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Thursday, May 25, 2017

Fall Into the Holidays.....October 7, 2017

                          FALL INTO THE HOLIDAYS!!

Recently we were trying to think of a way to satisfy a request from the bank that would be fun, because banks are rarely fun. And then an inspired thought...have a party!! My friend Betsey is a great example because she never lets any occasion pass whether it be good or bad without having a party. So almost immediately the party began to take shape.

First thing don't let a little thing like dour bankers get in the way because........

So I started at the very beginning. What kind of party should I have? When? Where? 

The where has to be at our home...we have spaces everywhere to accommodate all kinds of gatherings. We have been blessed to host parties, showers, weddings, conferences, meetings of all kinds, thousands of kids of all ages at all times, political functions, and two funerals. So it has to be here

Then I had to think about what would be fabulous to offer my friends, associates, and clients. What would be worth their time to blast out of their homes on a Saturday afternoon?

So I contacted my artistic consultants on what they thought

 And My stylist

 And My Social Media Guru

 And My Photographer 

Not to Mention My Logistics Manager and his sometimes crew

Then there was my monthly planning Committee

So we all thought long and hard and made a dream plan. We would get Ray Ray to teach a cooking class, hands on and right in front of everyone...

Then we would get my famous friend Valerie Dimick to speak on really handling holidays. And the rumors are her book will be finished so she could do a book signing also!

Valerie at a conference she did at my home last year

Then we thought we could get Ray Ray's Artisitc team to teach a class on basic flower arranging, wrapping the perfect gift, and display some of our amazing products.

And of course there should be food!! How about all our favorite foods that you could make (or order) for your holiday dinner. 
And then guess what? All my dream plans came true! Everything I wished for is going to happen, so.......

Please Make Plans to Join us October 7, 2017 At 1PM  
 Buffet at 4 PM
Tickets are $50 but only being sold until the end of May
We take all forms of payment, Paypal and Venmo

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

So this Happened.....

When you are addicted to channel surfing and the remote is broken frustration abounds.  My husband scowled at me as though the broken remote was my fault and insisted I call the Dish folks.

We were somewhere between a full on tantrum and a stroke.

I went on the computer to find the number to DISH, and when I got them on the phone I told them my problem.  Then they told me their problem, our account was nowhere to be found, not by name, address or phone number.


"Ma'am, how do you pay your bill?  Your account number would be on the bill."

"My bill is bundled with the internet and land line, I never see the bill.  I gave you my name why can't you find my account number?"

"Ma'am go to your receiver and tell me the serial number."

"No, the cord is too short to turn it around on the shelf.  Why can't you just find my account number by my name, this makes no sense"

By now my dogs are under the couch.

"Ma'am hit the menu button twice and when system info comes up the serial number will also."

"That does not occur when I hit the menu button, there isn't a system info on my screen."

"Ma'am what do you see on your screen?"

"It says, My Direct TV, search and browse, recordings, settings and info"

"It says My Direct TV?  Ma'am this is DISH Network."

Oh no....

So I said the only thing I could think of.

"Well, I guess that is why you couldn't find my account number, I am so glad I finally figured this out. Thank you....good-bye"

Monday, May 1, 2017

Solving Problems

A few years ago I wrote a blog called The Problem With Tall Wheat. The solution of this particular problem fascinated me. Paul Ehrlich wrote a book in the 60's called The Population Bomb, in it he said it was a fantasy that India could ever feed itself. Then along comes Norman Borlaug who saw a problem with tall wheat in that when it fell over, it took a great deal of room to grow. Dwarf wheat is credited with saving over a billion people from starvation because of how much less room was needed to grow the same amount of wheat. Norman Borlaug was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for this discovery and a most unlikely solution was found for feeding people.

This world is filled with problems, I will not deny that. But it is also a world filled with solutions. I know that the negative emotions of anger, anxiety and worry keep us from finding the solutions. However facing a problem with the calm assurance of an answer is usually met with success. Not all problems are solved immediately, but they will be solved.

