Tuesday, December 31, 2019

My Journey Part 2

Hi ya'll. Welcome back!

Part 1 left off with me being rushed to another hospital.

I don't remember much of what happened once I was put on the stretcher, besides telling my mom to get back to the house with my kids. I woke up around 3 am January 23, 2017 with the Cardiologist and Radiologist saying I need to have a heart cath immediately. Once again I was rushed to another room, and when I woke up I had a stent in my heart. The Dr. told me that I had had a heart attack and if I hadn't gotten there when i did, I wouldn't have made it. At 35, with 3 kids that isn't something you want to hear. My left main artery in my heart had collapsed and there was massive scarring. I was asked a ton of questions, but nothing really made sense; until the Dr. asked me if I had fallen anytime recently. Back in October of 2016, I was rushing around to get the kids to school and tripped over a rug. I ended up landing on the front of my couch with my chest hitting the edge of the cushions. The Dr's figure that, coupled with my unhealthy eating and daily smoking is what eventually caused my heart attack.

I was released from the hospital 72 hours later and back to work within a week. As a single mother I knew that I couldn't take off for the month that everyone wanted me to. I was lucky enough that my General Manager and fellow third shift employee were amazing. I honestly didn't want an special treatment, but they were not having me do all the heavy lifting and tugging that I would usually do.

I changed up a lot of things at once. I was no longer drinking caffeine, was eating more fruits and vegetables. I had cut out a lot of fatty foods, and no longer ate sugary cereals. Whole milk was switched over to almond milk, Mt. Dew was replaced with 2 20 oz sprites a day and water. For 3 weeks I didn't touch a cigarette at all. Then came my first month check up after my heart attack. I went in and was weighed, in a little over 30 days I had went from 155 to 198, that's 43 pounds. I just couldn't figure it out. I was eating better, watching my portions and everything. I was even walking home from work every morning (2.6 miles). 

I was sent for a whole slew of tests, blood work, urine tests, stress tests and referred to cardiac rehab. All of the tests came back fine. My blood pressure and cholesterol were both way down and within normal ranges. My Dr. was amazed at how good all my levels were after only a month on my medication. My EKGs were all normal, he said it was like I had never had any problems at all. But we couldn't figure out why I was gaining weight as fast as I was.

For the next year I went to see the Dr every 2 months. Every time all tests would come back excellent. My weight slowly continued to increase. Eventually in March of 2018 I was weighing in at 250.  Then I started having the chest pains again. I ended up going to the ER twice a week for almost a month due to the pains. Eventually I was refereed to a behavioral specialist. Turns out the feeling of having a heart attack was actually me having anxiety attacks. I was put on medications for anxiety and depression and things started to go back to normal. I learned how to talk myself down from the anxiety attacks rather quickly. My weight dropped to 220 and has since stayed there. 

I am happy with the way I am, don't get me wrong. I just know that i could be so much healthier. And having all this weight on a 5'4 frame isn't healthy. I get winded extremely easy, I can't do a lot of the things I used to do. So I know things have to change. I have picked up where I left off in 2017, I started smoking again, stopped drinking water, I was still trying to eat less fat and cholesterol, but it was hard. I quit walking as much, and stopped doing any extra exercising all together. 

My kids are now 17, 15, and 13. I need to be around for them. So I am determined to get in better shape, stop smoking, and just be healthier all around. They need me here, even if they don't know it.

If you have read this far, thank you for sticking it out! I have been so afraid to put my story out there, but I am holding myself accountable now. No more starting to do things right and just letting the depression or anxiety take over. I want to see my babies raise babies of their own. I want to be able to go out and do things with my kids and my husband. I can't keep letting everything pile up on me and not do anything about it. 

Here are my starting pictures, weighing in at 218 9/4/19. I've got this, ya'll make sure to keep me in check!

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