Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Good News!

Heartfelt thanks to anyone out there who prayed for my Dad.

I am happy to report he is feeling better, and his heart catheterization yesterday showed NO BLOCKAGES. (This is nothing short of a miracle, the cardiologists seemed pretty sure there'd be something there.)

Things have turned the corner fairly quickly. He was even released from the hospital today.

But he's not home free.

Lots of medications, follow up with his five doctors, and lifestyle changes await him.

He was told to follow the South Beach (low glycemic index) diet. No more smoking, of course. Get all kinds of tests done (some very frequently)

He was back to being his old self yesterday - lobbying to get released, using his charm on anyone who would listen.

So he dodged yet another bullet. But the bullets are getting closer and closer to him. Hopefully he'll follow the rules this time. But he likes to follow his own rules.

Many thanks to the readers who reached out to me with their kind words - it has meant more to me than you know.

Thank you!


Saturday, January 16, 2010


My Dad is sick.

Really sick.

He was admitted to the hospital on Monday for the same type of thing he's had before - pneumonia. He's a lifelong smoker, and has asthma and COPD on top of that. So, he doesn't just get a cold - it always turns into pneumonia, usually a couple of times a year.

We've been through it all before - he waits until he's almost past the point of return to seek medical attention. We plead with him to see a doctor. The doctor sends him right to the hospital, where they pump him full of antibiotics and breathing treatments, and in a week or so he's better, vowing to quit smoking, lose weight, etc. since everyone at the hospital has read him the riot act about it. But within weeks or sometimes days, he's smoking again, eating cheesesteaks and working too much.

This time, it started out the same way, but now it's more than just pneumonia and lung trouble. Now he's having periodic chest pain, atrial fibrillation, blood clots, ventricular tachycardia, possible blockages, and other stuff I can't spell or pronounce.

So it's not just his lungs this time - it's his heart.

He's on 17 medications. Hooked up to countless machines. Lots of tests - CAT scan, daily EKGs, etc. He hasn't been getting worse, but he's not getting better.

He gets a heart catheterization on Monday. That will determine the next steps - whether or not he has blockages (they seem to think he likely does), and what to do about them - possibly stents, angioplasty or even a bypass.

He is in good spirits, as usual, downplaying all this stuff, putting on a brave face and focusing on everyone else other than himself. Typical. But we are terrified.

If he makes it through all this, we are sure he will need to make major lifestyle changes (diet, exercise, smoking, scaling back on work, etc). This is not the type of thing that he has done well with in the past.

So, if you pray, kindly include my dad. We need all the prayers for him we can get.

I know he won't live forever, but I'm not ready to let him go yet.

I can't imagine a world without my Daddy.

Thank you.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Goodbye 2009....Welcome 2010

As I've said here before, New Year's Day is one of my favorite days. A fresh start, time to think about what I can do to make myself better - love it. I always make resolutions. And while most of the time I don't ever fully achieve them, they get me focused and moving in the right direction.

Looking back, while 2009 wasn't my favorite of years, it was a really good one. Hunter and I have good jobs we enjoy. The kids are healthy and happy, and we enjoyed #3's first year immensely. Our families are healthy. I'm grateful for all those things.

My friend Cat inspired me to reflect over what I DID accomplish in 2009, rather than obsess over what I DIDN'T.

Here's my top-ten list of Things I Accomplished in 2009:

1. I ran four 5-k races with Diva, improving our pace each time (even if it was only by seconds!).

2. I became a devotee of exercise classes, even summoning the nerve to try new ones I knew nothing about (like Body Combat!).

3. I became a regular at my gym at work, which very much helped my general stress level.

4. I got better at balancing my time between my kids, a challenge due to their differences in ages. (9, 7, and 1)

5. I got promoted to Vice President at work. This was a long time coming. Four years ago, they announced that paralegals at our company could be promoted to VP. But none in our location (which was acquired in a merger) had been, even though many of us have consistently met or exceeded the qualifications.

6. I read the entire Twilight series, plus about 20 other books, mostly non-fiction, thus learning, among other things, about Nichiren Buddhism, applying military strategy to every day life, ancient civilization, the Supreme Court, and the Gucci empire.

7. We finally took (older) kids to New York City for a day trip, like we've been talking about for a couple of years. Can't wait to go back.

8. We had a yard sale in the spring, as well as gave two pickup truck loads of clothes, toys, etc. to Goodwill and the Order of the Purple Heart. I also gave some of Daredevil's old clothes to my sister in law, accepting finally that I'm not going to be having any more babies.

9. Recently cleaned out and reorganized my kids' playroom, filling up 3 hefty bags with junk and boxing up scads of stuff for Goodwill and/or our next yard sale, also making it safe(r) for our 1 year old. This was quite an undertaking - wish I'd taken before and after pictures.

10. Kept up with my blogs, learning more and more about it all the time.

So, for 2010, here is my top 10 list of things I want to work on. They aren't all-or-nothings, and some are little steps that I hope help me achieve a larger goal over time (i.e., lose 30 pounds, have more money, have a beautiful sparkling organized house, etc.)...

In 2010, I resolve to . . .

1. Pack my lunch for work more (and thus controlling my portions and costs)
2. Use my crock pot more (and thus do more planning in advance)
3. Drink less soda, eat less meat, eat more fruits/vegetables
4. Keep up with my blogs and make them look better
5. Run longer races, like 5 milers or maybe even a 10k, and make my 5k pace better
6. Ruthlessly attack the the clutter disaster that is my basement
7. Plan vacations that are as relaxing as possible
8. Have more date nights with my husband (goal is one a month, right now it's one or two a year.)
9. Do a better job of keeping my house clean (hello, FlyLady!)
10.Be kinder to myself and others.

So that's it. I'm feeling good and full of optimism and hope for 2010. To see what inspired my new-found positivity, check out Cat's blog here.

May you have health, happiness and prosperity in 2010!