Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Damsel in Distress

I've been pretty dang independent for as far back as I can remember. And that has come in very handy in all my single living. So helpful, that I pride myself on the fact that if I don't know how, I'll certainly be able to figure it out. I've even changed all of my own flat tires (some in the presence of men, in fact!). it has always bothered me a bit when I'm coached to "need" a man more in my life. I've been told by friends, family, and all of my relationship books that men "need" to be "needed". There are even dozens of web pages dedicated to the topic. But from where I stand, I would think that it would be more flattering to a man to know that he wasn't needed, but wanted. It's certainly desire #1 for me!

So at least I'm aware of the discrepancy. And although I fail, more than I succeed in the effort of making the men in my life feel needed, I'm improving on recognizing those moments.

So...what's the point? Just a week or so before the A-Fib diagnosis, I met this really great guy. He is handsome and talented and charismatic and he seemed to recognize a few things in me that he liked. Right off the bat he was really great about the txting and IM-ing and I was having fun with the attention.

The day of the diagnosis, I went straight to the pool to talk it out with Sassy. As we were chatting, I got a txt from the new guy: "how r u"...I groaned in response. I was crap! And the last thing I wanted to tell Mr. Popular was that I just found out that my body was even more disappointing than I already knew! But Sassy had a decent suggestion...I hadn't built anything solid with this guy yet, maybe he would be a perfect candidate for me to play needy.

So I told him that I had a pretty rough day and got some bad news from the doctor. He told me that he wanted to do something for me, anything at all. So I told him that I needed distractions. I knew that there was going to be a lot of waiting around in my near future, and distractions were going to be the best gift I could receive from anyone.

And he kept popping back up every few days with the same offer, "what can i do?" And I kept telling him to stop by, or invite me along for an adventure. Finally I decided that perhaps my request was too I got specific: "I'd love a Slurpee". It seemed quick and cheap and as non-threatening as I could come up with. And...nothing.

It's been nearly two months, and I still hear from him every day, but I've long since given up on submitting requests. In fact, sometimes he's just flat out ignored.

I totally get that there are a million holes in this scenario (we don't have anything committed going on, my request is weak on the "needy" scale, etc.) but I don't know if I'll ever figure out how to be truly "needy" in a sincere and effective way.

The highlight? The Russian was in town last week and I was emotionally dumping on him about every disappointment in my life. I was venting that there were no interesting romantic prospects in my life and shared that I wasn't even able to get a man to bring me a Slurpee! But in today's mail, there was a letter from The Russian...and inside were 3 one dollar bills designated for a Slurpee! He couldn't take me, but it made me feel like a million bucks to know that he would.

I might not know how to intentionally make a man feel "needed", but I am reminded that I have some pretty key people in my life that I will always "need".

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

By Request: Best All-Time Food Experience

I believe it is very fitting that my best all-time food experience was had with The Man and The Girl Who Ate Everything!

The year was 2006 and I was living large. As a regional sales manager for an international company, I was wining and dining all over my territory. I never imagined that I would rack up so many frequent flyer and Marriott points.

My boss, Lori, and I had meetings in Miami and Orlando and so I arranged to meet my brother John and SIL Christy for dinner our first night in Florida. John used the Dolphins concierge to secure us a reservation at a major Miami Beach hot-spot, Prime One Twelve. There's an unspoken pressure to be chic and cool in Miami Lori and I did our best to fake it.

One of my favorite things about an expense account was the freedom I felt to be a little adventurous when the appetizer recommendation was the Stuffed Lobster (broiled, steamed and stuffed with jumbo lump crab and bay scallops, finished with butter), it seemed like a no brainer.

It's been a few years, so it's possible that I'm exaggerating, but in my memory that Lobster was as big as a two-year old. It seemed to occupy the entirety of the table. And, again if I recall correctly, once it was splayed before us, it was doused in at least a pound of clarified butter. I recall a moment of reverence passing over us as we stared buggy eyed at the dish. And then...I was in a trance. A buttery, lobstery, decadent trance. There was nothing chic or cool about any of the four of us. The only thing on our minds was consuming this most ridiculous of appetizers.

Something about that dish was intoxicating because the rest of the meal is kind of hazy. I know there were very flavorful and tender steaks, some expensive truffle oil sauces...maybe a potato dish? Even though I believe we were all full from the lobster, the perfection of everything that kept coming to the table made it impossible to stop eating. It seemed almost like a duty to enjoy every morsel.

