Saturday, January 23, 2016


It’s about 12:30 in the morning and I am awake thanks to the hiccups.

I woke up to Guy Fieri shoving what looked to be a large piece of chorizo into his gob. It took me awhile to realize that I was not an unfortunate bystander on the show and that I had a remote control that could turn that off.


I also realized that I have a lot of shit on my mind and I need to get it down so I can be at peace and maybe get some sleep. This post may contain a lot of cursing, but it’s my brain, so I’ll apologize and leave it at that.

See, having been well trained on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs as well as stages of loss and grief, and a lot of other psychological goodies that pertain to nursing, I realize that I’m going through a lot of emotions and levels of strength and other things that just really tend to f*ck a person up.

Yesterday and the day before I started into the anger phase. The “why me’s” and the “dammits” and the “I’m irritated and mad at this bread crust for no reason at all.” Today it kind of came to a head when I was calling a million offices trying to schedule a million things – namely this damn cardiac CT scan! Three days ago I called my cardiologist’s office to find out about setting up my second attempt at a CT scan. (Remember my first attempt?) I was told that he had gone on vacation early. I asked politely to have another physician please order the scan as I was on a heavy dose of metoprolol and it wasn’t awesome. Two days ago I had called my cardiologist’s office and was told that he was not, in fact, on vacation, and was inquiring after my heart rate, to which I replied it was fine, PLEASE ORDER THE SCAN. Today I called the cardiologist’s office to inquire about the date for the scan, and was told the same thing as two days ago, that he would order it. I said, please do, as it’s Friday, and I have an appointment with the surgeon on Tuesday.
Are you still with me?

A couple of hours later I called the CT/MRI scan place myself just to see if the order had been placed. I now have an appointment IN TEN DAYS because there is one cardiologist at this place one day a week (Wednesdays) to perform the reading. So that means I not only have to reschedule the surgeon (for the second time) but now have to be on the metoprolol another ten days, therefore in an exhausted and weakened state. I’m only halfway through this shit? Are you f*cking kidding me right now? Doesn’t anyone care that I’m stuck at home unable to do anything because I feel as if I’m 98 years old with half a lung and the heart rate 2/3 of what it is used to?

Mostly, I’m angry because I’m weakened and so much of this crap is out of my control.

It was another huge wake-up call…. Personally and professionally. No wonder so many of our patients don’t follow through with follow up care. It’s damn impossible!!! I have the fortitude to sit here and insist on appointments and care, however I can only imagine not knowing the language, or being sicker than I am and not having the strength to deal with the constant back-and-forth.

I haven’t considered myself “weak” in a lot of years, and it’s really frustrating. I know my inner “me” is NOT weak but rather strong. However, I also see the expression on children’s faces when I drag my oxygen tank into the elevator, and I see the look of pity on adult’s faces when I walk by them. I’m not my equipment, people. I’m healthy other than a mutant heart, a recent kidney injury, and a medication that makes me feel like a zombie. It’s also amazing how short of breath I get doing random things like trying to locate a bagel in the freezer.

I’m still that stubborn mule, just a little pissed off and over-emotional at the moment. I almost broke down when replacing one of my oxygen tanks because the regulator wouldn’t snap on correctly. When did my patience become that of a gnat on steroids?!
[When doing a search for "zero patience," I ended up with a lot of zombie pictures and something called "patient zero." Which, I guess, is about what I feel like half the time, but still not even relevant to this so I'll skip it. Instead, here is a photo of what I feel like on metoprolol...]

I'm ready for my modeling career!
I get jealous watching people take walks outside. I follow Facebook postings of travels with glee, living vicariously through my friends who are frolicking in turquoise waves or snowboarding in Tahoe. I work really hard to get through these feelings in a healthy manner, and am well aware of the signs of depression… according to the zillion heart patient blogs I’ve read, this is super normal. I’m not there yet, but am on the lookout for it.

I know this has been hard on the parents as well. They’ve been pretty amazing, I have to say. I know they’re going through their thoughts. The other night I told my mom flat out that I’m scared of this surgery coming up. We had a good talk about it, and I felt better just for voicing that fear. Dad and I also have our conversations, and the other morning I launched into a monologue about work, and the awesome people I work with, and some silly stories. It was good to have a normal talk. I miss normal. Even when normal was exceptionally stressful and I would say “I NEED A BREAK.” Well, this wasn’t what I had in mind.

I’m still grateful, though, that it was discovered and will be fixed. Eventually. Maybe, at the rate these appointments are being made, I will be that 98 year old patient hobbling down the street. I still insist on laughing, though, and know that all of this will pass over. I will heal, and get back to life. It will be scary, and it will hurt, and it will be a lot of physical therapy and rehab and pain and crying and determination.

Ya, mule, ya!

"Keep Calm and Chive On" - pre-Zipper
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