Posts Tagged ‘Xanax’


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 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.


Lessons Learned from Heart Attacks 3 and 4…


Warning: You may want to get 2 beverages first. 

For a little background on why someone like me would wind up in the hospital with heart attacks last Monday, please go here.

The very last thing a cardiologist should do to a writer is strap her down to a hospital bed for 8 days with medical “leashes”, put her on morphine and Xanax, and then think that she won’t use this “quality creative time” to her full advantage. I hope you’re up for a little gallows humor, because I’m about to explode with what I learned.

  1. Two sips of Merlot and I’m in the ER. I always knew I hated red wine.
  2. I think I now have a phobia about Merlot/red wine.
  3. Nurses have amnesia, particularly when it comes to remembering my birthdate. Thanks to them, I can’t seem to forget it. As a token of my gratitude for helping my memory, I’m sending them Merlot wine.
  4. My scooter still works. I didn’t even know I had one.
  5. Don’t hug and kiss the Careflite nurse.
  6. I got to cross off “Ride in a helicopter” from my Bucket List, but I don’t remember putting it on my List twice. Maybe it’s the morphine.
  7. I also got to cross off “Travel down the main thoroughfare of our fair town with police permission while wearing nothing but a hospital gown on a gurney accompanied by 2 guys who aren’t my husband at 1 am in the morning.” Yeah, I was surprised that was on my Bucket List, too. The hubby was even more surprised.
  8. We need to repave the main thoroughfare of our fair town. Remind me to vote for local road improvement at the next election.
  9. If you’re claustrophobic, don’t ride in a Careflite helicopter. If you’re bigger than me, you may need to become a Cirque du Soleil contortionist to fit.
  10. I have an alter ego. Her name is Mrs. Hook.  And apparently, my alter ego has a different address. She’s smarter—she decided to live closer to our local schools and my church. I wonder what illnesses she has. I hope she is okay.
  11. While attaining my counseling degree, I studied nonverbal client behavior. That is not a good skill to have when watching your catheterization team look at your coronary arteries.
  12. My nurses loved my mani/pedi. Note to self: Always schedule a mani/pedi 3 days prior to your next heart attack.
  13. I have “young skin.” This gives me a new reason to stock up on my favorite Bath & Body Works products, right? Think I could be their “Jared”?
  14. I baffle doctors and nurses because I don’t smoke, drink, eat too much, and exercise too little. They aren’t used to patients who follow their instructions?
  15. I now know why I’ve been reading all these books on Heaven and death. God’s sick sense of humor just moved to a whole new level of twisted. Where were the books on resurrection????
  16. Since I had symptoms prior to the gurney ride, my doctor ordered a nuclear stress test, in which they shoot dye into your coronary arteries prior to making you run on a hamster wheel until you fall off. Thanks to the Merlot, that was cancelled. I consider this a good thing since I only want dye applied to one part of my body—the part with the gray hair.
  17. While scheduling the stress test, the receptionist gave me the following instruction: “No funny stuff between now and then!” I guess heart attacks are serious???
  18. Always chew the chicken in your mouth prior to the next morphine drip.
  19. I neglected my children’s musical education—they didn’t understand my Carly Simon reference when I uttered: “I haven’t got time for the pain.” Of course, it could be that I was morphine mumbling it and trying to chew my chicken at the same time.
  20. I can recite the Lord’s Prayer in my sleep, unless the sleep is induced by morphine. Did you know Carly Simon lyrics are part of the Lord’s Prayer? Me neither.
  21. I know night nurses can get bored so I like to keep them entertained with projectile vomiting every so often just to break up the monotony. Let’s just say my capacity to do this means I coat walls better than industrial spray paint equipment. Guess that will teach them to put that little plastic tub too far from my hospital bed, hunh?
  22. My aforementioned little skill requires the contractor size of a Hefty bag to contain the clean-up materials. Maybe I can be Jared for Hefty??? Okay, so that would be awkward, too.
  23. The hubby can conduct business from anywhere. For his next magic trick, he plans to take conference calls on Mars.
  24. The hubby has an interesting career. You have no idea what Morphine MaryAnn does with the conference call term, “cows in heat.”