In a Pavlovian type response, my mouth can't help but water every time I think back on that lobster. I would urge everyone I know to partake...except I think Christy said a repeat visit later did not measure up to our first experience. I think that there must have been something magical in that first while I would love to partake again, I might just leave this perfect memory alone.

Christy, any crucial information I left out? Friends, what are your best food experiences? Any "can't miss" locations or recipes to pass on to us?

Monday, August 29, 2011

Buy Me Some Peanuts and Cracker Jack...

Baseball Glove

Yearly attempt at the baseball park...didn't even make it to the 7th inning stretch this year.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

What I Learned in Church Today: Making a Difference

Can one person make a difference?

This was a question posed by a speaker in our final meeting today. He answered yes, and offered the stories of many who made grand differences in history and for mankind, finishing with Jesus Christ.

I have always approached doctrine with a "So What?" attitude. The story might be nice, but so what does it mean for me? How does this shape my understanding or influence my actions? And I immediately started to wonder the "So What" of one person making a difference.

I think it's pretty typical of someone trudging through illness to feel a little hopeless in least it's been typical for me. And somehow, I've allowed a devilish narrator to take over in my thoughts. So when I asked myself, "How can I, alone, make any difference?", that devil spoke with clear confidence, "You can't". I fell for it and was immediately saddened at the idea that my life was not ever going to make a difference.

See, that's all I really want. To make a difference of some significance. But I don't know what that difference is supposed to look like or feel like and I get so frustrated!

Luckily, after briefly falling for the idea that I couldn't make a difference, I was blessed with a moment of clarity. Recognizing opportunity to make a difference is going to come when I allow the voice of The Spirit to be my internal dialogue.

The chore now, is to evict that little demon from my mind and make room for logic and reason that actually makes sense. And then I have to remain willing to accept the direction I receive and not protest if it isn't the right size or style of "difference" I imagined leaving on the world.

These thoughts are all making perfect sense to me this evening...the trick will be remembering it each of the coming days.

Saturday, August 27, 2011


Weather reports for the eastern United States are wild this weekend. I figured all clouds and storminess had been called to the hurricane for the weekend...but I was wrong. My hour drive home this evening kept me on guard! Every time lightning would strike, I'd immediately think it was the lights of a highway patrolman.

Now that I'm home safe with no personal encounters with policemen or lightning, I am really appreciating the show outside my bedroom window! Amazing!

Friday, August 26, 2011

By Request: Worst Date Ever

*By way of explanation - You may have noticed in my posts that I rarely, if ever, refer to the men in my life by their given name. That isn't just a little blog quirk for me...quite some time ago I adopted the practice of assigning them nicknames. It serves two purposes, 1.) It helps to keep the characters straight when talking to friends/family, and 2.) I was told that anatomy students are discouraged from naming their cadavers in an attempt to minimize attachment to the specimens...same philosophy works well in dating.

So, to the topic at hand: Worst Date Ever

It's asking a lot of a 36 year old woman who has never been married, but has always been social, to decide on just one story. I was able to decide relatively quickly on the top three dates to fit this category. After a bit of consideration, it seemed that between "Inspector Gadget", "Nicklecade", and "Topless"...well, "Inspector Gadget" was the most fantastic of them all. So, for your entertainment (and/or horror), I give you my worst date...

I was introduced to the internet in 1997. It was this mysterious thing that only a few of my friends really seemed to have a handle on. I vividly remember the first time I sat with a roommate as she showed me a "chat room" and "instant messenger". However, the bulk of my internet education came from a co-worker who seemed to really be working the single's social perspective to her advantage. It wasn't too long before she mentored me into my first on-line "relationship".

He was....a dude. Nothing super significant about what I learned about him in the early days comes to mind. I am certain that it was nothing more than the thrill of receiving messages that kept me engaged. After a week of chatting, I was kind of over the thrill, and soberly aware that there was nothing about this guy that was interesting to me. Not sure exactly how an on-line break-up was supposed to go, I logged on figuring it couldn't be that hard to figure out. I was hopeful that it would be easier through the computer screen than it was in person...I was wrong.

The chat went something like this:

kimi d: so, hey. there's something i need to tell you.
inspector gadget: me too!

