The 30×30 Challenge

Why I took the challenge

For weeks I have been feeling rather down about something that I had been dealing with, it was on my mind quite a bit and it was waking me up in the middle of the night and I couldn’t go back to sleep.  After a few days of this, my husband, tired of seeing my grumpy face suggested that we go out  for a walk in Stanley Park.  It was raining pretty hard this day and my first inclination was to dig in, stay on the couch and continue to feel miserable while I tried to sort out the issues in my mind.  I reluctantly got into my gear, put on my shoes and we headed out, I was in serious pout mode and I would have rather have been going for a root canal.

 

We walked in silence for the first few blocks, I just wanted to go back home but as my body warmed up I began to realize that it felt good to be outside even if I was getting soaked.  We entered the park by Lost Lagoon, we wanted to see if there were any ducklings swimming around yet, still too early.  We headed up Tatlow trail and the minute I stepped into the trees I felt my anxiety start to subside and my mood begin to lift, I took a few deep breaths, deep into my lungs and stood there totally mindfully soaking in the beauty of nature, I had a overwhelming feeling of well being at that moment, it was a reminder to me of the healing power of being outside.  I returned from the 8 km walk tired but with a clear mind and I was happy that I had gone.

 

A few days later I saw the information for The David Suzuki 30×30 Challenge and decided that it was something I needed to put a honest effort into doing because I was reminded about what it could do for me.   Studies have shown that getting out into nature can lower blood pressure, anxiety and stress levels, and boost immunity. ‘Green time’ has also been shown to reduce feelings of anger and depression, while increasing energy, creativity and even generosity. At the very least, I will get some exercise.

 

So, please come and join me in my quest for zen, 30 minutes a day, what have you got to loose?

 

http://30×30.davidsuzuki.org/

 

 

It’s been a long time…..

It’s been a really long time since I sat down to write this blog, it’s been on my mind more and more lately to get back with it, even if to help my process along the way. It was my intention that I was going to write “as it happened” updates but it’s been so long that the finer details are long gone from my memory, many of them thankfully so and I will explain.

My last blog entry was about the very first shock from my ICD, it happened on May 3 of 2012 and although it was a traumatic event in itself, it was just the beginning of what was to come. Little did I know that from that date in May until March of 2013 I would be shocked 28 times, all legitimate and on one of those days, it would happen 11 times in a 4 hour period. The shocks only came in the morning and when I was a rest, I became so paranoid about the shocks that I watched the clock til noon then I felt safe. On more than one occasion I was sure I was going to die, I became a psychological mess, fear and anxiety were all that I knew during that time, I was afraid to be still, I was afraid to move around, I was afraid to go outside, I was afraid to go to sleep and I was afraid to be alone, it was a horrible time.

All of this became routine, I would have a shock, go to the hospital by ambulance where I would end up being admitted to CCU, the doctors would change my medication I would stabilize and be released to go home. I was all too familiar with the nursing staff, interns, and doctors and sometimes it would be a quick turn around, I would be discharged on a Saturday and end up being admitted again on Sunday because of a shock. Many of the medications they were prescribing were old school and generally not prescribed any longer, many were not even in production and were on a world wide shortage list, many of them made me feel like I had a nest of hornets living in my head, they were generally the drugs that did not work long term. I always left with a new prescription and often after discharge I would head to the pharmacy close to home to fill the prescription only to find it wasn’t in stock and had to be special ordered in for the next day when my next dose was only hours away. It was a very educational time in many ways.

During that 10 months things were upside down, my husband had quit work to take care of me after the cardiac arrest but this was a new kind of chaotic, we never knew when the next shock would come.  He would travel back and forth everyday and spend hours at my bedside much of the time I was hardwired to the monitor and unable to do more than walk around my small room so it was pretty boring for both of us. He would bring me tasty food from home, we  would watch DVDs on the laptop, many days were spent watching episodes of 30 Rock, Community, or The Simpson’s we tried to laugh as much as we could. When it came time to leave he always felt so guilty and as much as I hated to see him go, I understood, he needed to take care of himself in order to be able to take care of me. All of this was taking it’s toll on him as well, he watched me die many times, it seemed like it would never end.  It was hard being apart and as soon as he got home we would text until it was time to go to sleep at least I had something to look forward to every day. We had to cope the best we could and just like the saying goes…what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger…I’m still alive and we are both much stronger for what we have been through.