Case in point....we recently installed wood floors, they are lovely and the addition of 2 area rugs just sets them off. However the 2 area rugs pick up everything but money and babies, so they need to be vacuumed often. My vacuum didn't work on the high pile of the rug. I looked everywhere for the adjustment to raise the vacuum head, it was nowhere to be found. Rugs and floors covered in debris is a pet peeve of mine and it interrupted my peace. This morning I called the company and low and behold the adjustment setting is nowhere near the typical spot I expected it to be. It wasn't a lever, but a ring that turned which would adjust the suction of the vacuum and not the level of the machine. It wasn't a solution I expected.

Isn't that the case with many of the problems we have? A vacuum not working isn't a big deal, but the pattern for problem solving is the same whether you are vacuuming or feeding India.

1.) We have a problem
2.) We come up with a solution
3.) It doesn't work
4.) We throw our hands in the air and give up and in some cases just live with the problem (door knob stops working we giggle it rather than actually fix it, you see what I mean)
5.) Then when we can't live with it any more, we get quiet, sort it through and let the solution appear.
6.) Trust it will happen

I promise it works....

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

In Case You Thought I Have This Whole Thing Wired....

I talk a good story....peace, positive energy, appear problems is good. I know its true I wrote about it just the other day. Two wolves? Remember? One had negative traits the other had positive traits. And then I made the connection between the second wolf who was the peaceful one also being a powerful wolf, of course making the case that the positive wolf is the one we want to follow.


And then I tried to refill my husband's prescription.

As you may or may not know both my husband and I were hanging by a thread health wise. We quickly became conversant with health insurance, lots of prescriptions, doctors, more health insurance, and the need for patience. We were told one of the main things to avoid when you have heart issues, is stress.

If that is the case, you should also avoid:
1.) Traffic
2.) Money - making it, spending it, managing it.....even spelling it
3.) People
4.) Doctor Appointments
5.) Politics
6.) Social Media

I have been helping my husband keep up with his medicine and when the pharmacist was filling the prescription she nonchalantly mentioned the new medication's copay was $500. I immediately asked if there was some other medication it could be substituted for. There must be a box of leeches in the back somewhere that would suffice, right?

They agreed to fax the doctor. Call us in a couple of days.

One week goes by....I call the Doctor. They will handle it.

Another week goes by, we go into the Doctor's actual office. They will handle it.

Another week goes by and the phone call is the same as all the others, we are researching the medication and will handle it.

Another week goes by and the story now is the Doctor has been out of town and only he can rewrite the prescription. That makes sense but he was in town when it all began..right?

Today the story is different again, and no surprise it is now our fault.

As I was wrestling with my human frailties and obvious hypocrisy I thought I would come clean and make the record clear.....the second wolf is still the most powerful wolf, no doubt, but that first wolf can push you to your limits.

I know my thesis is correct. Negativity is devoid of light, therefore it is devoid of solutions, because you can't "see" anything in darkness. When I am frustrated, angry and anxious solutions are beyond my reach. People that can help don't appear, the ones that are in front of me are not at all motivated to help. In our health debacle I have been very clear that it's new territory for us. My husband and I went from never having to deal with insurance companies to doing it constantly. We have gone from no medication to lots of medications. We are maneuvering medicare, pharmacists, doctors, side effects of medications and dealing with the after effects of our health issues. With each new saga we find ourselves in a definite learning curve. And just as with every other new thing I have done, it can be daunting.. Algebra comes to mind as does my first pregnancy and starting a business.

So what is the solution? I can only tell you what I did.

After a full morning of zero sucess, I stopped. I simply stopped. What I was doing wasn't working, so I needed to change lanes, pull over, and start over.

I concentrated on is centering. It takes you from focusing on your problems to just breathing.