(imagine time passing as i type, then delete, then type, then delete as I tried to find the right words to end the communication)
(then imagine him happy that i had opened up the conversation to what he thought was going to be a safe place and quickly spitting out the secret he'd been keeping...)

inspector gadget: i only have one leg

(imagine my eyes widening as i choke on the air i'm breathing...imagine too much time passing...)

inspector gadget: are you there?

(imagine more time passing as i scramble for a response...)

inspector gadget: i just ruined it didn't i? you don't want to meet me now that i've told you, right?

(imagine me feeling trapped. i didn't want to shut things down because he only had one leg...i wanted it to end because i found him so uninteresting. but, my window of opportunity had passed! that sweet relief for rejecting him for a non-superficial reason had escaped me and i had nothing left but passive game play. in one of my less attractive moments, i thought that offending him might lead to him shutting it down instead...)

kimi d: of course not. this just means we can't get together to go rollerblading...unless you have a go-go-gadget rollerblade leg?

(a.) that's where the nickname was born, b.) my tactic failed...)

inspector gadget: LOL! ha! i love that this doesn't bother you. you have such a great attitude about this.

(imagine me horrified at my failure!)

inspector gadget: man, what a relief! so i guess this means it wouldn't be weird if i invited you up to my place this weekend?

What was I going to do? I was not the least bit interested in the man based on what I knew of his personality. I was certain that there would be no intellectual or spiritual chemistry. I had full confidence opening that chat window...then found myself upside down as I logged off.

Because I grew up often ignored or discounted due to my physical appearance, I have always been mindful to not treat others dismissively for external reasons. This wasn't the first date, and probably won't be the last, that I accepted as a self-inflicted challenge to stretch myself.

Due to a combination of car trouble leaving him without an automobile, and a hiking accident which crushed his only prosthetic limb, the Inspector had limited mobility. I agreed to drive to Salt Lake to meet him at his apartment for the evening. Of course it crossed my mind that it might not be safe! But in a fit of youthful logic, I reasoned that if anything creepy happened, I'd be able to outrun him.

I arrived at his apartment and nervously knocked on the door. After a few minutes, I was greeted by a red-faced boy in ill-fitted T-shirt and sweatpants. His left pant leg was pinned up and he relied on a pair of crutches to get around. I was immediately assaulted by an offensive odor...he had cats...lots of them. And it was obvious that many of the obstacles he found in taking care of himself made pet care difficult as well.

But he had a gentle demeanor. And I must have been overcome with compassion gifted to me by some unknown source because to this day, I still can not figure out why I didn't turn around and leave...especially after walking into the home to find that he had done his best to create an ambiance for love.

But no amount of soft lighting could disguise the layer of animal hair covering everything within sight. As he moved towards the couches, I hesitated at some photos on the mantel giving him enough time to commit to a location so that I could commit to the other location.

He was generous with his story telling and I was fascinated by the events that lead to the loss of his leg on a dreary New Year's Eve night. Truly, he was an individual of courage and I couldn't help but respect him for the sacrifice he ended up making in the defense of a friend...but the respect did not translate to attraction.

I had been there for more than an hour, and although I didn't feel an urgency to leave, I was still anxious for the opportunity to go home. However, he was skilled at talking over any tentative suggestion I made at wrapping things up.

My exit attempt quickly escalated when he hopped over to my couch after pulling out a chapstick and lubing up. He clearly thought that our conversation had just been prelude to a make-out...And I was done! With my jacket on, keys defensively protruding from my fist, and my cell phone firmly grasped I vanished.

My abrupt exit was not wasted on him. I can only imagine that my abrupt actions left him feeling awkward at best...I never heard from him again.

It was such a bizarre night. And while I would like to be able to stand without blame, I am mature enough to own the fact that there was a lot I could have done to prevent it from happening, but failed to do so. However, I am one middle-aged single girl who can never be accused of being closed minded or not giving guys a chance, right?!

Thursday, August 25, 2011


A BIG Thank You to (click on them to see their blogs):

for commenting with your suggestions. The other 19 of you (remember, I can see a daily number of visitors?) shouldn't be so scared! Besides, wouldn't you like to see something interesting and of your own provoking?!

The invitation for suggestions of an open or anonymous nature remains out there!

