real life

my heart: part 1

These past few months have been pretty…hard for me. I guess you can say I was naive or perhaps grossly uninformed (maybe underinformed), but I had no idea that a day that started as a 4am wake up, a walk into an O.R. with an anesthesiologist named Erin and a few IVs for meds to ‘relax’ would end up in a 11 plus week mindfuck. I can’t really think of a better way to describe it.

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For those of you who don’t know, at the beginning of July I had open heart surgery to repair my pulmonary valve that decided it was tired of working. After all, it did hold out a pretty amazing 28 years, so can I really complain? I was born with a congenital birth defect called tetralogy of fallot (click on that to learn more about it). Basically that meant a lot of doctors visits for me as a kid where I would be doing so amazingly that everyone would be thrilled and we’d always talk about how “one day” I’d need another surgery.

I found out in March that I’d be needing another (my first was at 3 months old…awww) surgery and I pretty much thought it was like no thing. I don’t know, maybe I just didn’t want to deal with knowing that someone would saw my chest and cut my heart open. I mean, would you?

That day in July approached a lot quicker than I had thought and I can’t even remember if I cried when I had to leave my family to go into the O.R. We had waited two hours past my ‘surgical appointment’ time because a baby needed a heart transplant and my surgeon was busy. I was pretty hungry and thirsty and sick of sitting in a huge open room with lots of hospital beds. I do remember waking up and pretty much wishing I was dead. I was hot, I was still intubated (aka breathing tube down your throat) and in a lot of pain. I obviously couldn’t talk and I started freaking out because I a) couldn’t talk b) was in a lot of pain and c) was basically choking on the breathing tube. Finally I passed out. Basically the first 24 hours after my surgery are a blur filled with pain, pain and some more pain.

The next were basically the same. With the added bonus of some nausea. I didn’t eat a ton while I was in the hospital because I couldn’t. I was always hot. I was too out of it to even want to watch TV or talk. I just sat there and hoped that maybe I could sleep. There was no pinning, or Facebook or texting until day four. Not because I didn’t want to but because I couldn’t. I could barely move my arms. I had IVs everywhere. I was beyond exhausted. I just couldn’t. And that was pretty much when I realized, really realized, that I just had my chest sawed open and my heart cut open and all the blood taken out of my body and circulated through a machine and that I probably wouldn’t be okay for a long time.

Getting home wasn’t much easier. It was better to be at home but it was also scary since I couldn’t even pour my own water or carry my own purse. Hell, I couldn’t even get off the couch…or on it, for that matter. Just think of every movement you make on a daily basis that involves using muscles in your chest and being unable to do them. It’s nearly everything. Luckily for me, my boyfriend was (and still is) absolutely amazing. He had to feed me (literally), shower me, help me walk to the bathroom, get in bed and out of bed, get me water, give me my pills, he did everything. I honestly have no idea what I’d do without him. Yes, my parents came to town, I’m not an orphan. They babysat me during the day the first week I was at home while my boyfriend was at work.

But when I got home, I started to get really frustrated. I’m a pretty independent person and not being able to do anything for myself quickly launched me into a pretty awful depression. I would be out for my daily 10 minute walk and just break down in tears. I felt like a shell of the person I once was. I didn’t even have enough energy to sit on my computer and blog. It didn’t help that I’m also really hard on myself and just would not cut myself any breaks. None. Ever. And when you’re not working for 8+ weeks with really nothing to do, and nothing you can really do that starts to seriously mess with your head. I didn’t expect that. At all.

I don’t know what I expected, but what I got wasn’t it. I thought “oh, yea it’ll hurt, its a big deal…but I’ll be out of work for like four weeks…max”. And now I want to go back and punch myself. But day by day I got better, until I got pericarditis which was really, really awful. Once the doctors figured out what was wrong with me, I started to get better again. I’m not even back to normal yet, and I still don’t feel great about it, if I’m being completely honest. But I’m cutting myself some slack and allowing me not to be myself.

keepin it real

Okay, I get it, I sort of fell off the face of the blogosphere for eh…over two months. Here’s the thing guys, obviously I wasn’t on vacation, some of you may think that, but I was not having fun. None. I’ve thought about writing a post about things and what I went through and how that felt but then I thought again. Maybe no one cares. Perhaps people just want to read about things I like to eat and wear and buy. It is possible that not a soul really wants to hear about how I felt the morning of my surgery. Maybe we should just ignore this elephant in the room and move on.

So, to you I ask, do you? Because if you all want me to post about it, I will. I’m not opposed to it. I just don’t want anyone to think I’m sitting here crying into my latte and feeling sorry for myself. Because I’m not. I get the world doesn’t revolve around me. It should, but unfortunately that is just not the case.

We keep it real here. Right?

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let’s get real

It’s been a while since I dropped some truth bombs over here and the more I see, the more I have to say. I feel like, in this social media obsessed world we live in, everyone is in a constant fight to out do one another. Out shop, out style, out happy, out pretty, etc. Guys, it’s not healthy.

Back in the infancy of Facebook, around 2007, I told one of my best friends that no one is happy as they seem on Facebook and I stand by that statement and it applies to instagram, twitter, vine, blogs, myspace, and whatever the hell other platforms you’re on.

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I get it, as a blogger you want to be relevant and as a non-blogger you want a life that your favorite bloggers have but I suspect their lives aren’t what you think they are. The grass isn’t always greener on the other side. I try very, very hard here not to portray my life as a fairytale that is perfectly styled and tied up with a bow because guess what? Sometimes I get depressed and I cry and I’m unhappy. Am I wrong? No. Why? Because life isn’t perfect.

My apartment is mostly messy, especially now. I haven’t cooked in weeks. I haven’t “styled” a damn thing. I haven’t even dried my hair or put on makeup.  The hardest thing I do all day is get dressed. Does this make me less of a person? A woman? A blogger? If it does, I’d like to opt of this blogosphere that’s created a very large demographic of women with the overwhelming need to be perfect all the time.

No, I didn’t grow up underprivileged but I’ve gone through a lot of things in my life. Some of which I don’t think I need to share on this blog. Not because I don’t want to share them, but because I don’t want people to pity me, because I don’t pity myself. This is the life I was given. To me, life is real. It’s about living it to the fullest with those that you love. It’s not about your apartment being perfect, or you being perfectly styled in the latest trends, or buying that amazing bag everyone has. Because at the end of the day, those are all just things. And yea, they make you happy, but only temporarily. There will always be a new amazing designer, and blogger and handbag and where does that leave you?

Someone is inevitably going to comment on this post and call me a self-righteous bitch or something but guess what? I care not. You know why? Because I’m dealing with real life. That’s what being sick does. It helps you to cut through the bullshit, so call me what you will, you’re only holding yourself back. Also, please note, no one is forcing you to read my blog or comment.

hello, hello

I’m back.

I had wanted to say something really, really funny but I couldn’t think of something so do me a favor and imagine I said something funny. Thank you for all your sweet comments, emails, tweets, carrier pigeon notes, etc. I want to respond to every, single one, so please bear with me whilst I sift through two weeks of emails I haven’t read.

Things should be getting back to more of a normal state of affairs around here. I might even have an outfit post for you tomorrow. Not too sure about recipes since I’ve been sustaining myself on applesauce and olives. Yes, that is a weird combo, judge if you must.

Also, if any of you have specific questions, you can totally send me an email or just wait for my book to come out.

I am feeling better, but I’ve got a long way to go. If you said that I had no idea what I was getting myself into, that would be an accurate statement. Until tomorrow, I shall leave you with the following sentiment. I think I need to have this framed or at the very least, print it and put it on the fridge.

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