  25. Morphine confuses my sense of direction. I thought my room was in the corner. That may be because I spent a good portion of my childhood there.
  26. Doctors and nurses don’t believe me when I tell them the truth about my medical history. Of course, I’ve always thought my life story would make a good musical comedy. At least it would be more believable than “Cats.” My theory? “Cats” was dreamed up during “quality creative time” while on morphine.
  27. Doctors are finding more Prinzmetal patients these days. Dang. I liked being unique.
  28. However, few Prinzmetal patients actually produce heart attacks from their vasospasms without other heart disease risks. Guess my over-achiever/perfectionistic tendencies apply to my insides, too. Probably need to work on that sometime, hunh?
  29. If you’re “tied to your hospital bed,” you go to bathroom by “committee.”
  30. I never liked committee meetings.
  31. I missed my treadmill. Yes, I missed my treadmill. Maybe I need to check into Bellevue next.
  32. Last time they put me on Demerol. This time they said I would become too addicted to Demerol. (So, you can get addicted with a 14 year absence of Demerol in your system???? That’s impressive. Must add this to my things to do as an over-achiever.)
  33. They injected morphine ad nauseam (literally) and then told me to get off the morphine because I might get addicted. This little “lecture” came 24 hours after the first injection. You can get addicted to morphine within 24 hours of the first injection? Yay—another way to be unique! And I have so much access to morphine living in small town suburbia. And my favorite way to entertain myself on the weekends is to stick needles into my veins.
  34. Does morphine come in Merlot flavor? If so, I’m sending a case to my new favorite doctor, along with a 6 month supply of needles I found at Wally World on sale. I think they were on sale because they were “reconditioned.”
  35. While attaining the master’s in counseling, we talked a lot about projection. See # 33. Dr. Freud would be so proud.
  36. I’m supposed to endure torturous pain without morphine or Demerol. But, Xanax is fine? They didn’t study the same textbooks I studied. Uh, Doc? Xanax comes in pill form, thus eliminating the inconvenient need for needles from Wally World. (It’s so inconvenient to run there when you’re in withdrawal.) I guess morphine/Demerol addicts never take pills too often.
  37. I think I’m beginning to understand why addiction is such a problem in the U.S.  And why counselors (who generally try to help addicts) so commonly abuse drugs.
  38. A heart attack will bring a couple together more than a marriage retreat. Unfortunately, they’re usually more expensive than a marriage retreat. I personally think the reason why heart attacks bring couples closer together is because heart monitoring electrodes look so alluring by candlelight. They complement the IVs  quite nicely.
  39. A heart attack is not enough for me. I like to throw in migraines, anaphylaxis, non-stop nausea and pericarditis just for grins. You know how I hate boring. My doctors and nurses were not amused.
  40. Want to clear your busy schedule for a while? Have a heart attack. BOOM! Schedule cleared. Even your demanding writing schedule lightens up.
  41. In a unit where you’re encouraged to rest, the nurses and patients are pretty deaf. At least that’s my conclusion after hearing them yell at each other. Either that or morphine and Xanax improve my hearing.
  42. To deal with # 41, ask the youngest to fill up your iPod with inspiring songs.
  43. The same child informed me, after heart attack # 3, that I have now had as many heart attacks as children. He said, “No more children, Mom.”
  44. After heart attack # 4, I started looking around for my 4th child. The daughter always wanted a little sister. #4 is my “favorite” since she never required diaper changes, potty training, “the talk”, adolescent tantrums or enormous college tuition bills. She has good skin like her mother.
  45. It really hurts when you fall out of your hospital bed after hearing the Newsboys lyric: “They Don’t Serve Breakfast in Hell.” What?! No IHOP in Hell???? Geez. I guess I really will have to believe in the Big Guy now. I don’t want to miss breakfast.
  46. The youngest apparently has the same twisted sense of humor as God.
  47. I am blessed to have the best prayer warriors on the planet in “my corner” to make sure I don’t miss breakfast—ever. No Merlot necessary.

Next Post: Lessons Learned from Recuperation…

You might also like: Lessons Learned from Committing a Neatness to my Laundry Room, Lessons Learned from a Routine Examination, Lessons Learned from My Dentist