Proud of my two younger sons. . . yesterday, they were willing to give up their Saturday by attending an adult CPR/AED class taught by Medic One. We decided to make it a family affair and all four of us attended the training. Extremely proud of Joey, who struggles with ADD, he make a concentrated effort to actually listen, learn, participate, and become certified. Thank you, Medic One and Thurston County for offering free CPR/AED classes to citizens of the community.
Life is like a journey on a train. . .
"At birth we boarded the train and met our parents, and we believed they will always travel on our side. However, at some station our parents will step down from the train, leaving us on this journey alone. As time goes by, other people will board the train, and they will be significant; i.e. our siblings, friends, children, and even the love of your life. Many will step down and leave a permanent vacuum. Others will go so unnoticed that we don't realize they vacated their seats. This train ride will be full of joy, sorrow, fantasy, expectations, hellos, goodbyes, and farewells. Success consists of having a good relationship with all passengers requiring that we give the best of ourselves.
The mystery to everyone is:
We do not know at which station we ourselves will step down. So, we must live in the best way, love, forgive, and offer the best of who we are. It is important to do this because when the time comes for us to step down and leave our seat empty, we should leave behind beautiful memories for those who will continue to travel on the train of life.
I wish you a joyful journey on the train of life. Reap success and give lots of love. More importantly, thank God for the journey. Lastly, I thank you for being one of the passengers on my train."
. . . I saw this posted on a friend's wall on Facebook and asked if I could borrow; however, she does not know who the original author is, but I thought it was too good not to share.
Again, thanks for being passengers with me on the train of life.
In the name of progress somethings change, but not always for the best.
There's something nostalgic about "mom and pop" hamburger joints; maybe memories from our youth or how life seemed less rushed, almost standing still. Growing up in West Linn, Oregon, there wasn't a lot of places to eat or shop (all that has changed as the town is no longer the little "sleeper" suburb south of Portland). However, on Friday nights after football games it was hanging out at Round Table Pizza, but any other night, it was all about Boni Lynn.
Oh, how I miss their delirious burgers. My personal favorite was the Deluxe burger with everything on it. I also loved their deep fried mushrooms and deep fried cheese cubes. Or who could forget the real old fashion milkshakes and malts. I remember them having every flavor one could possibly imagine, including boysenberry, peanut butter, and licorice. And although I've never been a big fan of ice cream, I did like their swirled half chocolate and half vanilla soft-serve ice cream cones. It was always a special treat to go out to lunch or dinner at Boni Lynn's Restaurant. Although, I use the word restaurant loosely, as there were only two or three tables inside the building. However, it was the atmosphere, the food, and nostalgia I miss from those bygone days.
Sadly, West Linn has become like every other cookie-cutter suburb, and has lost the uniqueness that once was West Linn. And Boni Lynn's was torn down and replaced with a Burgerville, all in the name of progress.
However, nothing will ever come close to the old Boni Lynn.
What's that saying about three times being a charm? Well, what if it is the forth. . . actually, now that I think about it, I believe this may have been my fifth time being cardioverted; however, hopefully this time it really does work like a charm. Fingers and toes crossed.
I'm pretty sure I've already mentioned what a cardioversion is, but to remind those whom may be reading this blog; Wikipedia states, "A cardioversion is a medical procedure by which an abnormally fast heart rate (tachycardia) or cardiac arrhythmia is converted to normal rhythm using electricity or drugs."
So last week, I had an appointment with my cardiologist, and after reading my EKG, he informed me, I was back in a-fib. Ugh! Again? Really? Back in December, I had an invasive procedure know as an catheter ablation. I hope never to have to go through that procedure again. However, in April, and again just yesterday, I arrived at the hospital so doctors could "shock" my heart out of this atrial fibrillation rhythm.
