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Hendersonville, United States

Thursday, July 30, 2009

2 Years...

...this morning at roughly 1:30 am marked the 2 year mark of my life changing forever. Josh went into Cardiac Arrest on July 30th, 2007 and point in time that I will never forget. July, as I have mentioned before, is an emotional month for me. I try so hard to keep it all together for myself, Josh, and mostly Maggie...but the truth is...it is HARD. I spent today thinking about the last two years and how much my life has changed.

I remember last year when it had been a year out...I remember thinking about how we were so lucky that Josh had made it a year out and was feeling better than he had in a long time...I remember thinking how grateful we both were that Maggie was as awesome as she was...I remember thinking that life was a blessing beyond belief.

This year has been totally different in many ways. I spent today waking up to my husband laying next to me ready to start a new day. I often sleep touching him...which doesn't sound like much, but in a huge California king bed, I have to stretch. Last night I slept with my hand on his heart. I couldn't help it. It was not like it was any different than any other night that he goes to sleep, but I needed to do that for me. It was a hard night. Mr. Dick that lives at the top of the neighborhood drives a huge dualie truck that is so loud. He was the first responder that came to help when Josh got sick. I believe I heard him everytime he went up and down the road last night. That was hard. I went to go get a haircut with Josh and "my face waxed off" as I loving refer to getting my eyes waxed and this was when Maggie went up to Josh and proclaimed that he looked "pretty" after his haircut. I went to Macy's at Rivergate and was an American Heart Association volunteer for the Go Red for Women campaign.

I was lucky enough to be chosen to be a Nashville spokeswoman for the Go Red campaign and nothing could thrill my soul more. I am still in the very beginning stages of understanding what I am doing, but I know why I am doing it...so that makes it worth the while. It was an amazing day. Between myself and four other volunteers, we signed up over 60 women for the campaign in only 2 hours. I LOVED that I was surrounded by heart survivors today. It seemed ironic, yet fitting. One lady that I spoke to buried her husband of 40 years from heart disease 10 years ago. It was an amazing story. It brought tears to my eyes. And then she looked at me and said...so, what's your story. So, I told her. A total stranger. She was so touched. She had tears in her eyes and we hugged and I said that I was so glad that she was signing up for the campaign as it promotes heart health for women. She said..."Honey, I have to live each day to honor my husband. We didn't get to finish this life together so I have to make sure that I am making a difference while I can." SERIOUSLY! I was blown away. Her name was Margie. I loved her. We rubbed elbows and hugged and laughed and bonded. We had nothing in common...so I thought. I just wanted her to sign up for the campaign, she just wanted the free ice cream. I believe that we both left with a changed state of mind.

I am so thankful for today. For the feelings and emotions that always come with today. For my JuJu calling and saying...now today is the day right...so sweet, I know she didn't want to ask. I am thankful for my husband. I am thankful that we do go to dr. appts. and feel like we are on date days. I am thankful that we have each other. I would be lying if I said that I didn't miss the "old" Josh sometimes. I would be lying if I didn't say that sometimes I just want to have an Alie pitty party and invite no one. I would be lying if I haven't asked the Lord...why? I would be lying if I said that I wish all that has happened to our family had never happened and we could just be a "normal" family with normal health issues. I would just be lying. And you know what...the Lord doesn't like liars.

What I want to say to others is this...

...I miss the "old" Josh. I miss the Josh that doesn't have a counter full of prescription drugs that cause him to be in bad moods, yell alot, and shut down emotionally 99.9% of the time.

...I want to not go to bed every night scared to death that either my husband or my daughter could possibly get sick. It often freaks me out that Dexter is the healthiest one of the bunch!

...I want to be celebrating my 6 year of marriage on Sunday without saying I am SO glad Josh is still here. Who has to worry about that at 27 years of age.

...I want to STOP thinking about what happened at certain times and on certain days. I want to know that what I am feeling is okay. My therapist says it is...

...I want to STOP thinking about the time that Mom, Dad, and Brea drove me to the hospital and I was preparing myself for what life would be like without my husband. I want to stop hearing Brea say...Alie, you need to talk to him...He knows your here. (this was when he was on the breathing machine in the ER). I want to STOP hearing people say you know he is going to be okay. I want to STOP thinking about those terrible blue recliners in the ICU waiting room where poor Maggie thought she lived. I want to STOP thinking about seeing him right after his DeFib was placed and knowing that our life was going to be totally different. I want to STOP thinking about the EMS team shocking him in our bedroom on our floor at our house 3 times and shoving me out of the way from doing the CPR so it could shock. I want to STOP thinking about the time that Dad took Maggie in to see Josh right after he got transferred to a regular room at Hendersonville and him thinking it was the first time he was seeing her.

But...the reality is...I CAN'T. So what do I do.

I have to recognize that this is part of my life now and whether I love it or not, I have to respect it and give the glory to God for being alive to have these feelings.
I lean on my awesome family that loves me and my family unconditionally, even if it is hard at times.
I lean on my best friends that surround me and lift me up when I am at my weakest.
I lean on Maggie for her strength and love for life.

Most of all, I lean on God. He is why my day is worth living. It could always be worse and I am so thankful that it is not. I just think that God loves us the most when we are real with ourselves. You are of no help to others in your life, without helping yourself first.

Two years...these two years do not limit me or define who I am. They only make me stronger.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Maggie Moo Turned Two...

