Buckle in this is going to be a long read.
So I have written some tidbits about my cardiac event in earlier posts and I think now would be a good time to share a bit more.
I had been feeling extremely tired for a year or more before my event. I tried to loose weight by changing my diet and the quantity of my food intake. I also starting getting up earlier in the morning to go for walks to try to get my metabolism going. But everything I was working so hard on seem to fail.
My thought was that I was going through menopause which was making it hard to lose weight and why I was always feeling so tired, all of the time. I have always ate well, maybe I am just eating too much, was my thought.
I went to my family doctor and asked for some help to loose weight. I told her that any tips or suggestions she could offer, would be greatly appreciated. I also explained that I was feeling very tired and just generally felt unwell. She suggested a full blood work up and gave me some pointers for weight loss and then sent me on my way.
When the results from the blood work came back, she called me in for an office visit. She told me that the results came back showing that all of my levels were great. All be it, I was over weight I was in good shape. Her advice was to keep trying to get some weight off, reduce my stress and go enjoy living my life to the fullest. So, I tried to do just that.
At the time, I was eighty pounds heavier than I am now. I did not have high cholesterol or diabetes, in fact for the most part, my doctor thought that maybe it was, just as I had suspected, stress and menopause.
The thing about stress that I did not take into consideration is that as it builds over time it has an accumulative effect. We, as humans, take on stress and then we get used to that level. Then we add a little more and we get used to that new level and so thru the years it accumulates to what we then consider normal. Then eventually, your body says, okay, I have had all I can take and then you start to feel physically ill. My doctors think this is what happened to me.
Personally, I think it was the stress of never feeling like I was ever good enough, that caused what happened to me. The doctors too believe that this is what happened, but really do not think it can be proven.
I internalized how my family treated me and I felt like nothing I ever did was ever good enough for them. I was constantly told how to act, what my beliefs should be and was made to believe that my feelings did not matter. I had to build my grooming business three separate times, with no help, except from my husband, but that wasn’t good enough to gain their respect. I would drop whatever I was doing to go to my mother’s aid and that was never good enough for her. She always found something to complain about or give me a hard time about. It could be because I did not spend enough time with her in her mind. It could be anything really. My father would be upset if I did not attend some function or call him to inform him of what was happening in my life so he could answer inquiring questions from individuals, that we both knew. I just stopped calling him because he never really listened to me and never really seemed interested anyway. He just needed to seem like he was in the loop, for appearance sake. My brother and father would have what they called a family night and never once invited my husband and I. The list goes on and on. Yet I would continue to give my time and effort, over and over again, to go to there aid. Or, follow them around like a lost puppy to events of there choosing because it was good for appearance sake.
Eventually, I felt the stress of never accomplishing or completing any of my own projects and interests. This is because I was always busy helping or doing things for others. I could usually be found cooking and cleaning or entertaining, either at my home, or someone else’s. I was always helping others with their projects, while never finishing any of my own. I would have been okay with it, if it had felt like my efforts were appreciated and they showed some compassion or sent some love my way. I never felt that. I felt distain and disappointment from them, always.
I internalized all these bad feelings and thought to myself that, I must not be doing enough or it was because it was not perfect. The next time, I will do more and make it better, then they will love me. It was never enough for them though and I guess it just simply never would be.
When my doctor talked to me about stress, I just figured she meant I was working too hard. The thing I realize now however, is that after awhile, not only was I trying to be enough for my family but I started doing this with everyone I would come into contact with. It just became a motto for me and I still struggle, even today, with thinking I am not enough, or I am not doing enough. It is a real sickness and an extremely hard thought pattern and habit to break.
I feel that people like to judge what they think they know. But please remember that I have lived this horrible reality. Ignorance is bliss in judgmental eyes. But the pain in mine is real.
Approximately three months after visiting my family doctor, I woke early, as I always did, so that I could be ready to leave the house by six thirty in the morning. I liked to have the chores done before I started my day because by the end of the day I was too tired and did well to get a shower and supper before retiring for the day. You see, I had my grooming shop on the property that we now reside on. We live about twenty five minutes from town and I provided a pick up and delivery service for my clients. This was extra work but I enjoyed my drive, it helped me to prepare for my day. The route is very scenic and it would give me time to have my morning cup of tea.
It was November 28th, 2017 and the Christmas rush was about to start. For those of you that have dogs that require grooming on a regular basis, you understand that you need to book in advance if you want an appointment as close to Christmas as possible. Everyone wants to have “Fluffy” smelling good for Santa and any company that they may have over the holiday season.
This particular day I was extremely glad to have only four dogs booked because I woke feeling very unwell. My thought was that I could get these four dogs groomed and them back home by lunch. Then, afterwards, I would do some Christmas shopping, seeing as I hadn’t started yet. The rest of my working days were booked solid until Christmas. I could get a good start on my shopping and it would ease the craziness of the holiday season for me.
My unwell feeling seemed to be discomfort in my chest and I was even more tired than usual. I thought maybe I was having some indigestion from the previous night’s lasagna. So off I went, to pick up my furry friends for a fun morning of scrubbing and beautification.
As my pick ups went on, I started to feel worse and worse. Driving home I felt slightly sweaty and I remember thinking to myself that maybe I should pull the van over. My next thought was that I was nearly home and putting the window down would ease this feeling. The fresh air felt good and it was only another two miles and I would be home and in the driveway.
As I pulled up the driveway my husband was still home and loading up his truck to start his day’s work. He came over to the van as I parked and looked at me with an odd stare. His comment was that I did not look well. My response was that I did not feel well at all and blamed it on our meal from last evening.
He said maybe if I left the dogs in the van for a few minutes I could walk around the yard and it may make me feel better. If it was indigestion. I agreed, but as we started to walk I suddenly felt the need to go to the washroom as I felt sick to my stomach. I rushed to the bathroom and yes you guessed it I brought up the contents of my stomach. As I exited the bathroom, I felt like I was staggering and fell upon the couch because I knew if I had stayed standing it wouldn’t be long before I was on the floor.
As I landed on the couch my arm started to feel weird. I told this to my husband and he immediately asked which arm. You guessed it, it was my left arm. He grabbed me and practically carried me to the van, because I had no strength to walk. I was 265lbs of dead weight and looking back I don’t know how he found the strength. Good thing he is a big and strong man.
He got me in the van and we headed to the hospital, and yes, the dogs went too. He is an extremely safe and relaxed driver but on this day he was safe and fast. Normally from our home, the drive to the hospital would take approximately twenty five minutes. We made it in about thirteen. It is a good thing too, because if we had to wait for an ambulance to come to get me, I would not be writing this today. We pulled up to the emergency room entrance on two wheels I think. At least it felt that way.
My husband got me into a wheel chair and rushed me in. I was grasping my chest and at this point having difficulty breathing. There was an elderly man seeing the triage nurse. The nurse got one look at me and asked the elderly gentleman to have a seat in the waiting room. I don’t think he was impressed because he moved very slow and with distain. I remember hearing my husband saying, “please, hurry sir she is all I have in this world”.
My eyes filled with tears as I heard him say those words. The nurse took my blood pressure and quickly asked what was happening and she rushed us back to triage.
The medical staff quickly stripped me down and started hooking me up to all kinds of wires and tubes. I was scared! I could feel the tension in the room and the look on my husbands face said it all. I said to him that I thought he should call my mother. I knew my condition was bad, I just didn’t realize how bad. Until they gave me the second squirt of nitro. Then everything went black.
Well folks, I hope you will stay tuned for the next post, there is more to come, much more!
As Always much love,