them immensely. So I am going to try to holistic approach first for a bit. If that doesn't help, I am going to try the blood pressure meds. And if that doesn't help, I will go to the heart meds.

Basically it is a waiting game now. If my problems get significantly worse, he can go back in surgically and try to fix them. But right now they aren't severe enough to try that route again and my doctor thinks I will just get the same result.

So I am currently eating a banana and drinking propel water and taking supplements. I am staying positive because I think that is the most important thing-- especially because stress makes everything worse with my heart. I feel like things are going to be ok. They have to be!

Thank you again from the bottom of my crooked little heart for all of your love, well wishes, prayers, gifts, and cards. They honestly have done so much to help my morale and keep my smiling even when its through tears. I am on my path to wellness!!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Real Life is Admitting When Things Suck

I am scheduled to have heart surgery in 2 weeks.
I have been very public about my surgery and certain things I am going through, but I want to get real real today.

I know I put a really brave and positive face on social media. I get emails all day long about how inspiring I am and how my positivity is so great. And most of the time I do try to stay positive. I keep smiling. I show up to classes and shoots and film my videos and keep that peppy Cherry face on.

But the truth is, I feel shitty. I feel shitty most every day. And nothing any one can do will make it better. And it takes all of the strength that I have just to get out of bed in the morning and not wallow in pain and self pity.
I feel like someone is sitting on my chest and I cant quite catch my breath. I feel like there is a little demon in there flicking my heart every now and then so that it doesn't beat quite right. I feel more tired than I ever have in my life. I find myself nodding off during the day like an 87 year old man. I don't know why it is like a man, it just made good sense in my head. I am sick, give me a break. I am tired of doctors appointments and tests. I feel like all I want to do is cry or sleep. And I have spent a lot of my days lately doing both.

I rarely see any of my friends or family anymore. Part of this is self inflicted and part of this is friend inflicted. I am not good at reaching out. I don't want to be a burden on anyone when all of my people are going through so much themselves. But part of me is becoming resentful. I cant even tell you the last time a real life friend or family member, and not some lovely social media stranger, has reached out to make sure I am ok. Love from strangers is amazing-- but nothing makes up for the love you get from people that you truly love back. And social media strangers aside, I have had more casual acquaintances texting and messaging than anyone that is close to me. And I try to ignore it. But it hurts. And I am already in so much pain all of the time.

I am scared. At least once a day I go into a full on panic attack. I think about them cutting into me. I think about the pain after surgery. I think about the possibility of having to go back. I think about the possibility of being left with a pace maker. I think about not being well in time to continue working. I think about the bills. I think about not being fixed and dealing with this forever. I think about losing my insurance after the ACA is gone and not qualifying for new insurance because I am a pre existing condition. I wake up in the middle of the night and my mind races.

I am a really active person and I am working really hard to get my body in shape. But my heart consistently holds me back. Sometimes even just walking up a flight of stairs leaves me so winded I have to sit down. I am frustrated that I can't push my body as hard as it needs to be pushed to see the results that I want. Especially when the rest of my body is healthy and ready to be pushed. My heart is like a fitness limiter. If it had a face, I would punch it right off.

The reality of having a medical condition isn't fun. No matter how many positive posts and happy smiles I put on my face-- I am hurting and I am scared and I am lonely. I appreciate all of your kind words and messages and letters and gifts, don't get me wrong. All of these things are the little rays of sunshine on my dark days. But I thought I owed it to everyone else struggling through health issues to be honest. If you are feeling all of these things too, you are not alone. Just do your best to keep going and keep that smile on your face even when you don't feel it. I can't say I am anyones champion, but I am doing my best.

I just want to be better.

P.S. My husband is the best husband that ever husbanded and has been my rock through all of this!

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Why We March

So today I attended the Womens March in LA, and as I often do when I post anything on the internet, I got some backlash. "What is the point?" "Oh cute, all of the women went on a walk together today" "What are you actually changing? nothing!"

Here is the thing, marching does change things. Marches and protests aren't new. They have been the forefront of every major social and political change. Religious rights, sovereign freedom, women's rights, civil rights... these marches have been happening for hundreds of years and they have been the catalyst to the real change. A LOT of change.

And why do people riot? Because they are angry and afraid and they feel helpless and don't know how else to express that. And yes, it does tend to be people in more impoverished areas because they feel they have no way out. Is it right? Probably not. But it is reality and the more it happens the more we have to stop questioning the effect and start questioning the cause. (not saying that there were any riots today, it was definitely all love and peace)

Is the march that I took part in today going to change the world tomorrow? No. I don't believe that anyone who was there today actually believes that. But it is a step forward in making people heard and giving them the strength and motivation to actually make the changes we all want to see. I spoke with so many people today about what is next. What do we do? How do we protect our rights and help the rights of other humans? How do we hold onto this anger and despair but turn it into a positive motivator to change the things causing those feelings?

A protest is a great way to get people off of their computers and phones and into the physical world where they are forced to interact with others and be proactive humans. What am I changing by marching? What are YOU changing by sitting behind your keyboard attacking people? I learned things today. What did you learn sitting alone on your butt in your house eating Cheetos in your underwear reposting unsubstantiated memes that support what you believe without questioning anything you have been fed?

It is easy to complain and attack and victimize ourselves. Express yourself however you want, but also know that it is my right to do the same. It is easy to say all of the things that NEED to happen or that SHOULD happen to make this country better. But you know what? I am going to stop saying and start DOING. You can post all of the angry memes you want-- this is my country and I am taking it back.