Sunday, December 28

Oh, What A Relief!

I wanted to let you all know that after much thought, prayer, and consideration, I have decided not to have the defibrillator implanted at this time. I also came to the decision to come back and review my options in six months- that way I haven't completely closed the door on this issue.
I have to say that it is a tremendous relief to have this taken off of my shoulders. I hadn't been sleeping, and I found myself crying a lot over the idea of putting a foreign device into my body and having to rely upon western medicine for the rest of my life. It just didn't sit well with me at all! I am so grateful that I am now able to move forward into the new year with my focus being on health and growth, and not having to spend more hours in hospitals and doctor's offices. Some may be afraid that I will just drop dead without it, but honestly, my intuition is telling me that I am going to be just fine. I really do believe that what we choose to focus on increases, and if I am looking at my poor health and what the doctors have to say, I will be stuck in this place for the rest of my life. On the other hand, by choosing to look at how fantastic my life can be, how good it feels to be well, and how amazing it is to grow and move forward, I can achieve these desires and leave the sick girl in the past where she belongs.
Before I end this post I just want to wish you all a healthy and happy new year- we all deserve a fantastic 2009- and I hope that we can all heal, grow, and prosper together!

Sunday, December 21

Learning to Trust My Intuition

The last few weeks have been crammed with doctors appointments- what fun! I went to see yet another cardiologist and two other physicians who specialize in implanting defibrillators. All of them have recommended that I have the device put in, but they don't do much else to convince me that it's a good idea.
Between the first and second specialist, I had called my main cardiologist and asked her to give me a realistic percentage of how much greater my risk for sudden death is compared with the average population. She responded by saying that I have a 2-5% greater chance per year of having my heart go into irregular rhythm which can lead to sudden death without a defibrillator. Well, after hearing that, I was pretty much convinced that I didn't need the device put in my body, and I have to say that I felt such a sense of relief and joy, that the next few days I felt very positive and happy. I haven't felt this way in months, and I was grateful that I finally felt like I was moving on.
Then on Friday I went to the second specialist and he said that my chances of surviving over the next five years without the defibrillator was 80%, and if I did have it the number would increase to 85%. He also said that the device helped those with clogged arteries a bit more than someone with Cardiomyopathy and an otherwise healthy heart. Okay, at this point wouldn't you think that he would say that he did not recommend the surgery? I really felt that this doctor, the most conservative one at this facility, would say that it wasn't necessary at this time. Sadly, that wasn't the case. He said that he did recommend it, and he went so far as to say that it would be a shame that someone as young as myself would have their life cut short because I didn't go ahead with this. What?! Then he said that I would be an excellent candidate for a heart transplant should my injection fraction go down more (it's currently at 30% and a normal person is about 60%). Now, there I am sitting in his office trying to be calm and to remember that this is only his opinion and that he knows what he is talking about, but the more he spoke the more my neck became stiff and painful. My stomach also began to knot up. As much as I tried, I was not taking all of this very well. The straw that broke the camels back was when he pulled out the defibrillator in order to show me what it looked like, and I could not believe how stinking big it was? I mean, seriously people!
It may seem like I am being overly dramatic about all of this, but the thought of putting this foreign body inside of myself does not sit well with me at all. In fact, my mood plunged dramatically after the visit, and once again I felt the dark cloud of depression and frustration move over me again. I felt the same way when all of the doctors were telling me to go on heart meds, and in the end I gave in and my body rejected them. Is this my body's way of telling me that this is a bad idea? I am torn between listening to the "experts" and listening to my heart (intuition)- what if I make the wrong choice? What about all of those people that think I should move forward with this? What about what I WANT TO DO?
As you can tell, I am still a bit frustrated about the whole thing, but thankfully I have some tools that I can use to navigate through all of it: talking about it, praying, meditating,being still and allowing the answer to come, and finally I can really listen to what my body is telling me. The only area of uncertainty is the fact that I am not sure if my intuition is clouded by my fears and other peoples opinions, or if it is clear as a bell and I am afraid to follow it. All I know is that when I thought I wasn't going to go through with this I was thrilled, and now I am in turmoil again- that says a lot if you ask me.

Saturday, December 6

Take the Time to Pamper Yourself

I know that it's been a while since my last post, but that's due to the fact that I have had many doctors appointments and many things to evaluate and consider. I am being faced with task of deciding whether or not I will have a defibrillator implanted in my chest as a precaution against sudden death. Supposedly when you have Cardiomyopathy, there is a much greater risk of dying- the problem is that none of the doctors can give me a straight forward answer as to how much higher my chances are. It makes a big difference if you ask me!
I could get into the details of all of this fun stuff, but I have decided to blog about something else entirely: pampering yourself. I was given a wonderful gift certificate for a massage for my birthday in October, and I finally made the appointment and spent the afternoon indulging in the spa experience. I used the facilities, drank the cucumber water, was treated to a special birthday bath, and then I had a wonderful massage by a very gifted masseuse. The reason that I am telling you all of this is because I feel that we all need to practice self-love and self-care regularly. Unfortunately, if you are like me, you tend to put off taking care of yourself until you think you will have the time. Or until you get all of the items on your to do list checked off. At the rate I have been going it's no wonder I don't get around to taking care of myself like this too often.
Having a massage reminded me of how much we all need to pamper ourselves. It doesn't have to be a big event- you can light a candle and sit and relax, take a long bath, go for a gentle stroll, or buy yourself some flowers. Do something enjoyable and self-loving every day-especially if you have been ill. Life is too short to keep pushing yourself and never taking the time to stop and recharge your batteries. I realize that it's a busy and hectic world we live in, but in order to thrive I believe that self-care has to be on the top of our list. If we don't make ourselves a priority then who will? I am making a promise to myself to do something that brings me joy, makes me laugh, or let's me relax everyday- can you do the same for yourself? You will be glad that you did!