As soon as I was calm I started calling anyone I could think of that could give me answers to my questions. I reached out to the insurance company and asked them to tell me what I should have done from the beginning. What language should I have used? What questions could I ask that I didn't know to ask? How long do I wait in between queries? Should the doctor know what medications are covered and which ones aren't? I was taught a long time ago a good question is better than a good answer.

And then I waited.

I wrote down the answers the woman started to give me. I collected phone numbers of the pharmaceutical advocacy team that I could call right from the doctors office.

Knowledge made me calmer.

Then the doctor's office called with a sample of the medication he has needed for a month. She explained that would give us needed time to work out the problems we were having.  She offered to spend time with my husband to go over his medications and make sure he was getting what the doctor intended.

I am sure your situation is different from mine, but the pattern is the same. We live in a fallen world filled with people just like us who are dealing with all the nonsense of the world and you can give in, or.......

Stop -  pray or simply meditate
Breathe  - give yourself a minute to refocus
Think - what is my real problem?
Ask good questions - good questions come from understanding what the real problem is
Listen - Have faith and trust that a solution will come
Act - take action on the answers that come to you

Each step brings you closer to the solution you need. And each step brings more light and more power. Remember the second wolf is also a wolf and because of that is powerful.

None of this is easy, our default emotion is negativity, but with practice, you can learn to master your emotions.

Ta Dah!

My husband just walked in with a month's sample of the medicine he needs and a big smile.....

Life is good.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

The Wolf Within You

Finding peace has been my quest over the last few years. I have met a great many friends on this personal journey, so I know it is a shared need.

We all look for peace....and if I could add something I have learned on my quest maybe you will find it useful.

I know this for sure.....Peace brings power.

In the past I felt unless I was angry, fired up and annoyed activism would not occur, and angry activism was the only way for change to occur.  I was very foolish because anger clouds our thinking and keeps us from the best solutions that are right in our path.

The world is an angry place.....joining that anger will not bring peace. There is no energy in anger that can actually change anything. Only peace brings power and power is what we need for change.

Protests and demonstrations born out of hatred have no staying power because they just destroy. We have only to look to Martin Luther King who is everyone's hero to see how change is really made. His voice is one we all listened to, even the evil voices eventually listened to him. Great leaders bring us together and encourage us to feel no matter what our opinions are they love and care about us. As a small girl in the south, I felt Martin Luther King loved me, I felt love from him because he was no respecter of persons. His focus was equal rights and he loved all people. If you are going to offer a path to change then you must have a love for all people, not just the ones who agree with you.

Remember this?

An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life, "a fight is going on inside me," he said to the boy. "It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil - he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogant, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego." He continued, "the other is good - he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith."

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, "Which wolf wins?"

The Old Cherokee simply said, "The one you feed." 

One point we miss in this legend is there are 2 wolves...the wolf of joy and peace is still a wolf. Still powerful and strong. No one says you must sit idly by and do nothing. Be a wolf, but be a wolf of infinite power guided by peace. Not a wolf limited by anger.

Monday, March 6, 2017

In The Blink Of An Eye - Part 3

The saga continues after I woke from surgery. Crazy things ensued as I started to piece together a new way of life.

The aftermath of surgery brings lots of hazy and crazy thoughts and images. It's sort of like being in a dream...or maybe under water.

When I woke up that Tuesday after my surgery, I was convinced my friend Lisa King had been my doctor. Lisa is a very talented woman, but as far as I know she isn't a heart surgeon. I remember wanting to call Kris Welte and have her convince Mitt Romney to be Secretary of State. Another example of the many delusional things I thought and said for a few days after surgery. My children found my foggy musings hysterical and do what they always do at my expense...write them down for future torturings.

Several times I would get a rush of memory and realize where I was. My mind would start racing as to things I needed to do or people I needed to call..but then anesthesia brain would take over and my sentence would sound like...."Would you call? Would you call?? Would you call?? ........" they would all lean in to hear who I wanted them to call and I would go back to sleep.

