Life is tough! It can knock you down with little or no warning. But even on those days that are hard there are moments that cause you to pause and smile and maybe even have a good chuckle later. So today, we are going to look at some deep wisdom (sarcasm) that I have learned from my trips to the ER. This past year, has been one of the toughest years physically so I want to celebrate a little having made it through the year. I am celebrating my SCADanniversary (1 year from my last SCAD heart attack)! Don’t Wear Skinny Jeans and Other Lessons From the ER is my hurrah for those of us who are learning to survive and thrive despite some medical challenges!
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Don’t Wear Skinny Jeans and Other Lessons from the ER
Ice Cream Really Does Make it All Better
With my first heart attack, I had an initial episode of chest pain that lasted about 15-20 minutes. It abated, and I went on my way. Four days later, I was with my sister-in-law, Kelly, and our kids at a water park. After hanging out on the monkey bars (which I don’t advise when you are in the middle of a medical crisis) , I started feeling extremely odd. I had been feeling so sluggish and out of breath trying to climb stairs up to the water slides, but now my arms felt as if they weighed a million pounds.
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I decided to go hang out in the kiddie area where the pool was slightly heated. On my way, I passed the snack shack. I had seen someone walk by with this huge blue soft serve ice cream cone. Naturally, I felt like ice cream would make me better. So after purchasing my extremely large ice cream cone I continued on to hang out in the relaxing warm water.
The ice cream was truly tasty (and actually a bargain by amusement park standards:), and I felt slightly better. I told my sister-in-law that I felt odd and that my chest was hurting again. However, since I seemed to be no worse I decided to let the kids continue to play. And since, as my sister-in-law likes to point out, “You were well enough to eat a huge ice cream cone”, neither of us suspected I needed to be at the hospital!
Don’t eat the Pepto
By evening that night, I was exhausted and in constant pain. I took some ibuprofen and decided to try pepto as the chest pain reminded me of the indigestion discomfort I had when I was pregnant. The following day, I took another one.
After I ended up in the ER later that morning, they started pumping me full of nitroglycerin (a drug which dilates your blood vessels) before I could even finish saying “chest pain.” Well, I am not sure which caused me to start throwing up but between the nitroglycerin and the crushing chest pain I was sick.
Later, I was in the bathroom, and I suddenly saw that my tongue was BLACK! Not like sort of darkened but like black, black. My first thought was that something more than a heart attack was wrong with me, like seriously wrong!! Fortunately, a nurse overheard me telling my mom and she asked me if I had taken any pepto. I responded that, “yes” I had, and she kindly informed me that pepto + getting sick = a black tongue. Relief!
Don’t Wear Your Skinny Jeans
Flash forward 7 years and I was home with my daughter. I had a strong crushing pain in my chest, while sitting at my desk, which instantly went away. I was used to odd chest pains, but since this one felt stronger than normal I decided to lay down immediately and take a nitroglycerin. The pain came back a couple of minutes later and it brought some friends. I knew I was in trouble cause it only comes on that instantly and intensely when I’m having a heart attack.
Two more nitroglycerin and I decided I better call for help. Now, I have to stop and tell you that my brain on a good day struggles to think clearly under pressure. Add in oxygen deprivation and let’s just say you don’t want me making any decisions on your behalf.
After I decided it was best to call an ambulance, I realized that I had on my nice new “Soul Sister” shirt that I had just been given since I was a speaker at the women’s conference. I started worrying about my new shirt getting messed up so I told my daughter to help me change. We managed that, and then I realized I had on my impractical skinny jeans.
You know that one pair of skinny jeans that you have to shimmy to get into and out of them?
Well, this will never do I thought. So I again asked my daughter to help me change. I’m saying this as I can hardly speak from the pain I was experiencing. My daughter looked at me incredulously and tried to help. “Mom, you have got to help some,” she told me as I lay like a sack of potatoes, struggling to shimmy or move at all. I was no help whatsoever so I was stuck in those jeans.
And wouldn’t you know, I wore those jeans for 3 days. I kept insisting I was going home any minute, so while I had to wear my hospital gown, I kept on those skinny jeans to feel less “ill.” By time I made it home, I didn’t want to see those skinny jeans for weeks!
Third Heart Cath is NOT Free
They should run sales in hospitals, right? I mean if you have to go, you should be able to look back and say, “Yeah, I nailed it! I arrived right when they were having a two for one special!”
As I was being wheeled into the heart catheterization lab for the 3rd time in my life, I asked them if the 3rd one was free. The nurses just looked back at me deadpan. No sense of humor! Or perhaps they had heard that one before?! Oh well, it never hurts to ask is what my Dad always taught me.
Don’t Forget the Goo Gone!
The military and NASA have nothing on whatever the secret potion that hospitals use to get those stickers to stick on you that they use for the heart monitor. The EKG stickers are fine. But the ones they use for the heart monitor you have to wear in hospitals are NOT coming off. And don’t let the nurses take them off! YIKES! Talk about pain! Go home and soak in the shower and use some Goo Gone.
Bring Your Family and Friends
Wherever your journey is taking you right now, don’t forget you need supportive family and friends! Sometimes we have things that are a part of our life that are just tough. I am so thankful that I have my faith in God, a super supportive family and a great group of friends.
But this past year no matter how you look at it has been hard. It was physically hard on me and emotionally challenging for myself and my family.
Sometimes you just have to hang on to get through the day and have hope that tomorrow will be better. And if you can’t find that hope ask someone to hope for you. There are days it can be hard believing that you will ever feel better or “normal” again.
And If that person is you, I hope that this post, Don’t Wear Skinny Jeans and Other Lessons from the ER, made you laugh for a minute and believe that you are going to make it through today. You are not going to feel this overwhelmed forever! Believe that!
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One more thing I would love to share with you! Other than my family, participating in ecourses and challenges has been super helpful to me this year! I find it so much easier to get out of bed when I have something fun to look forward to doing:)
In January, I signed up for Money Saving Mom’s 15 Days to a Healthier You as a way to make myself focus on positive movements forward, even if they were small.
I LOVED the course! There were videos to watch, journal prompts to help you reflect and the encouraging support of the Facebook community and Crystal Paine of Money Saving Mom. This holistic course covers so many topics, at an awesome price.
I wanted to share with everyone I knew, but the course was not ever offered again:(
And then, a couple of days ago I received an email saying that 15 Days to a Healthier You was going to be offered again AND
continue to be at the rock bottom price of $15!! NOW only $4 for Monday, January 6th – Thursday, January 9th, 2020!!
I couldn’t wait to share with you all!!
Here are a few more details:
When you purchase this 15-day course, you’ll get immediate access to …
- 15 daily videos lessons — one for each day of the course.
- Daily projects to help you on your own journey to live a healthier life.
- Some favorite recommended resources (links, books, podcasts) to go along with each day’s lesson.
- A PDF workbook including the entire course lessons that you can download and print.
- Access to the 15 Days to a Healthier You Facebook group!
- BONUS access to the original 15 Days to a Healthier You video series!
Get the help you need to live a stronger, healthier, more joy-filled life today by signing up for 15 Days to a Healthier You today! for ONLY $4 through Thursday, January 9th, 2020
You are going to LOVE this course. Get started HERE this week so you don’t miss out on the phenomenal price (and at this price you can treat a friend too:).
Alright! So now that I have shared some crazy stories, any you need to share? Well, don’t be shy! Share below! Oh and don’t forget to PIN and Share!