Archive for the ‘Heart’ Category

I’m very good at tying knots…at least tying myself in knots. I recently was revisited by my old friend chest pains. This time it was a bit more serious. I had been hiding a lot of stress and not having anything that could release it. My exercise was near zero, my meditation habits were poor,  I even had stopped listening to and enjoying music! Even those closest to me had noticed how stiff and rigid I had become.

Needless to say, my doctor was less then thrilled with me. Once again, I was reminded sternly that I was “a walking heart attack and if I don’t change I will be dead in six months!” I think that scared me more then the physical things.

I am now reminded that I need to take things less seriously. It was such an interesting 2012, with so many highs and lows, that I had forgotten what in between felt like. It seems like I have been living my life for the high and low moments. I need to find that proper balance and also do better about letting my stress go. Shouting if I need to, exercising more regularly, writing more often. Sometimes, it’s ok to be angry, it’s ok to be sad, it’s ok to be happy.

I wise friend and mentor used to tell me all the time, “Craig, don’t take things so fucking seriously”. This was usually said in times of great stress.  I need to return to that advice.


So when my life gets extremely crazy…as it is now…I always go back to my true love…music! I grew up getting a large part of comfort in tough situations from being able to escape in music. I have been fortunate enough to have been to numerous concerts featuring some of the greatest acts in music history. I can remember spending hours in front of my grandma’s stereo listening to “The Beatles”. Or having my uncle Jan introduce me to the album “Tommy”. Watching “The Smothers Brothers” or Johnny Cash on TV. Along with Sports, it was always music that was my salvation. I think in the last few days, I have really discovered how much.

Life is constantly a struggle. It seems like now I am at a crossroads…trying to make decisions that I have been putting off for awhile. I know that things will be ok. Whatever happens in the next few weeks, will be but the beginning of a new chapter…a new chance to grow.

Wow the weekend went fast! Here it is Monday morning again. Another opportunity for growth…to learn…to enjoy. It seems I have been trapped in a funk lately…just fatigue that no amount of sleep…if I was getting any…would cure. I am going to try lots of different things this week to try to cure that. It’s really time for me to start really enjoying things again.

I really appreciate those people in my life that have helped so much over the past few weeks. From simple words of encouragement to much more. It always seems that no matter how low I get, someone is always there to let me know different…to let me know they care. I really appreciate all of my friends around me…and have gained such a great love for those friends who are out of state…from coast to coast and even overseas. I fills my heart with such joy when I hear from people who read my silly shit and actually enjoy it.

I hope that someday I can repay all of your kindness. You really do make me want to be a better person…you inspire me. I love hearing about you life and am honored that you care about mine. I look forward to building on that friendship and making it grow.

So it’s been two weeks on the health plan and so far there has been some great improvement. My blood glucose runs between 70 and 125. My cholesterol is better. I have lost 10 pounds. And I feel like I am getting in better shape due to the exercise. One small problem…I definitely haven’t been getting enough sleep. For some reason I just can’t seem to shut my mind down at night to get the sleep I need. And, when I finally get to sleep, it never seems to last very long! I wake up every hour or so…even on the days when I don’t have to be to work until later. It is getting frustrating. I have tried exercise before bed, meditation, reading, and even milk! A member of my health team has given me some things to try, so I hope that it helps…I am tired!

It’s amazing what the mind can do to us…both good and bad. It can help us overcome almost anything and can also hold us back. I really try to be a positive person, but sometimes I just can’t get out of the darkness of my own mind. It’s nothing serious at this point, but is a bit annoying!

If anyone has any suggestions…except drugs…for good sleep, I am open to ideas!

Have a great Tuesday!

Today is Good Friday…a day of death so we can be reborn. I really don’t consider myself to be particularly religious…more spiritual actually…but I can’t help but see the parallels in my own life. I have been struggling putting away my past…those life long struggles that have held me back. It is too easy to fall back on the safe…on the comfort zone. But is the comfort zone getting me what I want? NO…HELL NO!

I think we all tend to fall back on the safe…we won’t do what we want and we know is good because it carries the chance of pain. Anything worth having is worth a little pain and heartache. We need to turn our dreams to goals and take the steps to achieve them. Life is meant to be lived!

On this day…I am promising myself to let my past die…so I can be resurrected into a better me.

Change is hard…we all know that. I am trying to change a lifetime of bad behaviors. Growing up, my family was always busy. My parents had four kids in five years almost to the day. I remember times when Dad would be working long hours and Mom would work two jobs. During this time of year, we all would be at different baseball fields in our spare time. Needless to say, our eating habits weren’t the best. It really wasn’t my parent’s fault…It was what it was. I developed my love of burgers and fries early on. This was the time of the 19 cent hamburger at Dee’s…by Jr. High, I could eat five! Food became my comfort…the way to battle my inner demons.

