life, love,art. heart failure and assorted ramblings

life, love,art. heart failure and assorted ramblings

Don't Talk Like That...

I write to find out what my heart thinks....
I write to expose and work through the ugly parts of this disease, open heart surgery that was less than successful and more recently an S-ICD (internal cardiac defibrillator) implanted in my chest that will hopefully restore my heart beat in case of sudden cardiac death. I am here to celebrate my life, to uncover my fears, to hold on to love, to learn how to live a full life with heart failure, to honor my creativity, and to explore all of my emotions out loud ...before anyone can say
"Don't talk like that!"


.

.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

It Stops Life...


My ugly four-letter “F” word is fear.
Nothing has had more impact or done more damage in my life that this little four letter word and all of the repulsive emotions that are lined up behind it.

No more fear...No more fear...

Monday, November 26, 2012

Someone should just strangle them with those lights!

Grouch...Grump....Gripe....Moan....Bitch...Belly Ache...Crab...Fuss & Fume


It is bad enough that Christmas arrives in the stores the week BEFORE Halloween these days, and now with Thanksgiving barely over, the neighbors are stringing Christmas lights on their houses. I have even seen fully decorated Christmas trees through the windows at night. For heaven’s sake, it isn’t even Dec. yet. Bad enough that the stores are doing it, now the neighbors are too.  Someone should just strangle them with those lights! Bah Humbug!!!!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Fire Up the Keg-er-ator, Here Comes Your Momma and the Green Bean Casserole!

Holy CRAP!!!
It is that time of year already and there is a wiff of turkey in the air.  I am lacing up my “go” shoes and getting ready to head out of here.   Last year the official Evan’s Thanksgiving was delightfully non-traditional. We celebrated on Wednesday, the night before, at the Outback Steak House, a thick cut medium rare steak and lots and lots of beer = a full tummy and a nice buzz! .  No cooking, no cleaning, no leftovers.   The PERFECT THANKSGIVING!

I was not always this cynical, there were many many many years that I spent the entire Thanksgiving day in my tiny little kitchen, messing up every pot, pan and dish we owned, producing a semi-perfect Thanksgiving dinner for what felt like a cast of thousands. Then washing all those pots and pans and dishes, and cramming tons of leftovers into an already overwhelmed refrigerator.  I can appreciate the first Thanksgiving story, but have never really understood how that story translates into me wedged in a tiny kitchen all day and night, performing unspeakable heinous acts of cooking....Damn you Pilgrims! 

My version of "Over the River and Through the Woods" is heading up I-75 to Gainesville to spend T-day with my sons, and all of my grandsons (that is all 4 of my little guys), 3 of my best big guys and a smoked turkey with all the trimmings (cooked by #1 son and his awesome wife).  Yes, it will be a very traditional Thanksgiving day, which has not been my style lately, but there will be beer! 
Let me see...No cooking, no cleaning, no leftovers (for me anyway) a full tummy and a nice buzz....hmmmmm- this will fit nicely into my current idea of the perfect Thanksgiving! 

Fire up the keg-er-ator, Jason, here comes your Momma and the green bean casserole!

Oh Momma, Make this Stop!


BARF! No seriously…. BARF!

I hate pills…..they hate me!
New batch-o-pills talking back (ugly) to me! I was told this new stuff would be like magic, I would get so much energy back. AAAAACK!!!!!  I was not counting on that energy being used up running back and forth to the bathroom!   
Oh Momma, make this stop!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

and the Test Results are in....drum roll please!


Drum-roll please…..there is good news and not so good news. Kind of sounds like my life, there are good days and not so good days. But, you know now that I think about it, isn’t that everybody’s life?

First of all 91 on the Logic exam, an 84 on Latin American History, (was marked down 8 points for not citing the (very young, and oh so egotistical) professor’s lectures in my essay.

The medical tests are about the same, there were no perfect 100’s but the final report is respectable and passing. Everything seems to be progressing as expected. However, I had such a spectacular year and was doing so phenomenally well that I had become quite spoiled. We were all kind of hoping that this latest down turn could have been attributed to another, but easily fixed clogged artery, unfortunately that was not the situation (sounds a little nuts that I was hoping for a clogged artery). The recent symptoms are just heart failure doing what heart failure does and heart failure is pretty much self explanatory.

They are adding one crappy medication, the kind I really, really hate, but have agreed to try again.  There is a new happy wrinkle in this story, I now qualify for a new clinical trial medicine that is reported to be getting great results (and bonus...... it is free!).  I am anxious to try anything that might give me back some of my energy.  It is a little scary that they do not understand why this medicine works but hey, I have got nothing to loose here and I have a very busy year ahead of me, an art show (yep you heard me, I am the poster artist for this one), lots and lots of teaching, a kick-butt bucket list to get working on and I am going to need every ounce of energy we can squeeze out of those little pills!

So, stand back, the paint slopping, wine drinking, clay spanking, art hauling Cheryl will be  kicking butt again very soon and I will be expecting a Drum-roll!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Where the hell is my fairy godmother?

I am sick of reality!  All I really want to do is not pay attention to what my heart is or is not doing. I am convinced that it will do what it will do, and fretting and focusing on what is going on in there only wastes my energy and steals my time. But tomorrow I will have to pay attention and focus on what they tell me, tomorrow I find out what is going on in there and what we are going to do….or not do...and I am scared.  The less I think about it, the better, healthier, and happier I am. But tomorrow for just a little while I have to look reality right in the face and deal with it.  Where the hell is my fairy godmother?



Thursday, November 1, 2012

One test result down….2 more to go!

The worst part about taking tests, I have discovered is not taking the test, but waiting for the results. The Logic mid-term came back, 91/100 and I’ll take it and dance in the streets. Latin American history mid-term is still being graded and I just got a call from the HF Clinic for an appointment in 2 weeks to go over the latest heart stuff.  

The only test I did not have to study for is the one I will have to wait the longest to hear about. I used to file that under the “no news is good news” but in the medical world I have learned the hard way that ain’t necessarily so. In the meantime, I wait.  

All that being said, I had a new kind of angiogram. They slowed my heart down to 45-50 beats per minute and then are able to shoot contrast die into an IV and run me through a CT scan. Whew….that is soooooooo much better than the heart catheter. I will happily wait for those results…if it means I do not have to have that catheter run up a groin artery and lying still for hours!   

One test result down….2 more to go!

The treasure of living life beyond the expected...

Halloween with all of the ghosts, goblins and candy has come and gone and every year I swear that I go be bed with pumpkins and wake up to Christmas trees. These next few weeks fly by, and there is never enough time!

After a week of mid-term exams and hospital tests, we ran away to St. Augustine with our children and grandchildren to play. It was a wonderful weekend, even though hurricane Sandy kept the Pirate ship in port and that entry on my bucket list will have to wait for another time. The ghost hunt and putt-putt golf was not effected by weather and was very fun.

Sometimes the kids are willing to follow my lead, sometimes not. However, the decision to stay at the Casa Yallaha hostel house was fantastic. After years of art shows and staying in hotel rooms that can best be described as monotonous, sterile boxes carved into the side of long undistinguishable hallways, the hostel is a breath of fresh air. No TV’s but oodles of interesting people from all over the world with fascinating conversation, better than any TV program could ever be! I think my socially hygienic sons are beginning to see the treasure of living life beyond the expected.