Friday, 28 March 2014

Ask Me Anything?!

I try really hard to respond to all my emails, Instagram comments, and Social Media questions. In fact hearing from you all generally makes my day. 

And I am still stunned that you all care enough about the goings-on in my little corner of world to read and contact me?!  So I try to respond to all my messages in a timely thoughtful fashion. 

But lately I have been getting lots of questions about everything from health, to blogging, to running, to eating, to clothes, to you name it! So I thought maybe creating this little forum would be the way to go, in case all of you guys wanna know this stuff. I figured I would try to a post like this a couple times a month (as long as you keep asking me question). So grab a cup coffee, put your feet up, and let's chat!!

Goodness knows I am generally an open book, so feel free to send me your thoughts and questions!

1. How did you get diagnosed with your heart condition?

So the reason I never really talk about the early part of my diagnosis is because it was over 10 years ago now. I am definitely kind of hazy on the details now, and it really feels like a lifetime ago now. 

I grew up in a small town, with a loving family, happy, active, and healthy. The summer before I started my senior year of high school, things started to change. I started to have dizzy spells at work. Nothing crazy, but they were happening more and more frequently. I would feel light-headed, maybe even a little woozy. It had happened enough times that it gave me pause, and I even felt the need to mention it to my worry-wart Mom. “You need to eat more” she said. “You are probably dehydrated” she suggested. It was hot, and maybe I wasn’t eating enough? That made sense. So off I went to work with extra snacks and bottle of Gatorade. 

But the solution wasn’t quite so simple. 

I left work the same way I left work every day, on that fateful Thursday. Expect this time I only made it around the corner. This time my dizzy spell progressed into a black out. And I woke up staring at the floor boards of my Dad’s Jeep. I sat up just before my jeep drove head on into a van driving in the opposite direction. On that day everything changed. I lost consciousness while driving home. My car crossed the center line. Both vehicles were totaled. And while both the other driver and myself were bruised and shaken, we were otherwise okay. But that was the day I knew that my dizzy spells were a lot more serious than a little low blood sugar, and I was scared. 

I had more doctor's appointments that year than I can count. With little to go on, we decided to just try to rule everything out. I was sent to the lab for blood work. I went to the cardiac unit for an EKG. And I went to the neurologist for a CT scan. My results came back all clear - except for that EKG. My lab report was marked with two little words - Long QT. It is hard to believe how quickly two little letters changed the course of my life.

2. What made you start writing your blog?

So I have thought a lot about this one. And the truth is I think I started writing for my younger 17 year old self.

When I was first diagnosed with my heart condition, and especially before my first surgery, I spent a lot of time scouring the Internet. I was in a dark place. I was scared. And I felt really alone. All my friends were worried about what they would wear to prom, which university they would go to, exams, etc. I was worried about all that too, but deep down I was wondering if I was ever going to get to live a normal healthy life again. I was looking for someone who going through the same thing. Someone to tell me that all my feelings were normal. And that even though things were hard - they would get better, and this darkness wouldn't define me.

I started writing thinking no one would read it, but maybe, just maybe someone who needed it would find it. That was my hope anyways. And it is one of the reason I have continued to write - good and bad - because some days are hard, sometimes life is hard, but you will get through it. 
3. Have you had any negative experiences while blogging?

So this is sure to land me on GOMI but the truth is - not really. 
My brief little battle with the National Post about the representation of BRCA and genetic treatment was really the only slightly negative experience I have had since I started writing my blog.
Otherwise it has just be a fun, positive, somewhat therapeutic experience for me.

Happy Friday Friends!
Until next time!
Love Your Favourite Darwinian Fail,