Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Heart of the Matter

There is nothing worse than not feeling well.  For a little over a month, my chest has been killing me. Yeah.  Yeah.  Yeah.  People hear the words "chest" and "pain" together and all they think of is 1) Oh my god, she's having a heart attack and/or 2) Oh my god, she's dying.  Seriously.

At least that's what I think of.  And being the typical, in-denial type of chick, I ignored the signs as long as I possibly could.  And they kept getting worse.

So FINALLY, at the encouragement of my husband, I did make a doctor's appointment.  And I really hate doctor's appointments.  I mean the entire time I'm sitting there, all I do is convince myself something is definitely wrong.  I don't just sit on the stupid gurney-thingy either.  I'm analyzing the charts, checking my BMI (which is in the normal, healthy range), and read anything I can get my hands on.  Then the knock on the door comes and I leap back up on the chair, pretending I've been patiently waiting the entire time.  Whatever.

During the "exam", I swear they know exactly what is going on.  They're just not telling me.  Yep.  This is where the paranoia sets in.  Everything he asks of me, I do--meanwhile, my brain is breaking it all down, coming to one conclusion--something is terribly wrong and he's trying to figure out how to tell me.  There is a small, sane part of me that is actually dismissing the crazy talk simultaneously--hoping for a good outcome.

And usually there is one.

This time, the first diagnosis was costochondritis.  As I read up on it, I don't seem to qualify.  I'm no teenager, after all...  I accepted the diagnosis and began the ibuprofen regimen.   Oh joy.  After two weeks, and a stomach which could no longer tolerate the ibuprofen, the pain hadn't dissipated.  At all.

So back in I went--the same rig-a-ma-roll happening all over again.  This time with my husband in tow.  My support system allowed my brain to be a bit at ease, until the doctor called me later on that evening wanting me to come back in for an EKG.  Okay.  Really.  I'm a bit young for that.  And no, this is not denial--I AM young.  Dammit.  He wanted to rule out periodontitis.

I dragged my husband back with me--I mean who wants to get all hooked up and be alone.  Not me, thank you very much!  After the quick 10 minute ordeal--with 8 of the ten minutes the time it took to hook me up to the machine--the doc came back on in to give me the good news.  Or so I was hoping. He didn't like some of my "T-waves" and could not rule out the periodontitis.  Oh joy.  Next stop--on over for an echocardiogram and a treadmill stress test.  Seriously.

Two days later, my husband and I head over to the clinic where I'd be getting tested.  After getting checked in, we go up the elevator to the cardiology wing.  The moment I stepped off the elevator, I knew I was NOT in the right place.  It was the senior center USA.  And me.  They even looked at me wondering what the hell I was doing there.

I am young.  I am healthy.  I still workout on a regular basis.  I don't drink soda.  I only have 1-2 coffees a day.  I am not a heavy meat eater.  I actually eat very healthy--and yes, even breakfast every day.  I love my veggies.  I drink plenty of water.  I'm not overweight.  I'm not a smoker, nor am I a drinker.  This is ridiculous.

First stop was the echocardiogram.  The technician was very nice.  Except for her straight face.  I couldn't get a good read on her.  And as I looked up on the screen, at my beating heart, I had no idea what I was looking for.  She kept measuring these huge dark spaces.  Several times turning up the sound and I could hear the life inside of me.  Kinda cool.  Then she let me go and do the stress test--a positive!  If she didn't give the okay, it meant bad news.  I got the okay.
Me ready for the echocardiogram!


The stress test was interesting.  They hooked me up to eight different cables and gave me some insights as to what would happen.  Every three minutes the incline and the speed would increase.  "I so got this," was all I could think about.  I workout dammit.  I can run.  I've learned how to breathe.  They told me my heart rate needed to hit a minimum of 150 to get a good reading.  "I can do this in my sleep," is all I thought.

And I did.  I got an "above average" reading for the time I was able to last during the test.  And the chick didn't finish her sentence with the "...for your age..." either, which made me happy.  My heart recovered quickly--another strong sign of a healthy heart.  She said my doctor would call me with the results, but not to worry.

So of course, I did.

When he called me back, there was good news.  Well, good news and bad news.  The great news was I do have a very healthy heart.  The bad news--the pain isn't going away.  They believe it to be muscular.  I have to stay away from Crossfit--probably the catalyst of all these injuries--and keep working out at the gym.  I now have to do physical therapy to work out the pain.  That will start on Friday.  Which is fine.

The scare though--the scare of something being wrong with my heart really left a mark on me.  It's not like a leg or an arm or a knee.  It's something that cannot always be fixed.  It's something that's needed to live.  And it scared me.  I think good things can come from bad situations--from scary situations--and for me, it made me take a good look at my health.

When I think about retirement (hopefully in 12 years), none of it will matter if I'm not in good health.  So for 2014 I plan on still eating healthy, still loving my veggies, still planning to go to the gym, still planning to steer clear of soda, still plan on having my Starbucks (although I have switched to decaf...sometimes...), still plan on being conscious about my weight and my water intake.  And I've added a new little something for my health--wine.  I need more wine.  I need to relax, to take the time to chill.  To stop worrying so much.  And wine is going to help me get there.


Thursday, January 9, 2014

Techie, I am not...