Even today…it seems that when I’m the most stressed…the most overwhelmed…the most lonely…I seek comfort in bad eating. Fast Food, Soda, Cookies, BBQ Potato Chips…these are my major weakness. I can truthfully say…none of these are with me today…but that doesn’t mean I won’t seek them out. I work at a job where it becomes difficult to eat healthy…it take planning and dedication…things I struggle with at times.

I know I have a long road ahead. I know that I need to find other outlets for my demons. The weight will fall and the health will improve. I know my life depends on it. I know people care about me. The challenge will be caring enough about myself to make the changes.

Today is a good day…amazing what getting sleep will do for you! I am feeling really good for the first time in a long time. I am embracing the changes in my life, diet, and attitude. The first craving seems to have gone away….no more soda! My weight is down a bit…8 lbs in the last week. I know that I will lose a lot quickly…it’s those last 15 lbs that will be the toughest…so I am excited but knowing that diet alone will only do so much! I just got back from a brisk walk before the morning sun…it’s amazing how peaceful it is out. The weather is brisk…but tolerable.

I am so lucky to have such wonderful people in my life that are very good at talking me off the ledge. Diabetes is a cruel disease…not outward signs of distress. What it does do is really mess with your moods. When I was first diagnosed, I experience lots of severe mood swings as the drugs helped get the blood glucose under control. So far…I haven’t had that much of an issue…the only real battle is mild depression and anxiety. But those that know me, know I am too much of an upbeat person to use any type of mood changing drugs. I like to feel…I like to experience…and I love sharing those feelings and experiences here!

Have a wonderful Tuesday!

It is nearly 3 am…I am wide awake. I can’t seem to turn my brain off enough to be able to grab those precious few hours of sleep. Because of my health issues…it has been 11 days since I went to work. I don’t quite know what to expect. Like most things…I am over-thinking it. It’s just work.

Sleep eludes me…

What an interesting seven days. I went from just going to the doctor…to seeing a cardiologist and getting a stress test…to being in the hospital getting a coronary angiogram! I have seen my blood glucose level go from a low of 89 to a high of 238! Today alone the range was 89 to 171. I have gone from being so light headed that I couldn’t get out of bed to being able to exercise for 30 minutes at a time. I have seen my heart rate go from 166 to 52 in a 24 hour period. I feel like a yo-yo.

Sleep eludes me…

I’m angry. I’m down. I’m isolating myself…I feel it…some times those feelings of low self-esteem are overpowering! I’m trying to stay positive…I am focusing on the good…but I just can’t get these nagging feelings out of my head. It seems like doors are closing around me and I can’t keep my foot in them enough…I can’t let go. But I must…

Sleep eludes me…

I have four hours before I need to get up…the coffeemaker is ready to go…the oatmeal will be easy…the clothes are clean and ready for me…all that is missing is sleep. I need to meditate…need to find my safe place, as the nurse in the hospital called it as she shoved a catheter in my arm. I need to grab whatever I can to hang on to what little is left of my sanity.

Sleep eludes me…

So…day two of my “new” life. Yesterday, I really got some great exercise. My chest is still really sore, and still feeling a bit light-headed. My blood glucose level ranged from 89 to 122, which is a lot better than the 238 that it was reading a week ago. I ate right…in the right amounts…and at the right time. And I was very productive in writing and setting up a page for my blog on Facebook. All in all a great day.

Now comes the hard part…consistency. Even with the positive reinforcement from the day before, I find myself starting the food cravings…seeking that comfort food to make a little stress and loneliness go away. For breakfast…I want eggs and bacon, instead of the oatmeal that I should have. I went for a little walk…but let the cold weather get to me and I cut it short! I feel that the old habits are weighing me down and holding me back. The motivation and rebirth that I felt yesterday seems to be hiding. Time to focus!

Each day we all must treat as a wonderful chance for change and growth. We have to shake off those demons that hold us back from being a better person. It’s not just with our health…but also in the way others view us and how we view them. As a society…we have become so polarized…so much hate. I challenge everyone to listen without judgement, act without malice, love unconditionally. Why spread negativity when you can spread joy. Why spread lies and hate, when you can spread love! Be the better person.

So…I have been given a new beginning…again. This time…I really have to make it work. It’s time to be a better me! I’m sure lots of you will agree that there is plenty of room for improvement! I know the road will be difficult…I am trying to change a lifetime of bad habits…but I think with the help of my friends and family…and with faith…I can do it!

I am setting some pretty lofty goals for myself…personally, professionally, romantically, and spiritually. I will keep these inside for now, but as I check one off the list…you can count on me celebrating on here. The hardest thing will be to change the eating habits and getting more exercise. I know you can’t tell from looking at me now…but at one time I was a pretty decent athlete. I have to get back to that before the pain in my chest gets any worse.

I think another tough thing will be just my own mind. I know that for many of us we are our own worse enemy. I do struggle at times with becoming depressed about a few things. I think the exercise will help there as well. Also getting back to some meditation will help as well.

I hope everyone has a wonderful day. I look forward to hearing from you all.