TORTILLAFLATS
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With Tears in my Eyes and a smile on my Face, I write this Blog

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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Today is a red letter day for me, I am grinning from ear to ear but I also have tears in my eyes as I think about my victory today and the journey I have traveled the past 4 years. To some of my Sparkfriends this is old news but to most of you it will be all new. It all began 4a little over 4 years ago when I thought I had came down with a cold, I fought it for about a week with it getting worse but then it would go away and then hit harder. emoticon It must be pleurisy I kept telling myself but finally after a week I told my hubby at 1AM on Memorial Day to take me to emergency. I was taken right in and the Doctor agreed with me. He ran an EKG, that took a chest exray, and blood work and then he came back. "You are going into surgery he said right now" I had had a massive heart attack and was very lucky to be alive. Now I knew it wasn't luck, God had been watching out for me! It was a cardiologist that was checking me out. He just happened to be there and the ER was empty. That was a miracle all by itself!!! emoticon
After surgery he told me I would never be the same again. Too much damage to my heart by not coming in right away. He couldn't believe how I was still alive. After a 2 week stay I came home and couldn't walk more than a few feet without resting. I put on weight that I had worked so hard taking off with WW, almost 50 pounds. emoticon emoticon And I stopped driving because my eyes kept hemorraging.
Then I found Spark! emoticon and I started following the plan and losing some weight. I joined some teams and one in particular, Chair Exercise Team. I liked their challenges filled with exercises and the leader Emmabe1 kept giving encouragement. She had a virtual challenge in the Rockies. I signed up for it and started the first day. I walked my deck getting my steps in and did it without my emoticon sitting after every 100 steps to rest a few minutes. Day 2 we added more steps and then day 3, I came down with what I thought was the flu. That was a Tuesday I think. By Thursday I collapsed on the floor to weak to get up and my hubby called 911. That was Sept 8th 2011. I was very sick and by that night I was on life support. I had an infection raging and it shut down my whole system. I heard that my family was all there and that my daughter and her hubby didn't leave my side for 9 days until I came out of it. I finally got better and got to come home after insisting I could do it and would be able to get up the stairs by myself. After all, it is only 14 stairs. I did 7, collapsed just inside the door and there was no way, no how I could lift my butt back up! emoticon I tried, my hubby tried , we called my son and they tried but I was so afraid that they would hurt themselves trying to lift this tank......We finally called the Fire Dept. They came and got me to the bed. Well, each day I would use the walker and go into the living room. Then I would add a second trip to the bathroom trying to get some strength back. Every time I passed those stairs I panicked! Finally in Dec. I was strong enough to start working on the stairs. First day 1 stair, next day another until I went down and back up the seven in the house.
emoticon emoticon emoticon was here and so my first outing was to my DD s home. She fixed us a bedroom where we could enjoy the festives and I could rest. We spent the night and enjoyed the family. On Dec. 28 2011 I was in so much pain in my feet. We found a red circle about the size of a half dollar beside my ankle. So off to ER yet again. They said I had an infection and wanted me to stay for 24 hrs on antibiotics. 5 days later they found a needle that was in my foot causing the infection. I had surgery to remove it and on the 6th was transported to a Nursing Home. While there I picked up C- Diff, emoticon emoticon What else could go wrong? Finally on January 28th of 2012 I got to come home . I still had a full blown case of C-Diff. I was not allowed to walk on my foot or even stand. No baths and I couldn't get down the stairs for a shower. Again I was trapped to this house unable to go and so weak. I had to use a wheelchair transport to go for Dr. appointments and May is fast approaching. And in May, I finally got the C- Diff out of my body and my dear sweet hubby earned his angel wings for putting up with me through all of this. I know how hard it was on him. He was now my care taker because I couldn't do anything by myself without his help! Bless him.
This brings me back to Chair Exercise Team. I can not thank them enough. I have been doing exercises the best I can. At first only 2 or 3 minutes at a time, then 5 and now sometimes ten minutes and then a break but I am doing 90 minutes a day.

You must emoticon yourself. I have seen my weight drop and then go back up because of water, meds,etc and then I lose, Then I gain. It has been a real battle but you must choose to KEEP GOING! No matter what! Life is really worth it. You see, today is a Red Letter Day for me. A true emoticon I have not been on my walker today. I went out shopping on my own and drove my car for the first time in over a year.

emoticon all of us. YES, it's hard, YES, their are many days you feel defeated, But we never give up!!! If something is not working after truly trying, then try something else. Life is full of little gifts at every corner. Reach out and take them, and while you are taking, don't forget to give out of your heart too.