Mikey decided to quiz me about the paramedics/firemen at the beginning of the aortic adventure. He wanted to see if I remembered. I remembered all right. They, the firefighters, started off being cross with Raymond, Karla and Matt for calling 911 and reporting I had chest pains (which I did) but when they asked me about the chest pains I said I didn't. Instead of taking the word of the lucid folks surrounding me they decided the woman who had the current brains of a goose, laying on the bathroom floor was the better resource. So they made me walk to the gurney because I said I wasn't having chest pains. I.  walked.  to.  the.  gurney! From what I have read being upright with an aortic dissection could be fatal. Remembering amounted to..."Those Bast**ds". My children found this description very entertaining. Karma took care of the firemen/paramedics a few weeks later when Karla had dinner with someone who was influential in the life of the Captain of that particular station. From what I understand everyone involved received a bit of education. Nothing more was needed.

According to "The Book" on Wednesday afternoon, it was time to start recuperating, just because I had about 15 tubes, a million staples and 5 IVs meant nothing to Nurse Cratchit. 

At 3:33 I drank water, sat up on my own and practically signed up for CrossFit. 

At 3:39 someone walked into my room and said, "I hope you make it" to which I responded, "holy sh*t"

Wednesday night my surgeon (No it wasn't Lisa King) came in to see me on his rounds. He noticed the room was full of people and remarked how happy he was to see that. "you have lots of support. you will be fine". Before he left I wanted to thank matter what we were to each other, mostly strangers, he saved my life. That meant something to me and I had to let him know how grateful I was. He is famous for not having a bedside manner, but I didn't care at all. He performed the surgery that allowed me to live. I put out my hand and simply said, "thank you." He took a moment, looked me over and then shook my hand, simply saying, "you're welcome."

I obsessed over the tube in my neck. Its very presence was annoying on every level. I asked anyone who came in my room to take it out, including the person who brought my lunch, 2 of my friends, the cleanup crew and my husband. None of them would do it. That particular obstruction to physical peace didn't come until Friday.

Once very late at night a nurse came in to see how I was. He wasn't my nurse but had read my chart and wanted to meet me. He asked if I knew how rare it was for people to live through an aortic dissection. All I could muster was, "I'm starting to get that." Then he repeated what became almost a mantra."I hope you find out why you lived, because you should have died." I told him "I rarely do anything I should do...I should lose weight, I should exercise, I should be nicer...but I do all the things I have to do. And I guess I had to live."

The book my children got for me is also filled with little things friends wrote while visiting. And lots of silly things I said. 

Like the discussion Mikey and I had about football.....he was wrong I was right.

Trey and Heidi arrived from their unfinished honeymoon in Italy. (something I still feel terrible about) Trey reminded me of something my Uncle told me several times when I was faced with hard things....."Donna you are made of better stuff" I know that sounds simplistic, but just remembering my uncle, who never gave up, never saw a situation he couldn't overcome was reassuring to me.

My reaction after they took out the lines in my stomach - which hurt more than the surgery - cannot be repeated here. But let's just say it was a brand new adventure in pain.

Raymond slept next to my bed the first night and the kids took turns sleeping next to me every night after that. I was not ever alone.

Wednesday the book reports I sat up and then stood up 

Thursday I walked from my chair to the hallway. Trey told me to "walk it off" which is something I would tell little Trey. Oh how those things will come back to bite you since at that moment walking amounted to a painful and abbreviated effort to the bathroom and one time down the local speedway known as the hallway.
Dear friends brought an entire Thanksgiving dinner for all of us. So we fed every person that was working. Can you imagine on Thanksgiving day stopping to bring an entire dinner to the hospital? Not to mention dinner every night...every single night I was in the hospital including a week following that friends brought us dinner. I will never forget that.