...in a big way. Maggie's big day was actually Friday, the 24th. Josh and I just ran some errands and he had a photo shoot that evening. I had been suffering from a Migraine since Tuesday and had to get a shot to get back to somewhat of a normal in time for Maggie big bash on Saturday.

We decided to do a morning party for lots of reasons. Maggie is her best in the morning. She always plays hard in the morning and sleeps after lunch. We didn't want to do a huge meal or even cake so we did the next best thing, Krispy Kreme donuts. Who doesn't love donuts? It was perfect. We bought a ton of donuts, had a spread of fresh fruits, and chocolate milk. It was perfect. All the kiddos loved it and it wasn't a huge ordeal, which I loved.

Of course, I had to purchase some fresh beautiful sunflowers to decorate with and some funky Martha Stewart star things, but other than that, we just sat back and enjoyed those that came.
Maggie loved her birthday. She totally understood what was going on and when asked she would answer - I'm TWO!!! (and hold up 5 fingers) - our little genius!

Many family members and friends that we love like family filled our house with lots of love, laughter, and joy. That is what I always want Maggie to remember about her birthday's...not the gifts she received, etc. She did love opening presents so Christmas will for sure be a blast. I would open the card and read it to her...she was stop and then say YAY!!! and clap for my reading. After the card, she would open the package. She got some awesome stuff. Kerri Jo and Kaitlin and Baby Boy Dillard got her the cutest cow bowling set. My mom and dad got her her first pair of Toms...they are adorable. She also got some yummy PJ's from JuJu and Poppy Ernie! Grammy and Poppy got her an adorable Dressy Bessy that she has already played with so much one of the buttons fell off! Aunt Patti and Uncle Cutie-Putie-in-his-plaid-shorts Ronnie got her some sweet Princess Crocs. They are precious. Brea and J and crew contributed money towards Maggie's new swingset, which was awesome. Gram and Papa Sam also sent some money. They had other plans already, but wanted to send their love. So sweet! Rachel and Owen got her some coloring items that are the bomb.com. She loves them and they don't color all over our walls!! YAY!!!

The West family got her a super sweet embroidered Maggie beach towel that has such fun striped colors and some sweet books perfect for the car. Grandma Norma and Papa got her a sweet book all about nursery rhymes. Lyndsey couldn't be here because she is still at Camp, but she was sooo thoughtful she sent her an adorable elephant shirt from the Elephant Sanctuary. Maggie loves elephants and that is a sweet little bond for them. It was super sweet. Overall, we had the best day with the best people.

It was so wonderful to look around the room and see people that have been in our lives and supported us through it all. I loved everyone in this house and I couldn't have asked for a better group of people to help fill the love in Maggie's heart. Enjoy the pics that daddy Josh captured from her special day.















Tuesday, July 14, 2009

So Much to Say...

...so here goes. Hang on to your bananas.

I want to start this post with some random thoughts I have had recently. They might not amount to much to others, but I wanted to share them regardless.

What drives me crazy...

When you go to see a Cardiologist and the waiting room smells like smoke. Seriously people. Your at the Cardiologist. If you have to smoke, take a 2 hour break and a bath and come smelling fresh and clean, not like a cigarette is on fire in your be hind. That just got all under my skin. I moved two times today in the waiting room at Vanderbilt because I felt like I was gonna go home and smell like I had been in a bar. I would have rather not smelled like a cancer stick.

When my Postmaster/Postman just doesn't pick up our outgoing mail because we don't have any incoming mail. You see we bought this house from my dear sister and our lovely brick mailbox doesn't have a flag so there is no way to know when we have outgoing mail or not. So, in my mind, I would think that the Postmaster would check everyday...not true! Not true indeed!

Okay, I am sure there is many more topics, but we will save those for another day.

We returned to Indiana this weekend to attend Josh's 10 Yr. Class Reunion. It was "interesting" and so fun to go back to his roots. I love his home town. Even though you have to drive across the country to go to Wal Mart, it still has a great warm town feel. I got to see some of his buddies that we haven't seen in about 6 yrs. so that was awesome.

We also went to the new indoor water park in French Lick on Sunday night. It was fun. It was overpriced, but fun. Maggie loves water, so it was great to see her slide over and over again.

Josh returned back to the Cardiologist today. Dr. Churchwell performed a Stress Test and Echo cardiogram on him. We went last week because Josh has had three episodes of tightness and discomfort, as well as his pacemaker portion of his defib going off twice now. We were ready to get to the bottom of why he is feeling the way he is and what we can expect in the future.

Dr. C confirmed that Josh's heart looks good. His pericardium looked as well as he could expect with all that he has been through. There was no fluid around the heart, which was awesome news. He did confirm that Josh has paracardistis again, which is an infection around the lining of his heart. He had this same condition when I delivered Maggie, and then shortly after went into Cardiac Arrest. He prescribed a steroid pack for the third time hoping to knock out the discomfort until we return to his Auto-Immune Dr. on the 23rd.

It was an emotional day for both of us. Of course, we never want Josh to feel sick or to not be 100%, but just the thought of him having Paracardistis again...heck, even just to hear the word, makes me shiver. I hate it! I hate that he is in pain. I hate that he has to deal with all of this. BUT, I am so thankful that he is ALIVE.

July is a super emotional month for me. I know that I will overcome it as I have before. I just try to be real with my emotions and continue to be who I am.