First installment of "By Request": Worst Date Ever, to premier tomorrow!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


I have the Blogging Blahs (if there is such a thing). I keep deleting my blog posts after deciding that a.) the topic is too boring (which is REALLY boring considering the days I shamelessly post YouTube links), or b.) some thoughts are meant only for my leather bound journal and not for a public forum.

So I'm calling for help. According to Google Analytics, there are at least a dozen of you stopping by here I'm asking for a little help! Give me a topic...a story you've once heard but want to hear again. A question you've always wanted me to answer. A topic for which you're dying to hear my opinion...or lack thereof.

Being sick, I'm often told by people that they want to help and that they're willing to do anything I need. Sometimes I let those people off easy by telling them I want to either be told jokes, or be told that I'm pretty. The rest of the time I just ask people to please provide me with some kind of distraction! So I'm asking the same of you...provide me with distraction in the form of topics to write about. Leave a comment, anonymous even, I won't judge you for that...but I do maintain full veto power, so I may judge you based on the ridiculousness of your suggestion ;)

If all else fails, I may have to turn to the "Journal in a Jar" format...and that just seems like too much work.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Part 2

I should have suspected that this behavior was not just limited to unfinished stories in print (I sometimes won't move from my spot for hours as I try to save a character by reading quickly through their peril. And there was the time I called in sick to work because the Hogwarts gang was in all sorts of trouble that I hadn't read them through by sunrise). Seems as though I am not okay with an unfinished story on screen either.

The Russian, Salty and I watched part 2 tonight. If I hadn't fought to keep my eyes open through that one (sleepy day!), I'd probably be down on the couch right now watching part 3!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Lord of the Rings

I finally saw the movie (Part 1) tonight. Only took my 10 years to get around to it.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

What I Learned in Church Today: Fear

Our first meeting today was regarding Eternal Marriage, the second meeting topic was Missionary Work. In both lessons I recognized that there are aspects to both of these things that I am really, really afraid of.

When it comes to marriage, I'm mostly terrified that I wouldn't be any good at it and then I console myself that it hasn't happened for me because God is protecting both me and a potential spouse from the train wreck I could make from the situation! Of course that thinking is completely unhealthy, but it comes from the little devil in my mind. The truth, and the healthy approach, is to remember that marriage is ordained of God and that a faith based marriage is endowed with power from Him to endure even the most boneheaded moves by either spouse.

When it comes to marriage, I worry about making myself or another person uncomfortable. I'm afraid that my testimony might not be well received, and so I often do nothing. The truth is, the errand of sharing the good news about my Savior is one assigned by God and again is endowed with power from Him to endure even the most awkward of testimony deliveries.

And I have allowed a similar fear to spill into so many other areas of my life...all because I fail to remember that I'm a pretty good girl doing my best to be a disciple of Christ. And as long as that is my sincere intent, I will be endowed with power from Him to accomplish every errand he sends me on.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

She Wears It Well!

No one looking at this woman can believe that today is her 60th birthday. I've asked that an investigation be launched into a birth-certificate typo! When we are together, she is always taken for my in that case, my momma doesn't look a day over 29! Right?

Friday, August 19, 2011


If you were to ask me if I was a romantic, without hesitation I would answer "No!". And as a friend, I'm often a bit of a wet blanket in conversations regarding the matter.

Hollywood drives me crazy with its portrayal of women and men in relationships. Not so much because of how the women are portrayed (emotional, desperate, crazy, irrational, hopeful, hopeless, manipulative, unsatisfied, devoted, yadda yadda...seems about right), but because of how men are portrayed.

Growing up in a locker room-esque setting, I feel like I have a pretty good pulse on the typical American male...and these guys don't go ga-ga for chicks. When I see a man sacrifice everything that is solid, for the wisp of a hope for the love of a strange woman, it kind of makes me gag. When a man suddenly loses his mind in the pursuit of a brief encounter with the woman he's spent his life ignoring, I can't help but roll my eyes. When a man walks away from money and fame and adventurous escapades for a life-time of conversation with a crippled sweetheart, I can't hold in the groan. I don't believe it. I am convinced that these scenarios are more fairy tale than the ones starring the ridiculous vampires!