I have been asked many times if I had any "experiences" during the time I was unconscious. Only one, but it wasn't otherworldly. It was a gift though and exactly what I needed. Even though I only remember one thing from the time I walked to the gurney Sunday night to Tuesday afternoon I must have heard everything that was being said. I believe I heard every nurse and every doctor commenting on my condition. I know I heard my husband's prayers and felt him rub my feet for hours while waiting for test results. I didn't see it but I know I felt my son and daughter's pain as they heard the diagnosis and then prognosis. Our minds are always awake and that explains my one memory...a friend of my sons came in late at night to see me, he walked in during my unconscious time, touched my hand and I woke up,
he said, "hi Donna its Kevin"
Me: "I know who you are Kevin"
Kevin "I just wanted to stop by and see how you're doing. It looks like you're doing well. I'm not a heart surgeon (he is an orthopedic resident) but I know enough about medicine to read these monitors and see that you're going to make it"
Me: "you think so?"
Kevin: "Yes, I think so. You have a great group of doctors taking care of you and have a lot of people here that love you."
Me: "Thank you so much for coming. I love you Kevin."
Kevin said I reached out to him to hug him, but he didn't want me to move so he kissed my hand.
Kevin: I love you too, you need some rest, and I'll let you get some. I'll try to come back in a couple of days and check on you again. You are going to do great."
Me: "Thank you for coming."

Why would I remember that and nothing else? I believe it was a gift, just a gift of comfort, information and direction from a voice I would recognize and trust. A tender mercy. It was a part of my healing.

There were lots of tender mercies on this ride and they keep coming up. One I only found out about last Sunday was from the ER Nurse who coincidently was a former student. As we were talking she said you don't know very much about what happened to you do you? I told her I didn't have a lot of medical details and then she told me one that still has my attention. When we checked into the first ER they found 2 blood clots in my lungs, the protocol is to give the patient heparin.......but they didn't. We dont really know why, but if they had I would have bled to death. A lot of celestial planning went into making sure I lived...I am grateful for that plan.

I have thought endlessly why did I live and so many others don't? Finally, I realized it is nothing more than I am needed more on this side of the veil than the other. And the most important thing I can do on this side of the veil is to be kind, to comfort and to serve anyone I can. What does that look like? I have no idea, because it will be different all the time. Earth life can be a tough place and we have no idea what other folks we come in contact with are going through. It has been said, treat everyone as though they are having the worst day of their life and you will be right 50% of the time.

Maybe that's why they cut you off on the freeway or stepped in front of you in the grocery checkout line, maybe that's why they didn't return a call or the product you ordered wasn't what you thought it would be, or they were late with a payment....People make mistakes and I intend to give everyone the benefit of the doubt.

It will be good for my heart....right?

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

An idea for Lent

Although I'm not Catholic I love the idea of concentrating on a bad habit for "release" so Lent is a doctrinal idea I am embracing this year. As some of you may know we have had our share of health issues lately and with any challenge it can rob you of your peace. So this Lent I am avoiding the small things and some of the big things of life that rob my peace. Not easy to be sure, but certainly worth the effort. These are some of things I am going to "release".

Arguing for the sake of argument. No one on Social media is beating down my door for editorial comments. My commentary is best shared with my ficus trees.

Reading inflammatory comments and absorbing them. No one gets up in the morning with the intention of personally attacking me. No reason to take anything personally.

But most important is to stop the personal focus on myself. There will only be unhappiness when we focus on ourselves. Of course personal care is important, self love and acceptance are so vital - but when I spend time thinking about my problems I get afraid. Fear is my biggest vice, and I get most afraid when my energy is low....positive thoughts, positive people and positive pursuits give me energy. And that energy helps me overcome the fear.

Writing helps me cope with fear. I didn't know where this was going but as I let the words lead me the next 40 days are clear. I wanted help with my fears, and now I see this is the focus I need to concentrate on.

Lent got very important for me this year and I would love to hear how you have overcome fear in your life. Maybe your favorite saying, song or idea...anything that gives you hope and conquers your fears. 

