Ask and you will receive (what was already yours) . . .

Particularly tough week.

Medical things felt incomplete.

I was exhausted of dialysis – physically and emotionally. Dreading dialysis as a “thing” I had to do.

Professionally, I had stepped out on faith . . . with no net appearing. *crickets* (I always think of the expression, “leap and the net will appear”).

I prayed.

I asked for reassurance.

I asked for strength and perseverance.

I asked for signs that I was on track – professionally.

In very beautiful, quick and resounding motions universe responded to my prayer.
(I might be using the word prayer a little liberally here. It was more of a plea to know more. A cry to universe for help.)

Medically there has been a huge shift this week. One of my favorite doctors advocated for me – like no one has advocated for me. He spoke on my behalf like I was his child and got me the results I needed – with a quickness. HIs actions reminded me that I didn’t only have medical rights but bigger . . . he reminded me that I am precious and deserving. (How could I forget that?)

Dialysis . . . I gave myself permission to admit that this treatment is depleting me. (Physically I am better but mentally I am wearing thin.) I spoke to the people around me who would understand and who could help me. I advocated for myself and I am getting help . . . and help is still coming. I had to be brave and admit that I needed help with this. Dialysis is hard.

Professionally. I have reached out to some corporations and non-profits to create some promotional partnerships. I basically came up with a plan, got a little advice and then reached out to these organizations. Faith incarnate! In prayer I asked for reassurance that this effort had been worth it. But instead of hearing from one of these organizations (which I assumed the reassurance would be) out of the blue I was invited to listen to a lecture from someone who had a “PhD” in building promotional partnerships. Having listened to this informative lecture I can re-approach this goal with a lot more wisdom. I hadn’t necessarily done it wrong (using my own instincts) but now with new knowledge I could refine my package and send it to the most appropriate channels.

Ask. Don’t be afraid to beg.

Be open and receptive to answers – however they manifest.

Listen to those answers.

Use those answers.

Be thankful.

None of the answers and reassurances I received this week – since I asked for them – were coincidences.

There were even more beautiful “boosts” I had this week to give me reassurance that things are going to be okay; a wonderful meeting with my life coach. A beautiful spring drive with a friend who loves me. Yummy dinner with a friend where we ate and laughed. (Afterward I apologize for talking his ears off!).

Reassurance at every turn that things are going to be okay.

In all things all I had to do is ask.

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The icing on the cake . . .

A few weeks ago a good friend asked me if I wanted to come out to the farm where her horse is boarded. We were always talking about horses and I was excited to meet her horse, Jayde.

For the past few months universe has been drawing my attention to horses. I found myself watching horse videos on YouTube for example. From my understanding there would be two benefits to being around horses; the powerful and beautiful energy of the animal itself and an opportunity to be outside in nature too. Both things held promise of being healing. Perfect timing to a tough week. And a tough moment in my life.

Yesterday after an amazing class at the gym, I drove out to the farm with my friend.
I had my mud boots on. Some old jeans and no make-up. Just me.

When we got to the farm Chrystal introduced me to all of the horses there – probably eleven or so. Four or five in a field. Eating hay and playing together. Some in stalls in a huge barn – including some stallions.

Then we walked her horse into a large indoor area of a building. From outside – where it was too muddy – to a sandy safe place for the horse to run.

She told me to stand in the middle of the pen and then she “lunged” her horse. Basically let it run around the periphery of the pen. In circles in one direction and then the another direction. Back and forth.

In the middle, watching this beautiful and powerful animal running almost full speed . . . I was overcome with emotion.

Almost a laugh/cry moment like you have on a roller coaster.

The sound of hooves. Her heavy breathing. The power of her energy in an indoor space. The smell of hay and horse. My slight dizziness of watching her go in circles.

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It was beautiful. Soooooo powerful – like I was experiencing God in my midst.

The whole time at the farm I felt a sense of peace.

I helped Chrystal brush the winter coat off of Jayde. Enjoying being close to her huge size and quiet but simple mind.

I watched her “join up” with Chrystal after she’d had a good, hard run. Chrystal put her back to her and Jayde walked over and would follow her after that like a puppy. 

I watched Chrystal ride her. The intimate communication of little sounds and subtle body language. It was a spiritual union. A mindfulness that both shared but achieved. A relationship.

Then it was my turn.

I got up on Jaydge (using the steps) and rode her around the pen with Chrystal leading and then eventually on my own.

