Aimee Copeland leaves the hospital

July 2, 2012 at 11:57 pm (aimee copeland, choice, coping, creative writing, good news, gratitude, hope, living, love, motivation, optimism, support system, why blog) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

yes Aimee went to rehab today and she will be there for 6-8 months.  I hope she continues to be optimistic and her support system stays in place.  maybe that is what really makes the difference.

looking back it occurs to me that my blog has many entries focused on others without much tie in to myself.  with some reflection, really not that much:), it is clear how that has happened.  my life has been about others.  as a nurse, there is the patient.  as a therapist there is the patient and even as a professor/teacher it is about the students.  most of us have others in our life that we give our love and support to.  mom’s and dad’s  have children, spouse’s have likewise, children have parents that may need their care.  parenting never ends if you are lucky and then there are the grandchildren.

there has been little time to think about my own situation.  situation is an odd word for this, not so odd if it is understood how i refer to my multi-system failure that landed me on life support in ICU as “the event.”  it seems tedious to refer to the event in medical terms or what would feel like a bit of melodrama at this point.  although when i read of others and their struggles it reinforces my belief that we all have a story.  as we go through our day we have a choice to have faith, or spin in uncertainty that can make us suffer beyond our physical self.

recently though I have had things on my mind to write about, however, two things stopped me.  one is the awareness of how this blog has changed from its original concept. second, is the awareness that i am not a writer.  it’s ok. to know what our gift is, is a blessing.  when reading other blogs i am in awe of the creativity and flow of the story.  the new goal for me is to remember and follow my true purpose in writing at all.  as for the other it is my intent to be ok, really ok, with my limits as a writer. this was never meant to be anything more than a personal blog.  future posts may be boring to some who now read my postings.  there are so many more interesting people out there.  those that become bored please do not feel the need to comment on said boredom.

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keeping it real

May 24, 2011 at 12:09 pm (choice, family, friends, gratitude, joy, living, optimism)

while trying to stay optimistically realistic I have noticed how easy it is to slip over the line out of realistic.  the medication I stopped has not had time to make any real changes and yet I find myself watching and thinking how long since I felt this way or that way.

talking to my sister last night really helped. she was very supportive and reminded me that I know my body and am smart enough to make this choice. how lucky can one person be? I have so many people who support this decision and believe in me. I am a little annoyed with myself for not fighting for this sooner. when I spoke to my cardiologist in november 2010 and he said no, I wish I had been more pro-active. what matters is I am making that choice now. ask yourself if there are choices you could be making now for a better life? are you living your best life? if not, don’t be discouraged about the past, look forward and ask yourself what you really need to be happy. not what you need to be rich or famous or even in love, ask what you need to be happy. the answer may surprise you. as another psychologist said, it doesn’t take money to solve a money problem. this is one truth I wish people could hear and understand. money will not make you happy if you are not a happy person to begin with. no doubt we need enough to meet our basic needs, but when did basic needs become so vast and expensive? remember when people had one car? some people didn’t even have one! wow imagine that! we have become a nation of consumers and overly concerned with things rather than people.

my son-in-law told me one day that his kids ( my adorable grandchildren) did not seem to be affected by the downturn in the economy. this really caught me off-balance, my response was to say his children are not dependent on the things he can or cannot provide for them. his children are “recession proof” and I wish for more children their parents would provide this lesson. bill does things with his children. that simple. his children are fed and clothed and best of all loved. they spend time with their dad who could say as many do they are too busy working. Kristen and bill take their kids to events and tailgate with friends, camp out in the back yard and make smores. these are the important things that make them and their children “happy” people.

when I hear about the tornado’s and the victims it breaks my heart. one woman returned to her home and it was to the ground but at that moment someone found her cat and she was smiling. she was happy in that moment that she had her cat. that made her happy, those are the moments we need to remember. I can remember the day I had a heart attack, went in to multi-system failure or I can remember that Chris was by my side, that my family cared and friends came to see me. I got to go home and that was a truly happy moment. today I was thinking and remembered that it was 19 yrs ago on my birthday that I first laid eyes on Chris. still brings a smile to my face. I can choose to see the house razed to the ground or that my cat is safe.

some pessimists think optimists are silly and I can understand that. as an optimist I think pessimists are sad people who have been disappointed with life. I think we need a new label, let’s be optimistic realists! let’s be real that things are not always going to work out the way we want but never stop hoping that they will.