Thank you 

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

In the Blink of an Eye Part 2

There are 36 hours missing from my life. I only remember one thing that occurred during that time, and it wasn't otherworldly at all. I asked my family to share their recollections with me so I could try and piece it all together. What I learned from them was hard to hear because I scared them so badly. Intellectually I know it wasn't my fault, but I felt responsible. Since then I have replaced that negative feeling with gratitude for a family that loves me so much.

When Karla got to our home Sunday night it was obvious to her something was very wrong and she told my husband to call 911. I was taken to the nearest hospital only 4 miles away. My daughter Ashleigh followed the ambulance with my son and husband following behind her. On the way, the Ambulance stopped and pulled over which frightened her terribly however it was only a brief stop to fix wires that had come undone. At 1am we arrived at the emergency room, now the doctor and his staff had to find out what was wrong. My blood pressure was 60 over 44 and Raymond remembers them giving me something to bolster that. I was intubated to help my breathing and sedated (thank goodness) Then the testing began. For each test given there was lag time while results came in, which is understandable but excruciating for families. Ashleigh noticed that my arms and legs were ice cold. The nurse explained my body was shutting down to protect the vital organs. And that protection gave the medical staff needed time to discern what was occurring.

The ER doctor at the first hospital did not stop until he figured out what was wrong. It was not until the cat scan did things start to come together when they found fluid in the pericardium (the sack around the heart). This was impeding my heart's ability to beat. The doctor told my husband I needed to get to Summerlin hospital immediately for surgery and if they couldn't find an ambulance they were prepared to use the helicopter. Everything changed to warp speed. An ambulance came available for the trip to Summerlin Hospital which is equipped for the kind of surgery I needed.

It was about 6:30 Monday morning.

Ashleigh remembers the kindest nurse meeting her outside the ER and letting her break down...then showing her exactly where to meet everyone in the hospital. Raymond remembers the Emergency room doctor being unnecessarily rude and asking questions they had already answered. He was also the one who asked the most chilling question of the whole experience. With my husband on one side of the gurney and the doctor on the other he demanded to know what kind of insurance I had. No one had been able to find my card with all the information on it (note to all...keep your important information handy).

He said...."I have to know what kind of insurance she has so I know what doctor to give her."

This can be interpreted many ways, but my family took it to mean there was a hierarchy of doctors and without the proper insurance I was not going to get the best doctor or the best care. Tensions and emotions were very high and this was the only insensitive person my family came up against. Ashleigh immediately called my long time friend John Daly who is the national spokesman for my Healthshare program. He contacted the hospital and a representative came to the emergency room right away to say everything was in order and I could have any doctor. Since time was of the essence this was great relief to my family.

Next they met with the surgeon who painted a very ominous picture. Dr. Afifi told them without surgery I would die, with surgery I had a 50/50 chance to live. After the surgery I would still be critical as I could bleed out or have a stroke. He said it was the most complicated heart surgery there was including heart transplants.

Imagine what this was like for my family, they were working on no sleep, extreme worry and just meeting a surgeon who would be doing the most complicated surgery there was on a heart, my heart. So my daughter started calling people...we have lots of friends who are doctors and she was determined to find one who knew this surgeon. They needed comfort and any kind of reassurance. Her first call was Susan, she and her husband Bill are close friends and Bill is a surgeon. Susan was able to find out right away that Dr. Afifi was a good doctor who had performed this surgery many times. She was also able to help Ashleigh call our friends to let them know what was occurring. Raymond told me the minute Ashleigh got off the phone with Susan his phone rang with my friend Betsey on it. The troops were alerted! Every person who found out called someone. Ashleigh had been in constant contact with my son Trey and daughter-in-law Heidi who were in Italy on their long awaited honeymoon. My youngest daughter Emma was driving in from St. George with her husband. Within an hour people had gathered from everywhere to wait with my family. Several people brought food which was so kind since no one had eaten all night. My Stake President who was the Bishop while I was relief society president (I was the leader of the women in my ward and worked every day with Bishop Gardner for 4 years) came right away. He said he had his hands in someone's mouth (he is an orthodontist) when he found out and couldn't stay at work. He called his wife Lianne who told me she immediately gathered her family to pray for me. When they arrived at the hospital it was Lianne who convinced everyone I would be ok, giving my daughter hope. A positive attitude brings energy! Don't ever forget that. Raymond told me when Emma arrived at the hospital all three of my children just flew into each other's arms...they were there for each other.