Okay, I'm going to be honest here.  I am SO not a techie.  At one point in my life I thought I was.  I even have a Master's Degree in Educational Technology to prove how tech-afied I really am.  Yeah, right...

Tonight I received a phone call from my sister-in-law, Theresa, giving me some advice in regards to my non-techie status.  I didn't realize how badly in need I was of updating my Facebook, my Twitter, my BLOG (yes, I know it's been almost a YEAR since my last post but what-are-ya-gonna do?), my Pinterest, and my articles.  Whew.  I thought with having so many sites (it's a lot for me), that qualified me as tech-afied.  Yeah, right...

And so I spent a little bit of time arranging, and fixing, and adding, and all those other things that I should be doing.  Maybe 2014 will be the year of the techie...

On second thought...

Yeah, right.

Here are my sites!
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MrRightsGoneWrong
Twitter: https://twitter.com/FmTheSidelines
My Novel's Website: http://mrrightsgonewrong.com
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/merelovesthepac/articles-i-ve-written/

See--I'm kinda a techie.  In the making, anyway...

P.S.
Thanks, Theresa for all of your help!


Monday, February 18, 2013

Mr. Rights Gone Wrong--It's HERE!

YES!!  Finally will be doing pre-sales for my novel!


 Mr. Rights Gone Wrong will be in bookstores and online (Amazon.com) by April!  However, I am taking preorders if you are interested.  For pre-sales, I'll be paying all shipping/handling and tax fees.  If you are interested in purchasing a copy, there is an order form attached.  Also, if you'd like your book to be signed, just let me know--be sure to include the name you wish the book to be personalized in.  The special pre-sale pricing is good from now until 3/8.  Books will be delivered to you by 3/25.

For those of you ordering, please email me at merelovesthepack@yahoo.com for mailing information.  Below is the order form:

If you have difficulty printing the form from here, please use the link below.  The order form is available there as well!

Want to learn more about my book?  Like my page at https://www.facebook.com/MrRightsGoneWrong

Thanks for your support!

~Meredith

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Forbes Women Article

It's been a bit since I posted on here--hard at work on my novel, which should debut in the next month! Here's my latest Forbes Women article--enjoy!

Cream Puffs, Gum and Fried Chicken: Confessions of a Self-Saboteur

~Meredith

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Today's Not the Day

My first article with the Journal of the Colorado Language Arts Society--just happens to be about one experience I had in the classroom...the only time I was ever frightened. And yes, it was because of a weapon. It's just a glimpse at the love I have for every kid that enters my classroom.

Today's Not the Day

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Substitute.

Recently I've had a student teacher in my classroom--an absolutely amazing student teacher, I might add.  So after spending a lot of time working on the publication side of my first novel, planning my next few units out, and reading a ton of short stories that I plan on using, I've more or less been a substitute in my building.  With the flu season kicking in, substitutes are needed.

And what an experience it's been thus far.  Oh yes.

I've learned a few things in the past few weeks that I thought I'd share with you.  Here goes...

  1. Nose pickers gross me out.  They have no shame as they dig in there and pull out a doozy.
  2. Booger eaters make me want to yack.  Especially when they are chewing away on the slimy ooze, then look to their fingers in hope of finding some more delicious goodness.
  3. 6th graders love, love, LOVE cheesy jokes.  And I love the 10 second pause they take before actually getting the joke.  (The one I told "Why was the nose sad?  Because he did not get picked"--I was hoping the nose picker/eater would get the double entendre I was exposing him to...but no such luck).
  4. I have no clue about science.  Seriously.  Lights on, but nobody is home.  I should've paid more attention in school.
  5. My math skills versus today's math skills are completely different.  As a matter-of-fact, my way of performing mathematical functions are "old-fashioned", as in "Dr. Collins is that the old-fashioned way of doing math?"  Bite me.
  6. Our special education teachers are actually angels, goddesses, saints--you name it.  Of all the substitute experiences I had these past few weeks, this particular class took the cake.  I fell instantly in love with the kids, who were the kindest and sweetest little kids ever.  Except perhaps the boy who wanted to discuss weapons, drugs, and body parts--just typical conversations I have on a daily basis with students--NOT!  Or the poor little girl who burst into tears because she couldn't find her paper.  Some of us are equipped to handle complete meltdowns every 30 seconds, and some of us simply are not.  I don't think I need to say which category I fall into.  Regardless, to do this work every day is without question a gift from above given to a few.  Thank God for them!
  7. The "Dr." in front of my name confuses the young.  They asked me countless times what hospital I worked at and when I found the time to be a doctor.  Funny!  Especially since I am extremely nervous around anyone who looks, acts, or is ill in the slightest of manners.
  8. I have a presence.  I am little, but I am fierce.  And I don't even have to say a thing.  Pretty cool.
  9. These kids adore their teachers.  And they love the other teachers in my building.  I loved when they asked if I could always be their sub--how cute is that?  
  10. The gullibility of 6th graders is priceless.  When asked who was teaching my class, I told them 8th graders are so together they don't need teachers.  I leave the instructions on the board and they just get it done (yeah, right).  "Wow, can't wait to be in 8th grade" was heard more than once.  
So yep.  Here's to all you substitutes out there.  Whew.  It's quite the experience.