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keep believing

May 21, 2011 at 7:22 am (doctors, family, good news, love, optimism)

at times I have wondered if I was being a bit too optimistic and not realistic enough. today I am here to say I have no doubt being optimistic pays off in ways we can not begin to understand.

in november of 2010 my cardiologist told me not to leave town. it is my favorite time of year and we always go to Charleston to see our family and heather comes over too so we get the whole gang. there was no way I was going to miss seeing them and so we went. Chris and I knew the chance we were taking but decided to take that chance. he was willing to not go if I didn’t think we should but he knows me well enough to be packing. obviously I made it without being hospitalized and saw the cardiologist afterward and he was surprised I had not become worse.

today I went to see my primary care dr. he is just one of the good ones. as a man and a physician he is making a difference in lives. so today I say to him I want to go off a medication that has side effects that mimic those of the heart failure. in november my cardiologist said it was too risky. dr. s agreed with me that it was the only way to know for sure and we can increase other meds to cover for this one drug. the drug is one of choice for my condition so I understand any reluctance to tamper with it. however, I am thinking I don’t know if I am worse because of this drug so it makes sense to go off and see.

I am so sure this is going to be the case here that I immediately called Kristen and Heather to tell them the news. they think a lot like me and were so happy for me. if this works, and I believe it will, then I may have up to 2 more yrs to live! so for some of you that doesn’t sound like good news but if you thought the worst was coming any day now, 2 yrs would look very good to you. and who knows what will happen in those 2 yrs. Chris and I were talking about this, we have been told many times over the past 2 yrs that time was running out and if we had believed that each time? we have chosen to believe things will be okay whatever happens and when. 

I was able to see the note the cardiologist wrote in december after I came back from Charleston. it said there was no medical explanation for my condition stabilizing. my primary care dr. disagreed. he said to me he believed it was my attitude that kept me going when others have not. I believe the love I have in my life and for my life has been a major factor.  so I have a couple more calls to make to loved ones who believe in the power of love and positive thinking.

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optimism vs realism

April 24, 2011 at 6:35 am (family, friends, humor, optimism, truth)

Chris loves Costco, so today even though I am still dealing with some allergies and sinus issues (like most of this country) I ventured out with him. actually it is more about self-preservation when it comes to him going to Costco alone. we were discussing plans for the coming months, because of the heat and my heart not being a good mix, we have several months that are planned around.

we have talked about the whole do you plan for the future when it is going to be cut short? the answer for us is hell yeah! if I had listened to drs. I would have completely missed the past holidays with my family, Chris and I would have been okay with staying home, but neither of us would have preferred it. this is not something we just go on about, we have come to a place where there is an understanding of what works for us. over the years I have teased Chris for having a little dark cloud over his head and there have been times he thought I wasn’t worried enough. however, during this ongoing situation he has been very optimistic. when I met with the research cardiologist and he gave me 30% chance of living til 2/10 I made some adjustments and got things organized. everyone should do this, make a living will and let people know how you feel about what happens under various circumstances. When last february came around and the cardiologist wanted me to get the defib, I thought why not since Chris really wanted me to. in november of last year I was advised to stay close to home and both my drs. were surprised when I came back the next week and seemed to be improved. not really better than before but not worse.

maybe that is part of combination that works for us. we are realistic enough to know that I cannot do things today that I could even 6 mos. ago. we are optimistic enough to plant plants I will not see grow, we make plans for when summer heat is over and where we want to go and what we want to see. we keep redefining what is a good day and new ways to deal with the bad days. when people ask me how I am, the answer is I am fine, but this is a new fine. sometimes when asked how I feel, I reply the way I am supposed to be feeling.

I saw the dr. yesterday and we discussed how our society has become intolerant of pain and stress. we medicate and alter our mood through drugs and alcohol. of course that does not mean everyone, I hope that is obvious. however, with the big “pain management” industry developing it makes me wonder. I am a believer in pain meds when they are needed. we are living longer and our bodies are suffering longer as a result. he (my dr.) says he will know that I need medication if I ask, since he has not yet been asked. he has asked me on occasion and I think I can go a bit longer. that is what gets me through, I think I can make it a bit longer. I know someday that will stop being the truth. I will stop making it, my life will end.

in the meantime, we are off to Costco and looking forward to visits from family in june. we remain optimistically real:)

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