But this evening, I had to ask myself why I experience such a strong reaction to these romantic moments. Is it because behind my "dead inside" facade, I actually want to believe it? Do I house expectations of triumph over tragedy when I imagine the greatest love story of my life? Do I hypocritically hope to be so important to a man, that he can't help but be with me? Have I let my guard down and allowed Hollywood to shape my hope for romance? And if the answer is yes, can I reverse the effects and allow myself to be open to reality?

I hope that when I see a man works a few extra hours at the office so that his paycheck is just large enough for his wife to buy that new dress, I recognize the sacrifice. And when a man sleeps a few less hours and stays up with the baby so that his wife has the energy necessary to be a good mother to his children, I want to feel myself smile at the gesture. And when I observe a man standing by his partner for months or years in spite of the physical and emotional consequences of a nasty illness, I want to only comment on the strength that must require. And I want to be satisfied that those things are real...and that those things are enough.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Post "Date" Report

The ultimate sign of a good first date is when he schedules your next date before the first one is even over! Dr. Hwang and I are seeing each other again on September 15, so I think that's as much as a girl can hope for from her Cardiologist, am I right?!

I mentioned here that a successful match making tactic for a potential cupid is to Over Promise and Under Deliver...turns out it works well with doctor/patient matches as well. I was convinced that there would be tears at some point during, or soon after, our meeting. However, while he was all business, I was able to get him to crack a hint of a smile, and for this girl that can often be the only encouragement I need!

He had skimmed through my thick patient history but hadn't had time to examine my MRI results. He presented his assessment with a confidence that put me quickly at ease, yet never crossed over to the arrogant side that can come so easily for some who are so successful.

While the MRI study and the Cardiac Ablation will provide more definitive diagnosis and prognosis, he strongly suggested that the condition that I was born with (Cardiomyopathy) is the cause of the new diagnosis (A-Fib) and that he can get me feeling better with the ablation. Longer-term treatment and care are still foggy to me, (if Cardiomyopahy causes A-Fib, don't I want to do something about the cause so that it doesn't have the same effect down the road???) but I'm focusing on one step at a time right now.

I have a month to get ready for our next meeting, so I'll be working on myself physically and mentally and arrive as my best self when we hook-up in a month ;)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Dr. Chun Hwang...Pre-Date Jitters

I am so, so nervous for my first appointment with Dr. Hwang tomorrow afternoon. I even spent time this afternoon considering what to wear! I am as anxious for this introduction as I have been for first dates!!

Medically, I have heard nothing but reports of reverence and awe in regards to his knowledge, skills, and technical approach to dealing with patients in my situation. Former patients, local and distant, have sent his name as a referral as well as 2 friends who have worked directly with him at the hospital. Knowing that the man is aka the "human robot" provides just about as much consolation as one can hope for before he enters your heart to burn misbehaving sections with a wire.

Personally, I have been informed that he is direct and dry in his approach to bedside. I was also warned to brace myself for possible unintentional insults. While I recognize that warmth in tone can often be lost in cultural translation, I am also beginning to better understand that this might be par for the course when dealing with cardiologists...and that hasn't been working for me so well.

I have a lot of questions about my diagnosis, about the symptoms, about the treatments, about the long and short-term care, about restrictions, about success rates, about worst case scenarios, about co-morbidities etc., etc. And I have been told, in not so many words, that my insatiable appetite for information, education, and details is uncommon for the majority of patients with my condition. But the average age of these individuals is double my own. Every technician and nurse that I have interacted with in the last two months has made some kind of comment or reference to my youth. I am told over and over again that they rarely, if ever, see patients so young. I guess you could call me a trailblazer?

Anyhow, I feel strongly that my hunger for information is indicative of my generation. Contrary to the majority of the more senior demographic, my counterparts and I are heavily influenced by a culture that provides endless sources of data. Conversations about any topic from sports, to food, to history, to entertainment, to politics, to the definition of words are often put on hold while someone "Googles that"...shouldn't seem surprising that this would spill on over to medicine.

The fact that specialists in the medical field prefer to have their patients unconscious or unquestioning can't last forever...I don't think my generation will allow it. If we don't receive satisfactory information directly from the docs, we will naturally seek to satiate ourselves online. And shouldn't we be seeking to play an active role in our own health care? Wouldn't that be preferential behavior from diseased patients?