My friends have always been my family and on this day they filled every need. In the waiting room Betsey sat on one side of Raymond and Stef sat on the other. Denise told me in her rush to get to the hospital all she could think of was stopping at Starbucks and getting Cranberry Bliss bars, she has no idea why. Mikey and Ashleigh finally collapsed and slept across the chairs. All of my friends have a role to play in my life, Denise, Betsey and Stef are always there...they love my children and have always been a part of our lives. Denise helps us celebrate everything, Stef keeps me spiritually grounded and Betsey makes sure we remember our cups are half full. She did her job well that morning keeping everyone as upbeat as possible. Surgery was 7 hours what a blessing it was to have so many people come through the waiting room. They brought hugs, encouraging words, and food.

When the surgeon came out after it was over he said things went well, they were able to repair the tear and he was very hopeful. But he let them know I was still critical and the next 24 hours were very important. But surgery was over! Denise said she still remembers the sound of my daughter's laughter....they were so relieved.

I didn't fully wake up until Tuesday afternoon. It was surreal to find out so much time had passed...and that so much had occurred. I am still processing the entire experience, still recuperating...still amazed at how incredible everyone has been to me.

Part 3 to follow

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

In the Blink of an Eye

I have always known that life can change in the blink of an eye, we all know that, but what do we do when life literally changes in the blink of an eye?

On November 20 of last year I blinked in a big way.

I  remember so little....Sunday night we came home from the airport with our oldest daughter who had just come in from Texas for Thanksgiving week. Everyone went to bed except me. I love being alone when it is quiet and I can read, think or just watch TV. About 10 I went to bed and immediately experienced the sharpest pain in my chest, unlike anything I have ever felt. I jumped up and thought I could "walk it off". I got as far as the den and couldn't walk any further. I literally crawled back into my bedroom and woke up my husband. I was terrified and I know I terrified him. The first thing we did was have a prayer, then he called our good friend Karla, who is an emergency room nurse. She came right over and it only took her a moment to see I needed to be in the hospital. It is so foggy from there on.....I remember the firefighters coming because they were not happy to be there and made me walk to the gurney (no worries, Karma has dealt with them) But that is the end of my memories until Tuesday afternoon. I was unconscious for about 36 hours.

When I woke up I was surrounded by my family. I remember how happy they all were. Huge smiles on their faces and each one hugged me and told me how grateful they were.
Raymond was right next to me holding my hand, Trey and Heidi were there..But that was confusing because they were supposed to be in Italy on their honeymoon. I saw Ashleigh, Mikey, Emma and Kacy, everyone was there. Then my confusion turned to reality. I couldn't move very much, and from all the tubes, machines and pain I assumed there had been an operation so I checked for an incision. I looked like an autopsy.

What happened to me?

One of my doctors walked in the room and introduced herself to me. She said "you had an acute aortic dissection, which means your aorta had a tear in it and you were bleeding internally, if the surgeon had not repaired it when he did you would have died. In fact most people die from this, you are our Thanksgiving miracle."

She said died...she said you would have died. I immediately discounted the word miracle and focused on "died".  And then I had to let it go....too much for right now. Reality was pretty basic at this point when the nurse asked me what my pain level was from 1 to 10..... I held up all 10 fingers.

My change of heart was beginning.

Part 2 to follow...