Lessons Learned from Recuperating…

blood pressure

Warning: You may need two beverages first.

You might reason, “If you had 2 heart attacks in 1999, surely there are no new lessons to be learned from recuperating from 2 more.” Well, that would be true if 14 years hadn’t transpired in between and I hadn’t been on morphine drips both then and now. It’s starting to come back to me now, but apparently, going through this in your 50s is not like going through it in your 30s. I wonder how bad it would have been if I hadn’t exercised my butt off and tried to eat reasonably for most of that 14 years??? Oh. The list would have been even longer? A reason to be thankful that I exercised, hunh?

  1. It may not be such a hot idea to have a blood pressure cuff. Seeing my current blood pressure readings….well, raises my blood pressure readings. I sense a vicious circle here.
  2. Even on Xanax I can hear the youngest’s alarm clock from across the house, through 2 closed doors. He, on the other hand, won’t hear it for another 15 minutes…after I go and throw a cup of ice water on his head.
  3. Pouring a cup of ice water on the youngest’s head raises my blood pressure.
  4. The hubby doesn’t understand portion control or the elements of a heart healthy diet. I’m not sure I care.
  5. I can drop 6 lbs. in 4 days…while on a morphine drip. Remind me to attach a morphine drip next to my treadmill when I’m cleared to exercise.
  6. I’m supposed to rest during the day. I don’t think the doc has ever been to my house in the daytime. A war zone is probably quieter.
  7. Hockey games put me to sleep. See # 6.
  8. Basketball games raise my blood pressure. Once a Hoosier, always a Hoosier.
  9. I will do just about anything to avoid helping someone move.
  10. I will do just about anything to avoid another Texas Tech orientation.
  11. If you travel extensively for a living for 30 years, your wife will make you pay for this by taking the youngest to Texas Tech orientation…without a referee or a face mask or a baseball bat.
  12. To prepare your hubby to take your youngest to orientation, he will need a folder full of documents, 16 Internet links in an email, and the rest of your prescription for Xanax.
  13. I have good gift elves—they not only shop for me, but they get it on sale and wrap it. That gift elf needs a breakfast at IHOP on me. Now, if I could only get an IHOP in our town. For that, I think I’m going to need bigger elves.
  14. I asked God to get my mind off the heart attack concerns so I could sleep one night and the next thought that popped into my head? Toilet plungers. God is efficient.
  15. # 14 would be the epitome of “Be careful what you ask for…”?
  16. People still doubt that God has a sense of humor. See # 14.
  17. I no longer care about IRS scandals, surveillance of my cell phone, and Oklahoma tornados. But, I do care deeply about getting a Twinkie on 7/15 and seeing the minions again. I have a Master’s, right?
  18. A good day prior to 6/6 was to spend 4 hours writing and maintaining my web site, spend 4 hours doing housework or running errands, mentoring the 18 year old, studying my Bible, sorting the mail, reading 1/7 of a book, watering the plants, and helping some charitable endeavor.
  19. I now view having a good day as putting on mascara. Just so I don’t scare people in public.
  20. We need a new thermostat at our house. One moment it’s too hot in the house and the next moment it’s too cold. Are heart attack survivors required to go through menopause again? Probably really interesting for the male heart attack survivors.
  21. My blood pressure graph resembles the side view of the Titan roller-coaster at Six Flags. And I didn’t even get on the Titan to do that.
  22. I have about as much luck avoiding heart attacks as Marco has at winning IRL races with an excellent car. Maybe he and I need to start a support group for people cursed by gypsies?
  23. Eating dinner with your family, watching TV, and writing in your journal trying to de-stress…causes heart attacks. So, if I breathe deeply, I’m back in the hospital, hunh? Where is that oxygen tank?
  24. My arms and hands now make me look Iike I’m a heroin addict. I don’t remember getting the high from that addiction. Of course, that may be due to the morphine.
  25. I did have plans for the youngest’s last birthday at home before college. Think we can make it up to him by giving him a new car? Oh. Wait. Hospital bills. Never mind. Maybe he wants a Twinkie for his birthday?