Certainly I don't mean to suggest that the education come directly from the doctor. I understand that their training and skills are directed to hands-on activity and not education, but it is only a matter of time (short time) that patient educators or advocates will be demanded as part of the basic package for health care. (In fact, it sounds like a possible perfect career for me to create for myself!)

My point is, I feel more than lucky to have access to one of the most skilled doctors dealing with A-Fib...but I'm nervous about the inter-personal interaction. I had a good laugh when speaking to a friend this afternoon for a pre-appointment coaching session when she summed it all up with "just be yourself" girlfriend pre-date advice, right?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

quick update

on my way to the pool this morning I was able to finagle my way in to a cardiac MRI tomorrow morning at 6:30 and a follow up with doc extraordinaire thursday afternoon.

things are moving sudden and swift!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, August 15, 2011

Ab-Belt...I Might Be Convinced!

These things use to make me giggle like so many Made For TV items do. But since those 4 jolts of electricity on Friday morning, I have been acutely aware of my own abs!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

What I Learned in Church Today: Passing Judgement

I actually had a lot of thoughts today and wrote down a handful of notes...but the lesson that's seems to be most glaring is the lesson I learned about my own bad behavior.

BUT...I have a really good excuse. I feel rotten. Really, really awful. Consumed with my own discomfort and fatigue, I find myself behaving badly. Characteristics that I thought were solid in my core (like patience and unconditional love) are painfully missing.

I was awful today. My mom attended church with me and after the meetings she kindly observed that I had been particularly "snarky". Then later as I was rehashing and bashing the events of the day with a friend, she made a more direct observation that the conversation wasn't particularly healthy...then advised that it not ever be done with anyone else. From that final comment, I took that what she had observed, had been less than attractive. And I hate being less than attractive!

And she's right...nothing good can come from such a judgy perspective. And why am I finding any value from that standpoint?

I am working through a physical trial right now. It's uncomfortable and it's uncertain and there is so much about it that is outside of my control. But one of the few things I can control is keeping this challenge contained to the physical realm. If I get lazy, this physical challenge could escalate to an emotional or spiritual or personal challenge as well.

Although the comment from my mom initial stung, I'm grateful that she would call it to my attention so that I can reign myself in before allowing myself to become permanently ugly and bitter.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Cardioversion - Summary

I was more anxious for this procedure than I had been for the Angiogram...but it was not nearly as invasive. I'm convinced that the growing anxiety is directly correlated with my growing understanding of the gravity of my situation and nothing at all to do with the procedure itself.

Here are some of the details about yesterday:

* I had the very best nurse (Jake) that I have ever had at a hospital...and I have had a lot of nurses in my lifetime

* I don't know if they require family to leave the room, but neither my mom nor I wanted her in the room...she stepped into the hallway. I was glad she was there, but didn't think either of us wanted her to actually witness

* A minute after mom left, the room got fuzzy. The next thing I knew, she was back in the room and everyone in the room was congratulating each other for a successful Cardioversion

* The whole thing took no more than 10, maybe 5, minutes

* It took 4 attempts, each requiring a new placement of the defibrillator pads until they could find my "sweet spot"

* Contrary to popular rumor among some of my friends, no body piercings or jumper cables were involved...but I do have 4 singe marks on my back and another 4 singe marks on my chest where the defibrillator pads were for each shock

* I could immediately feel the difference. I have been comparing the sensation in my chest with an off-balance washing machine...just slamming around in my chest...but when I came to, it was all gone! And it was marvelous!

* I wasn't nearly as sleepy coming out of this sedation as I was the week I just sort of rested my eyes and dozed in and out. About 45 minutes after the successful procedure, I was wide awake and grabbed at the monitor to check my heart rate. That rotten off-balanced washing machine feeling was coming back

* My mom grabbed the attention of the first nurse she saw outside my room and asked her to come check and see if I was back in A-Fib. But the nurse said it was only extra heartbeats which is different than A-Fib and might have just been the reaction of my agitated heart

* Jake came in another 45 minutes later with discharge papers but before he disconnected all of the monitors, decided to give them one last look...and then he whispered, "oh shoot"

* He confirmed that I was, in fact, back in A-Fib and let me know that I wouldn't be leaving until he had spoken to the doc

* Doc told Jake that he wouldn't consider another attempt at Cardioversion since we had reached my limit, but that we would work quickly to get both a Cardiac MRI and Cardiac Ablation scheduled

* I felt mad. And I felt like a failure. It's not like I hadn't been told this could happen, but I had been so optimistic! And those glorious 45 minutes with no thudding heart turned out to be nothing but a tease! Ugh!