Now I want to give my Over 60 with + Pounds to Lose great big emoticon and a emoticon for all their love, care and support. I did the hard work and will continue, but they gave the support and motivation. By the way, I way 70 pounds less than I did when I joined Spark and started this journey

Love to all and thank you for reading my heart felt Blog! And remember emoticon
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • PATKEEF1
    Hi Gail, just read your biog and boy can I relate. About 5 yrs ago, I almost died myself. We always take better care of others than we do ourselves. My son was very ill and I was his caregiver. I didn't realise how much stress I was under until I started sleeping 10, 12. 14 hrs. without moving. It seams that I was slowly bleeding to death and when the EMT 's took me ER did I know this. They checked me in and gave me 4 units of blood. I had no streath for anything and to start back slowly. We can't always do things all by ourselves and the best gift we can give others that we care about, is to first take care of ourselves. I lost the use of my legs last year and was totally dependant on others to help me. It was only with the help of a loving. Caring caregiver that I am walking again. My last one could care less. and would leave me alone for hours. You are so lucky to have the support of a loving mate to help you. So know that you are not alone and we are here to hold each other up on our journey back to good health. It so much easier when you walk beside someone else. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1958 days ago
  • CTUPTON
    Gail, You had lots of sparkers praying for you! And we will continue to pray. Thank you for sharing your saga. Now you have to take good care of yourself and stay healthy! Chris
    2114 days ago
  • 1BEACHWALKER
    Sorry to see you have been through so much, but very inspiring to see you rose above it all! Gives us all hope! Such a positive outlook on life and that will help you keep going! Plus, being on this fantastic website is a big help to all of us! Thanks for stopping by my blog a couple weeks ago...I am catching up to all who did. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2130 days ago
  • SANDYW1945
    Just came back and read this great blog. Hugs to you..and get well.

    Love
    Sandy emoticon
    2132 days ago
  • MAMA_CD
    I'm glad that you are here to share your experience with us. You are a trooper, a real success story. emoticon
    2149 days ago
  • THESLIMMERME1
    emoticon on your successes to date - emoticon emoticon emoticon by emoticon
    You have great strength - emoticon thank you for sharing.
    emoticon
    2151 days ago
  • DAWNDMOORE40
    emoticon for sharing your life changing story with us! It is great that you never gave up on believing in yourself! God has a way of waking us up even when we don't want him to! I am glad that God woke you up before it was too late! Keep reminding yourself of all that you have accomplished and keep up the great work! God bless you! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2152 days ago
  • GRANNYQUINN
    Sorry it took me so long to get to your blog -that studying !! What an amazing story. God is always watching over you. You are doing so well! I know how hard it is to walk after an injury and I give you so much credit for pushing. That C-diff , is easy to P/U , but , really stinks when you do ! Hugs K
    2153 days ago
  • ZACEVETOB
    emoticon emoticon
    2153 days ago
  • WALKINGWOMAN07
    You have been throught a lot - but persisted! You are an inspiration. I have recently been diagnosed with heart issues myself (quite different ones from yours),caught early in my case, but still there. Your blog is a reminder to me that no matter what, to persist. Thank you,
    2153 days ago
  • MANILUS
    Sorry to hear you have been through a lot but you are a strong lady! Happy to hear you have such a positive outlook and lost that 70 lbs. Wonderful that your husband was there for u!
    2153 days ago
  • RSPAPRIL281
    Wow what an amazing story, you are such an inspiration. whenever I feel down or like giving up I will remember your story. thank you for sharing it.
    2154 days ago
  • ELOQUENTZ
    What a story. Keep trucking on, girl.
    2154 days ago
  • DANMAR1
    I wish I could reach out and give you a hug!! No wonder you have such an understanding spirit. Bless your heart. Thank you for sharing your story it is a treasure to put in our hearts to remember do not give up. emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2154 days ago
  • KAREN2LOSE55
    I just now read this blog. What a miracle you are! You have gone through so much and now it's like your mission is to encourage and uplift us all! May the rest of your life be a blessing to you! Love and hugs to you, Karen
    2154 days ago
  • DOTTY7267
    Thank you so much for sharing your journey.
    2154 days ago
  • NELLBELLA26
    It never ceases to amaze me how strong and resilient people can be. You are a true inspiration. I wish you health going forward as it seems you've had your share of illness and adversity.
    Thank you for sharing this with us. I will continue to be grateful to my spark friends for reminding me to emoticon .

