Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Hellooooooo There!

I must admit to being tempted several times to sit down and start to write again. But "things" tend to get in the way and before you know it, the inspiration and the gumption are both gone!

In the months that have gone by since my last post, it's been verrrrrry interesting! And not always in a good way!

The beginning of June saw me in the hospital, first in Brookville and then in Pittsburgh, at Allegheny General, over the space of a week's time. Are you shocked? I hadn't been feeling all that great for about three months and one night, I just decided I couldn't deal with the issues of not being able to breathe well any longer and left work and headed for the emergency room. I thought perhaps the issues were asthma related - boy, oh, boy, was I wrong!

Turns out I had congestive heart failure and they admitted me instead of letting me go home. Not exactly what I had in mind when I went there! Over the course of the next few days, I was on medication to get the fluid off of my lungs and the pressure off of my heart. I went to the hospital in Pittsburgh by ambulance (I hope I *never* have to ride in the back of one ever again...talk about a long uncomfortable ride!) and had a heart catherization done there.

The good news is that there is no blockage, but.....the heart is weaker than they like. So after going on several different medications and having lost at least 20 pounds since then, I am truly feeling better. We will find out in a few weeks or so just how much stronger the heart muscles are....I am hoping the heart specialist will be happy with my progress.

On the downer side, I have been to see an internist at the recommendation of my primary care physician. Kidney disease, he says. There will be further tests in the near future to see where exactly things stand with that and what needs to be done to stop/prevent things getting worse.

So the problems are - congestive heart failure, weakened heart because of that, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, overweight, and let's add kidney disease to the mix. A positive is that my blood sugar levels are stable enough that I don't need to take meds for the diabetes...which turned out to be a blessing as the meds I should have been taking are NOT good for the kidneys!

I know...I know....why didn't I go earlier? Money. Why wasn't I taking my medications or seeing a doctor? Money. I couldn't afford either of those, so....yeah, I just did the best I could and it caught up to me. But....even through this, I am blessed beyond measure!

In the midst of this, God has remained faithful to me. SO FAITHFUL!!!!! Praise His Name for that! I have seen Him take care of all these mounting hospital bills that I had no clue how they were going to be taken care of! And I now am on medical assistance through a program for workers with disabilities. I do pay a monthly premium for this, but it is well worth it for the care I'm receiving! My medications are affordable for me and they are helping!

Some days, I'll be honest....it's very hard to not get discouraged! Like on those days when the labours and issues in life just start to get to me and I want to scream....or resort to eating things not good for me! I have several medications I take daily as well as needing to watch my blood pressure, my blood sugar levels, my weight, my sodium intake AND my fluid intake! As much as I like making little charts, the keeping track of things some days is a pain in the watoosie!

Still there has to be a positive.....I am maintaining that weight loss. Most days, I am really good about writing down the sodium content of things (I am limited to 2000 mg of sodium a day), my fluid intake (2 liters a day), and watching what I do with my blood pressure and blood sugar levels. Those have all been really good, I'm grateful to say. I have started to walk at the local high school track after work and am doing at least a mile when I go, three to four times a week. (I think there may be a jogger or runner in me somewhere, but I'm not quite to that stage yet!) I'm hoping to add more miles as time goes on!

Clothes are fitting better, breathing comes much easier, and I feel better overall. Still....there are those times of discouragement and I try to avoid staying in those places very long. It's not easy, but God continues to give grace and walks with me through those times.

I'm hoping to be a bit more consistent at posting, although time will tell! I am grateful if you read this today and were at least a little bit encouraged....and a little blessed.

Through it all, I remain.....truly.....blessed beyond measure!


  1. Oh my sweet Sue!!! I love you so very much and am incredibly proud of you for the steps you are taking to be healthier!! I'm right there with you cheering you on dear friend!!
    Baby steps. And as far as I can tell, slow and steady wins the race girl. So don't rush yourself to jogging, you just keep walking and your body will tell you when it wants to do more :D

    1. First, happy belated birthday to you, Kristen Sarah McMullen Dillman!!!! Sorry I missed it on your day, but I did think of you....a little late, but I thot of you!!!! :D

      Thanks, hon! Appreciate the support!! LOL, I did try jogging in little spurts last week, but my hips told me the next day, "Hey, lady....hold off on trying out for any races real soon!" So, I may just have to take up speedwalking first!

      I go in the mornings around 7:30 before it gets too warm.....too bad I don't work a daylight job, I could get my sisters to join me! They've tried to get me to join them in the evening, but I'm usually already asleep ...yes, even at 7 PM! What a life!

      Miss you and love you much, my dear friend!!!! Hugs!!!!

  2. Sue... I love you... and I just wanted you to know that. You're positive spirit and outlook are inspiring!

    Enjoy your walks... enjoy God's creation... and know that lots of people are proud of you! :)