Thursday, October 23, 2014

Capital to Coast

 Let me tell you something, I have met some amazing people in my life.  I don't know how I have been such a fortunate person (besides the diabetes) to be around and know so many inspirational people and to have them include me in their events.  My friend Don came up with an idea somewhere around last November about wanted to get a gaggle of 12 diabetics to run a race called: Capital 2 Coast. 
 Now Capital 2 coast which is also known as c2c is a 223 mile relay of 12 people in two vans which starts in Austin Texas and goes to Corpus Cristi Texas.  The first hurdle for Don was to get 12 willing and able people much less diabetics that were willing to do this and have the ability to get to the race.  Then there were conference calls, logistics, training runs, gear, medical forms, and so much more.

When the event was finally upon us I was nervous, there were only like 69 teams registered and our time was pushing the cut off and we also had team members with all sorts of ailments from back problems to even me and heart surgery.  The thing is though, Don pushed through and got replacement after replacement along with drivers for each van and also navigators for each van.  He even harassed Medtronic enough to get them to buy us appetizers for our pre-race dinner. 
The event turned out absolutely epic and I had so much fun that I couldn't sleep when I got back Sunday night and finally almost passed out at work the following Monday.  There is something to doing events like this with people that have a common bond and ours was raising awareness about diabetes and what we can do.  We were all laughing and joking along the way and at the last team dinner Saturday night we told story after story of what each van did and everyone couldn't wait until next years event.

I don't know if my friend Don is aware of it or not but he has started something big with this event that is just going to grow the campaign to cure diabetes ignorance.  Don even went so far into harassing the Dallas Morning News to do an article on the team and he sold it to them so good that they did a follow up story on the team after the event.  This was one of those events that I just happen to be in the right place and the right time with a great person in Don to allow me to do 40 hours of juvenile diabetes comedy with a van of unwilling participants I am glad to call my friends afterwards and on a team that I would call a family.

Monday, October 13, 2014


So today was cardiac rehab graduation today for myself, which I am happy and also sad.  I am happy that I have learned so much about heart rate zones and where I need to be.  Then I also learned about blood pressure and where I should be and what to do if I have low blood pressure.  They told me a while back to get a blood pressure monitor for my house but I never got one because I couldn't tell you what those numbers meant if it depended on my life.  Now after 12 weeks of rehab and me asking a thousand questions I know my blood pressure limits and what to do if they drop and I feel comfortable that I am not wasting 80 bucks on random medical stuff that means nothing to me when I eventually get one. 

I learned the most from bugging all the other patients in rehab about what procedure they had done, how they knew to seek medical advice, and how they felt in general about what people around them reacted to their diagnosis and how they felt personally about their own heart issues.  This is the part I am most sad about, before rehab it was just me trying to figure out this stuff alone.  Then once in rehab I had a network of professionals and patients that I could use as my support system.  Heck the second time I went to the hospital one of the ladies at rehab was already showing me some interesting things on my EKG while running that eventually led to my pericarditis diagnosis.  It does bother me a little to not have this vast network at my disposal three days a week any longer but they gave me all their contact information to keep bugging them.

One of my favorite movies is "About a Boy" and the theme throughout the movie is Hugh Grant saying: a man is an island.  Then in the end he realizes that man is not an island and we have to create a network of people that will support each other.    Ever since I have found this philosophy with my diabetes and now with my heart stint, I know that my network of people constantly grows and am better prepared for anything else that life throws at me.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

one small stumble

 So a couple of weeks ago I came down with a pretty mean sinus cold or so I thought was a sinus cold which turned into worser stuff.  Once I was going to miss my third day off of work I knew that I had to see a doctor.  I go into the random doctor place and they listen to me and tell me I could have two things.  One could be bronchitis and the other is possibly pneumonia.  So they do a chest x-ray which rules out pneumonia and while we are waiting on the blood work to see if it is bronchitis they want to hook me up to the EKG machine to see what my heart is doing since my recent stint I had placed in the old ticker.
Once they hook me up to the EKG machine they come in and have to double check all the connections because they tell me that half of the sensors are elevated.  Then after replacing the sensors the machine is still reading elevated and that is when the good doctor comes in and gives me some nitro to put under my tongue and tells me he has to send me off to the Heart Hospital and once I am there it is under the knife I go so the doctors can have a look for any new blockages and stuff. 

Once the doctors don't find anything it is back to square one on why my EKG reads elevated but I don't have any blockages.  Then after several more doctors, nurses, and random people trying to figure out the issue it comes down to pericarditis.  Which in my non medical terminology is an inflammation of the tissue around your heart.  The moment the hospital gave me the pill to ease the pericarditis I was instantly feeling better.

The entire experience was a bit depressing for me, I was going to have to take it easy for three weeks, answer a million questions of if I am OK, wait three days for the silly puddy filled hole in my leg to heal, and other stuff.  Then the biggest thing hit me about the entire ordeal was what the doctors said to me.  They let me know that going in this second time and looking around that my heart was 100% good and if I ever have chest pains or stuff like that again then they are quite certain that it isn't the heart but maybe my gallbladder or heart burn related and they wont drill another hole in my leg for a very long time.  It's funny how something so depressing (having more heart issues) and dreadful to go through for a second time can have such a positive result on myself and all the medical professionals around me.  Plus my co-workers gave me the funniest balloon in the hospital that disturbed all the doctors.  The balloon said "its a girl" like I just had a baby and they were completely lost, and they gave me a my little pony unicorn because of my obsession with unicorn comedy.  Like my favorite thing to say when something amazing happens to me which is " its like French kissing a unicorn," so funny or Charlie the unicorn on youtube or the unicorn episode on robot chicken.  Unicorn humor is so funny.