    emoticon emoticon
    2154 days ago
  • CAYCESMOM
    You are an amazing person! I am so glad I read your blog. I wish you continued success on your journey. emoticon
    2154 days ago
  • FALLNTENN
    Congratulations. Your story is an inspiration to all of us. emoticon
    2154 days ago
  • REGILIEH
    INSPIRING!!!!!! That is you!!!!! You are a gift to all!
    2155 days ago
  • no profile photo SEASHOREDANCER
    You just kept picking yourself up and trying again. This is such a timely message for me right now. Thanks.
    2155 days ago
  • THETROUT
    Wow! Thanks for the encouragement.
    2155 days ago
  • no profile photo EMILYDOODLE
    That is such amazing story! Such inspiration to everyone.

    emoticon emoticon
    2155 days ago
  • CHERIONE
    So glad you're getting stronger! Thanks for posting, you are a wonderful inspiration! (((hugs)))
    2155 days ago
  • SAMI199
    I often talk about the amazing people here -and you are certainly one of the best. The strenght & courage you have are beyond belief. Congratulations on your milestone! Thank you so much for giving hope to so many.



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    2155 days ago
  • JAGRIF
    You are amazing.
    2156 days ago
  • THEIS58
    So inspired by you - keep at it!!
    2156 days ago
  • TRYINGHARD54
    wow! great story. Your a very strong person.. emoticon
    2156 days ago
  • JAMER123
    What beautiful strength you have! god has been with you for the entire walk, picking you up when you could no longer make it on your own! i totally admire you and your strength. You are an inspiration to us all and I can tell you have a wonderful heart!!
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    2156 days ago
  • no profile photo ANJAYS-JOURNEY
    Awesome and amazing what great inspiration, that is why I enjoy sparks, we all keep each other going, keep on rocking, you are such an encouragement!!!
    2158 days ago
  • 60NLOVINIT2
    okay i am still in my learning process... just figured out how to comment on blog... first i am glad that you repeated this background for us new-bees.... it really helps us to know and understand our friends on here... what you experienced on the steps.... well i fear that something similar to that with my boyfriend.. he is over 600 and has difficulty getting up from chairs and can barely walk... any progress is a great accomplishment...
    2158 days ago
  • SUSAN134
    You are an inspiration to all of us! Thank you so much for sharing your story, so that those of us that did not know it, could be motivated and inspired by your words.
    God bless!
    2158 days ago
  • MILLYMOUSE1
    Way to Go Gail, I said you were my Mover and Groover A true champion for never giving up. There is only one way to go now and it is UP, UP and UP

    I hope others read your blog and take a leaf out of your book

    I will get the pompoms emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2158 days ago
  • EMMABE1
    emoticon
    Well done Gail - now I suppose you want another trek challenge - maybe one in your honour - soon!! Where shall we go?? USA or Australia??
    Meanwhile I will stand there with my pompoms as I have been for the last ????
    They don't have pompoms in the emoticons - I'm disappointed - I thought all Americans had pompoms!! LOL!!
    Well done Gail - now lets work towards the next goal!! emoticon
    Sorry Gail - Sandra found you pompoms!!
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    2158 days ago

    Comment edited on: 8/24/2012 12:29:02 AM
  • TXMEMAW6
    Gail, what an inspiration you are to so many of us!! Thank you for reminding us of all you've been through and overcome in your struggle to get healthy again. You make me realize there is nothing I can't do if I but keep on keeping on. Thanks again!!
    Hugz,
    Sharon

    2158 days ago
  • SPEEDY143
    Gail dear... my heart rejoices with yours and all your family and friends on this blue ribbon day emoticon

    I was very aware of your struggles and must admit that I used your inability to exercise as my motivation to start walking over a year ago. My mantra was Gail can not do this so I am doing it for her... I prayed for you as I walked to keep me going... so your trials became my triumphs and for that I thank you my sweet Sparked friend emoticon

    You have worked very hard to gain your health back and 70 pounds lost is emoticon emoticon emoticon Today is just the beginning of a new adventure and you deserve to enjoy every moment emoticon emoticon Spark On emoticon May God continue to bless you both emoticon