My time riding Jayde reminded me of meditation. You start off with little or no connection. (And a little unsure of what the hell you’re doing!) But eventually I had moments – seconds really – of “communication” with Jayde. Using my feet and the reigns to communicate. They were amazing moments.

It will come as no surprise that I signed up for my first riding lesson for this Wednesday!!!!!!! (I am so excited.)

It’s not rationally really.

In my mind it’s an experiment.

Universe has lit up my consciousness with the idea of riding horses.

I had an opportunity to experience it . . . and found it amazing.

I am going back to see what more universe wants to show me. What I am meant to learn.

I left the farm and went on to do my Saturday afternoon errands.

A part of me enjoyed smelling like barn and horse – with hay and horse poop on my rubber boots. 

Somehow it reminded me that life is beautiful.

 

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Waving at AMBULANCES from the 10th floor . . .

Even though it’s been over three years since my cardiac arrest I still always react to seeing ambulances racing around – and to the sound of an ambulance siren.

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I live on the 10th floor of my building (on a major street in my city) so I hear them often. But despite the regularity of hearing them they never seem to disappear into background noise . . . I always acknowledge an ambulance siren.

That day in 2011 a crew of paramedics and fire people saved me with CPR and a defibrillator. (Taking over from my ex-boyfriend who noticed something was wrong with me and who started CPR.) At the hospital a team of doctors and nurses took over and nursed me back to health.

It is crazy that there are some strangers in this city who . . . saved my life.

Yes, I know it’s their job but still . . . it was a pretty profound act.

*dramatic pause*

This event (and the people who saved me) remind me of the divine connection between all of us.

And reminds me that there’s no possibility for us to even fathom how deeply we’re connected. It’s beyond our measly realm of understanding.

When I’m in line at the grocery store I often wonder if the person in front of me (or behind me) is one of the paramedics that saved my life? Or the nurse or doctor who treated me in the intensive care unit?

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Am I sitting beside them in traffic at a red light?

Have I ever walked past them in the hospital on my way to an appointment?

From my perspective, this connection is a reason to try to always be kind.

Or to smile when smiled at.

We truly are all connected.

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BTW, if you saved my life, or know someone who took part in saving my life, please contact me. I would love to give you a hug and to thank you. *big smile*

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Post-Surgery Update . . .

Wanted to write an update after my surgery this week.

I am at home, resting and enjoying some down time.

Things went well.

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I woke up in the recovery room in a lot of pain but once it was under control I haven’t had to even use pain meds.

Between my Aunt, my friend Jennifer and the great staff at Kingston General Hospital – things went as well as a surgery can.

Since coming home I’ve been blessed to have great visits, touching phone calls and lots of “get well” food. (I am feeling spoiled.)

I am thankful that the procedure went well. 

I am also very thankful (and relieved) to get this surgery over with.

I am ready for the BIG ONE now . . . kidney transplant here I come!!

 

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Admitting I am SCARED . . .

Writing today about something that is difficult.

It is difficult for me to talk about my fears. I am used to putting up a strong front and just saying, “I’m fine”.

In this post, I have to admit, that I am not always being honest about that . . .

Next week I am having a surgery and I’m finding I’m having a lot of anxiety around it.

Before I go any further. This operation is pretty simple and I’m sure that the outcome will be good. It’s not something dangerous and it will make life easier for me when I get my new kidney. So . . . I am getting this operation over with now.

All that said, I still have been very nervous about it.

For me the worst part is when you arrive at the hospital.

In this case it will be day surgery at Kingston General. I’m nervous all morning (they usually ask you to come in early) but the nerves go nuts when I get called by the nurse and the operation prep starts.

And an IV – I am the worst needle-phob.

Blood work.

And the waiting . . .

Luckily my Aunt will be with me – she’s like a mom. It will be comforting to have her there.

(Another friend works at KGH and has offered to come and visit me while I wait too. Feeling blessed and loved.)

Next you get ushered to the pre-operation room waiting area. It’s always cold. They always offer you warm blankets. It’s still cold.

The worst part of the journey for me is the next stage. The operating room itself.

The bright lights. Transferring me on to that small little operating table. The contraptions hanging from the ceiling. Monitors here and there . . . beeping and buzzing. All the devices they hook you up to at that point. (Just imagining it now is giving me palpitations.)

