Nobody cares if you're not a good dancer. Just get up and dance. The same holds true for racing. Whether first or last, we all cross that same finish line. Just get out there and run.
- Dean Karnazes

Sunday, January 8, 2012


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I spent Thursday evening at the hospital with my husband because he was complaining of chest pains. It was very alarming because he actually came and got me out of my Thursday night Zumba class. I got quite the shock when I saw Patrick and B walk in, B was supposed to be at basketball practice. He informed me that he was having chest pains, and that I had to take him to the er. He had called his aunt and she was other way to get B, and take her home but she was a few minutes away. My lovely students kept B until his aunt could get there to pick her up, and I am so glad they did because she was already a little freaked out because he pulled her out of practice, she didn't need to go to the ER with us. I was in full freak out mode, not just because my 37 year old husband was having chest pains but because this is not the first time he has.
Let me give you a little history... In the spring of 2005, I was at home with a 7 month old B, when I received a call from Patrick letting me know he was being taken to the hospital from work because he was having chest pains after getting into a heated argument. I rushed up to the hospital with B in tow. When we got there, Patrick was having a million different tests done there, and being monitored to see if he was in fact having a heart attack. After a few hours, he was discharged, the ER doctor diagnosed it as bad indigestion and esophageal issues which can behave exactly like a heart attack. That being said, he was given orders to schedule a stress test. When we got home, he did just that. Then, a few days later (the day before the scheduled stress test), we were getting ready to take a little trip to Athens, GA, when Patrick told me that he had to get to the hospital ASAP. I called the paramedics because there was no way I was in any shape to drive him myself, I was freaking out. Thankfully, my sister in law was there and she took B so that I could stay with Patrick. When we got to the hospital, the doctors ran the same tests as they had before but this time, it wasn't just bad indigestion and esophageal issues, it was a real heart attack. My then 30 year old husband was having a heart attack, and I was 24 with a baby and scared to death that I was about to become a widow. Before I knew it, Patrick was being wheeled to an ICU room and I was being told that he had to have some more tests done to see the extent of the damage from the heart attack. The next few days were a blur of tests and being transferred to another hospital to have stents put in. One doctor informed me that the type of heart attack he had is one they often call the widow maker. It was severe, and taxing on not just him but on myself and all of his family as well. I was sure that this was going to be his wake up call to quit smoking, start exercising and watching what he eats.
Fast forward to January 2010, Patrick was still smoking, had gained even more weight (he's always been a big guy but now he was bigger than I'd ever seen him). I had just had a little epiphany that kicked off my own weight loss journey, I was inching closer and closer to weighing 500lbs with each passing day, I was smoking, and I realized that if I kept up I would probably have my own heart attack before I turned 30 that upcoming December. So, I started on my journey, in the hopes to change my own life and maybe even Patrick's as well. He didn't follow suit.
Let's fast forward once more to Thursday, here I was almost 7 years later watching similar events happen again. This time the doctors once again said it was esophageal issues. To be honest with you, I'm scared to death, because once there has been one heart attack, another isn't if it'll happen again but when will it happen again. My husband is going to have another heart attack and the next time he might not be so lucky. He is still smoking, not exercising or watching what he eats. Wanna talk about the obesity epidemic? I'm living it, this is a very real part of my life. A real part of my daughter's life. Now, I'm not looking for symapathy or anything like that, I needed to get this off my chest and maybe help someone who reads this in the process. Here is an opportunity, a sign, a warning for him to make some real changes in his life. I fear that if he does not, he will not make it to see his 40th birthday. I hate it for B, because it's not fair to her, she needs him around. No matter what I say to him, it won't make a difference. This change has to come from him because I cannot make anyone do anything they aren't ready to do. If he was waiting for a sign, here it is. If you are reading this and waiting for a sign, here it is. I had another ah-ha, "here's a sign" moment when I was in Toronto during the holidays, the same kind of moment that originally kicked started the weight loss journey. It was exactly what I needed to help me refocus because in the last year my weight has yo-yo'ed and I had once again become lazy with my nutrition and my weight training and cross training. This is the year that I get to my goal and do my best to be my best so that I can be here for B for many, many years come. She needs me here, and I want to see her grow up, graduate, get married, have her own babies. I know the realities of being obese, I have seen first hand the damage it can cause to not only the person who is obese but to the people around them. The arthritis in my knees is awful, and I caused all that damage to myself because I chose to take the easy way out for so many years instead of taking care of myself. The damage I've caused to my body is ridiculous, no 31 year old should be like this. That being said, I'm working on bettering myself and my life to prevent doing more damage to myself. I have seen my husband, the person who I'm supposed to grow old with tear up his heart, his lungs, his joints because it's easier make excuses. Now, making a change isn't easy, I'm not going to lie, but you better believe it will be worth it.
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