    With love, Linda emoticon
    2158 days ago
  • REACHING4HOME
    I AM SO PROUD OF YOU THAT I AM TEARING UP JUST READING THIS. WE HAVE BEEN THROUGH SO MANY OF THE SAME THINGS! I HAVE THE HEART THING AND THE CONSTANT INFECTIONS THING AND GET SO DISCOURAGED AT TIMES. I STILL HAVE TO USE MY WALKER ALL THE TIME. BUT MY DISEASE IS PROGRESSIVE AND IT WILL PUT ME BACK IN THAT WHEELCHAIR ONE DAY. I TRIED THAT CHAIR EXERCISE TEAM AND REALLY LIKED THE PEOPLE ON IT, BUT ONE OF THE LEADERS GOT VERY SNOTTY WITH ME AND I LEFT THE TEAM. I WOULD NEVER DIS-RESPECT ANYONE BUT SHE SURE ACCUSED ME OF IT AND I DIDN'T LIKE THAT. SO I WORK OUT, DO MY THING (SUCH AS IT IS) AND I WILL CONTINUE TO DO SO. GOOD FOR YOU. YOU ROCK MY FRIEND!
    ERIN
    2158 days ago
  • QTEALADY20031
    Gail, what an amazing story and look what you have overcome. All anyone has to do is read your blog and they will know to keep pushing and that it can be done. YOU are a miracle and congrats on losing the 70 lbs.......you are an inspiration to me and so many other members. Thank you so much for sharing your story. emoticon emoticon emoticon June
    2159 days ago
  • EWL978
    Your story is spell-binding and makes me ready to get out there and fight those demons that hold me back!! Thank you for what you wrote and please know that you are a role model for anyone who ever thought that "it's impossible" (like me) emoticon
    2159 days ago
  • BIBS4664
    I can relate to much of what you say Gail. Blessings on your journey.
    Mary emoticon
    2159 days ago
  • TWINSFITBY40
    Wow, you are so brave and such a warrior. Your husband is definitely and angel in disguise. Your story is very inspirational and I am so glad to hear all that you have overcome. Blessings to you and yours and continued success. God bless, Maria emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2159 days ago
  • CAMBY_NAPSTER
    emoticon you are an angel is disguise
    2159 days ago
  • MARILYNS70
    Thanks so much for sharing - amazing

    I will continue to pray for you and will look forward to reading updates on how you are doing
    2159 days ago
  • GRNDMOM43
    emoticon for sharing your story with us. I am a late comer to the team and was not aware of all that you had been through. You are emoticon Congrats on all that you have accomplished my friend. You have Done it and now I know that I can follow in your footsteps when the going gets tough. emoticon
    2159 days ago
  • TUBLADY
    Gail, I have teas in my eyes just reading what you and your family have been through.
    I knew you had been very sick, but to that extent, I had no idea.
    You are a miracle women.
    You are courageous and a real fighter.
    Anything I have been through pales in comparison.
    What a wonderful day . to be mobile and on your own again.
    You have my admiration for all you have over come.
    God is definitely on your side.
    Love, Tisha emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2159 days ago
  • TLSTERLING01
    Thank you so much for sharing this. I had to share it at work because I kept being asked why I had tears in my eyes, hope you don't mind. emoticon

    There are truley many blessings and I think I can speak for most, you are a blessing yourself for many of us I'm sure. emoticon

    emoticon
    2159 days ago
  • DARLENECASEY
    Thank you Gail for sharing your story, it makes my problem seem like nothing. Like everyone in the over 60 team, we are blessed to have you in the team. Thank You for just being you
    Hugs
    Darlene
    2159 days ago
  • MASTERPIECE8
    I just love you, Gail! emoticon

    I'm so happy for you. I'm so proud of you. I'm so inspired by you and want you to know that it is truly an honor to be your friend and teammate. Wow!

    I thank you for sharing your story. I thank you for encouraging me and everyone else to keep sticking with it. To remember our 'Never Quit Pledge.'

    I won't give up. Also, you are so right my friend - it was more than coincidence and chance. It's you, love of your family and right there in front of and behind - God and your deep faith. Thank you.

    Barb
    2159 days ago
  • WADINGMOOSE
    Thank you so much for sharing your story. emoticon and emoticon

    emoticon
    2159 days ago
  • DIM92974
    emoticon thank you for sharing this beautiful and inspirational story...today is a red letter day because i read this!!!
    emoticon
    2159 days ago
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    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.