  26. My brother informed me they don’t give frequent flyer mileage for Careflites. Dang. I wanted to go to Tahiti this year. Oh. Wait. Hospital bills. Never mind. Texas looks like Tahiti, right?? Maybe I can wire some coconuts to the cacti??? Mai-tai’s look like margaritas if you stick an umbrella in them?
  27. Readership of my blog goes up when I tweet from a hospital bed. I’ve ordered a hospital bed for my office.
  28. When I have heart pain, I develop Internal Tourette’s Syndrome (ITS?). The risk of “oral leakage” at these moments increases my blood pressure.
  29. The hospital chaplain assures me that Jesus has heard cuss words before. Probably because people generally use His name as a cuss word. And that was your sermon for today.
  30. If you go to RealAge.com and tell their calculator that you’ve had 4 heart attacks in 14 years, it computes your “real age” as “corpse.” It computes your life expectancy as -2. This explains the pale face and dark eye circles that now greet me in the mirror on a regular basis.
  31. Based on # 30, I now qualify to be in the next zombie movie. No makeup required. Apocalypse optional.
  32. When you start posting about heart attacks on Facebook, your banner ads are for comfortable walking shoes, selling your home, eye glasses, and auction houses. Refer to # 30.
  33. My “co-mom”, who helps me parent the “adopteds” said she can’t parent all these kids on her own. Note to self: Need to designate a successor “adopted mom” for her. Perhaps the successor will be more successful at getting IHOP to my little town. And can we get my “co-mom” a prescription for Xanax and energy formula multi-vitamins for women 50+?
  34. I think I have Recuperative Stress Syndrome, or RSS. I knew they weren’t giving me the straight scoop about what that RSS thing meant.
  35. Never watch “Puss in Boots” while on Xanax. ‘Nuf said.
  36. I no longer care about ironing. (My children are doing cartwheels in celebration.) Unless I can figure out a way to iron out the flabby skin I have from 6 lbs. of weight loss in less than a week.
  37. I am constantly hungry. And yet I weigh less than I have since the first child was born. Does this mean I’m pregnant? If so…need…more…Xanax. Oh. Wait. You can’t take Xanax while pregnant. Where is my box of chocolates??? Oh. I ate them already.
  38. To get a follow-up appointment with my cardiologist 6 weeks from now, I guess I have to practically die. Oh. Guess that won’t work, either. Not even if you do it twice in 1 week.
  39. While trying to get the follow-up appointment, I was admonished to not leave multiple messages. Kinda hard to do, since they keep leaving me multiple messages about how the dates I’m available are all booked and they never actually answer their extension when I call back. My solution? Leave one long “filibustery” message giving them my attorney’s contact information.
  40. For the record, my attorney’s name is Mr. Pitbull. He probably won’t answer his phone, either, because he likes to go “hunting” pretty often. He also seems to have an anger management issue, too. Sooo thankful he chose to go to a different counselor for that.
  41. I opened my underwear drawer and the Spanx apparently have amnesia—they don’t recognize me now that I’m a skeleton. Maybe they’re on Xanax, too?
  42. I am now required to find an allergist. Since we don’t have those in our little town, this IS an excuse to go shopping for skeleton-sized clothes, right? (I plan to shop in the “Pre-Anorexic” department of Macy’s.)
  43. My new allergist is conveniently located next to my favorite heart-healthy restaurant: The Cheesecake Factory.
  44. Wheelchairs sound so much more appealing now. My mom-in-law named hers, “Sally.” I think I will call mine, “Roy.” I always wanted a family member named after Bruce Willis.
  45. Twisted humor lowers my blood pressure. Not sure what it does to yours. But, I have a blood pressure cuff you can borrow.  I’ve quit using it. See # 1.


Tomorrow’s Post: Some actual useful information…

You might also like: Lessons Learned from Heart Attacks 3 & 4, Lessons Learned from a Routine Examination, and Lessons Learned from My Dentist.

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, June 25th, 2013 at 4:00 pm and is filed under Lessons Learned. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.


  1. June 25th, 2013 | Joyce Visser says:

    MaryAnn, you should be a stand up comedian, this is serious business, but you know how to turn it around girl! Amazing!

  2. June 26th, 2013 | maryann says:

    Awww…Thanks, Joyce. Laughter is good “medicine.” Glad you enjoyed it.

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