* So I coped the only way I knew how...a movie, popcorn, and an enormous diet coke.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Searching for Silver Lining

(as posted on Facebook)

the good news: after the 4th attempt at Cardioversion, the doc was able to get me out of A-Fib

the bad news: 45 minutes later, I was back in A-Fib

the good news: another procedure, with a world renowned doc is in the works ringer me mended

the bad news: ANOTHER procedure

the good news: since I'm already in A-Fib, a giant diet cole won't hurt a thing!

this girl has got to get herself to sleep so the juicy details will have to wait until tomorrow...

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Happy Events

I'm lucky that sprinkled between worry sessions, I have fantastic moments to celebrate.

My best girl from my college days is expecting her first son, and tonight my mom and I attended the baby shower. I can't believe so much has changed for her in just 3 short years! She was so beautiful tonight and I loved seeing her pregnant belly and imagining her snuggling her perfect little man in just a few weeks. I am very grateful for these small reminders that there is joy all around me.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Best Kind of Therapy

This morning I decided that after all of my worries yesterday, I was going to take the day off from being "sick". I was going to think about lots of unimportant things. And where is the best place to see a lot of things that are interesting but unimportant? Correct, Facebook!

And the first thing I read was a personal message from a well-intentioned, former classmate asking:
" Are you better now, or is it something that will never really get better? "
And then I started to think, what if this never really gets better. Sure, I've imagined all sorts of horrible possible futures, and for reasons I don't understand, I'm okay with my own morbid imagination...but are others imagining a dark and dreary future for me as well?!?!

So I closed down Facebook and moved to personal email. And the first message I read was from a well-intentioned friend from church informing me that I have the exact same thing that a mutual acquaintance of ours has. Which was probably meant to provide some relief? I mean, really, how could this girl possibly know that the mutual acquaintance's most defining physical characteristic of toting oxygen, is glaringly represented in my worst case scenario in my mind?

So I closed the laptop and walked away. I thought that maybe some errands and gift shopping would help to clear my mind. I grabbed my keys, hopped in my car with a route mapped in my head....and trudged through my list as I began feeling more and more sorry for myself.

I was left with no other options, so I bought a Diet Coke with extra ice to numb the tension building in my chest. As I neared home, I picked up the mail and found a big box with my name on it! Ignoring the new stack of bills from the doctors I tore into the box to find a little mental health inside...

Dark chocolate almond bark from a friend who couldn't have better timing. I guess what I really needed today wasn't to pull it all together and be was to give in to my escalating emotions and do the only thing that feels good these chocolate.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


While I am confident that technology has much improved, the above image is pretty much all I can think about when I consider my Cardioversion appointment in a few days. I guess there are a lot of blessings that come with a day-by-day mentality, because I have hardly given myself time to freak out over this...until today.

I'm not feeling any doomsday premonitions over this...but I am NOT looking forward to it either.

There's a "faith promoting rumor" that I have heard that goes something like this:

If we all were to sit in a big circle, write our trials on slips of paper, then put them in the center of the circle and draw out something new...well, we'd all just want to draw out the trials we wrote down.

And I recognize that there are some, who are much better than me, who handle greater struggles than my own like champs...but I kind of don't want this anymore either. I kind of wonder where the emotional endurance to put up with the remaining questions and discomfort and frustration is going to come from.

Monday, August 8, 2011


This is a public service announcement for anyone in the business of setting up singles.

A friend has been telling me for months that I should be dating a man in our ward. And then this friend will list a few of the guys flaws. And then I will laugh and ask why in the world I would be a match for a dull hick like the one described!

Tonight I finally had my first conversation with the "dull hick". And he wasn't dull or hick-ish at all! In fact, I look forward to talking to him again.

From past experience, I know that over-selling a potential match usually results in irreparable disappointment. So while I recognize it's a fine line to walk, I suggest you find that balance between under-selling a potential match and marketing a complete loser before you take your next shot at playing cupid.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

What I Learned in Church Today: Be Positive

In my congregation, the first hour of church is spent broken into separate auxiliaries, so the women and men meet separately for gospel discussion. Today, the topic for discussion was Be Positive. (Ironic given that before Salty and I had even finished backing out of the garage for our departure, I was already making excuses to return home early.)