A cardioversion isn't too bad of an experience. The hardest and longest part is the "hurry up and wait" portion. Starting at midnight the night before I had to stop eating. Okay. Check. Then the next day, Ed and I drove to the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle. We left early, because weather was just awful - a real gully-washer and heavy winds. We did not want to get stuck in traffic and for me to be late thus missing having the procedure done. We arrived at the hospital with plenty of time to spare - I was scheduled for a blood draw at 2:00 pm. Then after the blood draw, I checked in with the day surgery center, where I was asked more questions then I would have been asked if I was applying for a car loan. We were early, so we had a bit of a wait in the waiting room, but finally I was called back. I was then lead through a set of double doors, forced to step on a scale (which of course lied to me). then steered into a small room, and told to put on the ever-so-stylish hospital gown. A few minutes later, the nurse started an IV. Of course, my veins were being as stubborn as I was, so she had to use a heat pack to get them to come to the surface. It also did not help I had not eaten or drank anything in 18-hours, so I was dehydrated. After starting the IV, the nurse asked more questions and took my vitals. Fifteen to twenty minutes later, an orderly arrived to wheel me down to the procedure room. I immediately recognized the cardioversion machine (which looks very similar to a crash cart if you ever watch medical dramas) and the large drug box sitting in the corner that looks vaguely similar to a Sears Craftsman Tool box.
Once wheeled into the room, a nurse took my vitals and hooked me up to a heart monitor, followed by placing electrode pads on my chest and back. Damn, are they cold! This is where the "hurry up and wait" portion begins, as we wait for all the players to cram into a tiny 10 by 10 room. Two by two, with hands of blue, they finally arrived, all simultaneously asking me questions and telling me what their roles were. Then one of the cardiologists gave me a run-down of the risks involved. Geez Doc, trying to freak me out? I know, I know, they have to do it. Finally, one anesthesiologist put an oxygen mask over my nose and mouth telling me to take deep breaths, while another shot a sleeping agent into the IV, and within seconds, I was out for the count.
The pads on my chest and back are connected by cables to the cardioversion machine which has a combined function of an EKG display and the electrical function of a defibrillator. Then while under, a reversion shock is delivered (200 joules) and about five minutes later, the nurse is waking me up, telling me everything went well, and I was back in normal sinus rhythm. Yay!
Then I was rolled back to the surgery center, given another set of vitals, the nurse removed my IV, and I was told I could get dressed and go home. Of course, no driving or operating heavy machinery. Dang it! I was so looking forward to digging a ditch tonight. For my troubles, I received a small burn tattoo the shape of a russet potato from the heat off the electrode pad. Oh well, what I get for being fair skinned and it does fade after a couple days.
Doctors are not sure why my heart keeps going into a-fib, as I am younger then most patients they see. However, my heart does. We also made an executive decision, if this cardioversion does not take, we will no longer chase down the rhythm. I will just learn to live with it. Other then some fatigue, I usually can't tell I am in a-fib (I am asymptomatic) and obviously my heart just does not want to stay in normal sinus rhythm. I've always been told I beat the drum to my own rhythm.
I remember a particular visit I had with my cardiologist several years ago. It was one of the many times he suggested an implantable defibrillator and I was stubborn and didn't want to listen. Too many bad experiences with the first device I had implanted and I just didn't want to go through it again. He said he understood but also told me he didn't want to see some catastrophic event happen to me and be the subject of the local news. Well, thanks, Dr. Kundenchuk for that self-fulling proficiency.
Even though I was not interviewed in Seattle, I was in San Francisco. Nerves of steel, I was not, as a news reporter asked me questions about the events surrounding my cardiac arrest and how important I thought it was for by-standers to be first responders. He then asked, "How has this changed you?" Goodness. I don't know. I still sweat the small stuff. I still have a short fuse. I still am me.
Did he mean - do I believe in second chances? Or third chances as the case may be? Sure. I know Heavenly Father is not ready for me yet, but what my divine purpose in life is. . . I just don't know. I do know, I need to go out and discover it for myself. Maybe, it making people aware of sudden cardiac arrest or getting automatic external defibrillators out there. . . everywhere. And not only do I want to see AED's everyone, I want to make sure there are people properly trained how to use them and they are just not wall decorations. Maybe getting more people to think about being CPR certified. I would like to see a higher success then 8 to 12% survival rate for victims of sudden cardiac arrest. There is a plan. There is a purpose. There is a time for everything. . . A time to be born and a time to die. . .
Or to borrow a scene from the movie Footloose, Ren said; "Ecclesiastes assures us that there is a time for every purpose under heaven. A time to laugh. . . a time to weep. A time to mourn. . . and there is a time to dance. . . It's the way it was in the beginning. It's the way it's always been. It's the way it should be now."
"Hey. . . it's me."
I live in the shadows of the Olympic Mountains, in the State of Washington and I love camping, boating, hiking, and hanging out with my husband, our three boys, and two Bernese Mountain dogs.