Tuesday, late morning, walking my dog at the park.  Something doesn’t feel right.  I’m having a hard time breathing and for the last two nights I can barely get to sleep.  I feel like I can’t breathe fully.

There had been some local wildfires, so I was thinking I was just having trouble getting clean oxygen.  In reality, I was having congestive heart failure . . . again.

About halfway through the circuit around the park, I convinced myself I wasn’t going to make it all the way back around.  I coaxed Westin into cutting across the grass, and I was struggling to get my pretty fancy phone to dial my brother.  Paraphrasing, I told him to come get me so we can go to the hospital (in hindsight, yes, I should have just had an ambulance take me.  It happened anyway, when I was transferred to Overlake from the local regional hospital.)

I outlined all this in the past on my Facebook feed, but it bears repeating for this journal.  I had a period where I was feeling great after having SOME medical attention and meds.  But, I had a lapse in insurance because of income considerations and I took the unwise risk of putting off dealing with it until the next enrollment period.  All avoidable.  All stupid.

I spent 3 days in the hospital this time.  What liquid that had built up in my chest was medicated out of me and we took another close look at my then-diagnosed “mild” diabetes.  Turns out, not so mild.

I’m not sure how many wake-up calls you are allowed, but I have not spent the last year dwelling on that.  I got my insurance sorted, been diligent with meds (even though I had to REALLY shop to find the right insurance that would help pay for the meds I need) and even went so far as to start dealing with other health issues, like the poor condition of my teeth.

Today, I’m doing SO much better.  I learned my lesson.  If I want to be around for any more of this miracle called Life I can’t let things slide.  This month I have dramatically reduced my sugar intake and have started tracking my meals.  I have a digital scale on the way and plan on increasing my activity.  I can’t allow the fear of a weakened heart get in the way of trying to make it stronger.  And ALL of my doctors agree I’m making marked improvements.  I’m still on a ton of meds, but the keep me from having these kinds of self-imposed visits to the E.R.

Glad to still be here.  Glad you are all here to remind me how much I’m missed.