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From that point on, in the operating room, I want things to progress quickly. Knock me out so I can wake up in recovery and move closer to being allowed to go home. Out of the hospital and back in my environment. Safe.

In the meantime, less than a week away from the surgery I need to have (to find) some peace about it.

Luckily I had scheduled an appointment with my surgeon a few days ago. She’s a young, approachable, empathetic doctor.

I felt comfortable to explain to her how I felt and from there – together – we came up with a plan.

The “original plan” was to do two surgeries at the same time – because I was knocked out already. Good idea (from an intellectual point of view) but overwhelming to me in thinking about two procedures happening at the same time.

She understood.

We agreed on having only one procedure done on Tuesday and leaving the second one for another time.

She even speculated that the second procedure be done with I have my transplant in Toronto. I will already be under and it’s relatively simple so they may be something we can tie all in together. (Brilliant!!)

We also decided that I should use any anti-anxiety medication on the morning of my operation next week. Something to take the edge off and make it a less stressful experience for me.

I like this new plan.

I can live with this. *BIG smile*

I wanted to share this story.

People need to be reminded that it’s okay to be in contact with someone on your medical team when you’re stressing, or anxious, about a procedure or operation or test.

Find someone who you can trust (and who you know will work with you) to find a solution that helps you to get through the tough “thing”.

In my case having one operation instead of two and taking an anti-anxiety med on my way to the operation have made the prospect of this health obstacle a lot easier to bare.

I sought someone who I knew could help me. I partnered with her to come up with a better plan – that reassured me. I suggested a calming solution (anti-anxiety meds) to further help.

It makes me feel good to have some control in this situation – despite how out of control health challenges are.

It makes me feel good that I am confident enough to advocate on behalf of my self. 

As patients we must be allowed to take for granted that we can be involved in our healthcare – even though we aren’t doctors or nurses.

We can forget we have rights as patients. We can forget that doctors and nurse understand that these medical “things” scare us . . . and that they WILL compromise with us about things if we have major concerns.

(I also understand that we can forget simply on the BASIS of our FEAR. My fear had clouded my perspective so badly that I had really forgotten that I could ask for help.)

I will be approaching next Tuesday with some anxiety still but significantly less because my doctor and I made a plan that I can live with.

As always, THANKFUL.

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THREE Years since Cardiac Arrest!!

Haven’t vlogged in a while and why not vlog to commemorate 2 years since my near-fatal cardiac arrest.

I am very lucky to be alive. And each day I try to remember that. I am here for a reason so I better get to that reason.

Excuse the video quality and enjoy a little video time with me.

* I apologize for the error. It’s been three years and not 2. The fact I made the error on the video . . . a little sleep deprived after a very busy work week. Sorry. :)

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Fitness Progress Photos . . .

As much as I am set on putting myself out there publicly – as an advocate. I still am pretty shy.

I have to remember that my messages (and my example) have the potential to make life better for other people. In my case sharing my “sick to fit journey” may inspire a doctor to suggest active living for his or her patients. Or a fellow patient to want to work to incorporate fitness into their lives.

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Today, I am pushing past my shyness to share some photos documenting my fitness progress on my “sick to fit journey”.

Despite living with kidney failure, including doing dialysis, I am very fit and active.

I am physically active 4 to 8 times every week.

With my work schedule being extra busy these days, I am also incorporating free weights and yoga at home - when I’m not able to get to the gym. (I still get to the gym for 4 or 5 classes a week. Group classes are ideal for me staying motivated. I love my instructors and classmates.)

I am very proud of what I’ve accomplished fitness-wise.

What I can do and how far I have come. 

I remember starting out and feeling intimidated and nervous about the gym. 

And back in those days (a few years now) I would leave the gym feeling like I had my butt handed to me every time . . . :) 

Now I can handle everything I ask of myself physically in the classes. 

Now the gym is a second home to me.

Honestly, I am ready for more fitness challenge but I don’t want to push myself too hard until I get my kidney transplant. I want a little extra “reserve” on me for the operation and recovery time.

I am reminded of the advice of Dr. Trisha Parsons and Diana Hopkins-Rosseel . . . that in fitness a plateau is a good thing.

I am proud . . .

That I am fit despite my illnesses and health challenges.

That I reversed some of my health challenges with fitness (and dialysis).

That people are always surprised to find out I live with chronic illnesses.

That I am strong. 

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