During the discussion, we were asked to individually identify something we do to maintain, or achieve, a positive outlook. I recognized that I often consider how the weight of my words will impact the receiver of those words, and I do my best. for their sake, to put a positive spin on things. Usually the end result is that I believe the words I speak...eventually.

By the time class had concluded, I had mentally agreed to only speak positive words...

...then I was immediately asked how I was doing. And then again. And then again. And then again, etc.

I feel like garbage. I feel discouraged. I feel uncertain. I feel exhausted. I feel picked on. I feel lonely. I feel scared.

But these aren't things you casually mention in a chapel hallway. And the truth is, I don't know how to answer the question because I feel torn. In addition to the feelings I listed above, I also:

Feel fortunate. Feel optimistic. Feel loved. Feel enthusiastic. Feel funny (ha-ha). Feel happy. Feel peaceful.

And if you combine all of those things together, well then, I'm just crazy!

I'm still working on how to be honest, when honest is less than positive. I'm also learning to remember that in spite of the negative, there is still a lot that is positive.

I guess Being Positive is more difficult than I wanted it to be.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Synchronized Add-On

I spent my afternoon escaping the reality of my life by indulging in my favorite summer past-time...the pool! While I have been known to spend stretches as long as 6 hours just floating and lying around, today some fun friends joined and indulged Sassy and I in the funnest game we've made up so far...Synchronized Add-On!

It is similar to the childhood game of Trampoline Add-On (player one does a trick, player two does player one's trick then adds a trick of his/her own, player three does player one's trick then player two's trick then adds a trick of his/her own, and so on! and so on! and so on! (name that 1970's commercial!))


Instead of trampoline tricks, each player takes turns adding on synchronized swimming moves! Fun, right? And even better!, is that once you've completed a few rounds, all of the players form a circle facing one another and do the routine all together! Hilarious, right?

There is video footage of today's performance, but given that it's my voice on the recording stating that I will burn someone for posting it anywhere (Where did I pick up such a random, violent threat? "I will burn you"? What is that?), you won't be seeing it...ever.

Friday, August 5, 2011

uh...about that unannounced sabbatical...


the last few weeks this page has been a hospice of sorts...a place where posts come to die. you wouldn't believe the number of poorly written and/or unfinished thoughts i've patched together.

i'm happy to report that, i'm feeling emotionally sterile enough to actually draft something that has a shot at the publish button at the bottom of this page. truth is, i drafted the rest of this post a few days ago as a follow-up to my irresponsible behavior on facebook when i posted a status update while still mildly sedated...for those out of the loop, it came as a bit of a shock. so, by way of an update, here is where things stand for now:


Bad news isn't fun to share at all...especially when so many of the specifics are currently unknown. But my poor Facebook etiquette on Monday evening has prompted a more complete explanation:

After months of not feeling well, and ignoring many symptoms, I finally saw a cardiologist on July 8. Having been diagnosed with Cardiomyopathy (enlarged heart) at the age of 13, I had a doctor already in my rolodex. I was immediately diagnosed with Atrial Fibrillation (A-Fib, irregular heartbeat). I was prescribed medications and tests, and have been cruising through podcasts and books on tape while I drive to and from doctor appointments.

Monday was my first invasive procedure, an Angiogram (an x-ray from inside the heart,) in an effort to get a good standing on my arterial health and some data concerning a suspicious membrane near one of the valves. The good news is my arteries are pristine and the membrane is negligible!!! The not so good news is that in addition to the A-Fib, it was discovered that I also have Pulmonary Hypertension (high blood pressure inside the arteries of the lungs).

It has been a relief to know that my feeling like garbage wasn't imagined, and there is comfort in knowing that I'm up against a couple of pretty legit reasons for feeling so lousy.

Now I'm just practicing optimism and patience as I jump through medical hoops to determine the cause (if there is one) and the treatment(s).

I better realize how many people are sincerely concerned for my well-being as prayers and well-wishes are sent my way. Other than blatant flattery, it's all I can ask for right now.

Most importantly, I more clearly understand the impact of "intoxicated" Facebooking. Following all future procedures, I will be sure to keep my iPhone far from me until I can sing the alphabet backward or something.