Dear heart

Heart in Sand

Dear heart ♥

I would like to thank you for giving me life even when you were struggling to survive.

The last 8 months have been full of despair, grief, anger and fear.

These emotions not directed at you but more at me for not sensing your pain.

We have gone through so much together heart.

Our experience of open heart surgery has made me realise just how magnificent you are and how much you will endure to give me life.

I hope the new valves implanted will make your job easier so we can spend more time on planet earth sharing and enjoying the wonders of life, from a new perspective.

Keep well heart and may we flourish  together ♥

 

 

A to Z Challenge – Kindness

KINDNESS: There is no entry in my 1976 Concise English Dictionary. The nearest I could find was KIND.

KIND: Of gentle or benevolent nature; showing friendliness; affectionate; kind-hearted

KINDLY: Kind, kind-hearted,  pleasant, genial

http://www.oxforddictionaries.com define KINDNESS as:  The quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate:

I am overwhelmed by KINDNESS from family and friends.  After my recent diagnosis of rheumatic heart disease and impending surgery, I have witnessed what KINDNESS is.

Generosity, compassion, affection, goodness, grace

Unconditional love experienced first hand

I am humbled

Thank you to everyone who has shown me KINDNESS

I intend to pay KINDNESS forward with love

Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love – Lao Tzu

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A to Z Challenge – Gift

GIFT: Thing given, present, donation, virtue looked upon as emanation from heaven, natural endowment

 

 

BLOOD DAY

Always the thought that on the day

my GIFT of blood will not be required

Iron level must be above 120

This is a good day, level 125

I can gift blood

My 10th donation – later to find out my last

GIFTED back a T-shirt “Save Lives, Give Blood”, drink bottle and pen

As a thank you

 

Making fist and squeezing repetitively

to ensure perfect flow

Reading book nonchalantly

as pump works to fill bag

then

Blood packaged, labelled and stored

 

Forced recovery

Warm milky instant coffee in paper cup

served by volunteer

Cream cracker with marmite and slice of cheese

or plain sweet biscuit

Conversation with familiar donor

My last donation…..

 

 

 

A to Z Challenge – Emotion

EMOTION:  Disturbance of mind, mental sensation or state; instinctive feeling as opposed to reason.

 

 

I play leap frog with emotiions

My emotions

Frogs in position

me at the start line

This challenge ….not easy …. scary ….fear

Pulse quickens

Muscles twitch, I sense anxiety in my heart

Mind speak “you can do this”

Your’re not the first, you  won’t be the last

Breathe….Meditate….Believe…..Have Faith

LEAP

 

Sometimes

Sometimes rheumatic fever = rheumatic heart disease = heart valve damage = heart valve replacement……

I never in my most gloomy moments thought I would be inflicted with a  heart condition.

Preparing myself for double heart valve replacement, the usual doom and gloom thoughts fill the spaces in my mind  reserved for such occasions.

Why is it easier to think of the negative rather than positive?  I push and pull myself through these thoughts and try to tether myself to the positive.

The last 6 months have been filled with doctors and hospital appointments, hospital admissions and discharges, work and all the emotional stuff that reveals itself in times like this.

Holding myself in limbo I process what has unfolded and come to terms with how my life will be post surgery

Then finally  acceptance, belief and trust replace anger, blame and fear

I am ready to move into the next lane on my freeway of life and embrace all that it offers

ROAD BLOCK

That dreaded phone call, the day before surgery

Heart races, anxiety heightens

I  know the conversation

“your surgical date has been deferred”,  spoken as if doodling

I stop listening to the reasons why – everything a blur

Devastated

New date given, but be prepared for the “possibility of postponement”

Those negative emotions forced to the fore again

I am back at that place of anger and frustration

REFOCUS

Road blocks are temporary

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nourish your Heart

5 months after diagnosis

1 month before surgery

This topsy-turvy 5 months has brought to the fore emotions hidden in dark places

Anger, shame, guilt and fear

They jack in the boxed out from the abyss so quickly, danced in frenzied style and taunted my psyche.

And  consumed my every day

Advice from a good friend

“Nourish your Heart”

Push the jack of negative emotions back into its box

Find emotions worthy of my attention

Joy, love, compassion, trust

Remove fear

Only then can I

Nourish my heart

 

 

 

 

Side Swiped

She was manic, busy and energetic – clearly loving her work.  Her time running out and my appointment at least 30 minutes late.

I sat there feeling guilty for wasting precious time of this very busy woman.

Trying to access my files on her computer

Asking a colleague for help  to make my documents visible and finally achieving it.

A pause  from her suggested something may be up, but she had her game face on, and no emotion showed – a good sign I thought.

Her questions, my answers all appeared to tick the “you are healthy” box.

“So lets check that echocardiogram” she said.

Alone I sat in the  room with examination bed and curtain at one end.  Messy desk  topped with artificial hearts, papers, stethoscope and cup of tea at the other end.  Cream walls.

Waiting seemed like forever – I practiced my apology for wasting her time

The door flew open and the words “you are in serious trouble” spilled out, followed by “you have severe heart disease”.  She loomed over me explaining exactly what she had seen on the echocardiogram, but I heard nothing.  Those words “severe heart disease” echoing inside my brain.

What! When? How? Why?  Visibly shocked.

I am a fitness instructor, how could  this be. I cycle, run, exercise for leisure and for occupation.

“Did you have rheumatic fever when you were young” she asked.  “I have no idea” I mumbled

Diagnosis – Rheumatic Heart Disease

Within an hour, I was a patient.  I work with patients.

Within an hour, I was prescribed medication.  I never take pills.

Within an hour,  my life changed.

Three words side swiped me – Disease, Patient, Medication

Prepare for valve replacement surgery

After paying for the consultation, I sat in my car feeling totally alone

How do I tell my family?