Starting new.. time to put the blood pressure cuff away

Monday begins a new chapter in my life. I am going back to work after five weeks off and ready to get back into the swing of things.(well, maybe not that excited about it) Today I looked at Joe and said: "its time to put the blood pressure cuff away." That cuff that has sat beside me on the coffee table for many weeks for those times I felt light headed and dizzy. I don't feel the need for it anymore since they finally have my medication on the right track, and I'm able to walk more and not get so short of breath.

My new start on Monday will include both work and cardiac rehab. I won't lie to you I am nervous to begin work again. I feel like I am so far behind and have no idea where to start... I guess I'll just open up the emails and take them one at a time. I have made a promise to myself that I am going to try not to get stressed out! (ok.. manage my stress better). We all have experienced that feeling of doom and gloom after coming off vacation, opening up your computer and seeing the long list of emails and wondering what do I do??? These last five weeks have not been a vacation..I have struggled both mentally and physically to understand what happened to me and how to keep simply just putting one foot in front of the other.

At the beginning of this experience, I had dreaded going to cardiac rehab and getting asked " Why are you here? You are so young? What happened?

Now, that I've gotten to know my group members I look forward to seeing their smiling faces three times a week. Over the last two weeks, I have had members of my cardiac rehab group graduate from phase 2 and begin phase 3. (I'm currently in phase 2 until April). I hate to say it, but I find myself sad when they graduate and leave me behind. Don't get me wrong I'm excited that they are doing well enough to be able to move on, but I miss having conversations with them on the treadmills.  I look forward to the day that I graduate from cardiac rehab and yet put another stage of the healing process behind me.

The other day on the treadmills the conversation among the cardiac rehab group was longevity. They talked about many of their siblings and parents having had heart attacks as young as 45 years old. I almost fell off the treadmill.... wow, I have that beat!!!  Now, I can see Brenna and Parker at their doctors appointments checking the box for family history of heart attacks. Up until this point, I had looked at my longevity as how long my grandparents had lived. I never once thought about how my heart attack would now change the course of my kids longevity conversations. I had always thought of my longevity line as being amazing long. All my grandparents had lived well into their golden years. When I filled out my life insurance almost 15 years ago, I was considered high risk because my dad had passed away from lung cancer. Not heart disease, not a heart attack or stroke. It's truly amazing how one split second can alter not only your life but your kids. When I use to go to the doctor, and they would ask me what medications I was taking I would say one.. and joke with them about how boring I was. Now, I pull out my medication sheet and go from nuts to bolts about the medications I'm on. My family doctor said not many patients surprise me, but you make the top 5!

This experience has forever altered not just my life but also my families. I appreciate all the kind words over these last few weeks. I don't know how I would have ever gotten through this without the love of my friends and family. Although Monday will bring a lot of emotions and a new definition of me.. I'm ready to get back into life. This weekend I began to increase my activity level and although at the end of the day I was extremely tired it was SO WORTH IT!!

Below are some pictures of me beginning to enjoy life again as the new me.. Sure I now pack two stents in my right coronary artery, but I also pack a new beginning.. This heart attack will not define who I am as a person or limit what I am capable of! It is just a blip on the radar of life... WATCH OUT WORLD BECAUSE HERE I COME!

 St. Patrick's Parade 2016 with Jackie Ludwig a close family friend.

St. Patrick's Parade 2016 with Jackie Ludwig a close family friend.